Mains Ignition

Mains Ignition are a British group that formed in London during the mid nineties. Performing an original soulful synth breaks sound that came straight out of Shoreditch from a converted shop in Redchurch Street.

A group of Isle of Wight friends came to London in 1994 with a supermod dream. They called it PPQ. “What does that mean?” “That’s a pretty personal question”. Looking for inspiration after Freaky Realistic and Add N to X, Justin Anderson (JLA, member of Mains Ignition) had already been charmed by PPQ’s spiritual leader Julian “St Jude” Kennedy and immediately felt at home with their mod but not mod philosophy.

Justin met Dave “Hairy Diamond” Rabjohns, Tim Boogaloo, Dave Ellis and Graham Very who like himself had been had been posing and pontificating to questions in various 90s print media. PPQ leader on Earth Percy Parker and Amy Molyneaux set up the clothing label PPQ. Then Paul “Compo” Harrison from the London Hip Hop Club Scratch teamed up with JLA and the Hairy Diamond and MAINS IGNITION was born. Cynics might say they were just a hairdresser, failed popstar and warehouse worker but those of us who dare to dream recognised a sensual DJ with a golden touch, a melodic sound painter and a technical visionaire with beats so fat they had to permanently close Smithfields after he dropped the bass. Between them all they set up the studio and workspace known as HQ.

Between the clothing, clubs, artwork and music, an intoxicatingly culturally diverse array of artists passed through the (HQ) doors including The Libertines, Kym Marsh, Greg Foat, Gary Hume, Peaches Geldof, Mark Wigan, Luca Cazal and Whitey who made his first album there. The different areas feeding each other and the clothes being worn by Pete Doherty, Kirsten Dunst, Sienna Miller, Rihanna, Lily Allen, Naomie Harris, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Daisy Lowe, Alexa Chung, Agyness Deyn, Keira Knightley, Jade Jagger, Sadie Frost, Kelly Osbourne, Adele, The Horrors, Amy Whinehouse, New Young Pony Club, Corrine Bailey Rae such was the ambition and reach of PPQ and HQ.

Justin produced the so called “Hancock version” of Never Never with the Libertines. The Hairy Diamond went solo to give us the down tempo classic “Giving Up” and of course the seminal “Testify” produced by Mains Ignition. This track would unite the big/break beat and the beat beau Monde mod dance floors with it’s stripped down sassy ways and was included in all the late nineties compilations that mattered, from Acid Jazz’ re launched Totally Wired to the downbeat bible Dope on Plastic. 

“Mains Ignition are the point where dance music’s future and past fuse in a flash of sweat-drenched inspiration. They’re a groove-riding assault on moribund live music experiences. They’re multi-limbed, loping break-monster just waiting to scoop you up in their sticky clutches” – Stevie Chick (NME 2000)

At this point they recruited Adam Ficek (RKC) and Lester Jones on drums and bass to go fully live securing a deal with Shoreditch Indie Pioneers Tummy Touch, grabbing the attention of Jarvis Cocker and securing a support slot on PULP’s forest tour. The label mutated into 1234 with Sean Mclusky and then James Mullord joining who went on to manage Babyshambles. The ensuing chaos both inspired yet ultimately destroyed HQ. Redchurch Street is now like Bond Street and we reflect on the massive journey the area has taken.

Blow Up Songs is the worldwide music publisher for all the bands songwriters.

Acid Jazz Records released a retrospective album HQ Redchurch St on digital services August 27th 2021.

TRACKLIST: HQ Redchurch St

  1. Testify Rereck (Blow Up Version)
  2. In HQ (HQ Redchurch St Refurbishment)
  3. 747 – PPQ Beat Beau Monde Edit)
  4. Boss Engine (Hairy Diamond 2021 Edit)
  5. Testify (Cassio Sunburn Mix)
  6. Offload On The Flange Side (Adam Ficek Edit)
  7. Feeling Freaky (Tummy Touch Re Edit)
  8. Sizzler (Mainstropolis Unreleased Track)
  9. Raging Horn (Scratch Paul Compo Harrison Edit)
  10.  Main Title (Acid Jazz Edit)
  11.  Killnit (Freaky Realistic Freak Out)
  12.  Leg Over (Lester Jones Edit)
  13.  Ping Pong (Happiness Stan’s Edit)
  14.  Testify (Ninyo Sounds Mix)