Shaun Williams (DJ)

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Shaun Williams is a DJ and jazz dancer from Birmingham, United Kingdom (UK), notable for his pioneering role in the UK's jazz fusion and electro music scenes. He achieved success with the early electro club track, released with DSM, "Warrior Groove".[1]

William's was described by musician and author, Mark "Snowboy" Cotgrove, as an "A rated dancer and a peoples-champion as one of the early pioneers of the Jazz dance movement"[2]


The rise in popularity of jazz-funk and jazz fusion in the UK during the late 1970s led to a profusion of "all-dayers"[3] being held across the country. These events drew youngsters who travelled in the thousands to listen to their favourite DJs at venues like Birmingham's Hummingbird and Locarno[4] (which later became the Powerhouse) and Rock City in Nottingham.

Shaun Williams first became involved in the UK's jazz dance scene as part of an innovative group of Birmingham-based jazz dancers.[5][6] However he soon progressed from the dance floor to DJ turntables, where he gained a reputation as an influential[7][8] and experimental[9][10] DJ who refused to be restricted in the music he played.[11] Williams was a staple of the Midlands' circuit from 1979 to 1985,[12][13][14] representing Birmingham alongside other top DJs from around the country.[15]

At a time when most Birmingham night clubs operated selective door policies and admitted few black people,[16] the Monday nights were a haven for youngsters from all backgrounds, an environment where they could express themselves freely through dance and fashion. It subsequently became known as one of the country's most competitive and cutting-edge jazz fusion nights,[17] with the weekly session attracting dancers from across the UK, who came to listen to Williams and to "battle" against the best of the Midlands' dancers.[18][19]

Following his all-dayer popularity[20] Williams, along with Birmingham DJ Dave Till, started his long-running jazz fusion night at Birmingham's Rum Runner nightclub. Although Till left the club a couple of years later, Williams continued his residency until its closure in 1983.[21] The Rum Runner saw the formation of the band Duran Duran (who would often be rehearsing upstairs during these jazz nights)[22] and was popular with New Romantics, but on Monday nights Williams played jazz fusion, funk and soul to a predominantly black audience.

As the popularity of electro gained momentum through the early to mid-1980s, so did Williams' reputation as a scratcher, following regular appearances on the all-dayer scene and his Sunday night sessions at Faces International nightclub in Birmingham.[23][24] This culminated in him teaming up with Danny Poku[25] (later known as D Mob) to co-write and scratch on DSM's "Warrior Groove",[26] released on Elite Records in 1985 and re-released in the same year on 10 Records,[27] a subsidiary of Virgin Records. It was re-released on compilation album Attica Blues Present Drum Major Instinct[28] on X:treme Records, 2001.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evans, Simon,"A Fine Romance" The Birmingham Post. 23 January 1999. Retrieved 4 February 2011
  2. ^ Cotgrove 2009, p. 128
  3. ^ The Dood (2005–2009). "The History of the UK Jazz Dance". UK Vibe. UK Vibe. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Cotgrove 2009, p 88 Interview with Colin Curtis
  5. ^ Cotgrove 2009, p. 128 Interview with Graham Warr
  6. ^ Colin Curtis (11 January 2010). "BIRMINGHAM 2010 SPOTLIGHT ON DJ'S KWAI @LORD BYRON". Colin Curtis Connection. Google. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Cotgrove 2009, p. 128
  8. ^ Colin Curtis Connection Colin Curtis interviews DJ IMD
  9. ^ Cotgrove 2009, p. 141 Interview with Bruce Q
  10. ^ Cotgrove 2009, p. 134 Interview with Linford "Fanny" Taylor
  11. ^ Cotgrove 2009, p. 129 Interview with Shaun Williams
  12. ^ Monson, Tony, "Funk Finder", Black Echoes, London, 9 May 1981
  13. ^ Monson, Tony, "Down at the club", Black Echoes, London, 9 May 1981
  14. ^ Kilbourn, Bob, "B & S clubs report", Blues & Soul, London, 14 February 1984
  15. ^ " Interview with Colin Curtis by Bill Brewster on
  16. ^ Cotgrove 2009, p 127-8 Interview with Graham Warr
  17. ^ Cotgrove, 2009, p 92-3 Interview with Hewan Clarke
  18. ^ Cotgrove, 2009, p 100 Interview with The Jazz Defectors
  19. ^ Paul Bradshaw (2008). "Dancing in Outer Space : Stepping into the future" (PDF). Independent Movement. Independent Movement. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  20. ^ Cotgrove, 2009, p 132 Interview with Rhythm Doctor
  21. ^ Dodd, Ros, "A right Rum do; The Rum Rummer Reunion at Ronnie Scotts was a big hit" The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 26 April 2011
  22. ^ Odell, Michael, "In their own words: Duran Duran reveal all Observer Music Monthly, The Observer, 16 November 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2011
  23. ^ Avenger, The, "Night Clubbing", Black Echoes, London, 9 March 1985
  24. ^ Avenger, The, "Night Clubbing", Black Echoes, London, 17 August 1985
  25. ^ Danny Poku
  26. ^ Warrior Groove Elite Records,
  27. ^ Warrior Groove Ten Records
  28. ^ Attica Blues Present Drum Major Instinct X:treme Records


  • Cotgrove, Mark (2009). Mark Cotgrove, "From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: The History of the UK Jazz Dance Scene". Chaser Publications. ISBN 978-1-4389-7360-9.

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