UK hard house

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

UK hard house or simply hard house is a style of electronic dance music[1] music that emerged in the 1990s and is synonymous with its association to Trade club and the associated DJs there that created the style.[2][3] It often features a speedy tempo (around 150 BPM), offbeat bass stabs,[4] hoovers, horns[4] and crowd cheering samples.[4] It usually contains a break in the middle of the track without drum. UK hard house often uses a long and sharp string note to create suspense. Most of the time, the drops are introduced by a drum roll.

Hard house clubbing brands[edit]

Certain brands have reached legendary status with die-hard hard house fans, such as Birmingham based Sundissential and its Leeds counterpart Sundissential North. Clubbers are known to travel cross-country to some parties. The venues associated with certain brands are almost the stuff of legend themselves and are remembered fondly and given almost cult status by veteran ravers. For example:

The Tidy Boys[5][edit]

The Tidy brand began in 1995 when Amadeus Mozart and Andy Pickles formed the record label known as Tidy Trax with its first release was The Handbaggers - U Found Out, sampling Minnesota R&B band The Jets 1986 release Crush on You, which charted at number 55 in the UK music charts.

Releasing music under the pseudonyms: The Handbaggers and Hyperlogic, Amadeus Mozart and Andy Pickles did not officially use the name The Tidy Boys until 1999

The Tidy brand is known for putting on large-scale events, most notably The Tidy Weekenders. The brand struggled in the late 2000s to keep going financially with dwindling sales (through its Tidy record label) and poor attendance figures to events. During the mid-2010s, however, the brand has had a huge resurgence and revitalized the UK hard house scene putting on huge events across the UK has been possible due to the fans being able to reconnect with the brand through the Tidy Boys official Facebook page and growing social media presence.

Tidy is known for their sell-out club nights and one-off events such as TDV20 – a 20-year memorial event of the death of Tony De Vit – one of the original pioneers of hard house. Also known for hosting "The Tidy Weekender"; three-day parties which were held from Friday to Sunday at Pontins resorts in Prestatyn, Camber Sands and Southport.[6]

Notable Recent Events:

  • Tidy XX Anniversary - 26 September 2015 at The Institute, Birmingham
  • Tidy 21 Weekender - 20–22 May 2016 at Pontins resort, Southport.
  • Tidy at The Church - 9 December 2017 at The Church Venue, Leeds
  • Tidy Seaside Special - 17–18 August 2018 at The Basement, Newquay
  • Tony De Vit 20 Memorial Event - 29 September 2018 at 02 Academy, Birmingham
  • Tidy Opera House Reunion - 28 September 2019 at 02 Academy, Bournemouth
  • Tidy 25 Weekender - 9–11 July 2021 at Pontins resort, Prestatyn.


Launched in 2000, Storm regularly attracted up to 2000 clubbers in its heyday, and people came from as far as Bournemouth, Edinburgh and Belfast. The remoteness of Coalville made the venue tricky to get to, as there were no buses there which run on a Sunday and no local train station, meaning that the majority of clubbers who made it to Storm each week were usually die-hard ravers and for this reason, the brand and the venue had a cult following and very quickly reached legendary status amongst hard house fans.

Sundissential and Sundissential North[8][edit]

Originally held at Pulse in Birmingham, the sheer popularity of the weekly Midlands-based, self-styled "Most Outrageous Club in the World" saw it quickly set up its second base in Leeds – firstly, at Club Uropa from 1998 till 2000 and then Evolution from 2000 till 2005. Known for its cult following by fans who would wear elaborate and often home-made outfits, largely made from red and yellow fluff. Several controversial and tragic incidents kept Sundissential firmly at the forefront of the hard house scene, with several deaths of clubbers,[9] as well as the antics of the promoter, Paul Madden a.k.a. "Madders" which created gossip amongst fans online on Leeds based clubbing forums, and and kept the brand firmly in the spotlight until the doors closed in 2005. In 2016, the brand was relaunched under new management and began putting on events again in Leeds, at the Mint Club and at Church.[10]

Fish! and Superfish![11][edit]

From the mid-1990s to early 2000s, club nights included Fish!, Superfish!, and Warriors at Turnmills.

Hard house and hard NRG artists and DJs at these venues included Captain Tinrib, D.F.Q., Ben Javlin, Steve Thomas, Steve Hill, Rubec, Simon Eve, Pete Wardman, Dave Randall, Johnnie "RR" Fierce, Karim, Chris "Drum Head" Edwards, and Weirdo.

Other venues were the Soundshaft nightclub (next to Heaven in Charing Cross) and The Fridge in Brixton.

Subgenres and derivatives[edit]

Scouse house[edit]

Scouse house[12][13] (originally known as bouncy hard house or bouncy house[13][14]), also known as UK bounce,[12] donk,[12][14] or more recently as hard bounce, is a style of UK hard house which first emerged around 1999. Unlike other hard house genres, it features an upbeat, energetic sound and heavily focuses on the 'pipe' sample as an offbeat bassline, which usually represents a 'donk' sound. In recent years, hard bounce has come to refer as style far less uplifting trance orientated than the original Scouse house genre, which also utilizes the same sample but takes a slightly more commercial approach.

Pumping house[edit]

Pumping house[15] (or bumping) is an intermediate term and a local variant of the early scouse house scene, which was popular Russia and Spain in the late 1990s to early 2000s. The genre takes start when the Dutch duo Klubbheads invented so called bamboo-bass in the track Ultimate Seduction - "A Walking Nightmare (Klubbheads GP Mix)" in 1997. Years later the genre gave the birth to Britain's donk scene and Spain scene poky.[16] Pumping house is used as an interchangeable term for scouse house in Russia and Spain.


Hardbass (Russian: хардбасс) is a development of pumping house, originated in Russia in the early 2000s.

Hard dance[edit]

Hard dance is a cross-over genre between hard house, Eurodance and hard trance, but the term 'hard dance' is often used in reference to hardstyle. The term began life as an umbrella term to denote several styles of hard music, namely hard house, hard trance, hardstyle, jumpstyle, frenchcore, and hardcore.


Hard house is similar to, but distinct from hardstyle. Confusion can sometimes arise as some club nights and events will play both hardstyle and hard house. This may be because hardstyle is quite well known across western Europe, whereas hard house has only ever had a limited audience outside of the UK, so there is more new music being released in the hardstyle scene.


  1. ^ Ishkur (2005). "Ishkur's guide to Electronic Music". Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  2. ^ Gerstner, David A. (2012). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture. Routledge. p. 154. ISBN 9781136761812.
  3. ^ Skruff, Jonty. "Mark Kavanagh- Ireland's Hardest DJ on Ending Up in U2's Gutter (interview)". Track it Down online webzine, June 3, 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Ishkur (2005). "Stupid house". Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  5. ^ "Official Tidy Page". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  6. ^ "Review: Tidy Weekender - Hard House is Dead? | Ibiza Spotlight". Ibiza Spotlight. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  7. ^ "Storm". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  8. ^ "Sundissential". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  9. ^ "The Ecstasy, the agony, and the culpability". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  10. ^ "Sundissential North returns to Leeds!!". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  11. ^ "About Us - The Tinrib Story". Tinrib Digital⚓. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  12. ^ a b c "Clubbers' Decktionary: Scouse House aka Donk, UK Bounce, NRG". The List. 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  13. ^ a b "Scouse House Juno Download". Juno Download. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  14. ^ a b "8 music things we'd like to see make a comeback - BBC Music". 2018-01-08. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  15. ^ Yegorov, Oleg (2017-12-22). "Russian hard bass: How a musical monstrosity went viral". Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  16. ^ "Welcome To Russia's Hard Bass Scene". Retrieved 2020-09-05.