In the early 1980’s Evenson Allen was part of a sound system called ‘Locomotion-Soul-Sound’, a group with a similar style and set-up to that of Soul-2-Soul. Lipmaster Mark was establishing himself as a respected beat-boxer, winning competitions in the UK and America (hence the name Lipmaster!), whilst at this time they didn’t know each other but were to meet in 1985, through a family friend. From this point they established a close relationship and decided to work together.
Although at the very beginning Mark was the vocal (beat-boxing) side of the group and Evenson the DJ, they soon realised that Evenson was to become the voice of Ratpack and that Mark’s DJing capabilities were more than top class.
In 1986/7 the Ratpack started off, as many DJ’s do, putting on their own party’s. With the help of their good friends and family they put on some of the most memorable party’s of that era, many of them being held in unusual venue – warehouses, railway arches and even a derelict public swimming bath, to name but a few. But it was a time of musical change and a new scene was beginning, the ‘Acid House’ scene, and the Ratpack took it by storm . . .
Illegal raves were being organised all over the country and the Ratpack were in great demand. They were the first MC/DJ team, which made them unique and very popular. As the scene grew so did the size of the raves, the Ratpack were playing to crowds in excess of 25,000 at some of the more established raves like Fantasia, Obsession, Elevation, Vision . . the list goes on.
In 1992 when the ‘Rave’ scene peaked in the UK, the Ratpack achieved great success with their infamous track ‘Searchin’ for my Rizla'(Big Giant Records). Within the first week of release the single went to No.1 in the UK Dance Charts and reached No.42 in the UK National Charts, an outstanding accomplishment considering the topic of the choon and especially since the track was banned by Radio 1!
The Rave scene was beginning to spread to Europe and so was the Ratpack’s demand, they began receiving bookings from France, Germany, Holland and the Balearics. Subsequently bookings started coming in from virtually every continent. In 1994 they achieved great success again, when their single ‘Captain of the Ship’ (Sony Dancepool Records, Australia) beat Madonna to the Top 5 in the Australian Music Charts.
During this time and until 1996, they were signed to Logic Records (BMG), this partnership took them to Germany for 3 years, here again they became very popular. In fact they still are and often getting called back. However, towards the end of 1996, the demand was getting greater for them to return home to the UK, bookings were flooding in and they were missing home, so they decided to return.
Since their return to the UK in 1997, they have continued to play around the world but are based in London. The past year five years has seen an upturn in the Old Skool/Rave scene and the Ratpack have played a bit part in that. Also contributing hugely to the promotion of the very latest dance floor craze ‘New Skool’.
They can now be heard all across the country, playing for promoters such as: Helter Skelter, Raindance, Dreamscape, Moondance, One Nation, Slammin’ Vinyl, World Dance, United Dance to name just a few of the major events, aswell as playing all over the UK on the club scene.
The last year has been a hectic one for the Ratpack, they have released their excellent website, which has become a superb resource for many clubbers and music lovers.
They have spent the last 6 months recording a new album which has already attracted attention from a few majors before it’s completion, and given the fact that they have just signed into a new management contract with Albert Samuel of ASM – Mission Control, the Ratpack are confident of their future as ever.
And finally they’ve had a request from the BBC to remix a famous quiz show title track . . . you are the weakest link….. goodbye !