The Man Who Brought House Music To Britain (pre-production)

The Man Who Brought House Music To Britain tells the story of how a former fashion pioneer and hairdresser to the stars came to create a new musical movement that reinvigorated 80s London nightlife, reinvented DJ-ing and dance trends for the next 30 years and reshaped culture the world over, for ever more. 

The godfather of modern clubland and the inspiration for generations of superstar DJ’s spanning multiple genres, Rene Gelston was the champion of new music and movements that changed attitudes in London and brought House Music to the UK from club nights in New York, Paris, Toronto and Italy.

Rene went from styling for the top magazines in the world to starting the Black Market club night in London’s West End’s. Hosted in the Wag Club, Black Market quickly became synonymous with a new, more inclusive social scene. These club nights also got the capital talking, dancing and partying like they never had before.

Along with DJs Barry Sharpe and Lascelles Gordon, Rene’s Black Market nights became known for a pioneering new musical sound and style that would become known as Rare Groove. These carefully curated vinyl picks would also become the magnet for ‘crate diggers’ the world over when, in 1988, Rene and Steve Jervier threw open the doors to Londons notorious Black Market Records store for the first time.  

Opened in 1988, the influence of Black Market Records on a wide range of music scenes is unparalleled. DJ’s, producers, musicians and promoters the world over tell how Black Market was ‘the best music shop in the world’ and the foundation for their hugely successful careers.

Voiced by Trevor Nelson (Black Market Records regular and Rene’s good friend), and built on the exclusive access we have secured to Rene, his extensive personal archive depicting 1980’s and 1990’s club life, and the close personal links he has to the world’s top DJ’s / performers, The Man Who Brought House Music To Britain’ is a fascinating account of how dance music exploded from its early beginnings with northern soul and disco, out into the Rare Groove and House revolutions Rene helped found and then on to Deep House, Rave, Techno, Jungle and Drum & Bass – all scenes that had their UK home and heart in Black Market Records. 

Supported by an illustrious cast of legendary artists* that Rene helped propel to worldwide prominence (or just helped to party) – including Larry HeardGiles Peterson, Boy George, Sade, Massive Attack, Jazzy B, Norman Jay MBE, Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling, Neneh Cherry, David Guetta and Grace Jones – ‘The Man Who Brought House Music To Britain’ also maps the social shifts and the musical worlds he has done so much to reshape since swapping Blackpool for London in the early 70s. 

While the record shop Rene built is no more, the man himself shows no signs of slowing down. Now commuting between London, Mexico City and Buenos Aires, he is the creator of Fascinoma, VICE’s “best” festival actually worth going to, and champion of the new underground movement he’s convinced will keep the world dancing for the next forty years.

*some cast are yet to be confirmed.