BLOW UP – 30th Anniversary – Southend-on-Sea.

Blow Up is pleased to announce that as part of our 30th anniversary we will head to Southend-on-Sea for a special night at Twenty OneFriday 11th October, a venue situated on the seafront opposite the world famous pier. 

Southend has always played an important part of Blow Up’s story, as Blow Up founder Paul Tunkin had been a regular DJ, promoter and musician in the area from his time as an art student at Southend College. After moving to London in the early 90s it was at Paul’s club night The Periphery in Southend where he sketched out the initial concept for what was to become Blow Up. This was around the same time that he DJ’d at several key London concerts for SuedeBlur and My Life Story. He brought elements of his sets at these concerts together with the new sounds trailed at The Periphery into what became fully realised as Blow Up in London.

The original Blow Up flyer and poster appropriated The Periphery’s modish image of a target and arrow which was designed by another former Southend local who had moved to London Jake Shillingford (My Life Story). Whilst many of the original Blow Up club regulars came from the local scene around Paul’s clubs, these included members of Menswear who met and came together at Blow Up after coming up from Southend and longtime Blow Up resident DJ’s The Karminsky Experience were also from the area. 

Blow Up last hit Southend when we celebrated 25 years in Southend in 2019 at the Railway Hotel for a sold out night which featured several Blow Up Records artists live and a DJ set by Paul Tunkin. Strangely enough, this was the only time that we had held a Blow Up event in Southend to date.

So there you have it, Southend is always a special place for Blow Up and we are looking forward to returning there. Whilst with the event taking place at Twenty One on Southend seafront there is the added dimension of this location being just a few hundred yards away from where Paul’s very first club night The Monkey House originally took place, meaning everything is being brought full circle in more ways than one for this event.

We hope that you can join us for a special night of music and dancing. Early bird tickets on sale from 10am today:

More on Blow Up…

Blow Up, a bona-fide legendary club night at the centre of the mid-Nineties Brit Pop explosion, cited as the catalyst and birthplace of the BritPopscene, influencing the style and sound of a generation. Blow Up was voted No.4 in Time Out’s Top Ten Clubs of the 90s, described as one of ‘5 Classic Clubs of Our Time’ by Vox Magazine (alongside The Blitz Club, Shoom, The Roxy) and as ‘The club that changed theworld’ by Melody Maker. Time Out’s ‘London Calling’ book special said of Blow Up that it was “the breeding ground ofthe Brit Pop sound”. Whilst an NME’s Original’s had Blow Up featured as one if its Top Ten Britpop Moments. In July 2022 Time Out London once again listed Blow Up as one of thegreatest London clubs of the past 40 years.

Blow Up was founded and launched by Paul Tunkin 16th October 1993 at the upstairs function room of a Camden Town pub the Laurel Tree. After just a few months Blow Up had become the epicentre of a seismic musical and stylistic change in what was later called the Britpop scene. From its origins at the Laurel Tree, Camden Town (1993-1996) to Soho venues the Wag Club (1996-2001), the Metro Club (2002-2009, the Metro which Paul Tunkin co-ran with former Wag Club manager Alan Campbell) Blow Up maintained a weekly club event interspersed with various one-off events. Post the Metro Club’s closure Blow Up took up weekly and monthly residences in various venues including Bar Rumba, 4 Denmark St and Peckham’s Bussey Building followed by a weekly five year Friday night residency at the St Moritz Club, Wardour St Soho (2015-2020) once again interspersed with occasional monthly events including the Troubadour London. Blow Up ran continuous weekly events until the nightlife lockdown in 2020 and finally returned for a three night residency at Vout O Reenee’s London (Oct – December 2022). November 2023 saw the first part of the Blow Up 30 year celebrations with a sold out club and live event at Jamboree Kings Cross. Whilst in May 2024 saw Blow Up take to the roof terrace of members club the Century in Soho as part 2 of our 30th celebrations.

Outside of weekly and special one-off events in London, Blow Up has also hosted both UK regional and international events across Europe, USA, Russia, and Japan. Whilst the Blow Up club compilations (‘Blow Up A-Go-Go!’ and ‘Blow Up presents Exclusive Blend’) have added to the global impact of the club.

Blow Up is currently one of the longest running club nights in London. 

Blow Up club is celebrating its 30 years along with the associated Blow Up Records (record label) and Blow Up Songs (music publisher).