Acclaimed DJs, pioneering promoters, long running radio presenters, record producers and business partners in the iconic Groove Odyssey brand, Bobby & Steve have reached legendary status in the soulful house and disco scene.
Marking 34 years in the industry in 2019, the duo is also celebrating 10 years of their brand Groove Odyssey with partner Michael Hughes. With a residency at the world renowned Ministry of Sound and Groove Odyssey hosting the main stage at the mighty 51st State Festival as well as their 3rd year of the GO Ibiza weekender and further dates being announced, this is set to be a remarkable year for Groove Odyssey. In addition to this, their eagerly anticipated debut artist album will be released at the end of 2019, and includes collaborations from Leroy Burgess, Duane Harden and Barbara Tucker amongst others. And with their long running prime time show ‘Groove Odyssey Sessions’ on HouseFM.net, Bobby & Steve are in demand now more than ever.
In 2016 the connoisseurs of house were honoured to be invited as the first international guests to play at the Chosen Few festival in Chicago, where they were presented with a lifetime achievement award in front of 40,000 house heads. On this momentous event they were quoted as saying “to play and receive that award in Chicago where House music began, was truly an overwhelming spiritual experience”.
Pioneers of soulful house since 1984, the inimitable twins Robert and Stephen Laviniere were born and bred in London’s East End. They started their career at a time when the landscape of London’s nightlife was changing forever, and the rare groove movement was on the cusp of explosion. The boys were instrumental figures in the eighties warehouse party scene, playing their favourite soul, funk and disco music alongside fellow stalwart DJ's such as Norman Jay, Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson, Jazzy B and Trevor Nelson.
In 1985 Gordon Mac’s (then pirate) radio station Kiss FM launched. A mouthpiece for the scene, Mac approached the twins, offering them a weekly slot and for over ten years their trailblazing Zoo Experience show was the stations longest running specialist show. Broadcast each and every Friday night between the hours of 10.00 pm and 12.00 am, it was a hotbed of exclusive tracks and remixes. Not only did their show give many of today’s most recognised DJ’s and labels their first opportunity to be heard on the UK’s airwaves, in turn it allowed their faithful listeners the opportunity to hear new releases from significant UK and American labels, DJ’s and producers.
Alongside their radio show, the twins began their, now somewhat legendary, Klub Zoo night, originating at Munkberry's and later at the Soho Theatre. Famed for its mix of classic soul, disco and rare grooves, devoted followers would flock to the club each week to hear their favourite Salsoul, Prelude or Philadelphia International tracks. However, a trip to New York at the tail end of the eighties marked a major turning point in the futures of Bobby & Steve.
A visit to Larry Levan's world renowned Paradise Garage club in 1987, just three months before the club closed its doors forever, gave them their first taste of a new sound, later dubbed 'Garage' music, a sound which American jocks such as Levan, Frankie Knuckles and Tony Humphries were championing. Evolving from the more soulful and gospel parts of disco, US garage music, with its soaring vocals, intricate melodies and jazzy instrumentals, captured the ears of the twins. They had found their sound - dance music that still contained their beloved soulful influences. Klub Zoo was instrumental in planting the UK roots for what became more commonly referred to as ‘house music’.
Inspired by what they had witnessed in NYC, Bobby & Steve wasted no time in launching their iconic new brand ‘Garage City’. Hailed as the UK's most established house night it was renowned for playing the best in soulful, funky and uplifting US garage, this side of the Atlantic. Joined regularly by the biggest names from the house spectrum such as Masters at Work, Kerri Chandler, Tony Humphries, Eric Morillo, Todd Terry and Danny Tenaglia, to name but a few.
Telstar Records released various Garage City compilation albums mixed by Bobby & Steve and to mark its ten-year anniversary Defected Records released a ‘10 Years of Garage City' album also mixed by the duo. The iconic club Fabric in London hosted its 10th birthday party. Garage City also enjoyed successful seasons at Ibiza super club Es Paradis.
The growing success of house music alongside their outstanding reputation as both DJ’s and promoters placed them in high demand throughout the nineties. Bobby & Steve were regular guest DJ’s at the biggest club nights across the globe. They founded their ‘Summervibes Dance Weekenders’ which were a sell out each time and launched their own record labels producing their own tracks as well as for artists such as Leroy Burgess. They were in high demand on the remix side, reworking tracks for the likes of Faith Evans on behalf of P Diddy’s Bad Boy Records. In 1997 they were nominated for a MOBO Award and in 2001 they travelled to Asia to DJ at the MTV Asia Music Awards party.
The new millennium brought about a new chapter for Bobby & Steve and in that same year they launched their new night Soul Heaven at the Ministry of Sound as well as a weekly Ibiza residency at the illustrious El Divino. At the Ministry launch night, the twins joined by Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez played to over two thousand party people with a further one thousand queuing outside. The brand went from strength to strength with Defected Records releasing a ‘Soul Heaven’ compilation mixed by the Bobby & Steve.
In 2008 alongside their business partner Michael Hughes, the new powerhouse ‘Groove Odyssey’ record label and club event was created. Ten years strong, the brand’s label is churning out original releases and compilation albums to critical acclaim. The Groove Odyssey club night holds a residency at the Ministry of Sound with guests including David Morales, Louie Vega, Dimitri from Paris, Terry Hunter and Joey Negro with further dates being announced around the country and further afield.
2017 saw Groove Odyssey embark on a white isle adventure and their hugely successful GO Ibiza weekender, has been running for three years now and kicks off the island's summer season in May with the line-up for 2020 soon to be released. The five-day event hosts hundreds of clubbers from around the globe alongside an unrivalled line up of the biggest and best DJ's from the house music fraternity.
Groove Odyssey with Bobby & Steve return once again to host the main stage at one London’s biggest celebrations of real house music, the mighty 51st State Festival in August 2019 which brings together an unparalleled line up from the house and urban music arenas including Kerri Chandler, Kings of House, Dennis Ferrer and Dimitri from Paris. Their Groove Odyssey Sessions show on HouseFm.net still dominates the 10.00 pm -12.00 am slot with a host of the finest guests in the world’s house music arena.
Bobby & Steve have been two of the most respected names in dance music for over thirty-five years and continue to be constant figure heads in championing the soulful house sound evermore. With house music more prevalent than ever, the boys are still serious in demand, frequently playing globally. There is no doubt that the brothers have created a timeless legacy, and a certainty that they will go from strength to strength in preaching the gospel of soulful house for years to come.