Before turning to music as a full time occupation, Alan Simms was a social worker with children in Belfast, and he has been a DJ in Belfast for close to ten years. His first residency was at the legendary after-hours club, Tokyo Joe’s, playing a mixture of early Chicago house, Detroit techno, and balearic mixed up with hardcore.
As the scene splintered Simms moved in the direction of pure funky techno and started the Different Drum night at the Limelight, Belfast that regularly attracted the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Slam, and Justin Robertson. In 1999 Simms was one of five nominees for “Best DJ” in the all Ireland “Hotpress Music Awards” and won “Best DJ” in the “Oh Yeah Northern Ireland Dance Music Awards,” in which Shine also won “Best Club.” Playing peak time slots at the Shine stages of this year’s Homelands Ireland and Planet Love 2000 festivals has further consolidated his position as a central figure on the Irish music scene. An award for “Special Contribution to Dance Music” in the recent BBM Magazine Dance Awards further asserts Shine and Simms as of great importance to development of Irish musical influence. Simms has broadened his horizons in 2000 to include stints in the U.S. and at Cream in Ibiza. Simms’ favorite club guest spots include the Kitchen in Dublin, Slam in Glasgow, and Voodoo in Liverpool.