When pop queen Madonna heard Dream Frequency’s monster dance hit, Feel So Real, she instructed one of her talent scouts to run the rule over the Lancashire hit makers.
Ian Bland, who now runs Maison Records from his home in Read, was working as an aircraft electrician at British Aerospace when the call came.
“I was just a lad from Lancashire, and there I was at this big plush office in London, surrounded by cigar-smoking music moguls,” said Ian.
“A loud American bloke, perched in front of a signed portrait of Madonna, said ‘Madonnnnnnnnna loves Dream Frequency.
“It was great, but we never heard another thing.”
You would need to be wearing size ten concrete boots and be sewn into Houdini’s straight-jacket not to boogie to their uplifting piano anthem Feel So Real, one of the most memorable dance tunes ever penned.
“It was completely crazy when the record came out,” added Ian who is busy fine-tuning Dream Frequency for a Sunday Back to the Old School slot on Beat-Herder’s Factory Stage.
“I sent the cassette tape (Feel so Real) to Nick Hawkes, who discovered Prodigy.
“Amazingly, he called me back at work and said: ‘I Like your song.
‘What do you want me to do with it?
“I spluttered, ‘Put it out please,” and he did.
He added: “I’ll be doing Dream Frequency when I’m on my Zimmer frame.”
With Dream Frequency on the brink, Ian quit his job and joined the rave revolution with Take Me after Live the Dream and Love, Peace and Harmony already underground favourites.
“It was a big decision and I had a well-paid job,” he recalled.
“The boss said: ‘You’ll be back Blandy. See you on Top of the Pops mate.’
“And do you know what, six months later we were.
“They filmed Top of the Pops at Elstree studios and one of the group ended up having a cup of tea with Dot Cotton from Eastenders.”
And the man behind Dream Frequency has used his studio knowledge worldwide, re-mixing tunes for Prince, Queen and Alison Limerick.
“Last year I opened the Fortress stage at Beat-Herder, and it was like all the planets aligned.
“It was just one of those fantastic moments, and I can’t wait to play in the Factory – it is going to be some party.”