A multi-stage blind clustering algorithm is proposed for equalisation of multi-level quadrature amplitute modulation (M-QAM) channels. A hierarchical decomposition divides the task of equalising a high-order QAM channel into much simpler sub-tasks. Each sub-task can be accomplished fast and reliably using a blind clustering algorithm derived originally for 4-QAM signals. The constant modulus algorithm (CMA) is used as a benchmark to assess this multi-stage blind equaliser. It is demonstrated that the new blind algorithm achieves much faster convergence and is very robust when input symbols are not sufficiently white. This multi-stage clustering equaliser only requires slightly more computations than the CMA and, like the latter, its computational complexity does not increase as the levels of digital symbols increase.