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Give me music and give me noise....

Saturday, 26 November 2011

DJs of the world unite

DJing, a new-old thing for me, brings you into contact with quite a few people.

No, there's no avoiding them. People. The venue promoter, the bar staff, the landlord, the bands, members of the paying (and non-paying) public: they're all there. Blimey, what a palaver. There you are, just trying to demonstrate to everyone what suberb taste you have in music, when the hassles begin ....

Have you got this record or that? (Stock answer: "No"). Can we get some drinks for the band? (No, I'm not the barman). The promoter's leaning on you to play music that "people will like". Beered-up punters are bawling incomprehensible questions just at the moment a tune is about to end and you need to start the next one. 

Gawd almighty. Best exchange so far: young woman, very "refreshed", repeatedly asking if I had any Bob Marley. "No, but I've got some reggae. I could play some of that." "But have you got any Bob Marley?" "Er, no, but I've got some reggae. Bob Marley's reggae. I could play some reggae." "Have you got Redemption Song?" "Er no, but ..." (repeat to fade).

OK, it's not all bad. Some people are genuinely interested in something you've just played (often people in the bands I've noticed). So yes, it's nice to get some positive feedback and be able to tell them what the music is (anything by James Chance/The Contortions seems to get a good reaction at the moment).


A few years back a friend was doing a bit of DJing (on a boat on the Thames actually) when one of the band members who was setting up to play started complaining very loudly about the music (a - rather excellent - dub tune). He was demanding it was turned down or off. I (very gallantly) rushed onto the stage to defend the honour of my DJ friend. DJs of the world unite, I say .... 

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