Friday, December 22, 2006

I Don't Feel Like Dancin' But They Do

December is silly season and the week before Christmas is just totally bananas. That's why I was happy to be playing Soul Food World Beats last night - I knew there would be a good crowd. And there was. I started out in the usual SFWB vibe by playing some reggae tunes but I was quickly given the nod to play anything, even commercial. I decided to play I Don't Feel Like Dancin' and to my surprise everyone did! A few people moved to the dance floor and it kind of freaked me out. I mean this was new territory for a Thursday night gig in Bia. However, rather than go for broke and peak too early (it was only 9:15), I decided to hang back and mix in some obscure tracks along with the more well known stuff. After about 30 minutes I played the Stereo MCs and there was no turning back. The floor was packed.

It was the most fun I have had playing in Bia and sadly I found out (after the gig) that it was the last ever Soul Food World Beats night in the bar. At least I can say I was part of the night and I was there at the end.

The set list was:

01. Shaft - Cedric Im Brooks
02. 54-46 (Was My Number) - Toots & The Maytals
03. Waterfall (Justin Robertson's Mix) - Stone Roses
04. Hound Dog - Betty Everett
05. Melting Pot - Boris Gardiner
06. Mirror In The Bathroom - The English Beat
07. Nite Club - The Specials
08. One Nation Under A Groove - Chaka Demus & Pliers
09. A Fly In The Hand - Alice Russel
10. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters
11. Funk da Virada - Antonio Pinto & Ed Cortes
12. Get On The Good Foot - James Brown
13. If It Ain't Broke... Break It! - The Limp Twins
14. Got To Be Real (12" Version) - Cheryl Lynn
15. Fry Chicken In Your Hotpants - Clarence Foster & The Internal Revenue
16. Emotional Rescue - Freedom Dub
17. We've Only Just Begun (TM Juke Mix) - Lee McDonald
18. Step It Up - Stereo MCs
19. Holiday - Madonna
20. Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
21. Off The Wall - Michael Jackson
22. For Your Precious Love - Jestofunk
23. Superfly - Curtis Mayfield
24. Groove Is In The Heart (12" Version) - Dee-Lite
25. Weirdo - The Charlatans
26. Rocks - Primal Scream
27. Rude Boy Rock - Lionrock
28. Sunshine Of Your Love - Spanky Wilson
29. White Lines (Don't Do It) - GMF & Melle Mel


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

2006 Crackin' Christmas Countdown

And so, it has been tradition for many, many years in Dublin that the lads sit down, have a think and choose their 'Best Of' for the last 12 months. I have been reading / taking part for the last few years and this year I decided to post all of my choices for everyone to see.

I give you The Best Of 2006:


Bande A Part: Nouvelle Vague - The second offering by the French outfit that isn't quite as strong as the first but still stands above a lot of the albums released this year. The Cramps and Heaven 17 never sounded so cool.

The Afterlife Lounge: Afterlife - The latest album by 'the lads' from Ibiza. A couple of boffin producers plus Cathy Battistessa on vocals equals total quality. The disc features compilations with all the big names in Ibiza and never fails to chill.

News & Tributes: The Futureheads - Bigger, faster, stronger and sexier than The Futureheads. It has enabled me to keep my faith in rock music for a little while longer.

With Love And Squalor / Crap Attack: We Are Scientists - The debut album by the American group from New York. I have also listed Crap Attack as it is a great disc of B-sides, remixes and covers that together with the album offers a nice body of work. In the day of the 'next big thing' being released and applauded nearly every 2 weeks, these guys may actually stand the test of time. Just good old fashioned rock music played by dudes who take the piss out of everything (especially themselves).


Big Chill Classics (Compiled By Mr Scruff) - A wonderful compilation by a regular at the Big Chill festival since it started in 1995. The festival takes place every August in Herefordshire and features a 'leave no trace' policy in an attempt to preserve the land as it is normally used as a deer reserve. Mr Scruff has a good ear and knows how to 'dig out' some really quality tunes. Several tracks from this collection feature in my gigs such as 'Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love' by Odyssey (the rock outfit, not the disco outfit), 'Back A Yard' by 'The In Crowd', 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine' by D'Angelo and 'Moondance' by Grady Tate.

Cafe Mambo Ibiza 2006 - Pete Gooding decided to pack his records up and leave Cafe Mambo at the end of last summer after a 10 year residency. I'm not sure why he left but fortunately he is still releasing CDs. Earlier this year he teamed up with Afterlife to compile the latest version of the Mambo series CD. And to my surprise he didn't mix it! Maybe he saw no need now that he is retired but I finally was able to get my hands on some really hard to find tracks that aren't lost in a DJ mix. It is quite reflective of his sets in Mambo and includes lounge, chill out, soul and house tracks. Most of them you wouldn't hear or find anywhere else. The stand out track (and one of my favourite that is featured in most of my sets) is 'Crik Crack' by The Lovers.

Cafe Solo: Jose Padilla - Unfortunately it is a mix album but it was put together by the legend Jose Padilla. He was the first DJ to play in Cafe Del Mar, invent chill out and put Ibiza on the map. He even recognised where it was going to go and legged it the summer after Pete Tong played there for the very first time. His ability to find the best tunes from every single genre under the sun is second to none. Mixed or not, I buy every single CD released with his name on it.

Esudio Del Mar - I don't know much about this other than it has Ayia Napa stamped on the front of it and was released by a German label called XYZed Music. I found it in Abbey Discs on Lower Liffey Street where all sorts of treasures can be unearthed for those who are willing to take the time and look. It hardly ever left my CD player this summer and was my first choice for after hours listening. I have played several tracks from it in my Sitting Room sets especially 'Bedtime' by Naoki Kenji and 'Still Here' by Aural Float.

Right Time Wrong Speed 1977-1987 - The latest John Peel tribute disc released in October to mark the second anniversary of his death. It's two discs of everything that he loved including punk, folk, reggae, hip-hop and Britpop. Not a duff track in sight. The highlight is 'O Superman' by Laurie Anderson. A track that I loved when it was released in 1982 but have been unable to find on CD ever since.

Serve Chilled: A Return To The Brighter Side Of Chill - A return to the style that started Hed Kandi records in 1999. When the founder of the label, Mark Doyle, left last year there were a lot of people scratching their heads wondering what would become of Hed Kandi. Fortunately they have carried on and released some of their best compilations ever this year. Serve Chilled was the very first compilation and this one is nearly as good. It's focus is a bit broader than previous versions so the boundaries of 'chill' are sometimes a bit blurry but almost everything included on here is pure quality. 'Crazy Girls' by True Stories has gotten the most play during my Sitting Room sets.


Binary Love: The Rakes - The bright spot from their album 'Capture / Release'. They have been compared to Joy Division, Wire, Bloc Party, The Clash, Buzzcocks, well, you get the idea. One of my favourite tunes of the year.

Crazy: Gnarles Barkley - The coolest pop song in recent memory. I even heard it played at Cafe Del Mar in August.

Get Together: Madonna - Yes, I know it is Madonna. And no, I am not a fan of her last album. In fact I think it is terrible. But this is a great track - one that I am sure appeals to a lot of house heads like myself.

Hide Me (Al Usher Dance Remix): Grandadbob - A gorgeous song. It is the track I discovered on the Es Vive mix CD released by Mark Doyle this summer. It is also the first track that I downloaded after joining It is the track that I have played the most at The Sitting Room. And it is the track that most reminds me of my summer with Zoe. All in all, my song of the year.

I Don't Feel Like Dancin': Scissor Sisters - Pure, quality cheese. It's camp and every one loves it. A guaranteed crowd pleaser that appeals to everyone from 20 to 60.

In The Morning: Razorlight - One of the better tunes from the whole generation of new New Wave bands.

It Hurts To See You Dance So Well: The Pipettes - It wasn't a single but it should have been. One minute & eleven seconds of pure pop mag-ic from the girls who are obsessed with Phil Spector. And they are from Brighton. The coolest girl group since The Go-Gos.

Over And Over Again (Lost And Found): Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - American geeks who are a total throw back to 80s New Wave. Your man has the edgiest voice since David Byrne. A Sitting Room classic.

Rally: Phoenix - Going slightly against the grain, I will choose this instead of 'Consolation Prize' from the quirkiest French band ever.

The Warning: Hot Chip - Great track from a couple of lads based in London who like making music with computers. Also, one of my favourite tracks to play at The Sitting Room.

True Love Weighs A Tonne: The Research - Melancholy track from a UK band that sound almost exactly like The Monroes (if you remember your obscure New Wave bands). A gem of a song that I found buried on some Indie compilation.

You Only Live Once: The Strokes - Not actually a single. But definitely the best track on their third (and very disappointing) album First Impressions Of Earth.

Young Folks: Peter, Bjorn & John - That 'whistle' song that was in the Budweiser ad. The tune that you just CAN'T get out of your head every time you hear it.

DJ Kub Gigs

Bar Cock 008 - The gig that Prince Felipe came to. Yes, the actual Prince of Spain. Not too many DJs can make that claim. And no, I did not play anything by Prince. Nor did I play 'God Save The Queen'.

The Brazil Gig - The make benefit gig for the girls in Harrington Street Garda Club. Despite the unlikely venue, it was a great night. Lots of food, drinks, dancing and laughs. And of course loads of dosh raised for their trip.

Carnival - The birthday gig for Michelle & Viv. And of course the night that I met Zed. It was a bit of a messy night but everyone had a great time and it produced Dublin's 'sexiest' couple.

The Sitting Room 001 - The gig that started my current residency in Bia Bar. It was on the 5th of November and was a really good night. Lots of people turned up to support me and everyone enjoyed the set.

Soul Food 001 - My 'breakthrough' gig in Bia. After two months of ground work I was given the nod and played my first gig for Remedy on the 17th of August. It went so well that the lads told me to keep playing and I ended up doing an extra 40 minutes.

Professional Gigs

GMF - The mother fuckin' legend. No need to say anything else. Check out the post 'I Was There. I Saw The Legend'.

Maximo Park - A fantastic gig in The Olympia. Their performance was incredible and meeting them all afterwards wasn't too bad either. The full story is posted as 'Maximo Park In The Olympia'.

Ned's / Keb Darge - Finally, I got to see the 'baggy' legends in Kentish Town (not quite Kent). It was one of the best weekends of the summer that provided loads of laughs and of course the 'birth' of Kub. The Ned's gig was followed by a Keb Darge set. Thanks to the quality tunes and a whole lot of Red Stripe the infamous Kub vs. Keb story occurred. You can read all of the sordid details under 'Kub vs. Keb'.

Paul Buchanan - A wonderfully surprising gig in Vicar Street. I have always been a big fan of Blue Nile so I jumped at the chance to see Paul. I was blown away. He and the band were phenomenal and they played all of the best Nile songs. Perhaps the most chilled out gig I have ever been too as everyone was seated and quietly sipping bottles of wine throughout.

Radiohead - I went to see them in Marlay Park. Although they were very good they didn't do much to lift my spirits. At least it didn't rain.


Borat - What is there to say about this film other than it is best film in 2006 for make laughter in people. I like very, very much.

Little Miss Sunshine - A very critically acclaimed film that can make you want to burst into tears and then laugh hysterically all in the space of about 45 seconds.

The Departed - Finally, Scorsese is back on form! A brilliant film that actually has made me begin to like Leo Dicaprio. Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg are all outstanding as well.

Mmm... Of The Year

* Buying a decent road bike
* Cycling to work again
* Discovering The Wedding Present
* DJing and promoting my own night in Dublin
* Drinking double vodkas & tonic
* Figuring out how to create a podcast
* Finding the 'Manchester' bar in Barcelona
* Going to Brighton for the first time
* Hearing Pete Tong play in Cafe Mambo in August
* Learning how to cook
* Meeting Zoe and being able to spend time with her
* Seeing the 'real' Ibiza by renting a car and driving all around it
* Signing up with
* Spending May in The States with my family & friends
* Starting this blog
* Studying photography in The Gallery Of Photography
* Supping my first Guinness in The Pub in Achill during Easter weekend - truly manna from heaven
* Renting my own gaff in Dublin
* Taking another Spanish class and actually understanding what the hell is going on in class
* Watching the sunset at Cafe Del Mar in August

Aaarrrggghh... Of The Year

* Dublin Bus
* Dublin taxis
* Having to replace 2 motherboards and another screen on my laptop
* (Fucking) HP
* Injuring my heel while running in June and not being able to run since
* (Fucking) Madrid
* Operation Puerto & The Floyd Landis scandal - now NO ONE trusts cycling and EVERYONE thinks that EVERY cyclist they see is on drugs
* Receiving a spanner as my Kris Kindle gift from some fecker in the office
* Trying to race my bike in America for the first time in about 4 years

Monday, December 18, 2006

Lucky Number Seven?

I played my seventh Sitting Room gig last night and it was the last one of 2006. I was out with the work crowd on Thursday night, and then did some more hard core drinking both Friday and Saturday nights with my mates, so I was totally shattered as I walked to the bar. To be honest, I am looking forward to a few weeks without a gig to let my head clear a bit.

But it was a great night. From the beginning, there were always a few people in the bar that I knew and by the end of the night a decent little crowd had formed. And they were really up for it as well. There were a good few requests and every time I played them there would be approving nods, air drumming, air guitarring and the occasional cheer or woo hoo. I ripped through the set and rarely had any trouble choosing the next tune.

It was a nice way to finish off the year and gives me optimism for 2007. The question is will 7 be my lucky number? I have some ideas for January and ways to try and get more people to come in. I have placed flyers all over town. I have been fortunate enough to have it listed in the gig section in the most widely read paper in Dublin and even had a quarter page ad printed in the paper last Friday. Next year, I am going to have posters printed and continue pushing the flyers. But I think last night may prove more successful than all of those things in getting more people in. Word of mouth is extremely convincing and I am hoping that all the lads who were in last night will tell their mates and they will tell their mates etc, etc. Of course it would help if they had seen a flyer or an ad previously because then there is a stronger association.

So, I have another Soul Food World Beats gig on Thursday and then I am on holidays for 2 weeks. No work, no gigs and hopefully lots of r 'n' r to recharge the batteries for 2007.

The set list last night was:

01. Stargazing - Tayla
02. Don't Leave (Floating) - Faithless
03. Me & Mrs Jones - Billy Paul
04. Playing Your Game Baby - Barry White
05. Brown Sugar - Akasha
06. The Sulphur Man (Rebelski Remix) - Doves
07. Waterfall (Justin Robertson's Mix) - Stone Roses
08. Lullaby (Alternate Mix) - The Cure
09. Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - The Smiths
10. Freedom Of '76 - Ween
11. Forever My Friend - Ray LaMontagne
12. The Great Escape Under The Sea - We Are Scientists
13. Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) - Baz Luhrmann
14. Suzuki - Tosca
15. Thieves Like Us - New Order
16. Let Me Go - Heaven 17
17. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend - Ramones
18. Roadrunner - Johnathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
19. Who Loves The Sun - The Velvet Underground
20. Sound & Vision - David Bowie
21. The Light 3000 - Schneider TM vs Kaptain Michi Ga
22. I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow - The Soggy Bottom Boys
23. In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry
24. Get Rhythm - Johnny Cash
25. Stuck On You - Elvis Presley
26. Mean Son Of A Gun - Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
27. Let's Stay Together - Boris Gardiner
28. Speaking Of Happiness - Gloria Lynne
29. Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby - Dinah Washington
30. Nobody But You - Esther Philips
31. Am I The Same Girl - Barbara Acklin
32. I Idolize You - Ike & Tina Turner
33. Mirrorball - Nightmares On Wax
34. The Girl's Insane - The Januaries
35. Night Fever - Bee Gees
36. Pick Up The Pieces - Average White Band
37. Every 1's A Winner - Hot Chocolate
38. Don't Think - Lali Puna
39. Let's Dance - The Futureheads
40. The Coast Is Always Changing - Maximo Park
41. Welcome To The Working Week - Elvis Costello
42. Is She Really Going Out With Him? - Joe Jackson
43. Sunday Girl - Blondie
44. Swimmers - Broken Social Scene
45. Made Up Love Song #43 - Guillemots
46. Holdin' On Together - Phoenix
47. The Warning - Hot Chip
48. Over And Over Again (Lost And Found) - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
49. The Boy With The Arab Strap - Belle & Sebastian
50. You Didn't Love Me Then - The Hit Parade
51. Forever Lost - The Magic Numbers
52. Wouldn't It Be Nice - The Beach Boys
53. Fresh Feeling - Eels
54. The New Pollution - Beck
55. Chicken Payback - The Bees
56. Consolation Prize - Phoenix
57. Young Folks - Peter Bjorn & John
58. Brakhage - Stereolab
59. Riders On The Storm (Pink Solidism) - Yonderboi
60. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters
61. Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? - Rod Stewart
62. Rappers Delight - Sugarhill Gang
63. Car Wash - Rose Royce
64. Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack
65. Street Life - Randy Crawford
66. Groovin' At The Go-Go - The Four Lads
67. I Want You Back (Z-Trip Remix) - Jackson 5
68. Money (That's What I Want) - Barrett Strong
69. Raspberry Beret - Prince
70. Girlfriend Is Better - Talking Heads
71. Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
72. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
73. Fariytale Of New York - The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

El 34 Disco Mas Vendido De Los 70 - Born To Run

Después de que sus dos primeros discos tuvieran unas ventas decepcionantes, Springsteen revisó la línea de su groupo de acompañamiento, la E Street Band, y realizó una gira por todo el país con conciertos de tres horas mientras escribía material nuevo. Su tercer trabajo, Born To Run, con su conmovedor tema central de la desoloción y la redención, consolidó firmamente la reputación del cantautor nacido en New Jersey. La canción que da título al disco llevó a Springsteen ante un público enorme a ambos lados del Atlántico. Born To Run, grabado en La Record Plant en New York, fue el primer disco de Springsteen en entrar en las listas tanto norteamericanos como británicas: en las primeras alconzó en numero 3, mientras en las británicas conseguió un más modesto numero 17. El disco vendidó más de 700,000 copias en las semanas siguientes a su lanzamiento en EE UU. Se convirtió en disco de oro el 8 de octubre de ese año y se convirtiría en el primer álbum en conseguir el nuevo certificado de disco de platino otorgado por la industria discográfica norteamericana.

Dos sencillos del disco entaron entre las 100 mejores norteamericans: 'Born To Run' que alcanzó el numero 23 y 'Tenth Avenue Freeze Out' que llegó al numero 83, aunque ninguno de ellos consiguió puestos altos en RU. El éxito del disco colocó a Springsteen en la primera página de Time y Newsweek. John Landau, uno de los productores, se convertiría más tarde en el manager de Springsteen.

Now for those of you that do not know Spanish you may be wondering what the hell I am doing posting this story in Spanish. Well, I am still sort of trying to learn the language. Not too much. Just a little bit. I figure that it will come in handy when I make that left turn at Mexico next year.

So, in addition to the odd class and a bit of homework, I have decided to dig out a book that I bought when I lived in Madrid. The book is called Los 100 Discos Más Vendidos De Los 70 - The 100 Best Selling Albums of The 1970s. The book contains articles for each of the albums that offer all sorts of meaningless information about the biggest records of the 70s - exactly the kind of rhubarb that totally interests me.

I try to read one article every few days, translating as I go along and making a list of all the words that I don't know. I'm not sure that it will help me much in my quest to learn Spanish but at least, when I am stuck, I can talk about all sorts of trivial nonsense from the music of the 70s.

There were several things that I found interesting about this article. First, Springsteen was under a bit of pressure to sell some albums as his first two were basically commercial flops. So, before he recorded Born To Run, he changed the members in his E Street Band and scheduled a massive nation-wide tour where he started playing his famous 3+ hour marathon shows. During the tour he wrote all the songs for Born To Run. The album was recorded in New York and 10 days before it's release on 25 August 1975 he began a five night stand at The Bottom Line club.

By the time the album was released there was massive public interest and (despite the lack of a hit single) the record went gold (500,000 copies sold) in only 6 weeks. It then went on to become the very first album ever to achieve platinum status (1,000,000 copies sold), which the recording industry had only introduced earlier that year . He became so popular from the record that he was on the covers of Time and Newsweek in the same week (27 October) in 1975. It is the record that put him on the map. It is the record that made him 'The Boss'.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Swan Lake

Last Friday night I went to the ballet to see Swan Lake performed by the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre. They are without a doubt the best ballet company in the world and most people would argue that Swan Lake is the most popular ballet in the world. It was absolutely phenomenal.

The story is about Prince Siegfried who falls in love with the Swan Queen Odette who is a woman that has been transformed into a bird by an evil sorcerer. She is cursed to remain a composite creature until she can be rescued by a man's undying love.

The story begins in the royal court where the Prince must declare a wife. Upset that he will be unable to marry for love he leaves the ball and goes into the forest to hunt. He sees a flock of swans and as he prepares to shoot one of them Odette lands directly in front of him. After she tells him of her curse, he takes pity on her and falls in love with her.

He returns to the castle to attend a party in honor of his 21st birthday. There he meets Von Rothbart (the sorcerer) and his daughter Odile, whom the Prince believes is Odette. He pledges his love to her but realises quickly that he has been tricked by the sorcerer. Distraught, he returns to the lake and battles Von Rothbart, destroying his powers by tearing off one of his wings. Afterwards, he and Odette are reunited and the curse is broken.

Swan Lake is considered to be a very technical ballet due mostly to an Italian ballerina named Pierina Legnani. She danced the central role of Odette / Odile and was able to perform 32 fouettes (a fast whipping turn on one foot) in a row. Ever since, the public expectation is that any other ballerina that performs the ballet must also be able to perform the 32 fouettes.

The SPBT was founded in 1994 by Konstantin Tatchkine and features Irina Kolsnikova in the lead, demanding role as Odette / Odile. She is a prima ballerina and is regarded by many to be world class technically brilliant legend.

The sets were fantastic, the costumes were beautiful and the music was superb. The orchestra was directed by Alexander Kantarov who is the founder and principal conductor. Both he and Irina received standing ovations when the ballet finished.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Mendoza Line

The term Mendoza Line is widely known and used in baseball circles. It refers to the figurative boundary in the batting averages between those batters hitting above and below .200. When a hitter is struggling and manages to pull his average above .200 then he is said to have crossed the Mendoza Line. The phrase is named after Mario Mendoza who was a short stop and played between 1974 and 1982 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. His career batting average was .215.

Funnily enough there were many other terms used earlier in the 19th century to describe less-than-stellar hitters. Some of the better ones were:

- 'tapperitis hitter': one who hits tappers
- 'can't hit a balloon'
- 'can't hit a bull in the ass with a shovel'
- 'buttercup hitter'
- to not 'hit one's weight'
- to 'have a hole in your bat'
- '10 o'clock hitter': you hit the ball hard during morning batting practice but then do little during the game

There is a Mendoza Line in Bia Bar and I am currently struggling to keep my head just above it. The manager has a figure that he needs to take in behind the bar to justify The Sitting Room and we are just barely making it. Last night was the sixth week of The Sitting Room and the set list was:

01. Private Session (25th Mix) - Lovers Lane
02. Warm Weather - Pieces Of A Dream
03. Pure Joy - Dab
04. Uschi's Groove - Ballistic Brothers
05. Spanish Joint (Ritual Session) - D'Angelo
06. B Mine - Jimpster
07. Hello, It's Me - John Legend
08. Blue Lines - Massive Attack
09. Never Had A Love Like This Before - Tavares
10. Natural High - Bloodstone
11. Marriage Is A State Of Vibes - Dave Hamilton
12. Here Is Love - Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band
13. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) - Talking Heads
14. She's Losing It - Belle And Sebastian
15. Being Around - The Lemonheads
16. Candy Everybody Wants - 10,000 Maniacs
17. Holdin' On Together - Phoenix
18. Sugar - Fun Lovin' Criminals
19. Rock With You (DI Extended Mix) - D-Influence
20. Brakhage - Stereolab
21. Young Folks - Peter Bjorn & John
22. Who Loves The Sun - The Velvet Underground
23. Patience - Guns 'n' Roses
24. Jane Says - Jane's Addiction
25. Underwater Love - Smoke City
26. Before Today (Chicane Remix) - Everything But The Girl
27. Where Have They Gone - Harmonic 33
28. You're No Good - Dee Dee Warwick
29. Downtown - Petula Clark
30. Wishin' And Hopin' - Dusty Springfield
31. Danke Shoen - Wayne Newton
32. Crazy Girls - True Stories
33. My Love Don't Come Easy - Jean Carn
34. Ain't Nobody - Rufus & Chaka Khan
35. Let's Stay Together - Boris Gardiner
36. Gimme Little Sign - Brenton Wood
37. I Hate Hate - Razzy
38. Respect - Otis Redding
39. Stuck On You - Elvis Presley
40. I Fought The Law - Bobby Fuller Four
41. Tequila - The Champs
2. Take This Job And Shove It - Johnny Paycheck
43. 9 To 5 - Dolly Parton
44. Float On - Modest Mouse
45. La Ballade Du Georges - Sebastian Tellier
46. Hide Me (Al Usher Dance Remix) - Grandadbob
47. It Hurts To See You Dance So Well - The Pipettes
48. Textbook Under The Sea - We Are Scientists
49. Back A Yard - The In Crowd
50. Pass The Dutchie - Musical Youth
51. One Step Beyond - Madness
52. Save It For Later - The Beat
53. Summertime Cowboy - Husky Rescue
54. Fascination - St Etienne
55. Sacre Francais - Dimitri
56. Beat Goes On - The All Seeing I
57. Yes It's True - Taxi
58. Keepin On (Piano Cut) - Lazybatusu
59. Emotional Rescue - Freedom Dub
60. Crik Crak - The Lovers
61. House Of Bamboo - Earl Grant
62. Still Here - Aural Float
63. Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby (Rae & Christian Remix) - Dinah Washington
64. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Dean Martin
65. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
66. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
67. Fairytale Of New York - The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
68. My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains - Everything But The Girl
69. Bizarre Love Triangle - Frente


Wednesday, December 06, 2006


When you DJ some gigs are legendary. You can just do no wrong no matter what you play. Some gigs are really good - they contain a few 'off' moments or tunes but no one really remembers them. And then there are some gigs that are just about survival. I have had two of the latter type in the last 3 days.

Sunday was the fifth night for The Sitting Room. And it was quiet. Really quiet. In order to have a good gig you need an audience and you need to know or understand your audience. If you understand them, then you know that people go to a bar for different reasons:

* To socialise
* To pull
* To listen to the music
* To hang out and show their support (mates)
* To get hammered and forget about their problems
* Purely by chance
* Because they have to (accompanying someone they know)

The first 4 groups are relatively easy to play to. Especially if you know some of the people. You play stuff that you know they like and their enthusiasm / happy mood spreads throughout the bar.

The people who are there to get hammered usually don't even notice the music and you could play almost anything. But you do get the odd belligerent drunk who thinks he knows everything and won't leave you alone. Note: I am NOT that person when I am out drinking - really...

The people who are there by chance almost never take any notice to what is going on and the people who are there because they have to be are usually indifferent as well.

So, I know all about audiences. Now I just need one in Bia...

The set list for Sunday night was:

01. Jammin' In My Head - Intense & Molly Duncan
02. Umi Says (Ritual Session) - Mos Def
03. What Games Shall We Play Today? - Chick Corea
04. The Look Of Love - Dusty Springfield
05. Pure Joy - Dab
06. Just Can't Get Enough - Nouvelle Vague
07. Catch - The Cure
08. Ease Your Feet In The Sea - Belle & Sebastian
09. Knuddlemaus - Ullrich Schnauss
10. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
11. Sneakin' In The Back - Tom Scott
12. Revival - Martine Girault
13. Feel Like Making Love - Marlena Shaw
14. Where Have They Gone - Harmonic 33
15. Juicy - Notorious BIG
16. Runnin' (Rae & Christian Mix) - The Pharcyde ft Mark 1 & FF
17. Can't Stay With You Baby - Jimi Tenor
18. Keepin On (Piano Cut) - Lazybatusu
19. Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love - Odyssey
20. Nobody But You - Esther Philips
21. They Can't Take That Away From Me - Frank Sinatra
22. Let There Be Love - Nat King Cole
23. Magic Moments - Perry Como
24. Almost Like Being In Love - Vic Damone
25. Breezin' - George Benson
26. Relax 2 The Max - Ohm-G
27. The Great Escape Under The Sea - We Are Scientists
28. Thinking Of You - Paul Weller
29. In Space - Royksopp
30. Take Yo' Praise - Camille Yarbrough
31. Husband - Ashley Slater
32. Happy People (Rhodes Remix) - Static Revenger
33. Cette Planete - JP Juice
34. Hide Me (Al Usher Dance Remix) - Grandadbob
35. Pets - Porno For Pyros
36. After All - The Frank & Walters
37. Everyday Is Like Sunday - Morrissey
38. Under The Milky Way - The Church
39. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
40. Fairytale Of New York - The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

Last night I had a gig playing at a Christmas party in a private bar called Odessa. It is a really good spot and the times that I have been there have always been fun. I got the gig through a mate who recommended me. It has been a while since I played a small party and I must admit that I had forgotten how much of a pain in the swiss roll it can be.

Aside from the usual problems and hassle setting up things went pretty well and I was ready to go at about 9:00. But the meal took longer than expected and I had an hour to chill out and drink a few beers. At 10:00 the lads started to filter up and the party began. As always I started off with a bit of jazz and lounge. Most people need a few minutes to check the place out, get the bearings and of course go to the bar for a drink. Trying to hit them with a 'killer' tune from the very beginning is never a good idea. I thought I was on to a winner and even had a few requests but things started to go pear shaped fairly quickly.

What I realised is that there were a wide range of ages throughout the crowd but there were two distinct groups: the lads and the women. No matter what I did or how hard I tried I was never going to please both groups with one type of music or one song. The lads wanted to hear rock, indie & hip-hop. The women wanted to hear chart, disco & 80s. And NO ONE (surprisingly) wanted to hear cheese. Needless to say it was a tough crowd and a hard night. But I earned a few bob and got to drink for free, so it wasn't all bad.

These are some of the conversations that I had throughout the night:

The night was only about 15 minutes old and I was playing 'Beyond The Sea' by Bobby Darin when this dude approaches me.

Drunk arsehole #1: Do you have anything more lively?
Me: Yes, of course.
A #1: Well, could you play it?
Me: Yes. You do realise that not everyone is here yet and people are just arriving, getting there first drink.
A #1: So? This is so lame. Can you not play something with a bit more energy?
Me: Do you have any suggestions?
A #1: No. Just something more lively than this.
Me: Well, would you like to have a go at the music?
A #1: No.
Me: OK. Thanks for the input (fucking idiot).

After playing about 30 songs almost all of them from the 70s and 80s I played 'Crazy' by Gnarles Barkley. Straight away this dude comes up to me.

Drunk arsehole #2: Do you think you could play something else?
Me: Like what?
A #2: I don't know. Something from the 70s.
Me: Well, I just played a load of stuff from the 70s and I don't want to get stuck in a rut for the entire night.
A #2: Yeah, but everyone here is old. They like the 70s.
Me: OK. Do you have any song in mind. I mean, it was a long decade.
A #2: No. Just something from the 70s.
Me: Grand. OK. Thanks for the suggestion (douche bag).

I played '9 To 5' by Dolly Parton. He wasn't impressed.

I then played some 80s tunes and everyone seemed happy. People finally started dancing. I dropped 'Billie Jean' because everyone loves that song, right? Wrong. Not this fucking crowd. The floor clears and another dude comes up to me.

Drunk arsehole #3: Hey, do you think you could play some hip-hop?
Me: That depends. What would you like to hear?
A #3: How about some Rawcotiks?
Me: I don't have anything by them (that was a lie I have one tune but would never play it to this crowd).
A #3: How about some NWA?
Me: Sorry, nothing by them either (another lie).
A #3: Any P-Diddy?
Me: Nope (the truth).
A #3: Well, I don't care. Anything. It's just the lads are really bored. We need some hip-hop to liven things up and get the party started.
Me: OK. Thanks. I'll see what I can do (fuck off).

I cued up 'When The Shit Goes Down', looked around the room and decided that I would be hung if I played that. So, I just played 'Loaded' by Primal Scream and everyone loved it. That, despite the fact that it is a really bad segue to go from Wacko Jacko to The Scream. Anyway, it worked and I just played indie and rock for the last 45 minutes. Finally, I had gotten through to them.

Now, you might think it is incredibly rude of me to speak to people like this and write about them in this way but it is not. They were all drunk and totally annoying. Maybe it is karma - I have given my fair share of abuse to DJs through the years. But at least I know what the hell I am talking about (I am kidding - I usually don't have a clue). I have actually heard guys DJing say to punters, sorry we don't play THAT kind of music here, you will have to go some where else. And then put their headphones on and completely ignore them. At least I have the manners to talk to them (a little bit). But despite the pain, it is actually good to have a gig like this every once in a while - it keeps you on your toes.

The set list was:

01. Sookie Sookie - Grant Green
02. Nem Vem Que Nao Tem - Wilson Simonal
03. Light My Fire - Astrud Gilberto
04. The Lady Is A Tramp - Buddy Greco
05. You Make Me Feel So Young - Frank Sinatra
06. Beyond The Sea - Bobby Darin
07. Comin' Home Baby - Mel Torme
08. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra
09. Respect - Aretha Franklin
10. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Otis Redding
11. Money (That's What I Want) - Barrett Strong
12. I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
13. Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
14. Night Train - James Brown
15. Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight
16. ABC - Jackson 5
17. Jungle Boogie - Kool & The Gang
18. Kung Fu Fighting - Karl Douglas
19. Dancing Queen - ABBA
20. Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees
21. Rappers Delight - Sugarhill Gang
22. Pop Muzik - M
23. Viva Las Vegas - Elvis Presley
24. Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
25. Rock The Casbah - The Clash
26. Teenage Kicks - The Undertones
27. Blister In The Sun - Violent Femmes
28. The Lovecats - The Cure
29. This Charming Man - The Smiths
30. Footloose - Kenny Loggins
31. Holiday - Madonna
32. Crazy - Gnarles Barkley
33. 9 To 5 - Dolly Parton
34. Upside Down - Diana Ross
35. Walking On Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
36. Let's Dance - David Bowie
37. Got To Be Real (12" Version) - Cheryl Lynn
38. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
39. Loaded - Primal Scream
40. Step It Up - Stereo MCs
41. Groove Is In The Heart (12" Version) - Dee-Lite
42. Girls And Boys - Blur
43. Groovy Train - The Farm
44. Lump - The Presidents Of The USA
45. Last Nite - The Strokes
46. The Bucket - Kings Of Leon
47. Mr. Brightside - The Killers
48. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters
49. Smiley Faces - Gnarles Barkley
50. Outside - George Michael
51. Video Killed The Radio Star - The Buggles
52. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
53. Fairytale Of New York - The Pogues & Kristy MacColl