Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Party Announcement!

Edit - now Saturday 23rd June.

After careful consideration, I realised that the world cannot cope with two such major events on the same weekend - and let's face it, if I still have pretensions of getting in there with the royal family, then I cannot be seen to attempt to upstage Her Majesty on her big weekend.

Apologies if you had already booked hotel rooms with champagne lounges, etc but I am sure they will all still be available on Saturday 23rd June.  And I have been assured that there will be good house music around in Reading that Bank Holiday weekend too.


So just 5 days after my superstar dj launch, I have a venue booked for my first ever house music party.

4th June.  Bank holiday Monday, and the queen gave us Tuesday off too especially for the launch party.

It will be free entry.

I'll release more details when I have some more DJs of the house variety booked.  And a name for the party.  And a flyer.  And a website.  And I guess a new blog!

I will of course be playing.

Any suggestions for DJs very welcomed as I do want to look outside my usual circle as well as inside.

It is very much going to be a house party event.  Approximately 78.3% house music.

Apologies for the lack of info so far but I am way too excited to keep it quiet! x

Sunday, 15 April 2012

First Ever DJ Set

I didn't have to wait long for my next opportunity of a debut set.

Friday night between and 8 and 9pm at the Blagrave Arms in Reading town centre - not a pub usually associated with any form of dance music to my mind, and not a pub that really ever has anybody in it whenever I walk past, for one reason or another.

But it had a handful of people in for my debut, which is probably perfect, I am too accustomed to bedroom DJing on my industry standard decks and mixer so playing out on a different set of equipment, not too different but different all the same was a little bit of a challenge and challenge is good.

I guess playing at 8pm on a Friday is never going to be the ideal time - too late for much of the post-work crowd, too early for most of the night-out crowd but it was perfect for me to test myself - and the promoter, Tim Sharpe, could not have been any more welcoming or encouraging.

I played house music, as you would expect, I managed to bring it down from a starting rate of 126bpm to 121bpm - my kind of speed!  I even had a dancer or two, and a couple of compliments, a couple of friends asking me the name of the tune I played.

I did make a few errors.  As I said I was used to my equipment, not somebody else's, and I knocked the master volume up too much once, but even better than that, at one point when I was trying to mix the next tune in, I could sense something wasn't right, I could feel people looking at me and in their eyes 'sort it out' and Tim kindly pointed out that I had knocked the loop button, oops.

But for a first set, I think I did well and most importantly I enjoyed it.

I have definitely taken my first step, and a good one it was.

And now I am just looking forward to my next opportunity.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Definitely My DJing Debut! Friday 13th April in Reading 8pm to 9pm

So, at the second time of asking, I should be making my DJing debut on a Friday.

This time at The Blagrave Arms in the centre of Reading, just around the corner from the Oakford.

I'll be playing for Tim Sharpe, a long-standing underground house/techno promoter in Reading, and damn good DJ.

I am not aware of house music ever having being played at this venue, so another good reason to come down - if like me you want to see more good quality house/techno in the centre of Reading instead of bland chain-bar pop-dance that is boringly ubiquitous.

I'll be playing between 8pm and 9pm, a nice little warm-up, perfect for my debut.

I would love to see a few friendly faces there - just think, this is your opportunity for when I am as famous and revered a superstar DJ as Paris Hilton, to say - "I was there".

Friday 13th April 2012 - 8pm to 9pm.

Yes - Friday 13th.  Why the hell not?

Friday, 6 April 2012

Nobody Said It Would Be Plain Sailing

I should have seen it coming when I went to the Iraqi computer shop to print my cd track-listings this afternoon only to find it closed.  Yes, if it were run by English or Spanish or Lithuanians, I can understand, and I know there are a few Christians in Iraq, or at least there were before Tony & Guy bush scared them away - at the very least, some of the slightly anti-western propaganda displayed in my local internet cafe suggested to me that of course they would be open on "Good Friday" - Muslims, after all, don't celebrate Easter do they?

Forgive me if I am wrong, I am not really sure about what religions do what and when - I have a vague idea, normally notified to me by way of presents, chocolate or fireworks.

I probably would have been better off trying to play a set of Nina Kraviz's slutty filthy house music in a mosque than Basingstoke Town Centre.

I was always aware that my music, despite how much I feel it has poked it's face above the underground in recent months and years, was never going to fit in with a clone town like Basingstoke which seems to have less personality than a pen lid.  However, I was supposed to be playing in the garden, so nobody would take any notice as they would be too busy on with their fags, and hence, nobody would take offence.

It was probably karma that bit me.  I was on the way to Basingstoke, and I was on "The Slug"

Yes I know, to my readers in most parts of the north, this kind of train would be a luxury, but I think it is ugly, and hence I told the ticket inspector that his train was ugly.

I had expected him to go along with me in bonhomie but instead he asked me for a comparison - I said of course, the South West trains are so much smoother, and slicker looking, and he turned around to me, probably not celebrating Easter though I guess I should have learnt my lesson by now about judging people's ethnicity, etc by skin colour as he turned around and said that it doesn't matter if it is ugly or not, because it is British engineering, and British workers made these trains - and British workers didn't make the nicer, smoother, more comfortable trains that I previously mentioned.

I was a little stumped, though more overly shocked at his passionate defence of my flippant comment, and I did make my comeback and explained it in terms of the relevance to tax-payers - why accept shit trains just because they are British?  I started to explain the theory of comparative advantage, and he did reluctantly accept that the "HTC645's are a much sexier train".  I may have got the HTC645 bit a bit wrong as I was clearly well out of my depth and he had to go deal with drunk cyclist hiding a dog in his bag on the train.

Anyway, so the garden where I was supposed to be playing had had it's soundsystem removed and I spent two hours listening to why my music would be so unacceptable and I snapped and realised that if I am going to do this DJ thing - I need to do it right.  I need to do it my way.

I am not doing any old DJ sets for the sake of it.

I fear that I may be coming across as a bit of a diva however I am not wanting to put the venue or the promoter's short-comings in public, so lets just say that everything was absolutely not right for a beginner to have a crack at DJing - had I persisted, it probably would have set me back in terms of enthusiasm, desire and confidence so best not to waste my time and effort any longer and come home with my debut still to be determined when it will be...and it will come.

And it would be much better if my debut was in Reading.  The town I know, and the town that I think I still just about love...in comparison to elsewhere.

The slug certainly got me back to Reading at a good speed.

Reliability shat on creativity.  The show will go on.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

James Winfield Debut DJ Set Upcoming...

It's been a while since I have posted on my Superstar DJ blog, 16th February to be exact so about 6 weeks ago if I can still add up.

But I do now have something to show you:

Yes - you read correctly at the bottom, that is my name!

I've felt ready to test the DJing water for a while, wondering where I would get my first opportunity, and I am delighted that I am getting to play my debut for a very good friend, Paul Jay, someone who is not only a very good friend but is also a very good promoter and DJ too, who has put on some excellent parties in Reading that I used to frequent a few years ago - along with regular parties in Cardiff, and nowadays Basingstoke - amongst other places.

In the end, all I had to do was ask.

And I will be alongside two other very good friends - I couldn't really ask for any more.

So this week is all about that little bit extra effort in tune-searching, burning some more CDs and spending a decent amount of time behind the decks.

Don't ask me what I am going to play yet - I have some ideas but it just depends on what I am feeling, and what the people in the garden like and react to...what they hopefully dance to.  I won't be planning it, I will just have a few tunes in mind and apart from the handful that I really want to play, I will just go with the flow of the night.

Roll on Friday - a Very Good Friday indeed :-)