Monday, 26 September 2016

How To Clear A Dancefloor

Prior to the other Friday, I was yet to master the last set, the 2am to close set.  I'm not the only one - 75% of nights do see a drift away towards the end.

This time I prepared more, I practised more, I had a vague plan and I had some excellent ideas for tracks to play.

It was also the first time that I had travelled from London to do the set - not helped by a stonking hangover from the night before and just a few hours sleep.  I set off around 9pm, it took around 1.5 hours to get there - miraculously with total chaos at Paddington not long before, one tube strike and the other line with severe delays.  Somehow, it was totally smooth for me.

£2.99 I paid at the Whistlestop shop in Paddington station for a can of warm beer.  £2.99.  Fuck me.

Anyway, all was going well when I arrived - the warm-up set was anything but, however I guess it was a warm-up for the standards of JP and Tim Sharpe - an unsurprisingly excellent set - JP had a slightly floppy semi too (well if you are going to show me your nob then expect me to blog about it).

Chloe Mae, our headliner came next, I had pre-warned her about the likely antics of one of our stars - her presence behind the decks was a much more composed style - the tempo came down a notch yet the dancefloor continued to grow, becoming very busy at times, within the usual ebb and flow of the Turtle basement.

Interestingly for someone so young, she seemed to have mastered the idea of flow within a DJ set, with peaks and troughs - tougher spells and more melodic spells.

One compliment that I am particularly proud of from Chloe is how friendly and welcoming we made her feel, in terms of being welcomed as a DJ.  That is something we pride ourselves on with our night - making sure that the DJs are made to feel welcome - righting all the bullshit that can go on when you are a DJ.

I came on at 2am as planned.  All went well for the first 40 minutes or so, I played good quality underground house, a shade lower in tempo than Chloe though not too much, such as Holywell by Seb Zito.

But I have this in-built risk-taking desire throughout my life, and decided to play Join In The Chant, by Nitzer Ebb - an 80's EBM track.

When cutting it, the crowd approved - so I went for it and mixed it in.  The crowd soon disapproved and left.

I then went into crowd-pleasing mode, playing tracks that have worked for me before, but nothing worked, whatever I did just fell flat.  It was approaching 3am, and it is the Turtle - not a nightclub, but still I am disappointed not to have kept them there.

The odd thing was, that last time I played, I also played a risky track (I normally do one or two), and I had never had such a positive reaction from DJing.  This time I took a risk, they walked out and never returned.

Maybe the lesson is to play less risks towards the end of the night?

Next up I'll be doing my beloved warm-up again!

Tim Weymouth is the headliner, Martin will be closing (I assume).  And I will probably be getting the 4:15am train home.

Getting the first train home actually worked out ok.  I was more sober than usual, no real weirdos on the train at 4:15am - I made it home at around 6:30am, it would have been sooner had I not had to play an information-free game of stationary tube-train hopping at Edgware Road, trying to work out which one was leaving first.  3rd time lucky.

I even just about broke even for the night - miraculous given my propensity to spend money on a night out.

So I learnt two things - that I can do a night in another city very cheaply, and that I should not play Nitzer Ebb at a house/techno night.

Roll on 21st October.  Cannot wait to DJ again.