Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Twatt At The Booth

I was really looking forward to playing my 3 hour set.  Not only the challenge of playing for a whole 3 hours and progressing it from music for nobody, to music for a full dancefloor, but also to get that magical midnight to 1am bit - where it is a true joy to play.

Things didn't quite work out as expected.

When I arrived just before 10pm, the Turtle was very quiet - not just in the basement.  The heavens had opened not long after 9pm, which cannot have helped matters at all.

I started playing minimal - I had intended on maybe just 2-3 minimal tracks to warm things up, but nobody came.  I arrived to 6 people - it might have reached 10 people at times.

I carried on playing minimal - I was pretty much playing to myself, and really got into it.  I was having a great time.  But a DJ needs dancers.  Some people were popping in then popping straight out seeing how quiet it was - and most importantly nobody on the dancefloor.  I only even had one weird request - reggae.

Finally around 11:30pm, a few people took position on the dancefloor.  I had already started to transition to housier sounds, so I upped the tempo, hoping to drag the stragglers at the back onto the dancefloor.

They left.  Back to 6 people again.

Finally around midnight it started to pick up a bit, but it felt like it was an hour behind usual in terms of business - and this never changed all night.

Then some twat started harassing me.  Firstly just a request to put the volume up. I thought the volume was fine so I didn't change it.  5 minutes later, another request to put the volume up.  I went into the crowd, had a listen, talked to a couple of friends, and agreed it could be nudged up slightly.

Then he asked for the volume to go up again, in a rather combative manner - I told him I had already done so.  A few minutes later he was back, telling me my night was shit, I played shit music, I didn't know what I was doing - yadda yadda.

I turned it up against my better judgement.  People left.  One assumes because it was too loud.

So I turned it back down.  He came back at least two more times to have a go at me, because it was too quiet, because the night wasn't busy enough, because I didn't know anything about house music (one of those I've been raving 300 years types), because my music was shit.

In the end, I was unusually riled.  I had a go back and offered him my headphones and told him to have a go if he thought he knew what to do.  He replied, "I just want you to do your fucking job".

But it isn't my job. It is something I do for fun and a tiny little bit of cash which never covers transport, food and beer.  I was left wondering why I had paid £30+ on transport, including the stress of rushing across London to get to Reading in time, only to play to myself for the best part of two hours and have some twat constantly give me shit for DJing.

Towards the end of my set, I was mentally off-balance, the last two mixes were shocking.

Thankfully, the night was building by time I handed over at 1am - it was far quieter than normal in the garden and upstairs (I even got served at the upstairs bar in less than 10 minutes).  I guess we are getting to student exam season, along with festival/holiday season - the available pool of party animals always reduces for the whole of Reading.

Reformed Society played after, and played truly excellent music.  Starting with more Chicago kind of sounds - some really classy vinyl being played.

What a great booking he was, I shall compliment myself for it - and the crowd really enjoyed it too.  It never was as busy as normal, but the dancefloor was enjoying his music.

I left with questions about why I do this, and whether it was still worth it.

And I was so thankful that I had moved away from Reading, if that was the kind of welcome I received on my return.

But you have to take the tough with the smooth.  If it were like this every month, then there really would be questions to ask.  Thankfully it is normally fun - normally a hell of a lot of fun.

I'll be back next month.  It better be good.

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