Tuesday, 20 June 2017

London To Reading On A Friday Night

You could say that I wasn't looking forward to DJing on Friday night.

After a long week at work and especially after a shitty night last time, the last thing I wanted to do was go play a warm-up set to nobody and be unhealthy, when there was a beautiful sunny weekend to be enjoyed - and a bed that I really wanted to sleep in (my own).

I was even questioning why I did it.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to get a tube, train and a bus on a Friday night, all of which are rushed and only the bus I am guaranteed a seat.  It costs me £30 before I even get there.  And then I normally do the warm-up, so I'm playing to myself for an hour before anyone turns up.

For the first time ever, I had neither prepared nor bothered downloading any new music.  There was no consideration of giving up DJing - as if it were not for the Turtle night then that would probably be the end of my DJ career.  But certainly a yearning to either be DJing on a Saturday, or in London.

The Turtle was worryingly quiet on arrival.  Even the garden was ever so quiet - despite it being a warm night - one would have expected a fair gathering outside.

Unsurprisingly I was DJing to myself, until Martin turned up.  And then I had a genius idea - why not just play Ricardo Villalobos tracks?  If I'm playing to myself, let's play what I most want to hear.

Suddenly someone turned up and asked if I'd bang it out if he brought his 25 mates in.  Obviously I am not going to but he brought a few in and I moved to playing more stripped-back bass-laden house music, and nudged the BPM up.  He wanted dnb - he got Enzo Siragusa.

And as soon as a few people start dancing, others join in, and the night is begun.

I wasn't impressed with my set.  It lacked, well everything.  Of course, I am my own harshest critic but it had no flow or structure, I played too many tracks that I wanted to hear and that I thought the crowd would appreciate, rather than forming some kind of plan.  My mixing was occasionally shoddy too - again not much thought put into it, and occasionally drowning from too much effort.

It just didn't seem to come to me.  Yet it had worked, and the dancefloor was moving.  Which is what really matters instead of my delusions that I'll provide perfection.

The next DJ, ion:as, played some glorious hypnotic minimal to start - and it worked.  Quite the energetic DJ - the opposite to my more languid style.  Over time it got tougher, ready for Martin to tear a new hole in the dancefloor.  I was going to leave at 2am - but I had to stay as I was enjoying it so much.  I remembered why I love our little night so much.

Whilst this was happening, I got talking to someone connected to one of the cooler small clubs in London, who was really quite appreciative of what we were doing.  DJ sets/promoting were discussed - and though the chances of anything coming out of it are fairly remote, it reminded me that there can be opportunities out of nowhere in this crazy world of DJing.

I left the Turtle more enthused for DJing than for a long time, ready to get back on the decks and try to take my abilities up a level.  Will I still have this enthusiasm come Saturday when I next have time to practice?  Hmmm.  You never know.

See you on 21st July?