My best Set up Ever


Well finally after all these years of investment I have the best equipment set up ever.

This year and some of last year I ploughed money into replacing speakers with higher quality ones than ever when I went all out for Electrovoice subs and tops which have the added benefit of being lighter as well as punchier sounding and cleaner then the previous JBLs. Somewhere in amongst these upgrades I bought some Yamaha DXR 15″ tops which make a very nice addition to a bigger set up and so are definately not wasted! I just got new replacement circuit boards for the JBLs which has the effect of stopping all the age crackle that I was getting – You could have them at a steady volume but there was no ajusting mid gig! Now smooth and clean like new again. Recycling at it’s best, as they sit nicely in a six speaker set up as extra top (treble range).

My most exciting puchase of late is the gigbar 2 from Chauvet. It used to take me 20 minutes to set up the lighting rig and to be honest I’d probably still be using that system now if it wern’t for the fact that the special electric mounting bar wasn’t seriously worn out from many years of gigging. Trouble was, they’ve stopped making the damn things and liquid metal (JB coldweld) repairs only hold lighting units up for so long before the weld fails and the units fall off. So the upshot is that I bought this new unit with all the same lighting effects including strobe, ultra violet, Moonflower (floor patterns) , Colourwash (for room colour) AND laser too all in and on the bar in miniture. Permanantly attached and brighter than the previous effects, it all fits into a guitar sized case and can be up and running in five minutes! I This tegether with the lighter speakers and more compact console means set up is much improved to what it was only a year or two ago.

This means I enjoy gigs more than ever now, as there is less hassle getting in and out of venues and less time for staff and customers to wait for me at the end of the gig. Colours are brighter too which gives a different dimension to the performance.

Read More →

Holidays R Coming and lots more work with it.


Hi all, Im enjoying my first day off in about five months. I’ve just had a shower and I really must put some clothes on. Something I’ve been telling myself for a few hours now. I guess this being November and five degrees outside it’s testomony to my insulation. The whole house heats from one radiator downstairs in the living room. I’ll really miss that when I move soon.

Yes folks I’m moving. about 1 mile down the road. That must be the shortest distance yet. I’ve moved about 60 times since I first left home. No not because I’m a criminal! No quite the contrary. I’m one of those geezers who gets on his bike to follow the work/girlfriend/some other ligitimate reason this time like having more room than in my wildest dreams. Yep, I’m finally making that step from living in a flat/ small haunted cottage in the town centre of yee olde Littlehampton highway stop/Globe inn, to a virtual palace of a two bedroomed house (yeehaa!). It’s going to feel weird. That much I do know. Whether also because it too is haunted by it’s former and now deceased occupant I don’t yet know.

Anyway, in true sod’s law fashion, I’ll probably be forced to move just as the christmas season starts in earnest. Never mind; I’m never intending to move again this lifetime so help me. So this will be the last time…As the song goes.

Ok. time to do something else apart from sitting here naked.


Bye for now and have a groooovy Christmas! (Children and Christmas from Michael McIntyre)

Read More →

Shorter gigs.


Hi there again. In all my years of doing this job I can’t help noticing one thing in particular. Long 5 to 6 hour gigs tend to drag on not just for me, but for the guests too. Sometimes particularly weddings seem to have to go on depending on the venue and set up situation. But if you can keep cool and restrict our performance to 4 hours or better still say 3 hours, what you will get is focused attention!

Time and time again I’ve done long sprawling 5 to 6 or even longer gigs where the crowd knows I’m there for ever and a day and they don’t pay much attention until the last hour or even worse the last half hour!

Then guess what? I’ve been on my feet for hours and and looking forward to the end vs. The crowd suddenly doesn’t want anything of the sort! Sometimes they are able to pay me to go on for extra time and I have to take a deep breath and psych myelf up again, but more often than not the staff at the venue are also anxious to get away and the owner is thinking of the neighbours and his licence restrictions. The bolder and sometimes more drunk members of the party are insisting on one more song after one more song (even after the encore) and I am having to be a kill joy and refuse! Not a role that I relish, being who and what I am..

So here’s the other side of the coin: This usually happens when it a dinner dance or wedding and the dinner part runs hopelessly over time. I get a 3 hour window or maybe a 2 hour wondow to get everyone up and dancing their arses off. Attention becomes much more focused on both sides. I have to fill the floor from the get go and the crowd can’t spend hours and hours wasting time outside sitting about by the waterfall/walking to the car/hanging out in their bedroom/smoking/having sex in the toilets/fighting/taking drugs/insert your activity here… What they do is stick around and get their request in before it’s all over! And the result? Full floor from start to finish. Tonnes more atmosphere, Better sounding compact performance with no time for long introspective musical journeys for me or a small clique of guests ie: There is no time to play those tracks which empty the floor for the sake of one or two people.

I don’t know if it will ever happen this way as I’m just one bloke and this system is ingrained now for better or worse. What I am saying is that quality beats the hell out of quantity everytime and you being the booker have the power to change it to just that. Remember that timeless saying in entertainment? “Allways leave them wanting more”.


Until next time, all the best,



Read More →

Spring roundup

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi all,

This is the time of year when winter apprehension starts hopefully to ease off a bit as bookings start to come in again for the summer ahead. Seems slower than usual, but I think that most years, so perhaps it’s just normal.

Starting this season with a revamp to the heart of my show: My DJ Console. You’re looking at my DJ facebook page for April 20th. If you’re looking at the dates on here and wondering why the post frequency has gone down in recent years, It’s because most new ideas and mutterings are now quickly posted to that page. Anyway, When deejaying went digital, the industry wasn’t really prepared to cater to the needs of the digital DJ in terms of flight casing the gear.

Old Days

It was fine if you had a pair of record decks or CD decks, but with laptops and various 19″ rack shaped controllers (decks that play mp3 files from a hard drive or laptop drive) you were “shagged” really. So I being one of these early pioneers, designed my own case. It was well made, but when it arrived, the lid came up too high and I could only just peek over the top.


My mate Ian joked that perhaps I could cut a slit/postbox hole in the lid and have a type of burka console. Well I lowered it by introducing a wooden (but tastefully blackened) prop. This had the effect of making my face visible to the crowd if of course you looked through the lighting without being dazzled in the process. Honestly folks, I thought no one want’s to really see the DJ do they? Well I may be right in some cases, but not in most. So now with the lights to one side and the new case without the coffin lid, I should be more in the spotlight and less intimidating. If I’m haveing a great time, the audience will see and it should spread the mood onto the floor a bit more than before when I relied mostly on great music alone! 15 years as a DJ and I’m still learning. Back to the days when all you had was a set of cd decks between you and the punters! hold onto that lager! Don’t come near the stage with that you p***head! (all my protection is gone!)


One more good thing: As I emptied the old “coffin” case today, I realised that part of the reason why it weighed a flippin’ tonne is not so much because of what I had in it, more because the case itself weighed a ruddy tonne before anything was put into it…Looking forward to easier times…

Bye for now.

Jack Dee on being drunk

Read More →

October update and “What makes a DJ?”


Hi all. It’s been a while ain’t it? I’ve been busy. Have bought some new speakers. I won’t bore you with numbers. you can find that out on the booking and prices page. Suffice to say they are pretty awsome sounding and have some great kick. They are so bassy that together with my subwoofers, I am getting asked to turn down the bass at nearly every gig! that’s ok by me. It means I have finally after all these years reached the required “critical mass”. Every DJ when he starts out, finds that volume and impact costs bucks. The bigger the impact needed the bigger the bucks you have to fork out.

I’m not sure if there are many venue’s left that I couldn’t fill if you take into account that I’ve still got my old system intact and ready to add if needs be – 2.1 KW. Add that to my current system of 4.4 KW and not only can you see how things have progressed, but how big they could be if in fact I can actually fit it all in the van! I reckon I could, but I’d need an understanding venue owner or failing that, a roadie.

Next purchase will be some extra uplighters so hopefully next year you will be able to hire more at once if you need to.

I have plans to build a new page soon as I’m getting quite a few booking for children’s parties. (update – Job done – Yeehaa!  The great thing about them is that unlike adults, small people don’t need 3 pints of stella to get on the dance floor and get straight into it. Some of the most rewarding parties I’ve done have been this type and if you check my testimonials, it seems that the clients agree in full.

So self promotion aside, what makes a DJ?

A DJ is a bit of a loner. He likes to take matters into his own hands. He was the guy that didn’t know what to do with himself at those house parties you had in your younger years, but he did know he loved music and he did want to be in control of what was played on the stereo. So he did. If you had a youth club he probably did the same there with all your records/tapes/mp3 players..

A DJ is Dissident. He was the outsider. He was the guy at the end of the street who wanted to be a musician and maybe even was for a while, but either got frustrated with his own inability or that of others. What could he do? He couldn’t bare the thought of not being out there and playing – So he became a DJ. (think of grandmaster flash and all the other rappers – they were/are all DJ producers aren’t/weren’t they?)

Should he wear a suit and tie and look like a sales rep at your gig? Absolutely not! Should he wear a tux and bow tie like so many do in America and end up looking like one of the waiters? Of course not. (black tie if absolutely necessary)  Smart yes, but blend in with others? Never! It goes against everything above, doesn’t it?

A DJ is different to a musician. Yes he’s still an artist (there are degrees of course) and no he doesn’t often get offered a free dinner and a changing room with two half hour breaks per night and a total of about two hours playing time. Nope.

He’s the guy/girl who comes in with a van load of equipment usually on his own, sets it up in front of you and proceeds to entertain the hell out of you for 4 hours plus a night, solely respnsible for everything and taking it single-handedly on the chin if it all goes wrong.

Despite what you may think, he always under charges because you don’t see the hours and hours of other work that goes on before and in part after the gig. All the admin the checking out of songs, some editing perhaps for your first dance etc., the website building and the emailing to try to persuade you to write a review so he can have some credibilty with the next customer.

if he’s good he’ll have skills that you’ll appreciate. He’ll have rhythm and he will be able to mix without it sounding like a horse falling down stairs between each track. If he’s reallygood he’ll leave you somewhat breathless by building you up to a musical climax that you won’t forget. Of course too many requests may throw him off so far that this may be impossible!

Lastly, please don’t think this can all be done for peanuts. Oh yes, there are DJ’s that charge peanuts. But they have crappy equipment and and they are the one’s we have to clean up after when they’ve let you down at the last minute – Which many of them do.

You can’t take £10,000 worth of show on the road for £150 per night. You can take cheap, horrible sounding gear out for that if you’re planning not to have to replace it. A warning to all those that do or would. There’s nothing quite as intimidating as a crowd of alchohol-fuelled guests that have been let down by a technical failure. I had it twice so far. Once when a CD player was had a plug which was wired on a friday afternoon (soon fixed) and once when the laptop crashed possibly due to extreme heat that day. Oh actually I forgot the drunken 18 year old at a wedding who emptied his vodka all over the laptop, but by then I had a back up system. You really need stuff to be reliable as a guest and a performer and that takes investment.

Anyway, I didn’t intend to ramble on about money. I just thought you’d like to know what type of people we are really.

Other deejays are welcome to criticize of course. But I reserve the right to be rude if you are.

Until next time I’ll leave you with this thought from my friend and fellow entertainer Erik Jack: if everything’s coming your way – you’re in the wrong lane!

Bye for now fellow music nutters.

Read More →

Death of Auto-tune? Some hope!


Hi all,

I was listening to a program on radio 4 today about voice correction software. The most popular brand you will have heard of is called “Auto-tune“. I knew about this technology before, as I’m sure you did (They never had it when I was a Producer) but I never knew how widely it was used. Ever wondered why todays chart songs can sound so dull and characterless? Well one could give more than one reason for this: Producers not having a sound musical knowledge anymore? Doing everything too quickly on a laptop? Copying and pasting verses and choruses and ridding the song of character? Or perhaps so many great chord progressions have been written and copywrited, that there’s not much fertile ground available anymore for the new blood to “harvest”. Maybe it’s down to a music business run by materialists and accountants who have an exact formula for making money which precludes individualism and the art that comes with it? One thing seems for sure though; Taking into account what Grace Jones said when quoting Edith Piaf: “Use your faults. They are what make you a star”. Well we’re in a world now it seems where faults aren’t allowed anymore. The golden rule when I was a keyboard player was, if you get it wrong, play it three times and everyone will think it’s deliberate (I never tried that one to be honest) Perhaps this is why Miley Cirus and Lady Gaga not only sound so dull to me, but also sound so interchangable. All Variations of vocal are wiped clean…

To me this is definitely part of the problem. But it’s not the entire story. I think it’s partly audience driven. We live in a world where the bulk of the audience appears to demand a certain blandness in their product. Would people take to a mega band like Queen or Genesis these days? Would disco take off today? (I doubt it – people are trying all the time and are loudly ignored). What is different about prog rock and disco? Well as an ex musician I can tell you. Those bands and these types of music are arguably epic in comparison to say…Justin Beiber or most anyone else in the charts these days. Why? Simple to those in the know. Most dull samey pop tunes use the same simple “triad” chords like C, D, A, and E. these are chords that have only three notes eg: the chord of C has C (root), E (third) and G (fifth). A power chord in a Who song might include the same chord with a suspended 4th added (F). Super groups of yesteryear like the above plus people like Supertramp, Bowie etc. have songs littered with spiced up chords like this because they extend the illustrative possibilties of the song no end. A song is after all, a snapshot of a persons’ mood or thoughts in a given moment right? So why limit the poetic expression to a few bland, easliy digestible, sugarless porridge-like explanation units (chords). The extreme example of chord use is jazz and old skool R&B/soul, who’s menu seems to be too rich for the taste of most white people (audience driven see?), but is lapped up by many musicians who understand whats going on and the skill of both writer and player – See it’s harder to use big words (chords) especially when education is being forever dumbed down to make a more controllable population – Oops! Going off topic there… But it’s harder to play big chords and complex melodies, as it requires a bit of skill and practice with one’s instrument even if it’s one’s voice that’s the said item.

There used to be a band called “Pop will eat itself“. I don’t know anything about them, but their proficy seems to have come true. Pop music is at the over produced stage where it’s so far up it’s own unskilled arse that it’s becoming blind to what is and isn’t good anymore (generally).

Big producers now don’t look for skilled singers. They look for good looking singers. Skill and training isn’t needed. Now you know why few artists of this kind last five minutes. They’re on a conveyer belt and it’s a fast one.

I know what you’re thinking: how do we handle this as DJ’s? Simple. If you’re a club DJ, you’re probably playing stuff most of the night that never gets into the main charts and who gives a crap? Everyone knows dance is dance and screw it, let’s get on the club floor like we came to do and do it. Either that or your audience is happy to dance to type stuff all night. I don’t know about you, but I can only take so much 128bpm house in one set, even if it is peppered with David guetta and Calvin harris.

If your a mobile DJ like me, your saving grace is at most gigs (probably not 18ths) you can dip into 5-6 decades of older music to bolster up the new stuff. Works quite well if you read my reviews. Hmm… my heads aching. it must be getting too big again. Well I AM a DJ aren’t I?

I must just add that there are exeptions to the blandness of course. Some originality is allowed through from artists that don’t sound like they’re on prozac. Check out Disclosurefor some of those juicy chords I mentioned earlier. And thankfully, some decent dance music is still making it through to mainsteam. I won’t mention who. you know who they are. Then there non dance are artists like Adele, who can put some juice into their material even now and still get a recording deal. You’d think more labels would realise how well good songs sell wouldn’t you? Shortage of Adele standard artists? Never! lazy or non existant A & R? Damn sure.

finally for those that want to hear it and how Auto-tune can be used in an artistic way Here is the link to that radio 4 program

Well I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. Music is very subjective after all, but I’m just saying what I see. I’m not an old fuddy duddy either. Anything but. I’m looking at it from the point of view of an artistic person who is ever hopeful of new and fresh sounds. I hope that comes through in the above.

Have a good one,


Read More →

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas


Hey there people! It’s Christmas!!!! well Almost. Busy season this year. Busiest ever I’m glad to say. Saw a headline on the front of the sun paper the other day as I went into a garage to pay my weekly mortgage for diesel: “Cold snap” or some such thing. basically they’re predicting a white Chistmas (Remember that saying in the 90’s: “it must be true – I read it in the Sun“). Yay! Oh hang on…I’ve got to get to all those gigs….Well I still recall the feeling of coming back from a gig in Chichester on Christmas Eve a few years ago with the A27 (UK South coast east to west Main route) covered in snow at 2am in the morning and the wonderful quietness of the journey, as I padded over it and home for Christmas day. I don’t think I’ve felt that festive since i was knee high to a JLS doll. I recall looking out of the window of the hotel and saying to the punters: “Hey its snowing!”and seeing them run like school children over to the window! Ha ha! Still makes me smile…..

Well, I’ve just finished downloading the last songs before the big season starts. So many processes to get your songs sounding perfect. Normalising the volume to a set level. Analysing the Beats per minute, key signiture, Adding a second file format for my other DJ software, Putting it on a flash drive. Loading it up onto the two main console drives, re-analysing the key for console search, and finally posting the updated website song catalogue. And you think this job is easy? Pah! So much back office work, you wouldn’t believe it! Sometimes I think it helps to be single in this job, as there’s so much time spent behind a desk of some sort.

Some interesting Songs out at the moment. My tip for the number one at Christmas? well this one has to be in with a chance, all be it adult themed (what isnt these days?)

Different, Soulful, Slow, romantic. You never know.

Ok, enjoy your company party and remember: if you get taken out on a stretcher; don’t get carried away!

Have a good one!

Read More →

Bognor illuminations 2013


Hi all. Well after going away to do voluntary work late last summer (never to be repeated) the resultant lack of bookings combined with a real all round lull in everyone’s bookings this year has meant that this summer has been the quietest ever!

Having several weekends off has been quite a novelty and has helped me slightly with my house hunting, not to mention my love life!

Now I know how most of you folks out there manage to make it all work. Still, I and others have been going too long between gigs and this can lead to forgetting at least some of what songs you’ve got. Not the most optimum state to be in!

So with this in mind I need all of you to flood me with bookings now since according to the media, we are now in a recovery and hoarding your cash won’t help the situation improve. Come on now, you know you want to do your bit!

Good news is, it enabled me to comfortably do the illuminations this year for charity in Bognor Regis. I’ve filmed this event before, but this I have to admit is the first time I’ve DJ’d on a moving stage ie: a forty foot trailor. It wasn’t too bad, but could have been better say about three years ago or more. Why? well three years or more ago HGV’s didn’t have so many automatic gear boxes. As a qualified HGV and sometimes temp driver myself I can inform you that usually when driving one of these trucks you press the pedal to the floor and around 2.5 seconds later you get a response. Usually a lurch forward unless you have exceptional experience of the vehicles charactoristics, which the driver on the night alas didn’t. Not to take anything away from him, he did his best, but he wasn’t the regular driver so there cosequently were a fair number of lurches as we went through the town centre. This made for an interesting gig I have to say since there is nothing quite like trying to mix tracks when your decks are a moving target in more ways than the usual circular motion that every turntable-ist is familiar with. I had to give up pretty quickly and use the laptop on autopilot. A shame as it’s not quite so visual, but when you’re trying to hang onto your PA system (which I found surprisingly hard to strap down due to the shape of it in relation to the position of the trailor anchor points) and stop it from doing the highland fling….well compromises must be made! I got Dee to film it on my HD phone but forgot to tell her that if she held it perpendicular to the target we’d get sideways video. My fault entirely. So I had limited footage to edit after the event. On the up side, those of you who have a short attention span will love it! Have a look here:

However, that being said, we won first prize! after winning at last month’s pub quiz with my new girlfriend and team, I’ve got to say this summer’s not been without it’s high points.

Also as I type this, my site is being updated, so expect a slightly snazzier look soon. I built this site entirely myself and I’ll be sad to see it go, but of course you don’t move with the times by staying still so I’ve got a man in now who’s already proved his worth in other areas of website promotion. It feels good to hand some of this work over after all these years of doing it myself, since it can suck your entire life away without too much thought…

Bookings for 2014 are starting to come in now, so please feel free to reserve your spot before it goes bye bye..

talking of which,

See you next time.

Read More →

Wash out.


Hi all. I’m thinking I shouldn’t talk about the weather but really? Is it just late or is it never coming? the summer of course. I must say, I’m not regretting the big sweat of loading into a marquee gig in the hot humid summers of yester year…Actually, I’ve yet to do a marquee gig this year. Perhaps they are getting fewer marquee hires this year for that reason? I mean apart from the fact that just about everyone is getting fewer bookings this year accross all sections of the industry of course. That’s a given.

I recall doing a wedding gig last summer in a marquee in someone’s garden – A large garden of course. The weather wasn’t too bad to start with, but then at around 5pm it started tipping it down and just didn’t stop. I had my large golfing umbrella with me. I’m not a golfer, but they were selling them at Asdas for a reasonable price some years ago, so I thought I’d indulge. Funny I nearly left the damn thing in the shopping trolly before I ever got it home. Had to rush back and grab it. I guess though I was always destined to lose it. A guest at the wedding said that “it was alright for her to borrow it as I’d already lent it to her mum”. Bit cheeky I thought, so I said “if you actually ask me nicely and promise to bring it back, then yes”. That was the last time I ever saw it. Why is it that 99% of the stuff I ever lend out get’s plain freaking stolen? I should never have broken my vow of many years ago never to lend anything to anyone for anything ever again for ever! Grrr!

Anyway, irritating umbrella petty-theft aside, it never stopped raining from that point on. Perhaps you recall the day yourself? Perhaps it just melts into the vague memory of the perpetual rainy days of the last two years? You are forgiven. So anyhoo, the parties going great and the Bride and groom ask me if I can do another hour. Money up front as is the rule for extra time and another hour went by. Still on and on outside the rain poured down. “Can you do another hour”? “Sure” I said, looking forward to even more cash, but starting to worry as the wet stains in the carpet started to infiltrate the edge of the marquee…ulp! So the hour goes by and…”This is brilliant”! Can you do another hour? “Well”, I said “normally I would, but I’m really worried about the encroaching damp situation here and actually getting home without having to hire a boat”! So I reluctantly knocked it on the head at that point and began to pack up. The carpet was soaked. I had to keep the equipment off the floor by the “door” and about 6 feet inside, as I was squelching my way to the van with it. Going home was an experience too. Other deejays were texting round warnings to “drive carefully due to the extreme floods around”. I was out in the sticks, so I was dreading what I might encounter. Some big, big puddles sure enough and lot’s of slow cautious driving that night… You know those nights when you’re really glad to be home and in bed? (even though it’s 5 am and the daylights almost upon you – thick curtains are good in this business), Well I have this depressing feeling that they’ll become much more common in times to come. Perhaps I should start turning up to the gig in a pair of wellies? Now there’s a great look! Perhaps it’ll become a perma-fashion…

One good thing to come out of this: At least the water companies won’t be going on about empty reservoirs anymore will they? Perhaps they can even start to discount the bill? “fat chance!” I hear you say.

Read More →

New year, new lighting control


Hi all,

Been a while since the last blog eh? Well I’m sure you’re not holding your breaths, you know with billions of nuggets of information streaming at you non-stop from Facebook etc.

Had a great Christmas season. Better than I expected.

Had a gig in January where the new lighting software failed to launch. we discovered that this was because “Good old” Microsoft had put out a major update to windows 10 and it rendered the driver useless….Man! Don’t tell me I should have Apple instead. I’ve heard too many bad stories about that company from many sources and besides, I don’t have a spare grand and a half to spend on one laptop with the same hardware inside as a £300.00 Windows version.

Anyhoo, we sorted it out in the end and with a recent School disco I got to try it out. Wow! I wish I’d done this earlier! And I would have, but I needed a guiding hand/Guru to show me what the hell I needed to do. My friend Stuart from After Dark discos stepped in after seeing me at a gig with sound-to-light effects going a little bit too quickly to match the mood of the music some of the time. Liike I say, I was aware of this after updating all my lighting – I used to have more control before, but I needed someone who knew the subtle art of DMX (digital multiplex) ie: how to program your entire disco lighting rig from a software program on your laptop.

It’s a bit like when I was working out how to run a digital music studio and how to get it to communicate with my keyboards and other modules (Back in the nineties – Aah, the memories!), but not quite as complicated. It’s all based on channels and which ones to assign to your equipment. Once you’ve worked that out, the rest isn’t too bad. It’s mainly about writing new lighting sequences and how long each light flash/effect will last for in the sequence. A bit time consuming setting it all up, but worth it for the after effect.

So I’m looking forward to an even greater lightshow this year with the new set up – More intelligent you might say.

Read More →