Quietness, Christmas and Scratchin’ plastic

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi there. Sorry been a bit quiet lately. I’ve been enjoying the calm before the storm and sitting back on my flippin’ gorgeous sofa with flippin’ gorgeous Becky just reading, watching films etc. riding out the dry month of November and I’m not talking weather. My busiest year ever and it all goes to nothing in firework month. Well I’m not complaining. I rarely get much time off in my life so I’m not going to waste it by feeling insecure! Besides, December is busy now, although Thursdays are still available as I type this, so think on if you haven’t booked your Christmas get together yet. Sorry to Jane who I couldn’t help the other week. I hate it when I can’t help a regular customer because they’ve left it a bit late and I’m already booked. Sometimes I can move heaven and earth for them but if I can’t, who’s to say they might stick with the next guy? I’m pretty damn good at what I do but I’m not the only one so I’ve seen a few nice faces disappear before now.

Oh well, not long now and everyone will be putting their ‘decs up and we may even get snow again. Last year I was playing at the Ship hotel Chichester near to Christmas eve and as I looked out the window I saw the heavy flakes falling and announced it to the crowd. It’s a good job it wasn’t a boat, as they all rushed the window to see, proving beyond all doubt that when it comes to snow and Christmas, most people are as bigger kid as me. I still recall the warm festive feeling as I headed down a snow filled A27 after the last gig before the big day. Mmmm…..pass me a mince pie and cream with a brandy on the side and Christmas pudding and Cornish ice cream to follow…

Well I’ll leave you with a peek into the future of Deejaying ie: with a flat panel and touch screen. I knew it’d be here one day but I couldn’t have told you how soon. Now all they need to do is make it professional size…

Have a great weekend and see you soon,

Mike.

Read More →

Upcoming winter fun

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi all. Well this is the quite season in the mobile disco business so it’s the time when one can do one of two things. 1. You can get nervous at the phone being unusually quiet. 2. You can do all the things that you haven’t had time for during the rest of the year. So you friends that are reading this, now is the time you’re most likey to catch me available for dinner on a Saturday night! Just not this Saturday night. Yep tomorrow night Becky and I are going to a black tie ball. Nice to wear a tuxedo, sip champagne and be a guest for a change! I went to this rather expensive charity thing a few years ago now and it’s a bit like going to the brit awards in terms of table quality, although the musicians on stage are probably a good deal better trained and don’t get drunk and start shouting at the audience…Oh and they don’t all come on and begin with “Whats up? I’m….” have you noticed how everybody seems to be using that worn out phraze these days on TV and Radio?  I mean I doubt they use it on “Strictly” but then I don’t really watch those programmes.. I recall being forced to go to ballroom dancing classes every Saturday morning for a while at around eight years old, as my parents were fanatical about it. I’ll never forget the two “instructors”. The Main man was this camp old fruit called.. well lets just call him Nigel. Think Pinapple dance studios but with a dark side. It was his long suffering and somewhat dissappointed looking second in command and wife I felt sorry for, although I didn’t really know exactly why at the time. I guess the partnership sort of worked on a professional level when he wasn’t putting her down with his slightly sarcy comments. Can you guess which one I liked the best?  I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t “Nigel”!

Anyway, I digress. Back to the black tie ball…I saw the event being set up the other night and the stage lights inspired me no end. I must get some more scanners like I used to have (before I emigrated briefly to America and sold some good stuff at silly prices). They are like coloured search beams scanning through the venue in unison and of course if you can use smoke or haze, all the better.

Talking of which..are you looking forward to firework night? I am. (funny how my mind works isn’t it?) I stopped going to the Lewes one as the 911 thing I’m told shot up all the insurance and now they can’t afford the extraviganza that they used to have. Feel free to correct me on this if it’s changed. But we love to go to the Arundel display. it lasts about half an hour and is at the football club so you can walk in under flood lights and get a beer if you so wish (which to be perfectly honest, I never really do in the middle of a cold football field at night) Try to ignore the music in the apaulingly bad crackly tannoy system. When the action is about to start, they turn off the flood lights and the crowd reacts appropriately. When it’s all over you can enjoy a trip to one of the lovely pubs in the town. Who could wish for a better winter nights entertainment? And no, I’m not on commission.

Perhaps you’re looking forward to Christmas already? I was listening to the radio this morning and they played a festive jingle for a laugh, but it got me in the mood! It’s those sleigh bells and chime bars isn’t it? Works every time.

New years eve is the wildest gig of the year and this year I’m at the Park house Hotel Bepton near Chichester so maybe see you there?

Ok better go now. Got to fix some new handles on my DJ console case as it’s got so much inside it’s got a split one that needs replacing!

Until next time, have a great weekend…

Mike.

Read More →

Comfy in winter and please stop raining!

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi everyone. At last we’re fully moved in to our new place. Much anticipation over when the broadband router would arrive after the couriers lost it (now we’ve got two) and when the bookshelves, sofa etc. would get here but now it’s all finally delivered and assembled. Becky is thrilled with the place overall and especially the living room and I must say I have started a new love affair with the new sumptuous cream sofa. We wouldn’t have gone for that colour but when somethings reduced from £500 to £250 and it’s that good, well what can a man do? We originally bought one (new) off of that ebay and when we put it together I was astounded at how thoroughly uncomfortable it was. You didn’t so much sink into it, as sit upright on it and gradually slide off. Never mind. It’s sitting (no pun intended but I’ll take them where I can.) in a church reception now and the’yre thrilled at the donation. It works quite well in that setting, but as a living room sofa? Nada, nine, nyet, negative captain, noooo!

I did about the 45th wedding this year at Bosham Sailing club on Saturday night and it didn’t stop raining for more than 5 minutes all night! unusual weather indeed. Luckily the 5 minutes it stopped for were the 5 minutes that it took me to load the van at the end of the gig. I still got wet though. I was trying to have a fag every hour and a half or so and the back of the the gig is a marquee. Trouble with that is, when you lean out in the rain you get great drops of water falling on your head as there’s no gutter on these things. I ended up just going out and standing in the damn rain as I just got less soaked that way.

Baldy

I  must say there are definite advantages to having a shaved head. No one can tell when you’ve been out in it. You look the bloody same but for a bit of shine. No hair to get messed up and no barbers bills either. Get up in the morning and nothing to do except brush your teeth have a couple of mouthfuls of  berries (cereal makes you fat. – It took me 43 years to learn that!), some double cream (it’s ok without the carbs) and off out the door! this really appeals to my male sense of urgency and slight laziness. Of course when the ladies’ coming out with me, it’s best to settle down into the said comfy sofa and read war and peace whilst you wait for all the preperation that you don’t have to do, to be done by the afore mentioned. Most women have some hair and make-up and they have my empathy…even if I do get frustrated and resort to pacing up and down the flat, not quite having enough time to do anything substantial but having a bit too much time to hang about not doing anything substantial.

Taxi Service

Oh by the way, (meanwhile back at the ranch) the bride and groom Sue and paul were caught out by the taxi firm and I ended up giving them a lift home. That’s the first time I’ve had a bride and groom in the passenger seat of the Expert or any other van. I really should have taken a picture, but you don’t think of these things at the time do you? Hi to you both if you’re reading this. And thanks for the review.

Singing in the rain

Well this is the “dead season” coming up now so I guess we might get to go out a bit our selves on a few weekends. Beckies’ dying to see me do some karaoke as I still love to sing when I can, all be it a bit rusty now.  That being said, if you want to book me I’ll happily stand her up and do your party instead as, well…Rent has to be paid and all that.

Think that sounds cruel? Then you don’t know how much this place is to rent! believe me, she understands.

Until next time, Have a great week and don’t work too hard, unless it’s really worth it of course!

Cheers,

Mike.

Read More →

Still here but waiting for proper internet back

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi. Just a real quicky to say that I’m still here and funking. I won’t write much more as I’m still waiting for Opal to get my new broadband router delivered after the couriers lost it already and mobile broadband is so patchy that last week after writing a very long and funny blog, I lost the lot on a “time out”.

We’re getting the new flat up and running and waiting on some book shelves and a sofa before we invite anyone round.

We’ve already managed to break the glass lenses of the kitchen light fitting and are trying in vain to replace them from Ebay. First Becky breaks one whilst cleaning and then I break one whilst trying to catch a daddy long legs of which she is petrified thanks to her spider phobia. So you see it’s all Beckie’s fault really. Ok not really.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to go to BPM in Birmingham on October 2nd, well 3rd or 4th actually. It’s the biggest DJ trade show but the one thing I want to have a look at won’t be demo’d due to the noise factor of the situation in a trade fair. ie: Speakers.

Well better wrap it up now. Pathetically short as this blog is, I don’t want to lose this one as well. Have a great weekend and hello to my wedding disco clients this week.

Mike.

Read More →

Moving Stories.

Audio, Lifestyle

Changing pads

Hi again. Next week we’re moving to Worthing and I’m dreading all that lifting and packing. You’d think as a DJ I’d take it all in my stride wouldn’t you? But as this will be about the 55th move since I left the home of my Transient military family, I know exactly how much of a sweaty, groany, tiresome business it is. On the upside I’m looking forward to living in a flat where you can walk straight out of the kitchen and into the back yard where there will be a table chairs and parasol waiting for us to sit down and have breakfast, dinner or barbacue etc. Also having a living room with a fireplace (just for the look only) and parking space for the vehicles at Cloud And Sun Towers that doesn’t come with overhanging trees and accompanying perpetual bird shit and tree debris to wash off. Yes the car and van will actually stay shiny! You should see them now after a storm has hit. They look like I’ve just driven them through a commercial compost heap.

Wind

I spend my life wondering whether one day a very over grown tree will introduce itself into our bedroom one windy night, but all that’s over now. I love trees by the way, but not the fast growing kind on a bit of no-mans-land. They’ve even blocked out terrestrial TV since I moved here. At 60′ high they show no signs of either slowing down or meeting a tree surgeon any time soon.

Time off

I had a cancellation last Saturday night. The bride and groom split up six months earlier and the “groom no more” who’s job it was to tell me, didn’t bother. Never mind. Becky and I decided to make the most of my complete weekend off as it’s such a rarity. We ended up going out for lunch and then dinner. A bit decadent I know, but as I’ve mentioned on facebook, not enough it seems.

Cops

On the way to Chichester for dinner I got pulled over by the long arm of the law and fined for not wearing a seat belt. By Christ that was an expensive day. I know we’re all supposed to wear them but as an ex truck driver I still have to remember every time I get in to do so. (there aren’t any seatbelts in lorries or haven’t been until recently.) None of this made the young motorbike plod any more sympathetic. The sprogs are always the most keen to dish out paperwork. Give it a few more years and he’ll try and avoid it wherever possible.

False claims

This is beside the point I’m trying to make though. I’ve been a professional driver for around 25 years now. Yes I’m still doing it in the week. I drive special needs folk to and from a day centre when I’m not deejaying.  I’ve had prangs and clips and even two head on crashes before now and not once have I needed a seat belt. I’m not saying we should stop wearing them, I’m just saying that how is it just to punish someone for not ensuring that they might avoid accidently killing themselves? I don’t get it. Surely if I want to kill myself I am free to do so? And how is not wearing a seatbelt going to kill someone else? When you’ve crashed, you’ve…well, crashed. You might be dead, but it doesn’t kill the other guy or the passengers does it? Which brings me to the other official obsession. “speed kills”. No it doesn’t! If speed killed, then we wouldn’t have any racing drivers left would we? You want to know what really kills? It’s nothing to do with seatbelts or speed. It’s ta ta ta ta ta ta taaah….. Inabilty or inattention. If you’re a boy racer and you can’t take that corner at the right speed, that’s inabilty mate. Don’t try to run before you can walk. And while you’re at it, drive your own car and stop nicking ours. If you’re on anti deppressants or alchohol or spliff, or you’ve just had a falling out with a friend or relative, or you’re just plain knackered. That’s inattention. Oh and before you mention other road users and the stupid things they might do.. If you have your attention on the job, you can compensate with defensive driving can’t you?

Punitive

We live in such a punitive society don’t we? Nobody except the wonderful emergency services (the irony) are acknowledged for their hard won skills and experience. What’s that saying? If you’ve done something for five years you’re an expert. If you’ve done it for ten years you’re a doctor. If you’ve done it for twenty years, you’re a professor. As I said before. I’ve been professional for 25 years. Surely my opinion counts for something? I reckon they should leave us alone and if they insist on pulling us over, I have ears and a brain. I don’t need a whopping £60 bill to remind me to obey (or else) the arbitrary law of the realm in future outings. Oh by the way, I talked about some of my point with the young whipper-snapper who pulled me over. One of the things he said was that “on the down side, I’ve known people die in their cars when the car caught fire and they couldn’t remove their seatbelt in time.”  Discuss.

Have a great weekend and remember to belt up or you might be sending that painful envelope off to Edward Street in Brighton. Think on…

Read More →

Weather, aerials and bad radio blues…

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi all again. Not a bad summer is it? Not too hot. No rain to speak of.. and one of my broken bass bins (now repaired) comes back tomorrow by courier hopefully.That’s such a weight off, as I’ve got some biggies coming up and I need the extra oomph!

Business

I’m doing lots of gigs right now of either weddings or foreign students. I’ve had to resort to taking in paper and pen, as the other week a Russian 13 year old asked me for “leeki par-nmm” Eh? 5 times he tried to get the message accross and you’ve got to remember that I’m standing in a loud environment at the best of times, so it’s a delicate balancing act trying to hear them without getting your ear drum shattered from the requestee shouting in it. Turned out it was “Linkin’ Park – Numb”. What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? Oh you’re a radio 2 listener are you? Well confession time…I do Chris moyles in the morning (only in the biblical sense) and Number 2 there after as it’s more random and just brilliant for picking up back catalogue tunes. Refreshingly, You never quite know what you’re going to hear. How many stations can you say that about? Not many commercial ones that’s for shure.- ooops, that’s “shure” the microphone company. I thought that was wrong.

Reception

That reminds me. I must get the aerial replaced on our old but gorgeous VW golf. I love her to bit’s. She drives like a dream (1.8 CL) but only picks up BBC radio Sussex on the inherited stereo (won’t play cd’s either) unit. Now there’s a radio station! Every tune a thousand years old guaranteed! I’m going out of my mind. We’ve got an ipod, but with all the DJ business I can never get round to putting any more then the 300 odd songs on it already. Ipod owners will know that this is an obsticle that must be confronted in order not to get bored with your all time favourite songs and literally lose the will to live any more. For without those to fall back on; what is the point of it all?

Have a great weekend and think of me working my nuts off!

Mike

Read More →

Open All Hours

Audio, Lifestyle

It’s been another interesting week. As I type this I feel like Ronnie Barker at the end of an episode of “Open all hours” hence the title.
Yesterday was a mammoth day in all aspects.

I had a gig through an agency and it said the set up time was 11am. This is fine normally for most gigs for most Deejays as they don’t tend to stray far from home and go to said place in between setting up the show and actually coming on at night, some even programming the background music to come on before they get there in the evening. Ian, I so admire your confidence in technology..I on the other hand, cover the entire South of England so I can’t just pop back from Salisbury to jolly old Barnham for some dinner and TV.

I meant to ask the bride if I needed to be there at 11am as I knew she was not getting back to the venue until 3:45pm but forgot and called her the day before to ask her this very thing. Alas, she was at a friends house for the day before and for some reason, she may still not have received the mobile answer phone message that I left her.

Have you ever had that thing where the message turns up days later? I know I have. Anyway I had another brilliant gig as you will see when I put the video blog up and even got given a bottle of wine as a thank you (for being here all this time and staying awake?) from the Bride and Groom who were a wonderful couple and had many friends who had helped out with the costumes etc. which shows that I’m not just saying they were wonderful!

On the way home though, I suddenly realised I should have brought some matches to prop open my eyelids as I couldn’t drive anywhere without really wanting to close them. I’ve been a temp truck driver for years so I know all about odd hours and “sleep driving” but this was severe! I’ve never been this tired before. Never mind, I’m still here to tell the tale.

Here endeth todays  blog.

Take care,

Mike

Read More →