Christmas bookings

Audio, Lifestyle

Well it’s Christmas party booking season again. I love this time of year. The nights are drawing in and the heatwave is finally over. The rain is pouring down…Hey wait a minute! When the hell is this rain going to stop! This is highly irregular…. It’s supposed to be chilly and crisp and dry! I never signed up for a flood….

Anyway, I have a load of bookings for December, But I still have a few spots to fill if your a late comer to the party. And then of course there’s next year..and halloween too. Still empty booking slots for that weekend….

Take care and have a great week. Pray the rain will stop soon!

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All inclusive wedding packages

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi all. I’m getting some worrying news these days about hotels supplying dj’s as part of the package. particularly for wedding receptions at budget prices. This isn’t anything new, but it’s on the increase if all the blogs are to be believed. Well, Just in case you’re thinking of going down that route (and who could blame you?) I’ve heard a lot of complaints are being received from customers about what transpires on the actual night. I guess it stands to reason that if the hotel is paying the DJ a pittance, then a few things will be inevitable: 1. He/she won’t know or be particularly interested in the customers individual needs. 2 He/she won’t have the budget to invest in decent equipment. you may not think this is important, but believe me I went to a gig the other week and the sound system was so badly set up that the sound output was practically cutting my head in half. I finished my one beer and promptly left the building. 3. The hotel or venue will try and lock you into this deal with some extra charge for not agreeing to the whole sad business. Try to remember that as Paddy Mc Guinness says: Now the power is in your hands. And as businesses compete for your attention, if you stick to your guns and threaten to walk if you don’t get the choice, then you will retain that power no matter what happens after. If they’re smart, they’ll capitulate; if they’re stupid, they’ll lose your business and somewhere down the line probably will go out of business. I’ve seen a lot of businesses where I’ve wondered how they survive and sure enough, many a time I’ve seen them predictably die.

I hardly need mention this, but if you’re a couple in love and want to make your wedding reception the party of a lifetime, then don’t let some banqueting manager dictate that you have to have a poor quality, under invested  DJ/entertainer to underwhealm both yourselves and your closest friends and family. By the way, I’m not saying that if the hotel recommends a good DJ who you have chance to talk to before hand and isn’t tied into some kind of crippling deal with them won’t be rewarding. That isn’t the point. I know DJ’s who do this and it’s all good. If you do meet them and like them, then no problem.

Book someone who is independant and cares what happens at the venue and on the dance floor through the night. I have many competitors in this field, but few of them if any are actually the same guy you talk to beforehand like my self.

I used to employ other dj’s when I started out and could still make a lot of money out of doing so if I wanted. However, I rarely do these days as I had some close calls on reliability and decided that ethics and 100% peace of mind- ie: knowing that you can look after the customer and never let them down (short of dying on the way to the gig) with the resulting good reputation was far more important than outsource income. Something that all inclusive package hotels could do well to learn now and not sometime in the future when all the good guys have been priced out of a living.

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Celebs and DIY makeover

Audio, Lifestyle

Well you know, as an ex musician and now DJ, I’ve met my share of celebrities I suppose and Most of the time I’m quite sort of…”Yeah whatever”. I must admit though, Sitting next to this lovely lady who actually is probably the only lady left in the develoloped world who actually has that woman look ie: not jeans or trousers all the time, I thought: My god, I’ve been watching this person on TV for years admiring that look and here she is sitting next to me in another gorgeous outfit and looking even better in real life! Well it was a brief moment and a quick chat, where I admitted to her that when they said who I’d be working with, I thought it was what turns out to be Linda Barker (I’ve never been to hot with recalling names of TV folks on those magazine type shows). Well I’m glad it was the actual Kirstie Allsopp instead.

Just a quick thanks to all at B&Q Bognor who looked after me and were great: Tony, Yohan and the crew. And hello to the Spirit FM Crew Who I had a good chinwag with too. I never realised how much the look of B&Q has changed with this revamp until I talked to one of the manageresses today. I’m not much of a DIYer, being a renting tennant, but I do recall that grey warehouse look with pallets up to the ceiling on racking shelves with all the dust that accompanies such a system. Well that’s all gone now. Plush clean floor level layout with lots of space and thought into where stuff is: eg: if you want curtains then you should find curtain hooks right beside them instead of in a different department like ironmongery or something! Also it’s fully hooked into the web with interactive screens where you can order brochures direct to your home and look up instructional films on youtube. Free wifi instore if you’ve got your ipad or netbook etc. If you’re really savvy you can hook up your smartphone and save broadband data allowance. That reminds me, I need to ditch this blackberry and bear the pain of texting on a touchscreen phone so I can actually see a website when I need to without the use of a microscope! Meanwhile back at the ranch (B&Q), they really seem to have thought it through, with the idea being that if shops carry on the way they have been doing, then even more will go out of business. For that alone I admire the forward thinkingness of the board, or if not then whoever isn’t getting the credit right now. They’ve put the money where their mouths are too investing around £3million in this one store alone.

On a different note, thanks to kim for recommending Leanne to me. I think that covers it for this one.

Take care until next time.

Mike

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Wedding speech? try mixing in these witty quotes

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hey all you wedding blokes. I’m not addressing the brides here, because I’ve never seen a bride make a speech yet, so if you are that bride, Please go somewhere else whilst your fiancee reads up on this lot.

 

Blokes pay attention! I’ve collected some of the funniest quotes to mix in with your speech and in case you’re wondering whether they are well worn, Don’t worry. I’ve done tonnes of weddings and I ain’t heard any of them yet!

Here you go. Tuck into this little feast and don’t say uncle Mike never does anything for you. OK?

 

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. (George Burns)

I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. (Rita Rudner)

Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. (Phyllis Diller)

There’s only one way to have a good marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I’ll get married
again. (Clint Eastwood)

The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. (Henry Youngman)

A man walks up to a gorgeous woman in a large market and says, “Excuse me but, I’ve lost my
wife somewhere here in the market, could you talk to me for a few minutes?” “Why?” she asks.
“Well, whenever I talk to beautiful woman my wife suddenly appears out of nowhere.”

Here’s to our wives and lovers. May they never meet.

The most effective way to remember your wedding anniversary is to forget once.

There are only two times in a man’s life when he can’t understand a woman – before marriage and
after marriage.

We call him the exorcist in our house. Every time he comes around, he rids us of all our spirits.

It was an emotional wedding. The mother of the bride cried. Even the cake was in tiers.

After a quarrel, a wife said to her husband, “You know, I was a fool when I married you.” The
husband replied, “Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn’t notice.”

Speech-making is a bit like prospecting for Black Gold. If you don’t strike oil in 10 minutes, stop
boring.

I’m told that the best speech makers follow three simple rules. Stand Up. Speak Up. Then, very
quickly, Shut Up. I’ll try to stick to that advice.

The brain is a wonderful thing. It never stops functioning from the time you’re born until the
moment you stand up to make a speech.

Why does a woman work for 10 years to change a man’s habits, and then complain he’s not the
man she married? – Barbara Streisand

The trouble with being the best man at a wedding is that you never get to prove it.

I can honestly say that in all the years I’ve known him, no one has ever questioned John’s
intelligence. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone even mention it.

Man who sinks into woman’s arms, soon has his arms in woman’s sink. – Confucius

Best man speech: Tim and Patricia, what a wonderful day it is to be getting married. As we all know marriage carries many new responsibilities. Patricia, from now on, you must never argue or even disagree with Tim, because as we all know he is now the head of the family and the king of his castle. You must keep your hair, makeup, and clothes perfect at all times. You should always cook Tim’s favorite foods and encourage him to go out with his friends often. Do these few simple things and you will surely be blessed with many years of happiness. (Pause to let it sink in) Patricia, I know that Tim loves you very, very much… (Slight pause) because he spent a long, long time writing this speech for me. Congratulations to you both!

Marriage is a 3-ring circus – engagement ring, wedding ring and suffering.

Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.

Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

I haven’t spoken to my wife for 18 months- I don’t like to interrupt her.

My Wife Says I Never Listen, Or Something Like That.

Why does it take 1 million sperm to fertilize one egg? They won’t stop to ask directions!

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January. Can there be a worse month?

Lifestyle

Well, Here we go again. In my 12th year of business. Looks like being the most challenging one yet. I thought this Christmas was quiet, but in reality, when I did the accounts, it turned out to be a little bit better than last year and a little bit worse than the one before so I’d say average on the whole. I’ve decided to freeze the wedding price for the third year running. We’ll see how that pans out. Already have quite a few bookings for this year but can always take more.

If you’re looking for a wedding DJ with experience who can also DJ for all other types of party too, then please read my reviews from real people who have seen me in action.

Wow! what a week. on Thursday I cought the most horrendous cold…Worse than anything I’ve had in recent times. The thing I hate is that once you get that familiar feeling on the back of your nose, you know that you’re basically screwed and all you can do is inflict as much damage limitation as possible. So as I had a gig this Saturday and I hate being ill, that’s what I did. I hammered it with everything I could think of. Tonnes of vitamin C powder, A clove of raw garlic every morning and evening. Ginger root, Elderberry capsuls, Honey, Multi vitamin IM90 (immune vitamin casules). This was working, but it was a strong one, so I ended up supplimenting that with an asma (probably spelt wrongly) inhaler and some of that nose unblocker squirty stuff. Well that was Thursday and it’s now Sunday. I’ve done the gig. Got great praise from the customer (hello Jill!) and the cold has almost gone. I can taste again and I don’t need the two drugs mentioned. I was talking to a girl the other day who’d had a cold for some three weeks and couldn’t shake it off. Perhaps I should give her this anacdote when I see her again.

Also on Thursday my vacuum pump for the brakes went on the van. As if a cold isn’t bad enough, I have to deal with a breakdown too. Well thanks loads to dave at Automedics for fitting me into his already tight workload and sorting it out!

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Usual random round up

Lifestyle

Hi There. Just to let you know there are a few dates still available in December for your party. Please check here to see if I’m available..

Liking having a less hectic schedule in November. Went to the Theatre Royal Brighton last week with a friend and saw “An Inspector calls”.

Great play but we were so high up in the “gods” that we couldn’t see the top of the stage. Although I don’t think we missed anything, I can’t be sure due to the fact that we couldn’t see it you see…A self perpetuating conundrum.

Just been checking out Wild Cherries back catalogue over the past few nights. They were famous for that song Play that funky music (white boy), but it would seem they have a few more worth playing on a particularly funky-assed evening. Did the same with Average white band the other week (famous for Pick up the pieces). It would appear that they too are perhaps, no definitely even more worth checking out. I’m always looking to increase my funk and (if there’s any left that I don’t know about and have) disco tracks. So if you know of any rare grooves, feel free to suggest and I’ll give them a going over.

Just tried to launch a Google + page tonight and as happens sometimes could’nt get it up for love nor technical knowhow without the error massage coming up. Oh well, it’s early days and if they want to compete with facebook it had better work. Do you know Facebook gets more hits than Google these days? No wonder Google want a piece of the action!

Anyhoo, I want to catch that new Ricky Gervais – Lifes too short tonight and I just realised I’ve run out of prepared salad (gasp!) so I’d better get out of ‘ere!

See you all soon,

Mike

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Book, thanks, reality and a laugh

Lifestyle, Literature

Hi all. My god, it’s so long since I wrote a blog, they’ve changed the layout here on the site software! Well looking forward to those cold winter nights as it’s getting dark earlier and earlier. Isn’t that day coming soon when they change the clock around again and throw everything into confusion? Can’t be far off. My apologies for not writing in a while but it’s been my busiest summer to date and I haven’t really had any time. Moving flat didn’t help, as there are about 50 different companies to email after changing address even after you’ve sorted the furnature out and hung all the pictures..

Reading Ben Elton’s “Dead Famous” at the moment. I feel slightly ambivalent about it. The story centres around a group of weirdos and dullards in a “big brother” style show called “house arrest“. It goes into how one of them is murdered and the mystery of how it was done with so many cameras in the house.

The production company is not called “Endemol” but “Peeping tom productions” which is a fair joke on the part of Ben. Only trouble so far with this book is that I hate shows like that and so reading about how bad and false they are is sort of old news to me. But to be fair the book was written quite a few years ago and I only bought it to read whilst waiting to play at Saturday nights gig. On the up side though, I am studying philosophy right now, so It stops me getting distracted I suppose and provides some relief when I don’t feel like reading about the meaning of life etc. any more.

Just want to say hello to Mike and Arabella who I played for on Saturday and Little Izzie and family who I played for on Sunday. You all were lovely and thanks for looking after me.

I’m just having to copy my entire catalogue of mp3’s from one of my hard drives to another so I can change the first hard drive to a “fat” system format, so it will work with my new decks. I started at 5pm. it’s nearly 8pm and it’s still copying. Try copying eleven thousand songs from one drive to another and see how long it takes! Another “Frankenstiens lab” evening.

Well thats all for now, but please check out this brilliant sketch from legends Ronnie Corbett and Harry Enfield. A brilliant take on modern technology! Watch them trying to keep a straight face towards the end..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0o-afuVzTw

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Let’s end that long song list forever!

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi. Just  a quicky this week as I’m off to another gig this Sunday afternoon. Just want to say thanks to James and Donna for looking after me last night. Great gig. They set the room up like a night club and I used the uplighters around the room to enhance the pink theme.

I started out by smacking my head on the door frame as I manhandled a bass bin in. I only realised I was bleeding after I went to wipe the sweat from my head. “Things can only get better” I thought. Which was one of Donna’s song choices and went down a storm. (sorry, tedious links are for Dave only) The great thing about the night though is that there was no song list. Only three songs were asked for and one of them got canned due to a change of direction at the request of the host. All that was asked for were certain musical directions at various points in the night ie: start out with swing/big band/rat pack, after the singer guitarist had done his hour go into a motown/soul set, then disco 80’s, then 90’s piano house etc moving up to modern Mr. Saxo beat type funky house and finally some trance/house right at the end (one of which was a special remix by yours truly for Donna). This is so much better than a mile long song list, as you get to choose the classic tracks that sound great and work well on the floor. Any requests on the night just get fitted in with the plan and the BPM so no gaping holes in the dance floor. As I’ve said before. I will do a song list if you want, but having a long list is like having sex with your self. It may be reliable in your eyes, but it’s never as good and there are rarely any nice surprises.

Anyway, Donna and James were over the moon at my set and told me so several times (Donna had to come up and kiss me to say how “amazing” I was – read latest feedback here) and this is the point! Request a few in advance of course if you like, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot (and “locking me in a cage of no creativity”) with a long song list!

Take care, have a great week and feel free to re-post this blog if you’re another DJ or have some related site. (please credit me Mike Stryk: cloudandsun.com) Let’s put that monster (song list) back in it’s cage and go back to the days of real fun on the floor!!!

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New features, panic and salvation

Lifestyle

Hey there! That sounded very American didn’t it? Well I felt like exclaiming as it’s been a while since I’ve blogged here. Well I’ve been working on myorganic health foods site (now defunked – 2019) as well as other things.

We’ve been to Germany to see my girlfriend’s mum and she’s still there in hospital. (Girlfriend, not her mum) Nothing stopping me from saying that now, as she’s had the operation and all went well.Thank god, it was a worrying time! One funny thing to come out of it was that I had to take the hire car back to Hamburg from Bremen without Becky and all was going well until I hit a traffic jam. I waited and waited not worried about the time as I was way too early in order to get the paperwork sorted with the car before closing time in Hamburg at 18:00 when the actual flight didn’t leave until about 21:00.

Well as the jam cleared I looked at the sat-nav and noticed to my horror that it had crashed and only had about four vertical lines of grey on the screen! Oh crap. No map. No idea of location. Try as I might I couldn’t turn the damn thing off to re-boot!

So I’m in a queue of traffic and I decide to head for Bremen and see if I can pull over somewhere. This I did. Through sheer rebeliousness, I’d smuggled my tiny (can’t do without it) swiss army knife in the flight hand luggage (which is all I had). I pulled out the tooth pick and whittled it down to a point, so I could access the hole in which the reset button resided. And thank god it worked! About 6 frantic minutes were passed while I waited for it to come back online and then it was as good as new for me to proceed along the worst autobahn in Germany today, with more roadworks, treacherous narrow overtaking lanes and contraflows than any M6 nightmare. I guess that was my Bond moment this lifetime…

Anyway, I just want to announce that I finally got my shit together and got an availability checker for all you lovely customers out there to see if I can do your gig straight from the home page. If I can’t do it on your chosen date, Drop me an email anyway and I’ll recommend some good reliable DJ’s that I know who won’t let you down like some out there. It’s a free service designed to help you steer clear of the cowboys in this business (I don’t get commission) of which there are a few.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if the DJ is more important to you then try to find one BEFORE securing the venue, as you stand much more chance of having a great party with the right DJ than you do with any particular venue.

Well that’s quite enough work for one day. Time for tea and telly.

Have a great weekend and see you soon,

Mike

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Screeching, smoke and exhausted.

Audio, Lifestyle

Children’s parties.

Hi all. Dj’d for a children’s party this week. I like children’s parties. It’s definitely not about the money! Is it ever about the money? Well we all have to pay the rent, but lately I have looked into the world of online business (no, I’m not giving this job up) and my idea that if you’re not passionate about it, it will be hard to do indeed, seems to be prevalent there for sure. Anyway, children make great punters. They don’t have to have a drink before they summon up the courage to get on the floor. They just go for it from the start with their wonderful shrill voices and the parents looking slightly stressed. I’m glad we didn’t have any smoke detectors in the venue, as they were asking me about once every two minutes for more smoke! I was happy to oblige of course, but I have to say that before long, I couldn’t really see anyone from about 1 foot past the front of the console. Hello to Josh, Faye and possy if you’re reading this. And thank you to the church hall/coffee morning lady who offered me a bacon sandwich out of the blue (Very nice it was too I should say. Havent had bread like that since I lived near an ASDA!)

Sod’s law

Why does stuff always go wrong with your mobile disco van just before the weekend? My vans are well looked after and maintained but in this business not many (actually nobody I’ve ever met except someone who came into an inheritance) can afford to buy a brand new one, so you’re always going to be catching up with the result of the previous owners thrashing of their company vehicle. I was no exception on Friday evening. On the way home that night, I got within a mile of home and guess what? I heard this clanking noise on coming from underneath and assumed that the spare wheel frame had dropped. That reminds me, what happened to my spare wheel? I’m sure I had it when I bought this van! I must get another one. Do they sell them at scrap yards? Anyway, no it wasn’t the now empty spare wheel frame dropping through lack of content. No of course it was the exhaust pipe falling in half some 2 weeks after passing its MOT….?? I had nowhere to pull over far enough to do anything, so I continued home with the hazards on and the pipe clanking along the road.

As I pulled into home, a friendly faced neighbour looked sympathetically at me jangling and clanking up to the garage. It was then I recalled that I’d left my tools in the car, but as it happens, all I needed was a jack and something to tie the loose pipe up to the chassis.

Of course I am covered for breakdowns, but I seem to have this fierce independent streak that a lot of us men have, that only if the van is broken in two halves would I sit and wait for an hour whilst the rescue service locate and attend. So I got to the children’s party next day with my exhaust tied up like an amateur bondage victim having taken it to the tyre and exhaust place for them to ascertain which bits they needed to order that morning. After the lunch time party I sweated as I loaded the van up to make it in time for the actual fitting in Littlehampton before they closed.

I have to tell you it was an experience driving there for the second time that day. As I headed down the A”%( or A259 if you remember to take your left finger off the shift button, the engine gradually got louder and louder and louder and louder thus precipitating the fear that I wouldn’t actually make it there before the whole thing fell off at the manifold/engine/other end. I was about 1/4 of a mile away when I hit the wonderful Littlehampton police station gas pipe replacement  project with it’s unbfeasibly long traffic light delay, but I was prepared for this so I simply switched off the engine for the five and a half long minutes before the green light came back on.

Arrival

Finally pulling into the exhaustmiester’s yard, the sense of relief was that of someone being pushed along a hospital corridor on a stretcher into the operating theatre thinking: “I’ve done all I can for myself to get here. Now I’m leaving it in your capable hands.” Excuse me whilst I retire to the waiting room to enjoy my sense of relief with a cup of that tea from the vending machine and an obscure magazine about classic cars that will no doubt be waiting for me on the table in the middle of all garage waiting rooms, whilst trying not to get too interested in the diagrams of exhausts and tyre types on the wall.

So anyway the upshot is that a few minutes into the repair, the bloke came into the waiting room and apologised but the suppliers had only sent one of the bits that he ordered earlier that day, thus denying me instantly the full satisfaction and post traumatic relief of a fully repaired van. Oh well, back for the rest this week. Yes they did a temporary repair on the other part for which they had no part so as long as I don’t drive to Liverpool, I should be OK.

Well I’ve just paid our rent today, so after that I think I need a lie down…Have a great week and see you soon.

Mike.

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