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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Shafted then relief

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi there just a quick one this week. I’d just like to say to DR. S. at the St Richards hospital. You are a real a***hole. I played extra time for you and I broke the golden rule. I didn’t ask you for money up front. I wonder what would have happened if I didn’t ask for the main fee upfront? Would you have shafted me over that as well? Probably but we’ll never know. Sometimes I’m too trusting but I’m not a total bloody moron! Interesting subject is money and payment. Right now a mate of mine is trying to get money out of a certain hotel in Brighton for a number of Christmas functions, one of which I did for him myself. This hotel chain is owned by a multi millionare from what I am told and has a pretentious variation on the word “blue” in it’s title/brand name. The payment has been politely asked for, invoiced, politely asked for and subsiquently ignored and ignored and ignored. It’s now at the court stage and they are theatening an order to shut down the business or some such “seemingly out of proportion, but necessary to solve the problem” thing.

Just think how much better this world would be if everyone, business and private actually paid their bills on time! Yes it’s mad, it’s crazy and it seems like a new and radical idea doesn’t it? No not really. Bills are my first priority. If you make extra money. Pay the bills first. Peace of mind is priceless. Carribean holidays are nice if there’s enough left over. If not, you have more time than you think. Make the extra money. Don’t borrow unless it’s an emergency. Debt and late payment are the scurge of the modern age, along with drugs and fake mental disorders – To sell more drugs of course. Anyway, I digress. Tight b*****ds are not exclusively rich. There are poor tight b*****ds and rich tight b*****ds. It’s not a good measuring stick. At least poor tight b*****ds have some justification for holding onto their precious lolly (there’s a word from the past). Rich tight b*****ds or even slightly rich tight b*****d doctors have no justification. If you deliver a great product (which everyone else agreed that I did) then you should have fair exchange for it and if that doesn’t sound fair it’s a good sign of insanity. So there you are Doctor S. You’re not just a tight slightly rich b*****d but you’re a fruit cake too with a genuine mental disorder. I’d just like to finish this bit by saying thank you to the other doctor who promised to sort out payment the next day and then never called. You guys are an inspiration to us all.

In complete contrast I would like to say a big thankyou to Wendy and family with the After eight club for a great comedy relief night on the Friday 18th March where we raised around £500.00 and the crowd were absolutley brilliant. I love it when the crowd get’s into the dancing en-mass. It’s my main statistic of course and try as one might it doesn’t always happen.

See you all next time and have a great week. Don’t forget the clocks go forward this weekend so I feel your pain when it comes to getting up an hour earlier! Take care,

Mike.

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80’s night with a couple of celebrities

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi all. Haven’t posted for a while as this winter has been pretty quiet to tell the truth. Never mind. Had an 80’s party on Saturday hosted By Stuart Duff from Megafan records for his wife Yolanda’s birthday. I had to increase the size of the already large show to accomodate the main attraction Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot from 80’s number 1 selling album band Curiosity Killed The Cat. Not that Ben is large physically, I mean I had to dig out the old CDN88’s (twin CD player – one of the best in it’s day) to play the backing tracks for the act. This made a large disco set up as you can see below:

Ben sang well and got a great reaction from the ladies:


Also a really nice guy and a fellow Level 42 fan, so that means he can do no wrong in my book..

Also, at some point in the night, one of Stuarts other artists (he actually has Chaka Khan on his books amongst others!),Robbie Craig from 2 step garage act Artful Dodger sang “Woman Trouble” with his lady support vocalist joining in on the choruses. Wow! what a voice that bloke has..And his lady too! every bit as good. I must say although I loved Curiosity and bought their debut album on cassette, I had a special place in my heart for  the Artful Dodger track. I was just starting out as a DJ early in the naughties when this track appeared on the scene. It never got a huge reaction on the dance floor at the time, but you know what? I loved it and I was behind the decks, so on it went gig after gig. I don’t often make exceptions like that, but this song was funkay.


You can just see yours truly looking much more serious than I actually am as usual..

All in all a great night and Beckie I have to say got right into th idea and dressed for the part:

This picture doesn’t do her look justice but it’s the best I’ve got on this camera.

Well hope you enjoyed this blog at least a little as much as I enjoyed doing the show. Check out Stuart and Yolandas review

Ok see you next time and have a great week.

Cheers,

Mike.

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Christmas and new year round up

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great Christmas. I thought we had a quieter one than usual work wise, but I’ve totted up the income and it’s almost exactly the same as last year. Not only that, I’ve discovered that I made a mistake in last years final gross profit figure and I’ve paid too much tax as a result! Bugger! Never mind. I guess they need the extra money after the last lot ballsed up the economy so much – with help from the bankers but not exclusively of course.

Anyway, talking of ballsing it up. I got a last minute New Years Eve gig and the host told me to set this confetti cannon off at midnight. I say to him: “Do I need to take this polythene off if the tube first?” “No I think it’s fine” he says. So come midnight I play the new year chimes (which last about a minute). All this time I’m trying to twist this ruddy cannon tube open and not getting anywhere.

Finally the chimes end and …well nothing. Dead air as they say on radio. I rush over and start Auld lang Syne on the other decks (it’s complicated but the start of the chimes needs cueing out as it goes on forever – otherwise I’d have programmed it up on the laptop) and a cheer goes up. I realise that this ruddy polythene needs to come off so I’m about to set fire to it with my lighter (for speed – used to do this with CD covers) when Becky clocks what’s going on and comes and rips it off in one surprising and slightly annoyingly smooth and efficient German movement, thus enabling me to fire off at last the confetti on to a now Auld Lang Syne swaying Audience.

I told the host what happened after and he was cool about it. “Oh yeah” he said, “we had the same problem earlier in the car park”. At first I thought; Why were they setting confetti cannons off in the pub car park? And then I thought; why the hell didn’t you come and tell me that before midnight????

Then there was the girl on the dance floor who had a dress on so short that every move she busted, it rode right up over her bum. My god this job is hard sometimes. You just have to grit your teeth and get through the night as best as you can….

Sigh….Anyway, things are filling up up nicely for 2011, though I’m determined to find out why if you type “mobile disco Sussex” into Google, I don’t appear anywhere…Try it. You’ll see.

Have a great new year and see you soon,

All the best,

Mike.

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Warm up to the big season and acknowledgements

Audio, Lifestyle

Hi all. Just to let you know I’m available again for New Years Eve due to a cancellation. Prices start at £500.00 for an amazing night out. New years eve is the best night of the year so make sure you book the best. Last year I was at The Ship Hotel in Chichester and it was wild! Enquiries are bound to come in even at this late hour so don’t um and err for long…

Reviews

Thanks to my clients this weekend for showing your love. Mel, Chris, Joelle and Dave in that order. Hope to see you all again soon and thanks for the great reviews.

Hello to Andy. Nice talking with you today. Hope it all works out this year and next.

TV

My tip for Christmas TV. Most of you out there have posh new HD ready TV’s in your front room right? I bet you have at least one laptop with an HDMI connection. Well if you do, Get yourself an extra cable so when the awful TV comes on you can run your TV catch up sites through your big screen TV and watch all the best of what you didn’t have time to watch before. If you havent got an HDMI connection from your PC there may well be other ways so check it out, as most new TV’s have a multitude of connections that could potentially come from a PC such as VGA although this may or may not give you HI-Definition. Mind you even here in Worthing, I would struggle to get the bandwidth needed for that!  If you need extra long cables try going to leads direct in Seaford. You can order from their site. Also there is lots of classic comedy to be viewed on youtube from days gone by as you may have realised either from previous blogs or just surfing on your own. So there you have it. You don’t have to watch Only Fools And Horses (good as it is and was) or some lousy American Santaclause movie for the 600th time. Good luck!

Decorations

Ok well if you haven’t got your decorations up yet, why not? Come on you muppet! Get into the spirit of it all. I’m ordering you to do so! I mean we might even have snow at Christmas and then what are you going to look like eh? Just immagine if you were driving down the road and every single house actually had lights up in the front room etc. AND it snowed at the same time? I’d have to go out and take pictures then would’nt you?

Last word

Alright that’s enough bossiness. Have a great Christmas and New Year if I don’t blog before then, which at my current frequency is highly possible. Well I’m afraid I’m one of those people who only blog when they’ve actually got something to say. Commercial suicide I know, but there you are…

Take care,

Mike.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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