Dr Robert from NUTSMAG took some time out to talk to the wonderful London based Scene DJ Alan H
1. How and when did you get into music and what was you listening to then?
I would say I first got into music in 1979 listening to the Two Tone bands and the Jam. Saying that, there’s always been music in the family as my Dad is a Jazz musician. He plays the Trombone and he still plays today.
2. Where was your first DJ slot?
My first proper DJ set was at Le Beat Route Club in soho back in 1982. I think I stood in for Alex Gerry as he was away on his Holidays. I played a mixture of Motown and a few Northern things. I started running my own nights around this time. Think I’ve still got the home-made flyers and posters knockin’ about somewhere.
3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?
Now this is a hard one. There’s been so many: The Boiler in Barcelona is always tops, Smart Club Madrid, Euro Ye Ye… actually all the European ones are Brilliant. In the UK: The Pow Wow, No way Out, The 100 Club All-nighters and the Mousetrap, of course, I love it down there! The men from Linz for Michael Wink DJing on a boat going down the Rhine, now that was somethin’!
4. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?
No centres, terrible sound systems, one deck, Dance floor full of people off the street who are not into it and making a nuisance of themselves. Luckily that doesn’t happen too much nowadays.
5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?
Irish Greg, he was playing Helen Troy, the Crystals and stuff like that back in the late 80’s – early nineties when he was resident at the 100 Club All-nighters. Mik Parry, he’s the boss DJ. Love his 45’s and his style. Val Palmer, pure class. Niamh Lynch, she’s found so many great tunes. Chris Dale and Lee Miller, Mousetrap residents great 45’s, Mace ‘cause he’s got the Dogs and Bill Kealy ‘cause he’s got all the 45’s I want and he rocked the floor at RnB@Canal125 when he DJed for us. Theres loads more. I’ll give a shout out to Jamie Parr, Tomás and Scott who are keepin’ things going and diggin’ deep into the vast expanse of Vinyldom.
6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?
Just love pre-1966 stuff. There’s so much energy going on in that crossover from Doo-Wop into RnB and Soul… Harold Jackson – Freedom Riders, is a prime example – that 45 just explodes outta the speakers!
7. What was your best ever find/discovery?
Don’t think I can say I ever discovered anything as I’m sure everything has been played before somewhere. Little Richie – One Bo Dillion Years, I had that covered up back in 1984. No one knew it. I picked it up from Rock On records in Camden Town for a quid.
8. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?
I love Hammond tunes, so anything by Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith… but love the Hammond on soul tunes, Tina Florence – Too Much for You, Baby on Apt springs to mind. And favourite artists: Chuck Jackson, Jackie Wilson, Maxine Brown, Garnet Mimms, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, The Skatalites, Slim Smith, Jackie Opal, Techniques, Paragons, Jackie Mittoo… the list goes on and on and on!
9. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?
Used to collect Okeh 45’s. Got about 120 now.
10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?
Hip City – November 3rd @ The Britannia 20 Monument Street, London and the New Untouchables Nutty New Year. Also, the Mousetrap RnB All-nighter on 14th Jan, where I’ll be celebrating my birthday.
11. What is the record you would most like to own?
Gil Bernel – The Dogs on Bumps, please!
12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourite’s and a current top 5 spins?
All-time Top Ten
1. Maxine Brown- Let Me Give You My Loving [Wand]
2. Chuck Jackson – Hand It Over [Wand]
3. Jackie Opel – I Am What I Am [Rio]
4. Jackie Wilson – Just Be Sincere [Brunswick]
5. Carl Underwood – Ain’t You Lying [Merging]
6. Techniques – Travelling Man [Treasure Isle]
7. Jimmy Phillips – She Belongs to Me [Bumps]
8. Zenobia Bonner – All Alone [Accident]
9. Jackie Mittoo – Hot Milk [Bamboo]
10. Hal Miller – A Blessing in Disguise [Mala]
Current Top Five
1. Preston Foster – He Gave Me [Get it]
2. Hayes Cotton – Black Wings Have My Angel [Resist]
3. Bobby Bennett – Never Going to Let You Down [V-Tone]
4. Jay F. Kaye – My Bonnie [Sonata]
5. Frankie and the Demons – Man from Soul [JCP]
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