1. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?
I heard ‘White Lines’ & ‘The Message’ around 1984 aged about 9 and was into just hip hop for a few years until I saw ‘The Blues Brothers’…
2. Where was your first DJ slot?
Aged 19 I got the residency in the ‘acid jazz’ room at a big House night at ‘The Leadmill’ In Sheffield. That would be 1994.
3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?
I can only ever remember the last 5 years if that, but some nights in Glasgow stand out, as do the Boiler weekenders in Barcelona, some Pow Wows and always the Friday at Le Beat Bespoké.
4. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?
Definitely around the millennium, when 60s & vintage music in general just suddenly died in the mainstream. There were some bleak nights for a while before I gave up on it and started going to mod / R&B / soul clubs, dancing & listening instead of DJing.
5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?
Gav Arno, Mace, Callum Simpson, Alan Handscombe, Neef, Nashee, Mikey Collins, Soulful Jules, Thorsten Wenger & many others… I like DJs who might play something different or new, can play a broad range of mod-friendly styles and have an ear for a big tune before it’s big.
6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?
Probably my years playing to a mainstream audience, your selection has to have an immediate impact as they don’t generally know the music too well. But it’s the same principle anywhere – if it’s quality & catchy, it doesn’t have to be known. I’ve always liked well produced, well executed catchy records with a groove, well known or not, quality should be constant.
7. What was your best ever find/discovery?
I found Jack Hammer’s ‘Swim’ for 50p in the mid 90s and it rocked the dance for 5 years – it defined my style then. Johnathan Capree was the equivalent 10 years later. I didn’t discover it, but I certainly regard it as a good value purchase! I’ve had my share I suppose…
8. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?
When I was about 13, I got ‘Wade In The Water’ by Graham Bond at a car boot sale [The Sound Of 65 LP]. I was already listening to Booker T & The MGs, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles etc but this changed my outlook from well known, famous artists to the underworld of mean sounding obscurities – artists more concerned with underground than mainstream culture. But that 60s organ groove sound was me and still is. After that the next big things were funk, starting with ‘Urban Classics’ which I heard around 88 and then all the rhythm & blues & rhythm & soul which I started hearing in the late 90s but mostly in the incredible r&b feeding frenzy of the 00s. That more produced R&B sound, for me, was the best of everything I’d heard to that point. Charles Sheffield or Ernie Washington being perfect examples.
I don’t really get too concerned with particular artists but some of the legends are so for good reason – Ray Charles, Jerry Butler, James Brown, Howlin Wolf, Oscar Brown JR…I admire people who could make a crap song sound good. I particularly like Young Jessie actually.
9. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?
Not really, I just collect individual tracks that have the character I like. Although, I used to have a thing for 60s soundtracks in a more collecting sense, including 60s advert, spoken word & radio spots records. I’m interested in 60s culture & it used to be very cheap.
10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?
No Way Out in Feburary I think. I don’t DJ so much any more.
11. What is the record you would most like to own?
An original of The Sharks ‘You Made Me Warm’ would be nice… I can’t be playing those boots…
12. Please give us a top 10 all-time favourites and a current top 5 spins?
All-time Top Ten
1. Young Jessie – Brown Eyes
2. Oscar Brown Jr – Humdrum Blues
3. Little Joe Hinton – Let’s Start a Romance
4. Gene Toones – What More Do You Want
5. Prince Buster – Linger On
6. Lamont Dozier – Dearest One
7. Charles Sheffield – Voodoo Working
8. Freddie Houston – If I Had Known
9. Tony Middleton – And I Love Her
10.Terry Callier – Ordinary Joe
Current Top Five
1. Johnny Dee – Strange Love
2. David Del Cunte – Over & Over
3. Speedy Cal – Broomstick Rider
4. Clare Sisters – Cool Cool Cool
5. Ernie Cast – Betty Moretti
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