Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Well my stay in Sydney all week was pretty uneventful. I met up with Jono Fernandez (an occasional LOT49 recording artist) a couple of times to swap some tracks; had dinner with Dopamine and friends, but nothing as rock and roll as the weekend’s shenanigans.
One thing I did while I was in town was go to the ITM top 50 with my Ozzy agent Sam on Wednesday, which is a bit like the DJmag top 100, but tighter jeans, leg warmers, scarves, and ‘FREE’ drink, so actually … No….. now I think of it, it’s nothing like djmag Top100! It was worth going though, as a good friend of mine, Micah, won best DJ for Western Australia (he also played Ambar the Friday just gone). He’s a great DJ, decent guy and well deserved in my humble opinion - no one else who plays remotely genre-defying sets got a look in which was a shame. It seems this poll is very fashion lead when it comes to domestic DJ’s, and the international section was won by Tiesto (so well done him … ).
Anyhow Melbourne …………
Right, what I’m about to tell you, even by my own useless standards is shocking. I’ve been having lots of sleeping problems so I thought it best I set my alarm clock in my hotel room, and my phone, and I also requested a wake up call to make sure I got up at 6am for my early morning flight. Well I couldn’t sleep as per normal, tossing and turning. I rolled over and noticed it was 5.15am so I decided to get up have a shower, get my shit together, checked out, grabbed a cab and off to the airport. On arrival, and to my absolute horror, i looked at the board in the airport to see 4.28AM. I have no idea how I did not notice the time on my mobile phone, but I managed to get to the airport 4hrs early for a domestic flight, I must have changed the clock in my room by mistake and forwarded it by two hours. The word ‘plank’ sprang to mind!
Anyhow back to Melbourne. The last few years I’ve played Brown Alley in Melbourne with the Darkbeat crew, so this year we decided to do a new place called Miss Libertine. It’s a great space - an old converted Victorian house – and I popped in there in the afternoon for lunch to check it out, then on to Kiss FM for a little mix and a chat, then off to bed & I pretty much slept till I had to play.
When I arrived at the the club Dopamine was playing some twisted techno. He had the crowd moving comfortably, although he didn’t look so well to be honest, so he left for an early night at about 1.30am (probably for the best as he’s definitely a bad influence on me and I had to go to Adelaide on Sat). The crowd again seemed really spirits (like Sydney & Perth) and in no time we had a riot on our hands. I love it when people get vocal on the dance floor it makes for such a great atmosphere (inspires me too). I played for a couple of hours & hung around for Jamie Stevens from Infusion’s set, who played some cracking stuff. I had to stay as he forgot his headphones and used mine, but as it turned out I loved the straight edged techy stuff he was banging out.
All in all it was a great success - three great parties in a row….., although it did dawn on me afterwards, that I had agreed to do a secret gig in Melbourne next Friday (at Brown Alley for Darkbeat), and even my own saying is ‘you’re only as good as your last gig’ (in that city) so although I had a kickin’ party this Friday, I have to do it all again next Friday but on a larger scale, so I’m not out the woods just yet with the tough Melbourne crowd. Another whole week of worrying…. Great!
Well with Melbourne out the way I had the pleasure of Adelaide to look forward to. My only experience of Adelaide was one great party and one shockingly bad one when the air con broke down in the venue the night before (it was like DJing in a Turkish bath).
I was picked up and taken straight to the venue, it was a run down pub called Electric Light Hotel on the outskirts of town in need of some real attention. The sound guy turned round and said ‘oh you use cd’s’ we only have these old 1000’s mk 1’s (that were completely trashed), and the mixer was a Pioneer 500. He kind of gave me that ‘I know mate - I just work in this shit hole’ look. The sound system was about half the size of the monitoring system at Miss Libertine the night before.
I had been offered a room a with a shared bathroom) above the pub, so I opted to go and check into a hotel. At about 1am I got a call from the promoter who said ‘you’re on at 1.30am … I will grab you at 1.15am …. can you stick to R&B and the commercial end of dance music please’ (!). Before I had chance to say anything he hung up.
The thing is I get nervous about playing music that people come to hear me play and this added a new dimension to my fears. I sat outside the hotel and the guy picked me up 45 mins late at around 2am with two absolute bruisers. [It gets better] I was informed we were celebrating one of their mates ‘freedom’ and they couldn’t wait to hear me play …… that was the moment that I wished I was an R&B DJ with an arsenal of commercial house in the bag. We arrived at the pub and I’m thinking to myself , is there ever going to be a right moment to break it to these guys I’m not ‘the man’, or should I just duck into the toilets, climb out the window and run away!
I walked into the room and at best there were 20 people standing around with a big screen TV showing the Australian football highlights …. Writing this out now I couldn’t make this up if I tried, so I turned to the promoter and said can I have a word out side. I told him (in a begging way) that I felt I might not work so well and what I play may not appeal to his crowd, he responded with “oh, ok” and to my amazement I was off the hook (with my limbs still attached). I had a drink with the ‘free man’ who was celebrating by giving people dead arms (yes….i said Dead Arms!) , wished them all the best headed back to the hotel, grabbed my stuff and got the first flight I could get on out of Adelaide.
As a sat in my plush Melbourne hotel café eating a world-class cooked English breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, toast, the whole bit….) I could hardly believe the previous 12 hrs ….