As I sit in Beckie's office here in Bremen, so tired from staying up all Saturday night after the gig to make it to Stanstead and so relaxed with a change of scenery, it's hard to get in the mood for that of which I am about to rant.
Fridays gig was wild and a "chandelier swinging" experience. One or two of the wedding party blokes got a bit too drunk and nearly sent my entire lighting rig crashing to the floor, all about £1,000 worth of it. But that, as crap as this is, (and boy is it!) is just a part of the job.
No. Saturday's gig is what pissed me off. I'm not going to go into the technical workings of a a noise limiter here, as I've already covered it in another blog post. Suffice to say this one at the Brighton Hotel (Best Western) remains the most severe one I've ever dealt with. It's so hard to put on a show when you the punters are asking if you supply hearing aids help them to determin where the sound is coming from. I'm seriously considering starting a page of "venues to avoid like the plague" mainly to warn you poor happless clients before you commit to booking with such places. As I said before it's not usually the venue's fault that neighbours have moved in next door and ruined every future party until eternity; but that doesn't stop it from ruining your event now does it? If I got all the other deejays I know to help me compile a list of venues with these "evil", "party pooping" devices in then we might actually be able to be like here in Germany where no one seems to have heard about such attrocious aparatus....
It's up to you folks out there. Email me and let me know if you think this would be valuable service...OR when booking, ask the venue if they have one.
Hi all. Hope you had a nice week despite all the rain. what has happened to the summer? I don't know but at least we get randomity here. I've lived where the sun always shines and despite the jealosy when I tell people, let me tell you, for me it get's boring. I love living here (despite Gordon and the crew) and watching the changing of the seasons and all that goes with it. There's nothing quite like a cold crispy winter evening and the smell of someone's coal fire burning in the air..or the smell of the summer morning with or without a rain shower..
Anyhow, Friday nights gig was at "Wiston House" near Steyning in West Sussex. A famous old house no doubt steeped in history. I had a couple of "bedroom/just do it for a laugh" deejays wander over to have a look at my "dash board" behind the public front of the show and they were awestruck at the technology on show! You can't help feeling proud at moments like that can you? All that hard work and investment over the years hits someone square in the face and you suddenly get a reminder on the weight of what you've gone without holidays and the like to achieve.
last night's gig was a great in that the couple I was playing for (wedding couple) were older than of late so it gave me a chance to play some old skool disco for a change. These days when I do a wedding gig, of which I do a lot these days, I play for a lot of younger folks while the older folks don't seem to want to get involved in the dancing part of the evening. It never used to be that way. My mate Ian says that fans of nineties piano house and the like are getting married these days and he's been waiting for this time for all his career! Good for him. I love that too but I don't seem to get as much opportunity to play it as he does. I seem to be playing nothing but "Boom boom pow" and "Bonkers" and "Wearing my rolex" and other heavy bass rap type grooves these days. Oh well, It beats "Come on eileen" and the "Macerina" for me. One thing that spoiled the gig for me was that at the Landsdowne as at other various venues was an evil box in the corner called a "noise limiter". It's not so much the hotel's fault these things have to be installed (although sound proofing would go a long way), but nearly always the local residents who nearly always move there after the hotel was doing ok for many years
beforehand and seem to be able to get the full weight of the council behind them on getting these draconian devices installed.
Some past deejays have to take the blame for having cheap over loud and destorted systems that blew everyone's ear drums out and invoked this horror in the first place, but not always. Sometimes the neighbours just didn't have all the info before parting with hundreds of thousands of pounds of the bank's/government's/tax payer's/their own money. What happens with these devices is that if you have any bass at all - that's the low frequency stuff that makes you want to move youre feet; it cuts the power to your super expensive computerised system causing as mentioned in last blog, my laptop to go mental mental, chicken oriental. So what do you do? I'll tell you what you do: You go over to laptop deejaying on vertual auto-pilot whilst you spend all night watching the l.e.d. diode box on the wall with one hand on your bass knob (insert pun here) on your mixing desk. Occasionally you quickly turn it up to it's normal "unity" - meaning neutral level just to tease your self and remind your self what it would sound like at a normal non suppressive gig, though not for more than a couple of seconds, lest the dreaded black box circuit breaker do it's cold unemotional deed.
I just think it's great testimony to people in general that they still make the best of bad situation and have a good time anyway. I suffer more because I want to give the best show I can and find my self stymied/cut short/suppressed/choose your own adjective at it all. The only upside is that thankfully these things are relatively rare. If you're a customer reading this, ask the hotel or even me if the venue has one before booking. You'll have a show with much more impact if you avoid venues like this. There. Did you spot that? I've just started a crusade! We'll sort it out. "Bookings go down for noise limited hotels" Good job too I say!
Hi all, I usually put my blog up on Sunday but i must confess to having met a lovely lady online and have been spending hours and hours every night chatting away on Skype with the webcam giving us a view into each others lives. I love Skype. It's no different to windows messenger except that if your friend in another country has a Mac type of 'puter then apart from calling them "flash" you soon realise that they cannot get a recent enough version of messenger to incorporate video. Nice one Microsoft (sarcastic thumbs up with cheesy grin), enter Skype. You can even leave a comment on the call quality if you really want to but I never do as most of the responsibility lies with the quality of the phone line owners themselves and how much nice clean fibre optic cable you are talking through. Also if like me you fancy who you are talking to, you can take their picture at any time and save it for when you can't see them. Of course it saves a fortune on phone calls as it's all free. A four hour call to Germany would cost me about a hundred quid on my mobile so it's quite a saving really.
Enough promoting other companies services!
I have by sheer accident discovered how to make a text file of my entire music catalogue to date and have of course immediately put it up on the site. You can get to it via the link page or just go to any of the main pages where the word "catalogue" is highlighted. I'll try and make the database easier to search in the future but for now just scroll down and find each artist or band or lame excuse for an act in alphabetical order, much like you would in a karaoke menu.
I did my second ever Bat Mitzva on Saturday night and I'm still not totally familiar with how they are supposed to work as this one was "non traditional". The party was upstairs at the Brunswick in Hove and i would like you to imagine if you will: Having a large heavy duty show to get out of the back of a van, up a driveway with out being able to reverse up it, into a back door, up a double flight of stairs, round a corner, down a short corridor and into a large bedroom. Even though I hired a roady in the shape of a teenage girl who was looking to earn some cash for college, I have still never sweated so much in many many gigs!
Alas, Lovely and helpful as the friend was, she unfortunately tripped over the wire to my cooling fan and knocked it to the floor, ending it's current working life in a moment. The time for this to happen is not at a time when you are so in need of a fresh breeze!
I had to commandeer the services of my Hard drive cooling fan for the night but as my hard drive then became hot enough to fry eggs on, I had to share it with the hard drive. I must have looked strange with my head pointing up under the console half the night.
the most memorable morsel of the night was the lady who booked the party commenting on how great my lazors looked, throwing shapes as they do when I turn them on - usually to the more electro sounding tracks. only memorable because in about 4 months of using them, nobody else has said a word. I mean last week I was in a big white hall with an atrium and had them pointing up at it in the dark. It was something akin to a pink floyd concert (but more up to date) so you'd have thought some one would have said SOMETHING?
Oh well, even though her husband used to "do them for all the raves in the 90's" at least my day had sort of come...