I definitely notched up some air miles this weekend, shame they were all on the budget airlines.
My trip started out on Friday morning. I drove to Alicante airport’s shiny new terminal bright and early and headed to London Stanstead where I had a 6 hour wait for my next flight. Seems an odd combination but when you are a meagre C list DJ like myself, saving the pennies on travel costs is a big factor on your final fee ! I arrived in Riga, Latvia some 12 hours after my journey started and was able to get an hour or so rest in my hotel before the gig. I used my time wisely and watched the UK Top 40 on MTV, there are some decent kind of tunes with an uptempo beat and nice melodies, I guess it’s just all those kind of records have come to represent what makes ‘us’ despise them so much. Prime example is the David Guetta tune with Snoop Dog that samples the old “Don’t you want my loving”, didn’t we used to love that song when it first came out ? On this topic, I was surprised to see an advert for “Euphoric R & B anthems”, which is basically this hybrid of rap and dance music.. I bet the already tormented DJs out there are going to love the future requests for “got any euphoric R&B mate?”
So, back to the matter at hand. My gig was at a new venue called “Club Kino.” Unfortunately, it never really got going with a very poor turnout, so there isn’t really much I can tell you about this except I played for 2 hours to about 10 people.
One interesting thing to come out of the whole night was the after party for a local Salsa Festival that turned up just as I was about to leave and the club shut (the music was off and the lights on, at this stage.) Cue around 70 people excitedly piling onto the dance floor while their own DJ played….. yes, you guessed it…. some Euphoric R&B !! WTF !? I couldn’t contain myself. I went up to the DJ and barked “get this shit off and play some Hector Lavoe!” In his defence, he did then change up and come with some traditional salsa to which the crowd cheered and got their twirl on, but he was obviously a wanna be big time, fist-punching DJ, so he went back to playing shite and cleared the floor again. I shook my head, went back to my hotel bed and grumbled myself to sleep.
Saturday morning and I had the chance to explore a bit of Riga before heading to the bus station which would see me onto a coach to Parnu, Estonia. A nice journey with power sockets on board and free Wi-Fi… it’s the future ! I arrived in Parnu where I was met by DJ Widenski. After a nice catch up we made our way to Viljandi for Hype the Funk.
A lakeside “beach party” for a very small town, usually it is in a club that has been running for some time, and this was set to be their biggest event to date. The crowd was quite young, but were encouragingly enjoying the energetic, yet soulful/funky beats thrown down by the two warm up DJs. After a great set by Widenski who kept them bubbling nicely with his disco laced house, it was time for me to take to the stage.
You can always trust a nice bit of Ron Carroll acapella to get the crowd hyped, and that accompanied by a driving remix of “Voodoo Ray” and we were off. The next two hours flew by as I was able to do what I do best, taking the crowd from right to left, up and down with some hands-in-the-air madness alongside some cooler grooves to add a bit of dynamics into the mix. Always building to the obligatory “Strings of Life” moment (despite still loving that track, I try not to play it unless I am specifically asked for it by the promoter), as soon as it hit the place went wild. Never fails ! To put into perspective how much fun I had… I only drank a half a (pint) glass of vodka/tonic.. I was too busy to take a sip. Which fortunately means that this morning, despite being totally exhausted from the whole weekend, I still don’t feel as bad as some Monday mornings I’ve had along the way.
I have to commend the people behind this party, crowd/DJs and promoters who all contributed to creating something rather quite rare in this day and age (well from what I can see anyway.) A very young crowd enjoying proper house music. It was refreshing, to say the least. Despite it being awesome I never managed to get any photos or video, but I will have some to share with you in the next few days from the official photographs and Widenski’s phone.
I forgot to mention the mosquitoes. Oh man, I’ve never been so harassed in all my life. Today I have these mad bites all over me. You should the ones off the mosquitoes too ! (Boom-Tish !)
From a rather disappointing start to the best it could get, the weekend ended on a high. Well, apart from the 3 hours or so I had to sit in Liverpool airport on another weird and wonderful journey home via Estonia-Liverpool-Alicante.
Whilst on my journey back, my mind turned to this weekend’s fun for my Birthday party in Birmingham. I am not really one to go over board for my Birthday so I feel I have under-played just how amazing this is going to be. All of my friends together in one place, some I haven’t seen in a long, long time, partying to some defining music from our lifetime. If you are making the effort I will most definitely see you there although I doubt, come next Monday morning, I will be in the same kind of high spirits or be able to recollect anywhere near as much information !