I've Gone Shuffling Mad

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I've Gone Shuffling Mad

The last 48 hours have been a bit mental. I couldn’t have picked a more stupid time to release another of my most popular blogs, for one reason or another I’ve been flat-out busy ever since.
My Deep House is the new UKG blog got quite a bit of attention. I feel I got the message across of what I was trying to say, I wish I would have linked back to this blog I made last August, people who cared to read that also would have probably understood what I was saying a little better. Never once have I said Deep House is shit, never once have I said I don’t like UKG.. the long and short of my comments were aimed at people who have jumped on this deep house bandwagon and claim to love it and all it encompasses… when they don’t.
Now if you go back and read either of those blogs again, it is very apparent I am talking about a mainstream crowd, not the underground, but your typical Saturday night bar or club where the majority of people don’t know who the DJ is, they just go because they think it’s the place to be. During some of the discussions the word “shuffling” came up with some negative comments towards it.
I was aware of Shuffling from my tours of Australia, where many younger clubbers were doing a dance called the Melbourne Shuffle, which is epitomised by LMFAO videos. 
This was frowned upon by the more seasoned house heads because it was a dance favoured by the lovers of harder music and generally people who didn’t seem to have a clue. I did a bit more research and was amazed at what I ‘unearthed’.
Now I say unearthed like that because it is clearly something which isn’t hidden and many people in the UK are more than aware of the Shuffle and the attention around it in the last few months. I’m not going to write about it all here… I really do urge you to read this article which seems to be one of the most informative I have come across. Go and read that before you continue here…
Ok, so my findings have sent my mind into overdrive, because tbh I am not sure which side of the fence I stand in regards to a lot of the things I am reading. I would love clarification on this please.
The shufflers are being hated on, from what I see, for a number of reasons. One of them is that they take up too much space on the floor, a ridiculous claim. Northern Soul, who many would argue is the forefather of house, had some of the most way out dancing ever !
More sinister reasons are that your typical shuffler is a ‘rude boy/girl’ who tends to bring a negative attitude to a party. This I can understand if it was as cut and dry as that.. but obviously it isn’t.
This is where I come clean. Last year when I was at a certain party in Croatia, I saw groups of girls who were, what I now know to be, shuffling. I thought it looked a pretty ludicrous dance to bring to a house party, I quite honestly thought they were a bunch of ex UKG/Bashment girls now into their house music. I thought no more of it than that.

I have now seen many of the videos on-line and am pretty surprised at some of the moves the guys are ‘cutting’ (much different to the RnB-esque sway of the ladies) because those moves could quite easily be me and my mates on the floor, either 25 years ago or next weekend if a tune grabbed me. That was what took my attention, the fact that people are generalizing clubbers from the way they dance, drawing negative connotations from it and even banning it. At the same said event last year in Croatia I must have looked like a shuffling idiot at 7am as the sun came up.. if the vibe gets me, keep out of my lanky way, that’s all I’m saying.
There is obviously a lot of snobbery involved here, and I totally understand why. For one.. if you are calling a party a ‘House Rave’, then to be honest I am going to think you haven’t got a clue. If you are lost in your own little shuffling world (and it would seem that my previous thoughts about all of these kids finding pills again are right) then more power to you and you go ahead and enjoy your buzz. If however your shuffling is a sign of your badness with your mans and a statement of being into all things house since last August, then please go and take it else where.
I think that is the problem that many of the clubs and seasoned house heads have, the fear of the bad-man element.
When I used to go out in Birmingham, there was an infamous club called ‘Wobble’, ran by an equally infamous promoter and DJ. The dress code, at one point, was

No chequered shirts. No moustaches and No boating shoes

I am being 100% serious. About 3 years ago I was in DC10 with the promoter in question.. guess what he was wearing ? Love you Phil ! Anyway, the dress code at the time was not so much about his hate for Thomas Magnum but a way of keeping out the soccer casuals who predominantly sported this look as their uniform and who weren’t really out to have a good time like the rest of the crowd. Generally it was them who ended up being the ones in the centre of any hassle if it kicked off. Fair play, no one wants trouble makers in your club, but there are ways and ways.
This problem has plagued the dance scene since it began and I have personally witnessed all the different scenes get polluted the more popular it became by a crowd who jumped on the bandwagon for all the wrong reasons. That is one of the main points I have been trying to make recently.
So back to the Shufflers. I have heard some brilliant tracks on some of the videos and I don’t have a clue what they are.. they are probably anthems within certain circuits. It’s a totally different scene.. just like the UK Funky had its own scene in London, as did Grime after I stopped playing UKG etc. I stand by my statement that I have no desire to try to infiltrate this scene but I will be checking out some of the DJS who are apparently massive on the circuit that I have never heard of before and listening to some of the tunes I know I will love but probably wouldn’t play myself. I’m never too proud to learn from others.
It would seem that this is a healthy underground scene where the dancers know who the DJs are and travel religiously to see them play, just as I myself did many years ago. I admit to jumping to conclusions and ‘feel sorry’ for some of the people who just want to go out and have a good time, fair play to them. What struck a chord with me was the apparent “For the Love of House” being banded about a lot. If it is a genuine love of house then I take my hat off to them. If I had one on. It wouldn’t be a snap back though.
Anyway, I don’t have any intellectual words to end this blog with. It’s just something else I wanted to share.
If I have got anything wrong or you feel you can add to this, then please feel free to do so. See you on the dance floor, as I always say, “I’ll meet you by the speakers”.


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