Lying here on my hotel bed, I have a proper bad head. All self inflicted of course. What a DUTTY weekend !
It all started Saturday morning as we rose bright and early to give Mikey his birthday present. We got him a Kinect for the Xbox.. what a wicked little device.. I look forward to playing that over the next few days. I flew into Stanstead on the afternoon where I was collected by Mr Ian Dadds in a rather fat ride. After a spot of lunch we went to his lovely home where we chatted about all and sundry before watching the Manchester City/United game at Wembley. Paul Scholes you dirty Bastard !
After a nice chilled afternoon we were all set for the big night… The Beat Players hosting the first London reunion for The Vocal Booth.
Arriving at East Village I was very impressed with the venue. A nice big open bar area upstairs and a basement style room downstairs, actually probably due to the fact it was the basement, you div ! After asking people to get down nice and early, it was great to see people heeding my request and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with all The Family. There was a definite air of anticipation of the night ahead, and indeed for the main event in Spain in September. Shaun Samuel was playing some great grooves upstairs as Neil Pierce began at 10pm downstairs. Before the event Neil had stated that people rarely turn up before midnight in the basement, well I guess we’ll never know if it was down to the fact it was a Saturday night as opposed to a normal Friday or the added intensity of the joint event, but it was packed in the room by a quarter to twelve and we knew it was going to be a BIG night. Neil played a great set and had the floor swaying in unison as Phil Asher took over and did what he does best. Throughout the night I paced myself with bottle after bottle of beer as opposed to my good friend Mr Vodka. I liked the beer vibe, it kept me at a reasonable level of excitement and in total control. Anyway, back to the music.
All night was tune after tune of nothing but sheer bliss, the programming flowed well and the crowd were just as important as the DJs, I feel. We were all allowed to do whatever we wanted and they followed every step of the way. I really loved my set. I purposely played quite mellow to begin with, I felt I could and it worked from what I saw. There were moments of hype and madness, at one point I dropped Bam Bam’s “Give it to me”, the room exploded. Mental ! You will be pleased to know the whole night was captured in glorious stereo and I will be sharing the sets very soon on the Vocal Booth Weekender website. A mention must go out to Richie Barthez too who rocked it with a classic Disco set up in the bar.
We finished at 3.30am and moved onto Raduno for the after party. That was in full swing but being mindful of a long drive back to Birmingham, I made a shaper exit some time around 4.30am.
My good buddy and the winner of last year’s “Clash of the Titans”, Mr Comarsh, was my driver back to Birmingham. A bacon sandwich and glass of milk was my early morning snack before I finally got my head down around 8am.
After spending some time with his lovely family in their beautiful home, Andy took me to Coventry where I was ready for round two. What Would Jesus Do? is a great party that kicked off this weekend at a great venue, Earlsden Cottage. I have played for Stuart Talbot before at Carey’s, but this outdoor event was a totally different vibe. It was good to catch up with some familiar faces and once again hear Steve Young playing some cracking soulful grooves as the crowds piled in. The people were a cross between the cast of “The Only was is Essex”, “Hollyoaks” and “One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest”. A very glamourous crowd, I was reminded of my own Sunday raving days and it was very evident that the spirit of those days lives on. Mash up united ! I took to the decks after a great set by The Logistix and proceeded to play an hour of UKG. I purposely didn’t bring any of the more obvious selections and enjoyed my set again, and while the crowd were rocking throughout, I did get the impression they wanted more of an anthems set. After I finished myself and Mr Vodka got re acquainted and the day was a raving success. I finished off playing the final hour in the main room, accompanied by Mr Ash Sheehan on percussion and trumpet/beatbox/microphone. That man is a proper hype machine and he helped me thru as I finished off with a bang.
Monday morning and I’m looking forward to getting back home later tonight. The diary is empty now for a few weeks so I can concentrate on plans for my terrace, burying electric and irrigation cables and building some plant beds and seating areas. Tomorrow, Tuesday 19th, I begin a trial of the Vocal Booth Australia show, playing the same grooves but to a different live audience. Join me at 11.30 am GMT, 8.30 pm Aus time, on Pressure Radio.
Thanks to everyone I saw along the way and to Ian and Andy for driving and welcoming me into their homes and the great company.
The way I feel today I think it is the end of a long, happy relationship. I’m sorry to do it so publicly, but Mr Vodka I have to leave you for another. I have found someone who is kinder to me, who is better for me and who doesn’t leave me in pain for days on end. Please understand.. it isn’t you, it’s me. Me and Mr Beer are going to be happy for some time now. It’s been emotional !