This weekend I was in Dublin 22nd February and Blackburn 23rd February for my first gigs of 2019 after having to take some time off after my recent total knee replacement surgery at the start of January. Understandably I was eager to get back on the decks and approached these shows with much excitement and anticipation.
First up I was in Dublin for my first ever Long Live House club night at Yamamori Tengu. I was approached by old friend and fellow DJ Dean Sherry from radio station Phever about coming to play at this intimate venue just a few weeks ago and I jumped at the chance. We decided that it would be perfect for my first ever Long Live House club night, named after my recent compilation album release. The compilation album, which came out in December, is the first in a series of releases which will feature overlooked and forgotten club tunes from the last thirty years or so. While I’ve been recovering from my surgery I decided that I wanted to turn the Long Live House brand into occasional club nights where I’d play an extended DJ set of tunes from the past three decades. I absolutely love playing in Dublin so launching the Long Live House club night concept there in an intimate venue with a kicking sound system seemed like a great idea… and it was. Two hundred up-for-it Irish clubbers filled the room from 9pm while Dean Sherry and Steff Fagan warmed up the crowd wonderfully with a superb selection of grooves before I took to the decks just before midnight. The response from the energetic crowd was amazing as I played tunes from the past, present and future right up until 3am when we had to finish (although I’m pretty sure we could all have continued for longer). A massive thank you to everyone who came along for the craic and for your love and support. A special thank you too to Dean Sherry and friends for their help, support and hospitality looking after me and ferrying me around while on a crutch (especially when popping in to the Phever studios to take part in the monthly Shooting Gallery show). I hope to see you all again soon.
Listen to my DJ set from Dublin by clicking the Music link on my homepage.
The following night I was at the wonderful King George’s Hall in Blackburn for Bez and Rowetta’s On The 6th Day… club night which celebrates all things Manchester. Bez and Rowetta performed live and K-klass were also on the bill. I was asked to come and play some “classic Haçienda tunes” and to open the night. I actually really enjoy opening club nights, which is something that rarely happens. I get a real buzz starting the night to a room of just handful of people that quickly fills up (which is what I used to do week in, week out at The Garage in Nottingham, The Leadmill in Sheffield, The Fan Club in Leicester and occasionally at The Haçienda too back in the 1980s). I love feeling the atmosphere build and being able to play in a different way than usual. I get to build the vibe up from nothing (rather than take over from someone else who’s built a different vibe). As a result I decided to play a set of deeper and more obscure tunes that were big at the Haçienda and after fifteen minutes or so the room was very busy and the crowd were going for it. The place was jumping by the time I finished before I handed over to Bez and his DJ son Arlo, who kept the vibe going but with some big indie tunes rather than the acid house journey I’d just taken. I just had time to catch up backstage with Rowetta before sneaking off into the night, crutch in hand, and back home early.
Listen to my DJ set from Blackburn by clicking the Music link on my homepage.
I have to admit that although my total knee replacement surgery recovery is going better than expected (both my consultant and physiotherapist have told me that my recovery is the best they’ve ever seen), my trips to Dublin and Blackburn (with my consultant’s approval and blessing) were a bit more challenging than expected and Sunday and Monday have been spent totally relaxing (and stretching) after not sleeping very well due to some discomfort and pain. Still, I have a couple of weekends off now and fully expect to be almost back to normal for my next gigs in Jersey 15th March and Kirkcaldy 16th March.
Full details of all of my forthcoming dates can be found under Gigs on my homepage.
Buy my Long Live House album on vinyl or CD from the Store link on my homepage.
Finally, in my alternative role as a Senior Lecturer in Creative Media Technology in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, I’m really looking forward to returning to work (with my crutch) the first week of March. It’s actually boring spending weeks at home recovering, but I’m raring to go now.