Tag Archives: Palookaville

Rant and Rave

9 Apr

It’s over a week now since my DJ debut at Palookaville. It was such a big night (and a busy work week after that) that only now – after a couple of very lazy food-fuelled Easter days off – am I getting a chance to reflect on it properly.

It really was something else. My set started off a little shaky – the decks on the night were a bit different to the ones I’d been learning on & just as the doors were due to open, I managed to completely kill the sound as I was queuing up my second track. After a mini meltdown, I was back on track (literally) as the throngs started to filter into the Oh Yeah Music Centre. The club was full and sold-out in a record 20 minutes. With the Faithful Palook crowd suitably limbered up and ready to party, I had to think on my feet a little & mix things up with my track selection.

Whilst I’d agonised over my set list for weeks and thought I had it pretty much confirmed in my head, there’s nothing quite like the pressure of 300 faces in front of you to make you think fast and change things around if it’s not creating the right vibe. And it seemed to work – 30 minutes in, there was a full dance floor & people were (shock, horror) dancing. It really was quite unlike any other feeling I’ve ever felt before – and such a buzz.

Here’s a taster of what I played in roughly the right order:

She’s in Fashion, Suede
This Charming Man, The Smiths
No Diggity, Klaxons
Sexy Motherfucker, Prince
Down in Mexico, The Coasters
Don’t Play No Game You Can’t Win (feat. Santigold), Beastie Boys
Used to Love You, John Legend
Power, Kanye West
Shutterbug, Big Boi,
Money (That’s What I Want), Barrett Strong
Gold on The Ceiling, The Black Keys
Señorita, Justin Timberlake
Toxic, Mark Ronson
Happy Slap, Ashok
I Touch Myself, Divynls (blame my friend, Lois for this one)
One Way or Another, Blondie
Kiss, Prince

I pretty much just played tunes I like to listen to/dance to & it was amazing to see people dancing to the tunes I’d chosen.

At the end of my set my mentor, teacher & all-round great guy, Joe Lindsay & fellow Palookaville DJ/mastermind, Kenny Mathieson appeared behind me and started dancing with two 6ft inflatable T-Rexs, prompting the crowd to start clapping. In that moment, I honestly felt like a superstar DJ (the medicinal vodka may have aided this feeling) – it was utterly surreal. But amazing. I must say a very public thank you to Joe for all of his support, help & for giving me the opportunity to play at his club. Hopefully he’ll have me back someday.

Which leads me on nicely to tonight’s adventure. Having gotten the taste for life as a DJ, tonight I’m off for my first experience of mega Belfast club night, Shine where legendary international techno/house DJ, Carl Cox is heading up the bill.

I’m not a big raver. I couldn’t tell you the last time I was in a club that was’t playing some variation of the types of tunes I played myself last weekend. That said, I’m intrigued & think it’ll be amazing to see DJs that tour the world in action right here in Belfast.

I’ve been told by many that going to a Shine party is right of passage. And seeing as I’ve lived here for six years now and have never been, I think it’s about time I ticked this one off my list. Now, where’s my glow sticks?

P.s. here’s a pic of my serious concentration of the beginning of my set last weekend. The pictures from the end are better left alone. Sorry about the T-Rex, Joe…

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D[J]-Day Has Arrived

31 Mar

It seems like yesterday that DJ supremo, Joe Lindsay challenged me to take on life as a DJ for one of my 29 Lives. A couple of months on and several lessons later, the day of my DJ debut has finally arrived. Tonight Matthew, I will be DJ NotBadForaGirlLike.

I’m a little nervy. But excited too. Under Joe’s watchful eye, I’ve already played two half hour sets in front of actual real live people. But tonight’s a different animal.

I might just be playing the first hour but having frequented Joe’s Palookaville parties at the Oh Yeah Music Centre over the last few years, I know how quickly it fills up (the last club night sold out within 35 minutes of doors opening-so get down early if you want to get in).

I’m pretty confident with my track selection [still needs a tiny bit of fine tuning but I’m getting there], so hopefully it’ll all be alright on the night. I’ll post my set list tomorrow but suffice to say it’s in line with Palookaville’s friendly-funky-c’mon down to the coolest house party ever vibe.

This particular challenge has been one of my favourite to date and there’s been a few happy offshoots to it too. I’ve discovered new music; learned to listen to music in a different way; and met new people that have resulted in a lot of seriously fun times of late. I might have fallen behind with some of my challenges recently but this one really has opened up a whole new world for me & really, that’s what this blog is all about.

I just want to publicly thank Joe and also my music benefactor (you know who you are) for all their support and faith in me. ‘You’re just playing tunes you like; no one is going to die,’ is the mantra I’m taking with me when I get on stage tonight.

Now, Let’s Face The Music and DANCE.

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