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It seems so long ago since my last post, the summer has been filled with the usual selection of weddings and birthdays, this is always a very busy time. In addition to this, I entered my 5th decade, I feel old typing this, I expect some of you do to.
Anyway, one of things that I have been doing is to get some resident DJ gigs, I have been hunting around, but trying to find something that fits in with the day job (in terms of the commuting distance) has been quite tricky. However, I am now working at the university of Surrey Campus in a place called Wates House in the Green room.
This venue has an amazing lighting system and the sound can be very loud. I worked over the moving in weekend and I am there every Thursday in October and November, there have been a lot of obstacles to overcome, but the management team are keen for this to be a regular thing during term time and it has given me the opportunity to get some non-commercial music, I am doing a lot of preparation for these gigs, but the work has been very much worth it.
As a result of the Thursday night regular slot, I haven’t booked in as many Live sessions of Friday, this is because I still haven’t got my Go Pro working with the iPad, (I am keen to do this as it will show a much wider viewing angle), in addition to this, I am thinking of doing these on a Sunday night as more of you would be able to tune in & it will remind of Dance Anthems on Radio 1 which always used to be on a Sunday night.
That’s all for now, more to come in December
6 months is too long for an update into DJ Chimpy and although it was a typical quiet start to the year, my first gig in January was quite a cold affair held in Mayford village hall just outside Woking. As it wasn’t a wedding, I wore shorts as usual, but I didn’t get too cold as I was on the move both for setting up and behind the decks, the event was a success and I got a number of compliments. My next instalment was held in a lovey venue next to Brixton prison and just to make things a little interesting, I tagged myself there which caused a bit of a stir “what have you done now” springs to mind. I was a little pushed for space, so I used my T stand rather than the larger one that I use, it doesn’t make too much different in terms of set up time, but it is a lot easier to dismantle when it comes to packing up and heading off home, DJ Day Q who passed me the gig received a number of good comments which as I have mentioned before is very satisfying.
I had a couple of bookings this year from Stoughton infant school, I only play for an hour, but the kids really enjoy it and I always hear lots of singing and arms waving around. Either side of this events, I have also been to Purley Walcountians Hockey Club and got a little lost on the way home plus I went to Farnborough to provide the music for TK max’s regional party who loved a good dance, it was just a shame that I had to finish at 1am, we could have gone on for a couple more hours at least.
My next event was in central London, I must admit that travelling there isn’t my favourite choice as it seems to take ages to get anywhere inside the M25, but the venue was a lovely bar overlooking the river, I even finished a stag do the night before a little earlier that I would have so that I was home in time, this was a wise move and I even got a tip after the gig, which is always pleasing.
In order to get more bookings, I have signed up to a few agencies that cover the London area and I have done a few jobs for them, one was a birthday party for in someone’s back garden where I ended up playing a lot of Jamaican music which lead to a lot of twerking and the use of the hose, even the nan got involved which was very amusing.
The weekend gone by was pretty special, firstly I had to cater for an American Pop party & although my headphones broke just before the start, they still worked and I managed to tape them up. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, as it was an all girls’ affair, I saw lots of cart wheels, I had a lovely message thanking me for my efforts.
The Saturday just gone by (24th June), I made a trip to the south coast for a birthday party in a back garden. These type of events are always my favourite as they don’t have to finish on time plus I get to use the smoke machine. I had to make some announcements in a M.A.S.H style as this was the theme of the evening. What I really liked about this was that I played music by Massive Attack, Jamiroquai & Underworld, I got a lot of good reactions from the songs, especially when I mixed in Robert Miles “Children” after Born Slippy.
It was very sad to hear of Robert Miles passing away last month, he has done a number of good songs, but will always be remembered for the classic Children & as I am now doing live sets from home, I had to include this in one of my mixes, feel free to listen to this. https://www.mixcloud.com/djchimpy/euphoria-mix/ I’ll be doing more of these and will be uploading them to sound cloud so that you can all download them for free.
My summer gig diary is looking very full and I’ll be squeezing more live Friday night sessions, starting with this week. I know you’ll be tuning in.
Welcome to 2017.
For my NYE gig, I had a woman dancing all night to some 90’s trance and rave music, how she managed to dance for the best part of 4 hours is unknown, but rather enjoyed playing some anthems, when I got back , I put on Dave Pearce doing an “all nighter” & I even got a mention on national radio.
2016 was another great year for me, I had more gigs this year than in any previous years & I am expecting 2017 to be a lot better, my long term ambition is to do this full time as I think I have quite enough of the Monday to Friday world, however, there is a lot still to do before this happens, watch this space for more details. I will be keeping a close eye on a fellow DJ who has quit his day job to do the same (good look DJ Jay Q and thanks for passing on many gigs over the last 12 months)
December was a very busy month for me and the best yet, I had the pleasure of DJing at Penny hill park for Claire & Geoff’s wedding, the event was good although it took me while to get everyone back up dancing after announcing the buffet not long after I started, but I got them back & we ended the night with some real corkers, Claire and Geoff gave me a bottle of champagne with was a very nice gesture and was very much appreciated.
The following weekend, I DJ’d for Jeremy Hunts brother (Jeremy Hunt doesn’t appear to be too popular according to google / social Media), however his brother was very welcoming and made sure I was stocked up with food and beer (I was driving so only had 3 bottles all night, this is the only downside, but is probably for the best). I loved this gig as I finally got to use my smoke machine which looks so good with the laser lights.
Later in the month, I went up to the midlands for Emily’s 21st, this was a fantastic gig in a local pub and the place was packed (until they all left to go to a night club leaving me with Matt and Christian Young who had both had a skinfull, sorry I couldn’t drop you off, but you both had too many balloons)
I also had a surprise 30th to deal with on the 17th of December, how they managed to keep it a secret was beyond me, but all the planning was a success. The venue itself was very unusual because I had to use their sound system which was suspended above the dance floor, it sounded very quiet until you stood on the dance floor, then it was very loud. What seemed strange about this gig was that there were at least 5 very heavily pregnant women present, I guess 30 a typical age where people have children, but it’s like they all went on a girls night out and made a pact!
Over the last 12 months, we have lost a number of hug influences in the world of music, David Bowie and Prince left us last year, as did George MichaeI who has provided me with some great music over the years, many remind me of the great times I have had (Holidays from the 90’s spring to mind), may they all rest in peace.
Trying to pick a favourite event is difficult, but my summer residency at the Railway was particularly enjoyable plus the fancy dress 80’s night in Farnham was very funny especially when big bird realised I was playing the them tune to sesame street as he arrived.
More from me later this year including some DJ mixes on sound cloud and some live FB session.
My plan has been to provide an update every couple of months or so, but it has been a case of “I’ll do it after the next gig”, so apologies to the regular readers of this as I must be a couple of months behind, but I have been busy with plenty of events over the first half of the year.
I took some time off in June to compete in an Ironman event in Nice, sadly I missed the cut off for an official finish time by about 20 minutes, but I did finish it & as the official record states that I was a DNF (did not finish), it means I’ll have to sign up for another one, most likely Weymouth next year.
I have kept a diary of the event which makes an interesting read, if you would like a copy, then do email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to send it over.
When I got back from France, I had an 80’s fancy dress party to cater for, Axel Rose, Slash, Big Bird, Superman, Wonder woman and Maradona were in attendance, the dance floor was packed all night and I got some very good feedback, the only downside was my attempt to join in a leaving party which ended up in me walking home in the rain and getting a parking ticket, I have been due one for a while so I can’t complain.
At the end of June, I made my return to Bramley golf club for Amanda (formally known as Mrs. G) and Michaels wedding, the day went very well & I bumped into a friend who I haven’t seen in a while, which is pleasing, I did see some impressive (but possibly embarrassing) dad dancing & the Go Pro Video time lapse came out really well, I love doing this as part of the service
In life, you need a backup plan, so that if the brown stuff hits the fan, you have something to fall back on and I certainly needed my back up plan when I did a recent end of year school prom, I go this on the back of a successful birthday party for one of the parents, but as I arrive and went to reception to make myself known, I had failed to realise my laptop bag wasn’t completely done up and as I made a sharp turn, it fell out of the bag & although the screen wasn’t cracked after I had set up, I couldn’t get it to turn on & although I was a but annoyed at the time (more expenditure), I knew this would be a good time to put into action my plan B which ended up in me using 2 USB sticks with a pre prepared play list, this is the first time I have had to do this & I am pleased that all of the times I have spent that little extra time during my preparation paid off. The irony was that the next day, the computer started up no problem, but this was if anything a good reminder….Always have a backup plan & make sure that it works.
The most recent gig I did was last night at the University of Surrey for the IT summer BBQ, this was a huge success and I handed out a few business cards too plus I have had a lot of compliments today which is rewarding. The event was for the IT staff, but as it was on campus, there were a few people enjoying the music, I even had a “hands in the air” moment when the pace (and volume) went up a notch.
The second half of the year is looking very busy, many of these are my residency at the Railway Pub in London, plus of course it is the wedding season, the next instalment will be sometime in October