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Saturday, 28 February 2009

Young Offenders' Institute - February

Another excellent YOI last night. I managed to bag the last slot for DJing so upped my game a bit from last month's low-key opening slot. Also had quite a few friends there too (including My Wife), so made sure I got it right. Feedback says I did, which was nice.

It was funny last month though because in the early slot (7-8pm) there's a recognised comfort about it, and the place isn't busy so everyone who DJs that slot feels a little more relaxed and able to play what they like, within reason i.e. the emphasis isn't on getting people to dance a little bit, like it is later (though at YOI the emphasis is always on the table tennis, not so much the music). So as part of this relaxed vibe, I decided to throw in Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill, and frankly, have been the butt of jokes and/or outright criticism from the organisers and other DJs since then. All very jovial, but still, I thought it was bit rich just because they personally didn't like that song.

So anyway, I was maybe a bit more conscious of feedback last night than normal, and had an interesting conversation with Dan, one of the guys who runs it, after my set. I told him that I nearly played 2Unlimited's No Limit, and he said in no uncertain terms that he'd have walked out if that had happened. He then proceeded to actually shake my hand for playing Betty Boo's Where Are You Baby? I mean, go figure. It just shows what a thin line it is between what's considered cool and what isn't. My conclusion is that there's no accounting for taste and seeing as, as a DJ, you can't predict what people will like, sometimes it's just not worth worrying about. Course, that's much easier said than done.

So what did I play? The list's below as usual, and I got specific props from the crowd about Boys Don't Cry ("can you play that again?"), Talk Like Sex ("top tune but don't let the women hear the lyrics"!!?!) and Witness ("is this Pitman?" "No"). Here it is...

Aerosmith - Back In The Saddle
Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls
Blondie - Call Me
The Cure - Boys Don't Cry
Friendly Fires - In The Hospital
Beck - Mixed Bizness
The Beat - Tears Of A Clown
The Breeders - Cannonball
Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus
The Harmonettes - Shame Shame Shame
Sly & The Family Stone - Dance To The Music
The Mohawks - The Champ
Estelle feat Kanye West - American Boy (Muddy Skank Riddim remix)
Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope)
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Talk Like Sex
Jay-Z - Kingdom Come
Spank Rock - Touch Me
LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
The Rapture - Get Myself Into It
Betty Boo - Where Are You Baby?
John Barry - Midnight Cowboy


Dan said...

First things first: Where are you Baby? into Midnight Cowboy has gone straight in at number one on my personal list of best ever closing segues at the YOI. Absolutely euphoric.

Let me also try to explain why a line exists between Betty Boo and 2Unlimited - in my world at least. In that world, No Limits sits in the most dreaded of all musical categories (it's not really a genre, I guess): cheese. I think because I've heard it at weddings and seen the piss taken out of it on cheap talking head TV shows. It's one of those songs that I think became a byword for naffness (though why this association attaches itself to some tracks and not others is interesting - I suspect overexposure/overfamiliarity has a huge amount to do with it). Betty Boo on the other hand was pretty cheap and cheerful pop at the time but I think that genre has dated far less badly than the techno-lite-dance-pop of 2unlimited's ilk. Actually, I'll be honest - the bottom line's this: I'd rather listen to something that conjures the image of Alison Clarkson in a catsuit than that slightly podgy Dutch bird in a lycra unitard. Does that make me a bad person?

MRW said...

I was already to take up the debating baton with you (even though your arguments are fair at worst, and compelling at best), but then your catsuit point is really the clincher that makes me see things your way.

Were you in your school debating class? Was it called something like the Wellington Club? The Huffington Society? The Darlington Debaters?