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Friday, 8 May 2009

Book Slam

Thanks a lot to Book Slam for welcoming me with opening arms to my first official 'gig' for them last night.

After DJing at their Camden Crawl afternoon at the Jazz Cafe, I must have got something right and was invited to DJ last night as their regular guy wasn't available.

It's such a fun night - the performers are always compelling and the vibe is distinctly relaxed and friendly, which you can't always say about every London club night.

Scroobius Pip was on fine form as usual last night, and Tim Clare was reading from his excellent sounding upcoming book, We Can't All Be Astronauts. Kenny, the host, was a great gentleman and may have convinced me finally to get a tattoo. The live band was The Safires and they had something about them, with vocals that had a touch of the Tracy Chapman about them, and a solid trio of musicians which included a guy providing percussion solely through his mouth - sounds gimmicky on paper, but honestly, they were good.

Between performances I played a relatively safe set, it being my first time and all, and so these all made it on the decks (not in this order)...

The Spencer Davis Group - I'm A Man
Toots & The Maytals - Pressure Drop
Aretha Franklin - The Weight
The Commodores - Machine Gun
Dilated Peoples - Work The Angles
Prince - Alphabet Street
Beck - Black Tambourine
Rodriguez - Establishment Blues
Jay-Z - Lucifer
Beastie Boys - Professor Booty
EPMD - I'm Housin
The Harmonettes - Shame Shame Shame
Dangerdoom - Old School feat Talib Kweli
The Mohawks - The Champ
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
Link Wray - Juke Box Mama
The Standells - Dirty Water
Bo Diddley - Nursery Rhyme
Sly & The Family Stone - Everyday People
Idris Muhammad - Super Bad
Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
The Roots - Don't Feel Right
Shinehead - Billy Jean
Fleetwood Mac - Oh Well Part 1
Tenor Saw - Pumpkin Belly
Ini Kamoze - World A Music

The whole evening was loosely themed around festivals, and so Bestival founder and Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank was there to plug his new book, Rob Da Bank's A-Z Of Festivals, and to play a set after the performers which took his book title as its lead. I was chatting to him and I'm proud to say he used my ipod for a couple of tracks that came to him after he'd packed his CDs, and roughly speaking this is who he played (didn't have time to scribble down all the exact tracks, so we'll have to make do with just the artists).

Aphex Twin
Beastie Boys
Daft Punk
Echo and the Bunnymen
Flaming Lips
Gogol Bordello
Hot Chip
The Jam
Jimi Hendrix
The Kinks
Led Zeppelin
The Pixies
Primal Scream
Rage Against The Machine
The Specials
The Undertones
White Stripes
Sex Pistols (because it had an 'x' in it)

He didn't quite get to Z but it was sterling set that got the crowd moving.

And the very final track of the evening was something that I'll write a bit more about when I get hold of it on MP3. By a guy called MC Nobody, I think, who may or may not be quite a well known UK MC, and it was like a drum n bass-y, grimey take on the hymn Jerusalem. It sounds like a head-scratcher but by that time I'd had enough beers and too little food to care, so to my ears I thought it was fricking brilliant. It was written to tie in with a forthcoming book by Book Slam founder and all round great man, Patrick Neate, again more of which when I know more.

A brilliant night all in - one that wasn't even tainted by going on to a rubbish bar in Soho that had possibly the most wasted, most useless, most annoying DJ I've ever heard. The show tunes and obscure rave and pop b-sides might just have been stomachable in a daft kind of a way if the twat hadn't been fading them out at his will and then taking thirty seconds to start the next shit tune.

Still, like I say, last night was all about Book Slam, so I hope to see you down there soon.

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