Bicknells Bits and Bobs - 17 Nov 03
Freelance DJs. Im Your Puppet! I Dont Think So!!!!!!!!
Sometimes I think our scene is set in Westminster rather than in venues up and down the country, firstly I wish we could leave politics to Tony Blair and Co but no it keeps on coming and its simply not on. Its been suggested to me recently that Im disloyal when it comes to DJing for certain venues which is total bollocks, now note this.... Im a freelance DJ who works for who I want when I want of course when Im kindly asked of course!!!!!! Im not a puppet where someone else pulls the strings or worse has his hand up my arse, its funny but those who shout loudest often pay peanuts so dont tell me what I can and cant do please its fucking insulting, and if you dont wish to book me then thats your choice and I respect that, still the only people who lose out are the Soul fans as some might say Im a pretty good entertaining DJ so again your loss not mine.
At the end of the day Im simply one of the lads who plays a few records because I enjoy it nothing more, its a hobby be it life long, it should be about fun and trying to contribute something to the scene of quality which I always try and do when Im booked to play a few tunes. As regard being disloyal to a venue or venues who have only booked me six or seven times in so many years again this is total bollocks, Its nice to be put in such high regard from certain areas of the scene who may consider me to be a major player.
To suggest that not being asked to play at certain venues may damage my DJ career is a total nonsence as so far this year I have played in Edinburgh, Hinckley, Bisley, Birmingham, Bedford, Letchworth, Prestatyn Weekender and many venues in the North West so bookings are pretty good, booked on merrit, reputation, entertainment value, quality of collection etc. and not on the fact you DJ for me I DJ for you ethic. Basically Im loyal to who ever books me and pays me the wages, and no it aint about the money as no amount of cash would ever come close to the money I have spent and spend on my records. I object to the suggestion that Im disloyal and listen when X,Y,Z purchase my records, pay my bills and look after my family then they can tell me what I can and cant do, until then NO ONE has the right to suggest this to me or to any other DJ come to think of it and I dont care who they think they are or how my power or command they have over this scene as there are far more worse tatics and bad ethics going on right now than simply being your own man and freelance DJ. Talk of level playing fields have been mentioned also recently... well the Northern Soul scene playing field at the present time has that much of a slope on it you could ski down it.
Just another point..... I would like to stress that I have nothing to do with the running of the new Manchester allnighter on December 6th at The New Century Hall other than being asked to DJ as resident which is some 12 gigs booked and confirmed for 2004, now I would be a fool to turn this down. This is not my venue as I am basically helping with the DJs nothing more, yes of course I want it to work as a lot of work, effort and money has already been invested in what promises to be a major new venue for the Northern Soul scene, the pre buzz is very good with many people not just me pulling together from all over the country to try and make it work so lets just get on with it and see what happens........
Many of the UKs top DJs have been asked to do future sessions at the CIS including - Andy Dyson, Dean Anderson, Ian Cunliffe, Guy Hennigan, Soul Sam, Bob Hinsley, Tim Brown, Robo, Jo Wallace, Sean Chapman, Tommy Potts, Neil Jones, Dave Rimmer, Roger Banks, Andy Rix, Rob Thomas, Mick H to name but a few. So its a very credible venue to be part of from a freelance DJ perspective and every effort has been made to look after everyone who plays at the venue and we welcome any suggestions or new blood DJs who will be given the chance via The New Century Soul Club. Other Stuff.
A big thank you to both Derek Mead and Peter Kelross and all at the wonderful Bisley Pavillion Soul night last Saturday November 15th, a wonderful night packed to the rafters with some wonderful people, so cool to play down south again, a fantastic night. Good to see many of the old faces who made the night for me, special thanks to John Donovan from Reading who I have not seen for must be twenty years who gave me my original Wigan Casino membership back which I thought had long gone.
Nice to see Paula and Andy Crane, The Basingstoke crew, Cockney Mick who still looks the same and many others, it was simply a blast to DJ alongside old mates like Roger Stewart, Derek and Pete...... Thanks guys. Seems like the Brooks Brothers, Johnny Rodgers, Larry Clinton, Bobby Kline, Jimmy Burns, Ty Karim, Phonetics, Cashmeres, Jimmy Wallace, Danny Woods, Jesse Johnson all went down well in Bisley, so much so thanks to all the kind comments after the spot..........
Looking forward to playing a few tunes at Junction 11 Soul Club on Saturday 29th November at Brookfields Riding Centre, Canock Road, Shareshill down there in the West Midlands, Junction 11 off the M6, always a packed night and a real quality venue, admission £4.50 b4 8.30pm and £5.00 after for Junction 11 members - further info on 07767 880812 / 01922 710106 / 01922 411111. Solar Radio Show. I will be celebrating three years on air this coming weekend on Sundays show 23rd November from 8am through 10am on CHANNEL 879 SKY DIGITAL and www.solarradio.com I would like to thank everyone for their loyal dedicted support over the past three years, special thanks to Garry J. Cape / John Anderson at Grapevine 2000 records, Ady Croasdell and all at Kent, Jo Wallace, Neil Jones, New Century Soul Club aka Chris Waterman and Lee Crank for their sponsorship, all the guests who have been on including Mick Howard, Brian Rae, Garry Cope, Ian Blackburn and others. Special big shout to Carl Webster Lewis and Tony Monson at Solar for giving me the original chance and break to play a few tunes on radio.
For any requests, mentions or dedications please feel free to send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some four decades of quality Northern Soul club culture and music packed into two hours of action packed radio.
Thats about all this time out -
Keep it real - Mark Bicknell.