Maybe it’s my advancing years, but it just takes me that little bit longer to recover from a session than it did in my youth. And given the sheer number of mega sessions I had in Belfast over the Festive Fortnight, it has taken me up until now to feel like a normal(ish) human being again. I tried to cram in as many DJ gigs as possible during my two weeks back in Belfast, and while they were all in the wonderful behemoth that is Lavery’s, each night was completely different. Here are my highlights, and the tunes that stuck out with me for each.
The Vs Battle with Pete Woods
So, it’s the first night that I’m back and it’s a case of starting as you mean to go on. Pete Woods and I were having a DJ battle, playing back-to-back all night, and it’s fair to say things got a little bit out of hand. The club was totally sold out by midnight, and we took advantage of the packed dancefloor by playing some absolute bangers and nonsense. To be honest, I looked over my playlist and was like “Did we really play that?!”, but I guess we did! It was also the first night I got to play this remix, which was about bloody time. Pete played a stormer, and I can’t wait to DJ with him again.
Monday Night Oscillate Insanity
Monday night, yeah? Quite one, yeah? Nothing too heavy, yeah? WRONG. The FAUX boys have taken over Monday nights in Lavery’s Back Bar, and the brief for the night is electronic music, from every avenue with no restrictions. They invited me down to play on the last Monday before Xmas, and given the music policy I was all over it like a sexy rash. It was an opportunity to unearth the kind of tracks that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to air. You know when you’re dropping Dave Clarke followed by Gesaffelstein before 11pm, and some random guy is screaming in your face telling you that he loves it, that it’s all going to go completely off. And it sure did. Couldn’t believe how many people were going absolutely nuts to this track when it was played.
And I must let it be known that Scott FAUX is a true hallion who kept giving me beers, and the consequences were less than desirable the next day.
Monday night raves for the absolute win.
The Gigantic Boxing Night Dance Party
What better way to work off the overeating and indulgence of the holidays than by dancing it clean off at Gigantic? No better way. It was once again another total ravetastic danceathon. This time it was the turn of Mark FAUX to completely destroy the club. I DJ’d back-to-back with him, and the vibe was that we would play nothing but quality dance music all night. And this we did. It ran the gamut from funky house and disco reedits, to outright techno (hello Crispy Bacon!) and silly bangers. The crowd went pure bananas too. By the end, everyone was crowded in the front of the DJ set up, pumping fists and roaring. This got dropped, and it was just ridiculous. It also ended up being a fixture of every DJ set I played after that. Sometimes steaky bangers rule.
The highlight for me though was when Mark played this as the last track. It’s one of my favourite songs of all time, and I wasn’t sure how it would go down at the end of the night, but to my surprise everyone loved it and danced like champs. Of course, we should have left it there, but we ended up playing three more ‘last songs’ instead and really tore the hole out of it. Still, Christmas etc.
New Years Eve
Ah, New Years Eve, it’s a tricky one alright. On one hand, everywhere is always bunged and people are mad up for the party. On the other hand, everyone tends to go too big too soon, and we all know a night out should be a marathon not a sprint. The Ballroom of Lavery’s is now like a fuppin super club. Massive visuals screen, incredible lights, and a wicked stage set up. When the countdown approached the atmosphere was amazing, and at the stroke of midnight loads of confetti rained down and it felt proper magical. Loved it. It turned into one big party, which also turned into an after-party, which then turned into an after-after-party. I’m not R Kelly, so there was no hotel lobby. It was mega craic all-round. This was my favourite tune of the night, and this one goes out to Paul Dickson, who was doing the lights at the club and dancing on stage like a champ.
Beat Connection Beats
As well as all of the special events over the period, I also DJ’d the Saturday nights at Beat Connection in the Ballroom of Lavery’s. Of course, while these might not be ‘special’ one-off events, they’re still completely incredible. As I said above, the set-up is just so good now and it’s such a good club to play in and be a part of. I tend to play stuff that is a bit more dancey, and it’s great to see people going for it. The crowd has been really good on the Saturday nights too. Each week, this is the track I had been using for soundcheck, and I also dropped it in two of my sets. I was surprised at how much it went off each time, and it really made my night.
And a final special bonus mention has to go to Oisin DSNT for the last Saturday I played before heading back to Berlin. Oisin and I always have the best craic when we are working together. He does the visuals for the club, creating the content and setting the identity, and also being the VJ on the night when he can. DJing alongside him is max banter, because 1) he is always up for dancing, and 2) he has pretty good taste in music, and 3) he loves camp disco. Every time we are on stage together it just seems to get a bit more ridiculous, and last Saturday was the absolute pinnacle. Paul Dickson was doing the lights on stage too, and both Mark FAUX and Scott FAUX were there too, and on numerous occasions we all ended up dancing together like eejits. For some reason, this song popped into my head earlier in the day, and it turned out I didn’t have it in my collection. I figured I would buy it, and if the moment came then I would have it to play. Well, with five guys dancing on stage it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to drop it. I felt it was a bit of a gamble, and I wasn’t sure if it would work, but to my delight everyone went mad for it.
Big big love to everyone who danced and hung out in the club when I was back. Special mentions for Cat, Suzie, Rosie, Katie, Simon, Teena, Hollie, Tom, Kim, Carly, Nik, Rachel, Nadine, Erin, Pascaline, Aaron, Matt, Robbie, Piars, Mark, Molly, Dave, Lisamarie, Lily, Tracy, Stu, Paul, Samantha, Sarah, Dermot and every other lovely dancer. It was great to see old faces and new folk. 2015 has a lot to live up to.