HOW TO KILL A DJ – CHAPTER 7

NOVEMBER 2015

“You are the best. You are the worst. You are average. Your love is a part of you. You try to give it away because you cannot bear its radiance, but you cannot separate it from yourself. To understand your fellow humans, you must understand why you give them your love. You must realize that hate is but a crime-ridden subdivision of love. You must reclaim what you never lost. You must take leave of your sanity, and yet be fully responsible for your actions.”

Gnarls Barkley, in a letter to the legendary rock critic Lester Bangs

I never thought of Cee Lo Green as a prophet but here he’s somehow reached into my feelings, winkled out the deceptive ones and nailed the most confusing bits to the wall. With Thor’s Hammer. Today I feel like I’m rewriting the bible. Each chapter I was once happy with now seems to have been written by a complete stranger. A someone who, though present at the event, has had a completely different experience of it to the me who is reading it light years later. It all has to be rewritten.

Emotional journeys always take the longest. By December 2016 my world and the world itself has changed so much that you’d be forgiven (and subsequently so can I – be forgiven) for not recognising it from this year’s perspective. By comparison, the physical journey (practically unaided) from Ibiza to Manchester is nothing more than a simple stroll in Thatch Leach Park.

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In my world according to Mysticmamma:

“insightful Lena Stevens from The Power Path.com: says …

“This month we enter the labor that will birth our own transformation and change. And just as in actual childbirth, once the process begins, there is no going back.

“The pressure we feel is that of being in a container that has grown too small. It is time to face the unknown, our own fears and resistance, and move ourselves to the next level.

“Everything this month will be pressurized. You will feel pressure from the outside as well as pressure from the inside.

“The image is that of a large balloon being inflated until the pressure of the hot air forces it to rise. We have been filling ourselves up with new dreams, new intentions and a commitment to balance, personal growth and change and now we are at that point where the pressure of our own needs and desires is pushing our container to a higher level of vibration.

Onwards and upwards like an over inflated balloon, huh. Better duck then – we all know what happens next, right?

“Wisdom is precisely what is missing when – like rats in the famous experiment conducted by B.F. Skinner more than fifty years ago – we press the same levers again and again even though there is no longer any real reward. By bringing deeper awareness into our everyday lives, wisdom frees us from the narrow reality we’re trapped in – a reality consumed by the first two metrics of success, money and power, long after they have ceased to fulfil us. Indeed we continue to pull the levers not only after their diminshed returns have been exhausted, but even after it’s clear they’re actually causing us harm in terms of our health, our peace of mind, our relationships. Wisdom is about recognizing what we’re really seeking: connection and love. But in order to find them we need to drop our relentless pursuit of success as society defines it for something more genuine, more meaningful, and more fulfilling.[1]

I broke out from packing like a prison breaker, running hard into the Ibiza sunshine. Helen and I took Sugar for a spin over to Lips in Playa D’En Bossa, where we dined with our french friends Angelique, Antonella, Charles and Hjordis. Ibiza is truly lovely in winter when you can have a lazy afternoon eating al fresco and in the sunshine. True to form, the world was here celebrating the end of season wind-down, preparing to cocoon and binge-watch on Netflix. You could hear the anticipation of the winter adventures to come bristling underneath the napkins at every full table. The question of future plans dropped into our conversation and pinged around the group like a Powerball. My mum, the landlady, the move, the work crisis flooded sentences that rolled out in front of me like a traitorous tsunami. I cried in front of them all. Hashtag awkward. URL www.surprisedfaces.com/embarrassedfriends. We ate, my friends were as consoling as they could be for people who were positively happy with their lives, we hugged and left.

Moving house is hardcore, it rides roughshod over you no matter what the reason. They say it’s the third most stressful thing you can experience in life next to death and divorce. They (those pesky statisticians) are not wrong either as I have all three under my Ninja Belt of Life and have the grey hair to prove their theory. Leaving friends and a way of life you love and have grown happily accustomed to sucks ass too and is probably nestling at number four or five on that list.

[1] Ariana Huffington – ‘Thrive’ – WISDOM – Life as a classroom p117

AFFIRMATIONS – NOVEMBER 2015

I spread my wings.

I put myself back on the UK radar

I do more teaching and public speaking.

I find an interesting job.

I set myself my usual time limit. One year. Twelve months. 365 days. No biggie.

 

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 7TH

WORD OF THE DAY

MAUKA

Adverb

(Hawaii) Toward the mountains

 

SPANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Libre

Free

At liberty, free time, unscheduled, not occupied, without cost

My land lady has forgotten her ‘vacate premises’ ultimatum and asks why I am packing boxes. I show her the FB IM message she sent asking me to leave first at the end of October, then the 1st November, then the 15th. She says she has wondered why she hasn’t seen me out and about. I tell her that I haven’t been out or seen anyone nocturnally since Halloween and due to her ‘last offer’ of a November 27thvacation date, boxing and packing has become my beat-the-clock occupation. She asks if we are still friends. I pointedly say ‘yes … the sort of friend that I no longer trust.’ She says that I can take as long as I like to move. I only plan to stay put until my deposit payment will pay the final month’s rent, no need to wait for everything to become clearer in 2016 A.DC10 (that is, after DC10)

My best friend Gavin is back from his travels / pilgrimage. He has spent the year in full Number One Prince fan mode and has just returned from Minneapolis for the secret Prince gig. His stories are spectacular – Prince took everyone to see Spectre after the concert??? Whataman! WTF! I don’t think I have ever been taken to the cinema by one of my musical heroes after the gig. I am jealous of the intensity of memory that that gives.

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We gossip for an hour about the Trade The final : 25th anniversary party – ravers on walking sticks, great music, great event. He says he was the youngest one there and he is nearly 40. I say he that’s because he always was the youngest one there and he laughs. But after entering at 8pm they left at 3am – 8 hours partying is enough. They’ve all grown up. They are all ‘too old for this’. Still, for one night, Trade was resurrected and The Egg was transformed. We talk more about his Prince exploits, his and my crazy neighbours and then settle down to my home cooked spaghetti with a fennel, bacon, chilli pepper sauce. He too is at a crisis point and like me finds the island lacking in stimulation. It is isolated. He says it is cut off from the real world. I say it is a bubble. There is a world outside Ibiza Airport, we are part of a bigger thing – beyond the petty everything that is going on around us. Island news is ‘cat stuck up a tree’ uneventful. His company is doing very well – Radio show Production, syndication and event management for AAA list heavy hitters. Where to next? Things in his apartment have started to break. He has been here 9 years. I left Paris after 9 years. There are strange and spooky parrallels. He says It’s time to move on and move up but I know he won’t leave yet. Even if he moans about everything, I know deep down that he loves living here and is way too settled to change. Unlike me.

I’m not Carl Cox – my leaving won’t make seismic waves in Ibiza club culture. Still I find it serendipitous that even he has chosen to hang up his Space headphones in search of that fine filament, the red bracelet that connects us one to another then leads us on to our spiritual home. What I’m trying to say is that at some point in your life YOU will start YOUR fantastic journey AND no matter how radical the change might seem, everything will be alright. The world won’t end. Just A world.

And breathe.

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There was a time when there were hardly any female djs. We were a small group and we practially all knew each other personally. The circuit was international but smaller. I found myself regularly playing alongside a brace of mavericks including Rachel Auburn, Princess Julia and Mrs Woods at Heaven or Queer Nation, with Dulcie Danger at The Zap Club, with Angel at Venus in Nottingham, with Kath Mc Dermott at Flesh and Home in Manchester. We all started dj’ing on the gay scene and became the first female djs to play on the international circuit. 20 years later there is a whole new generation at the helm, women like Annie Mac, Nina Kraviz, Nicole Moudaber, Cocoa Cole, Heidi, Cassy – women with a mastery of their art, their look, their everything. They are demons at marketing, business, branding, radio, broadcasting, production, events, technology, networking and social media. They have the full package and a team behind them to help. It’s not a lone pursuit or a lucrative hobby any more. They are fierce business women who will scale still higher heights; undisputed leaders of the new school who have grabbed the dj baton and run like fuck around the world and back whilst waving it like a blazing Olympic torch in the face of patriarchy. This is great progress and I am proud to have been one of the first to have exhibited such a pioneering spirit.

 

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 12TH

WORD OF THE DAY

Saporific

Adjective

  1. Producing or imparting flavour, taste.

 

I’m in the middle of a dream and asking someone I know well to bring me some english biscuits when they return from their travels. I am asking for Custard Creams, Bourbons, traditional fayre. Then I am at Pikes eating said biscuits in the swimming pool. It all makes perfect sense to me when my eyes are closed and twitching but it perplexes me all day once I am awake.

 

Breakfast time and Missy Elliott and Pharrell break the internet with “WTF (Where They From)”. From the lyrics, arrangement and stripped back roll to the hair, make up and styling, it’s a next level video that I can’t stop watching. It’s a hints and tips masterclass that makes me consider wearing Lichtenstein make up every day and investing in a good wig. Hip-hop has been missing Missy. I have missed Missy.

The Youtube / Twitter vortex sucks me in as far as the bulldog who has broken the world dog skateboarding record for skating through a 30 person arch.

Thug life for real.

Then there’s Barbie’s #ImagineThePossibilities

Inspiration can sometimes come from the strangest of places.

FRIDAY 13TH NOVEMBER

WORD OF THE DAY

INCONNU

  1. a person who is unknown; a stranger
  2. Also called sheefish a game fish, Stenodus leucichthys, of fresh or brackish northern waters.

I am more excited than anything about my London trip and wake up at the first alarm. Friday the 13th has never been a significantly negative number for me. Obvs.

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I am on the BA flight from Ibiza to London City. When I board I wonder why I have flown Vueling, Ryanair, Monarch and Easyjet non stop for the last three years and not paid for more civilised cabin treatment before? It’s amazing what a delicious / free roast chicken, couscous and keeeeeeeenwaaaaaah salad does for the red-eye morale. Even if it is bite-sized and served with bendy cutlery, it beats the customary 6€ plastic Vueling meal deal hands down.

Landing at London City, passport and Oyster card in hand, I suddenly feel like the Queen Of All Things. As I walk to passport control I show a passenger that their passport is just about to fall out of their back pocket (don’t leave a sister hanging, high five required here). Everything is right with the world until I have to do that embarrassing handbag vomit in front of the Biometric passport machine assistants due to my passport having disappeared into the lining of my handbag. I’m sweating profusely – holding the queue up, blocking a man in a wheelchair whose Fasttrack rights I am clearly impeding. Not to mention a queue of impatient and harumphing Londoners. Could I possibly be turned away from the country I love? Not this time. Psych.

On the DLR I am taking it all in like Rain Man. Its been a year since I last visited the UK and yearsssszsahh since I was last in London and I had forgotten how much I have missed and love this place. Even the sight of the Tate and Lyle factory’s ‘Save Our Sugar’ sugar tax protest sign fills me with patriotic slash political pride. The East India Company sign makes me bristle with a dark sense of history and the Millenium Dome’s industrial alien communication spikes give me a flashback to watching it being built day by day on The Big Breakfast fifteen years ago. I almost want to stand and give a rousing rendition of ‘Rule Britannia’. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ibiza. I love the countryside and the beaches but home is where the heart is. Nothing beats the continually evolving history of London at any time of the year, even if the first thing I see in the Tube Station is Chris Evans’ slightly smug face grinning down in the poster advert for his book ‘Call The Midlife’. It’s his 50th this year. I am reminded that the clock will soon start ticking on mine.

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I spend the evening with Cocoa Cole at Capital Xtra. It’s LIVE national radio (not pre-recorded or pre-produced like a lot of shows) and she’s working without a producer tonight. She has to get it right – and she does. Cocoa works like a multi-tasking octopus, twirling around in her chair to flit from the mixing desk, to fire the music through Myriad, tweeting links from her laptop, doing shout outs and playing exclusives whilst remembering to include all the advertising reads, keeping her cheery, bubbly, knowledgeable and fresh demeanour throughout. ‘It’s a beast’ ‘It’s a banger’ she says regularly in catchphrase heaven. Three hours pass in a flash. I leave her at Leicester Square tube station to start a very London (ok Shoreditch slash Hoxton) girls’ night out with my best girlfriends Sam Tee, Reetu and our honorary girlfriend, Joe Theophilus (Flying Lotus – Really Happening) at Ernesto Leal’s wintry outdoor event at Tokyo Nights. Friends, street food, djs, music, lots of chat and a little bit of alcohol. So far, it’s a good mix.

We go on to a techno party at the buzzing, humid and very sweaty Basing House. We’re here for an adult rave feauring Fox Low, Logan Fisher and Jonas Constantine; there are a lot of frenchies in the house and I’m in bilingual heaven. I’m up for the rave in principle even though I’m not really dressed for it. Having gone out for this Friday night social straight from the radio station I feel ashamed and unglamorous for daring to rave in my slouchy travelling clothes. Everyone is asking me to take my coat off, saying it is making them feel uncomfortable, then telling me to put it down somewhere but for a ton of reasons and no reason at all I don’t comply. I am anxious and feel at twattish odds with myself and everyone around me. I start acting like we are not going to stay that long, do lots of sitting upstairs on the smoking terrace, talk seven shades of nonsense, rave for a bit then do some more talking. Suddenly I don’t feel like dancing and am being annoyingly stubborn about joining in. Half way through the main set Sam asks me if I’ve seen anything about Paris yet? I say no – I haven’t been checking my phone. Then she shows me a Facebook post on her page. She asks me if I know where this is and that maybe I should check in with my friends? When I do, news is slowly then quickly filtering through, then internationally trending of a red-alert hostage situation at the Bataclan in Paris. I run upstairs in Basing House to get a better signal, then I start talking to the french people we are with and we start the frantic pinging of all of our Parisian friends. There is much confusion. Like the night that John Lennon was shot, or when Princess Diana and Michael Jackson died, or 9/11 we will remember this night forever. Despite my efforts to explain, and geo-localise the problem in simple terms for the English friends who I’m partying with, no one seems to realise how serious this is. Yet.

My phone starts to sound with incoming texts asking if I’m OK. “Yes I’m fine” I say, “I left Paris three years ago and am in London tonight” It’s like no one has noticed I moved to Ibiza. Still, they are all glad that I am in London tonight and so am I. I feel strange because people are contacting me because they think I might have been hurt in the attack. I feel a fraud in saying that I am alright. I flag myself as safe. The developing news and horrific nature of the attacks renders me silent. Our group had now stopped taking anything in musically so we agreed that the party was over. On our way home it seemed like a good idea to stop for a dirty kebab on the Holloway Road. By the time we were in front of the TV watching the news unfold from the safety of a living room sofabed in Tufnell Park, our warm kebabs sweating on the cold plates, I had lost my appetite.

During my nine years resident in Paris, Le Petit Cambodge was one of my favourite eateries in the 10tharrondissement. I ate there regularly with my best friend Christophe, first after my weekly lessons and then as a kind of tradition until I left. The tables were always full, and it was always a hive of activity. They didn’t take reservations and rain or shine, the food was always worth the lengthy wait outside in the queue. Now my heart and head hurt thinking about how many wonderful Friday nights and weekends out had started in that area and how much such callous cowardice would have ripped a hole in Parisian morale. My friend Charlotte’s partner owns and runs a beautiful brasserie close by where this night they found themselves sheltering 40 people from the raining bullets and unable to let people leave due the area being designated a crime scene.

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It takes less than a second to change lives forever: the time to miss a bus, choose another restaurant, buy the last concert ticket, drink at another bar, choose another weekend break destination. This convinces me more than ever that it’s the people that should matter in my life choices. None of us know how long we have. One random suicide bomber walks into a bar, a concert hall or a tube station and it could all be over tomorrow. What then? How would I want to have lived my life? What would I want written on my tombstone? What song would I want to be played at my funeral?

 

Fuck Friday the 13th – I’m going to bed. Paris is covered with the Angel of Death’s sprawling cloak and we sleep unsoundly and angrily in our beds wondering who or which city will be next?

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 14th

A wet week to come

… There has been a big change as we’ve moved into November with an unusually powerful jet stream drifting southwards and putting us in the firing line for some wild and wet autumn weather. Named by the UK Met Office as Storm Abigail, severe winds were not the only feature to affect the UK on Thursday and Friday. In the 24 hours to 1800 GMT on Friday 13th, an estimated 107mm of rainfall fell across the hills of western Scotland (see figure 2).

There will be little let-up in the soaking conditions as we head into the second half of November with plenty more rain on the way. Overnight and into Sunday 15th, the main focus of the rain will be on the northern half of the UK with some high totals expected across the hills and mountains of western Scotland, north-west England and north Wales. In fact, some forecast models suggest that these areas could see in excess of 100mm of rainfall during the 48 hours to Sunday night, with up to 200mm possible in a few spots.

Weather Forecast November 14th

Paulette Constable updated her status.

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14 November 2015 09:36

Je n’ai pas des mots. La tristesse est profonde.

My eyes open on a nondescript, cloudy London morning. How could anyone so savagely rip the heart out of a city (its people and its culture) that I – and the world – loves so much? I am one of the lucky ones – my friends are all marked safe. I feel selfishly relieved. Last night’s news severely underestimated the fall out and now the death toll keeps rising. Two friends, Sophie Callis and Janie Valentine phone and drop in. Like us, neither has slept well and both are depressed at the turn of events. We drink tea, coffee, become sofa philosophers / politicians and talk through this together whilst watching the news on an infinity loop. It is a day of mourning, grieving at a distance, of not moving from the sofa and TV whilst eating everything that is not nailed down. It’s a day of simultaneously contacting everyone we know in the proximity of the attacks plus anyone we know with whom we can process this with via IM and phone. None of us can quite believe it. Facebook turns red, white and blue within hours in support.

Paris attacks kill more than 120 people – as it happened.

The Guardian

14 Nov 2015

Paris attacks as it happened – The Guardian

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Carnage. Massacre. L’horreur. Bloodbath. La Guerra. Terror. The international news headlines are all in agreement.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s Front National seize the political opportunity and a slow wave of Nationalism floats its precarious lifeboat atop the wave and ensuing deluge of negative, hateful rhetoric. Yet in the hours and days that follow, there is also poetry, solidarity, community, beauty and forgiveness in the media. One response floated above it all and went viral: french radio journalist, Antoine Leiris’ heart-rending open letter written in response to his wife’s murder in the Bataclan.

Antoine Leiris’ open letter – The Guardian

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So eight terrorists are dead. Hashtag #SorryNotSorry. Fuck terrorists, suicide bombers and their terrorist attacks. #JeSuisParis #RIPTerrorAttacks #RIPBataclan … no matter how much I feel the need to hibernate, to throw my hands up in surrender, to curl up in bed and turn my back on the world, the world keeps turning.

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The Soho Radio show and Housewife techno session go ahead as scheduled but whilst we try our best to make them celebrations, both become unwitting victims / bystanders of the attacks. It pours with rain all day and the state of emergency established in France has predictably altered the mood in London and Europe-wide so much that despite efforts to stay positive, the lock-down atmosphere of fear and mistrust has won. The night is sombre, not sparkly sequinned ‘mad-for-it’ or party at all. People stay home, keeping their doors locked and hugging their families and loved ones that little bit closer.

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Still, whilst the world seems to be going slowly bonkers, not one of my nine lives has been lost by the end of November 2015 and for that I feel truly blessed.

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HOW TO KILL A DJ CHAPTER 6 – HALLOWEEN 2015

HOW TO KILL A DJ CHAPTER 6

HALLOWEEN

SATURDAY OCTOBER 31ST

 

WORD OF THE DAY

IGNIS FATUUS

  1. Something deluding or misleading.
  2. Also called a friar’s lantern, will-o-the-wisp. A flitting phosphorescent light seen at night, chiefly over marshy ground, and believed to be due to spontaneous combustion of decomposed organic matter.

 

SPANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Golpe

Hit

MASCULINE NOUN

  1. (impact) a. hit b. blow 2. (indentation) a dent 3 (strike) a shot 4 (clash) conflict.

Low blows and conflicts aside, I can still burn it up.

Vamp-Flyer

Today is the day of the Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes Hotel VAMP Halloween party. Much like Atzaro Opening, Space and Amante Closings it is one of the most attended and anticipated parties of the year and a keystone in the winter residents’ social diary. It is also line-up catnip to every island dj worth their schmooze skills. I secured my place on the line up in June when I signed for my contract as a resident at Pikes Hotel, so am as excited as a dog locked in a butcher’s shop to play. This year’s line up is island star heavy so to see my name on the flyer feels like an Ibiza resident rubber stamp.

In another way it’s a chance to exorcise a ghost that has been hanging around from the last time I played there. Rewind to the last IBIZA ROCKS HOUSE PARTY when I played alongside Junior Sanchez in the main room. The party was rammed and Junior finished his set with a 14 minute re-edit of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Love Light In Flight’ flourish.

Everything was going smoothly until a random, toxic exchange burst my boogie bubble.

I hadn’t been playing for long when a kooky, androgynous chica breezed then blundered into the booth, retinas blazing, to tell me a joke. Her boyfriend had been playing regularly at the daytime pool parties over the summer and since she is cute, impish and normally quite sweet (and is also a good friend to the Pikes management), I left her to make herself comfortable in the booth behind me whilst I dug in. Ignoring my DJ at work, ‘headphones on, head down’ stance, she lifted my cans…

Me: (brusquely) “is something wrong? do you need me for something?”

Her: (in heavily broken spanglish) “No.” she said… “I have a joke to tell to you” She was full of it, just like a naughty kid at the back of the schoolbus.

‘OK, right’ I say but think ‘Are you kidding me?’ Breaches of dj booth etiquette irritate me at the best of times and are never welcomed when it’s for no good reason, no matter who does it.

Her: sooooooo …

Me: “alright, shoot, I say” … whilst putting my headphones back on to block her out and cue in the next track. She tugs my headphones off again to shout in my ear over the sound from the monitor …

Her: “Why don’t n*ggers like the sound of chainsaws? …” she asked laughing.

I’m sorry. This is vintage bullshit. Who the hell is she, really?

I stared at her in disbelief as my tune played on but only I felt the solar plexus punch and the rage inside. She couldn’t have been serious, someone had to have taken advantage of her piss-poor understanding of english and dared her to tell me this just to get a reaction. But is she that eager to please she’d risk getting a public bitchslap? Maybe it was a ghetto n*gga joke reclaiming the word and told out of context and badly by a wannabe white homie. For whatever reason this has stomped all over my happy buzz like a chainsmoker with a fag end. I turned to block her and her shit sense of humour out of my space but she stayed, oblivious, waiting for me to respond.

She pulled at my sleeve again, (pupils now occupying the whole iris).

“It’s a joke. I ask then you’ve got to answer me” she said exasperated “you know what is a joke, right?’

In case I hadn’t heard it fully the first time, she shouted louder over the music

“… why don’t n*ggers like the sound of chainsaws?” she hopped from foot to foot like Rumpelstiltskin then unable to contain herself any longer snorted triumphantly “because it sounds, run run run n*gger run, run run run n*gger run”

WTF?

My mind ran riot. What would Idris Elba do? What would Craig David do? What would De La Soul do? What would Bobbi and Steve do? What would Carl Cox do? What would Seth Troxler do? What would Smokin Jo or Skin do? What would Carl Craig do? What would Kenny Larkin, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, MK, Honey Dijon, 4Hero, Roni Size, Goldie, Norman Jay MBE, Trevor Nelson, Josey Rebelle or what would any DJ of colour do if told an off-colour, off-key, blatantly racist and downright unfunny joke in the dj booth, whilst they are working? Would they do something? Or nothing? The room was heaving. In front of the decks people were enjoying the party. What would THEY think if they knew what I’d just been told whilst I made like Rylan Clarke and just kept smiling?

My first instinct was to give her a Dick Emery wallop, blind-siding her with my handbag – but it wasn’t a good time and why make more of this than needs be? Instead I firmly and impolitely nudged her behind me, saying ‘you know what, that’s a really shit joke, do you mind leaving the booth now? I’m trying to work here”. Her mission (or dare) was accomplished and she skipped out of the booth unscathed and triumphant.

I checked the date on my watch. We hadn’t time-travelled, hurtling with a screech back to the 1950s in a clapped out DeLorean. This is still Ibiza Rocks Hotel at Pikes – possibly the coolest hang out for ex-pats and people of colour on the island and one of the more overtly diverse employers on the island. Still, #thisjusthappened.

The music played on. We play into extra time, so Sunny brought his vinyl collection out of the boudoir and I played some crackly, scratched 70s disco hits to the stragglers. Sunny lip synched like a boss from his perch on the speaker stack. And when the last punters left, I joined the select group in a vacant room just off the Plaza Mayor to have one for the road with the direction and the remaining djs.

Of course stupidumb was there. Spirits were high so I decided not to mention The Joke to the crew who she was fooling around with. I felt like I had betrayed myself and my race. My contract wasn’t quite over and I still had work to do so I kept my mouth shut. I had sold out a guiding principle for the dollar somehow. People might say I was over-reacting – no kittens or fairies had died – even if that’s how it felt. The struggle was and is real. DJ’ing and club culture / life still has the capacity to hit me like a bullet to the temple when I least expect it.

I mentioned it to a few friends the next day over a Pikes Sunday roast. A couple were outraged and said I should have stopped the music, let the spurs clink and tumbleweed roll on the dance floor before handing her the microphone then turning the volume up to 11 just so that everyone could hear her tell the fabulous n*gger joke. Others said I should have stopped the music and dj diva stropped off. No one suggested fronting her with it and to be honest no one really cared that much. They say ‘To err is human and to forgive is divine’ so call me Jesus and let’s move on. Forgetting is a bit hard though. Ask any elephant worth his poached ivory tusks.

As for stupidumb – she and her boyfriend were given a Pikes residency for the Winter 2015 and Summer 2016. As for me – I was courteous but found it hard to be friendly with her after that night. IMHO Friends like her should always feel the door hit them where the dog should have bit them. When is a racist joke not a joke eh? I suppose you could ask Cary Sharp, the husband of Teresa Sharp, Lahoma, Oklahoma’s Mayor.

Oklahoma’s Mayor apologises for husband’s KKK meeting joke

Back to today and my happy, positive place – it’s Halloween and I am closing the Chez Fez room at the party of the year and that is a great result. Hashtag #blessings. Hashtag #GRATITUDE. Hashtag #LIFEISSWEET.

After googling costume ideas around age and halloween my search revealed this picture of Donatella Versace.

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It scared me more than the childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Fashion and the media have everything to do with the reasons why our society profits from our own (men, women and childrens’) self doubt, making us strive always for a unreachable, ridiculous concept of beauty and being just to SPEND MORE MONEY and BUY MORE THINGS that we don’t even need. That she has fallen prey to the monster that she in some way has helped create makes me feel very sad. I will never understand why people go under the knife for vanity’s sake just to end up with faces like candles melting in the sun. And how anyone can do that to their ear lobes to hold their drooping features in place is beyond me. No. Girl power, positivity, strength, natural beauty inside and out and fierceness are all that get my vote. The X-Men’s Storm shall be my muse.

halle berry storm

And if it’s good enough for Beyoncé (this year) then it’s good enough for me.

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My costume consisted of LED striplights, a black rubber catsuit and a homemade X-Men belt. I spent the best part of the day faffing and fine tuning, mani-pedi-ing, rubber shining my catsuit and tinting my wig. The result? More Halle Berry than Marvel Original. And Madonna would have approved of my choice to go cape-less.

It’s daft but even at Halloween caring about how I look becomes a feminist issue. It piques that you can’t just dj when you are female in this industry. How you look very much determines how (and whether) you work, play or rest (much like an actor). This concept never applies to men. Male dj’s can be XXL, rough, a stress-free over fifty, balding, unkempt and badly dressed and still get the high paying gigs. Men can walk into a club wearing crap jeans and a dirty, travel worn t shirt and no one says a word.Yet everyone will say something about how the women looked even if they’re technically the best person on the line up. It’s an inextricable part of the deal that women (in practically any discipline you care to mention) spend a disproportionate amount of their professional lives worrying about their look and presentation. We often find ourselves jumping through sartorial hoops that men don’t even have to consider.

I eased myself into my rubber catsuit with the help of lots of baby powder and my long arms. Then opened the zips slightly at the neck and crotch to let the heat out, ventilate and enable unimpeded movement. The appliance of wardrobe science. Rekordbox playlists exported to a spanking new USB stick? Check! I was ready to whip up a storm – and a few tornadoes – looking like this:

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Given that I have put on a few pounds since I last wore it, I’m amazed that I can move in it at all, let alone drive. I have no idea how Heidi Klum survived the night in her Jessica Rabbit head to toe latex reinvention. Now that’s what I call serious Halloween skills and total dedication to the party at hand.

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Rules of Halloween.

  1. Always ask your friends for full costume updates and snapchats before you leave. Or resign yourself to walking round in circles looking for friends that you are standing next to but don’t recognise. Especially at Pikes. Here the costumes are spectactular: everyone has made a real effort and everyone Is asking ‘have you seen? I can’t find?’

It was steaming like a Moroccan souk in Chez Fez. The aircon was struggling to keep up with the heat of a slightly damp crowd and the collective, core reactor intensity body temperature. The rain and blocked toilets didn’t help either as people instinctively crammed into Chez Fez, the first attractive and available dry space that was closest to Plaza Mayor. As Jaime Fiorito and Alfredo were finishing off in Chez Fez, I watched the blood drain from Alfredo’s face as he fainted briefly behind the decks. I grabbed one arm, Jaime grabbed the other, I grabbed a chair and some water and he sat and got his head together. Alfredo came around pretty quickly: but overcome with the heat he headed straight home. It had been a long evening already and 4.30 is a good enough time to call it a night for anyone. I, however, was just getting started.

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My idea of the LEDS without a power pack was maybe not so smart. It only worked when I was standing near enough to plug myself in to a power point which is ok when I am dj”ing of course but not when I am just walking around. Nobody really GOT that bit when it wasn’t lit up. And who wants magnesium burning brightness on a dark, disco dancefloor. Oof. That’s a wardrobe malfunction right there. I open my set wearing them but once I see the cockroach effect they create on the dance floor, my lovely LEDs are hidden in my handbag for the rest of the party. Go Storm! And well done me.

There are characters in abundance. Leena IS Edward Scissorhands – wig, stripey suit, scissors and hedge clippers included. I would recognise Leena in the dark though – one Leena Sharma, there’s only one Leena Sharma. We all loved Mark Broadbent and Big L’s fully tattooed Latino gangsters and I totally didn’t clock that the clown standing next to me was Sarah Broadbent. Exemplary work all round.

I dimmed the white lights, leaving only the sexy, womb-like reds then opened with Rhythim is Rhythim ‘Strings Of Life’

I dug my spurs in their sides with Martijn Ten Velden’s galloping remix of Guitarra G

By the time it hit the guitar solo there were cheers and smiles and whatever the party favours were were suddenly and simultaneously kicking in, in time to the music. Mark and Sarah Broadbent both passed by again to see what the commotion in Chez Fez was. Then there was a guy who had had one too many and kept sliding down the wall and leaning on the light switches throwing inopportune spotlights on the vampires and zombies around the room.. It’s an undesired flash effect, that didn’t go down too well and the blessing and the curse of partying in what was once an old finca. I had to keep reaching over to switch them off. Dickhead. In the end I showed him where the light switch was so he could switch it off himself. I knew he was going to be a tiresome repeat offender.

I shoehorned as much dark, lovely tech house and techno from the likes of Alan Fitzpatrick, Copy Paste Soul, Hot Since 82 as I could into Mika’s 45 minute warning. When the big lights came on (for the last time) people were braying for one more tune. I played the room with Hot Since 82 and gave it up a little more with Michel Cleis & Klement Bonelli’s ‘Marvinello’.

In true dj fashion, I tried to squeeze in another but Steve and Piero had started to clean up around my bravers and the closed, covered bar at the back of the room was a glaring symbol of festive finality. Final check of the CDJs to make sure that I have ejected and put both USBs in my handbag then home, right? Wrong.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 1ST

Even though I have no stamina for the Halloween Afterhours at Boutique Hostal Salinas, I finish my morning in a low key affair in Room 18. Music was supplied by someone’s ipod and there were no big public displays of sex, orgies, drugs or rock and roll. Or at least not that I could see. Jerome Ferriere took a ton of pictures of me with Dawn Hindle (MD of Ibiza Rocks) and Jillian Canney (organiser of the VAMP party) He says, in passing, that I am not a looker at all (thanks) but gets excited about taking lots of pictures of my arse. He is not the first to do this. He won’t be the last. I know I have a great arse. Even my mum says so and we all know that our mums know best.

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It wound down quickly, so I staggered off into the car park in the hazy heat and daylight. Over an hour long wait with the ghoulish casualties at the front of an ever growing queue meant eventually sharing a people carrier home. I celebrated my homecoming by switching off everything electronic in my flat apart from my phone and dreaming the day away in a darkened, quiet bedroom.

One of my favourite ways to relax is to create in the kitchen. I’m not a fancy cook – I don’t do sixteen courses, silver service meals or Master Chef standard gourmet finishes but I do make delicious meals, lush salads and a mean dessert or two. I can cook up a storm in anyone’s kitchen and enough people can prove it. So today’s post-Halloween / pre-Thanksgiving mission is a Pumpkin and Chickpea curry that my friend Charlie recently posted on her Facebook page.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7732/pumpkin-curry-with-chickpeas

I ready, steady, cooked, armed with a soggy recipe page and accompanied by the tech house mix I’d posted on my Mixcloud page to promote the Housewife party that I was booked to play in London in two weeks’ time.

With a few ‘season to taste’ alterations, the BBC GoodFood recipe was a licked plate success. Happy and with a full belly, I swanned into the office with all the intention of writing another Booker Prize winning chapter. The pull of the pillows was stronger and I slipped under the duvet for a cheeky nap which turned into a flatline until 4am. I only woke up to switch all the lights and computers off and then go to bed for a proper sleep.

At the end of an exhausting and emotionally draining week there’s a super happy ending and I’m glad about that. So cheerio to Sunday 1st of November 2015, your weekend has restored my trust and faith in people and made me excited for more of the island’s winter parties. Hurrah and hello November 1st: the Ibiza saints, souls and sinners have lived to party another day.

HOW TO KILL A DJ – CHAPTER 5

Friday October 9th

WAKE UP

opened eyes #1

All you fear is fear itself,

Check out your own backyard before you check out someone else.

Janet Damita Jo Jackson’s ‘Unbreakable’ has been soundtracking my days recently. I love everything about it – from design and styling to the lyrics and feel that we are practically twins under the skin, being fierce black women, earth signs AND firehorse babies (just like Halle Berry and Mike Tyson both of whom I am also obsessed with). Her lyrics resonate and echo my exact feelings about love, loss, fighting against the establishment, loving yourself and dancing like no one is watching.

She’d be an A1 neighbour: someone I’d invite out on a Coffee Patron bender with and enjoy making fun and sense of this world. I know we’d laugh long and hard at life and its ridiculous wardrobe malfunctions. Bumping back down to earth musically inspired, I write a glowing review for DMC World online.

Janet Jackson – Unbreakable – (Rhythm Nation / BMG Records)

 

The themes of ‘Unbreakable’ have set me thinking about my little universe. I’d recently worked at the WAKE UP festival : it’s like Atzaro’s Healing Ibiza but and it all takes place at Gala Night in Benimussa outside San An. If you embrace the alternative lifestyle, then this is as profound an ‘experience’ as you can get, mingling with and enjoying the talents and skills of some of the best (and the kookiest) spiritualists of every persuasion and discipline. It’s a full-on festival of music, rhythmic dancing, meditation, talks, chakra balancing, drumming circles, laughter therapy, smudging, yoga of every kind, tarot, crystal healing, reiki, hypnotherapy, gonging, doing whatever it takes to realign, balance and focus – to wake up the spirit and put us back on the spiritual path, rejuvenated and refreshed. I gave a talk on ‘Keep Talking’ which aimed to encourage better communications. It was truly beautiful maaan. But now the results feel as shortlived as the after effects of a lungful of poppers.

Why? Well, I am being haunted by The Myth. You know the one that says the island bounces you back to where you came from if it doesn’t like you. I keep telling myself that it’s just a myth, an urban legend, that it’s not true. I know that that sort of legend can only make relatively sound and reasonable people tough it out for the all the wrong reasons. But pride can be such a dangerous thing. Love too. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been swayed by all of the above during my time here.  Then I chance upon this …

David Whyte

 

11 August · Edited ·

Honesty

HONESTY

is reached through the doorway of grief and loss. Where we cannot go in our mind, our memory, or our body is where we cannot be straight with another, with the world, or with our self. The fear of loss, in one form or another, is the motivator behind all conscious and unconscious dishonesties: all of us are afraid of loss, in all its forms, all of us, at times, are haunted or overwhelmed by the possibility of a disappearance, and all of us therefore, are one short step away from dishonesty. Every human being dwells intimately close to a door of revelation they are afraid to pass through. Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth.

The ability to speak the truth is as much the ability to describe what it is like to stand in trepidation at this door, as it is to actually go through it and become that beautifully honest spiritual warrior, equal to all circumstances, we would like to become. Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of loss that is conferred upon even the most average life.

Honesty is grounded in … admitting exactly where we are powerless. Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness. Honesty allows us to live with not knowing. We do not know the full story, we do not know where we are in the story; we do not know who is at fault or who will carry the blame in the end. Honesty is not a weapon to keep loss and heartbreak at bay, honesty is the outer diagnostic of our ability to come to ground in reality, the hardest attainable ground of all, the place where we actually dwell, the living, breathing frontier where there is no realistic choice between gain or loss.

‘HONESTY’ Excerpted From CONSOLATIONS:

The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning

of Everyday Words

© 2015 David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

So what if it’s not the island that bounces you back. What if real life out-trumps the legend?

My sister Elicia’s Whatsapp shatters the post-deadline calm. My Mum, Blanche, has been rushed to hospital with a heart attack. Her condition has been stabilised without surgery but the surgeons are concerned and keeping her in for tests and observation for the next week or so. Elicia has a 5am flight, the rest of my family are unavailable so can I take over the vigil. ‘Of course, no problem’ I say. No matter that Google Maps confirms that I am currently 2,360km away and unable to do anything more constructive than Whatsapp, Skype and phonecall my family, my friends and the hospital non stop and bounce like a ping test between them all.

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I call the ward at 04.00 UTC then write an update to the FAMILY Whatsapp group. Mum is stable and settling into the ward. Tests will be done over the next few days and they are keeping her in for observation until the results are clear. Any phone calls for her are to be directed to the following ward number. I ask the family if we can organise a visiting rota – that sort of thing.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 10TH

I don’t sleep and am exhausted when day breaks. I have horrible flashbacks of me going to see my Dad, seven years before. In the flashback I am about to board my flight to Manchester at Charles De Gaulle having worked Friday night somewhere in deepest Southern France. I have flown back to Paris to fly back out at silly o’clock to see and comfort him, when my sister Audrey calls to tell me that I’m too late. My dad has just died. I hadn’t even boarded the flight. That sense of uselessness swung hard at me like a prize fighter then. And I can still feel the full force of the KO even now. Today my mum is seriously ill and somehow her situation has triggered a ‘red button’ scenario. Reality check. I have been happily living in Europe for thirteen years, have had the best time ever too but in all that time, the one thing I have consistently missed – and missed out on – is my family. Maybe it’s a good time to reconnect, to get to know my Mum and my family better? Is work and dj’ing and living a gloriously sun-drenched Ibiza life really so important to me that I would sacrifice my – and our – personal needs for it? Hold on. Who am I? And why am I still here when my family need me over there?

Without a suitable emotional (and sometimes moral) sat nav you can get terribly lost in the Land of Loss. But no more Ms Denial for me.

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Shit gets more real by the day. I’m as guilty as the next smartphone addict for not memorising names or numbers and for relying on my phone for everything. It’s a sign of the milennial times that even my BFFs can’t recall my phone number without checking their phone or my Facebook. I need an anchor. I am a responsibility-free adult, cut adrift on this island where I have no significant other, I don’t have kids and I don’t even have a cat or a goldfish. Finding someone close and reliable enough to mind my spare house and car keys was a mission. And as for that time when I found myself choking on a Schtroumpf with no-one close by to Heimlich it out of my gullet, that took the fun out of Haribo for a while, I can tell you.

 

 

In ‘choking alone-single serving-no next of kin’ terms, there is absolutely nothing to keep me here. This house (ok penthouse apartment) hasn’t stopped whirling for long enough for me to make a soft landing in Oz. Still, my ruby slippers will always have magic.

 

The people in A1 block aren’t A1 neighbours at all. Their Neighbourhood Watch has consisted of them watching me and spying on my landlady through the twitching Judas. They never say hello and prefer heatedly shouting and complaining when I’m a) parking b) (un)loading luggage or shopping into / out of the lift c) opening my front door d) closing my front door e) breathing f) not even there to be guilty of any of the above. They make no secret of saying (in Spanish) that they think English people are ‘tonto’ and show my Loco Landlady little or no respect. Loco Landlady has flashes of lucidity (good day / sober / not ill) but most days she can’t find the keys to her own house let alone to this apartment. When I moved in she handed me forty identical looking keys on a fob then tootled off with a shrug. As for the possibility of her next of kinship, she has a horrendous track record with cars and insurance and as such is as useless to me or my family in a crisis as a little toe is in a very pointy shoe.

 

My friends Sophie and Lee have become the closest thing I have to family here: yet even they don’t know the names of or have the contact details for my immediate family. In fact, the closest to kin is my 90’s ex, Simon Bushell who knows my family by name and close friends well enough to find them should anything happen to me here. My squad? The people who have that information on lock live in London, Manchester, Paris and New York. This pulls focus. I’m done with this free falling and falling away of things. Where will you go when the party’s over? Ask me tomorrow – when I wake up.

sleep on it #3

 

 

HOW TO KILL A DJ – PART 3

TO BE USEFUL NOT USED

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 26TH

Shake it off yeah, just like Taylor Swift. So shower. Then join me on Saturday evening in the Treehouse at the Zoo Project at Gala Night, Benimussa. From the decor to costumes to the dancers to the artisans, the healers and the djs, this is one of my favourite outdoor party locations and despite predictable (insufferable) San An snobbery, I always enjoy the vibe here. It’s like a one day festival, an Skittles-eque rainbow of fruit flavours and a youthful and also very London/Berlin/Tokyo feast for the senses. It makes my weekly bracelet / no bracelet run-in with the door inquisition worthwhile. Being looked after like a sister by Ady, (aka Adrian Brown – possibly the most attractive and stylish man on the island bar none) also means that a Zoo trip is simply made of win. (Happy birthday big man!)

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I’m holding my ground in an unofficially designated two inches of personal space, behind the Treehouse DJ Booth. Maribou State are creating one of those ‘had to be there’ sets that is defying categorisation. I am wedged next to Chandler who has his Pulse Radio head (and ears) on but has made zero effort to comply with the general Zoo Project dress code and no matter how hard I squint doesn’t look animalistic enough underneath a simple felt bowler hat. Enraptured and inspired by the music, my L’Oreal black felt eyeliner becomes a weapon of crass construction. Wielding it like a crazed surrealist painter, I decorate Chandler’s face with an off-kilter cat nose and Dali-esque whiskers. He is game to be big game but only because it’s an eyeliner pen and not a full make up kit and I’ve promised that it will wipe off with a bit of spit and a hanky. It doesn’t. Why would I have bought it if it did. Tick for L’Oreal. Shit for Chandler. I wouldn’t normally push my limited make up artist skills on anybody but since I am wearing head to toe leopard print and a lizard topped head band (thankyou Milou) Chandler gets it. Fairplay to him, the nose and whiskers are a strong look for any ex-Marine.

The Zoo Project is like that and a whole lot of fun. Enjoying the extravagant costumes and body art, marvelling at Kyle’s hyper-diamantéd denim jacket and assorted ties and jackets, loving Milou’s cheeky, wild creations and rocking to the best in cutting-edge music here is a weekly pilgrimage. Even the weekend when Spencer Parker finishes his set with ‘Boys, Boys, Boys’ just being there keeps me happy, it keep, keep, keep, keeps me happy.

Over the chug and boom, chk, Chandler and I are shout-talking about our seasons so far and Ibiza in general. Chandler starts :

« You know … you are so awesome » he says this totally unprompted and unbribed by anyone including me.

« thank you » I say « I’m shocked and deeply touched… How much do I owe you ? »  (I suspect he may be high or tripping or loved up or something, so am covering my arse in a totally sincere but gently humouring ‘off it’ people voice.

« No really ? … » he continues, sensing my disbelief « I mean it. You are one of the reasons why I like to stay living in Ibiza. Regardless of the bullshit, it’s genuine people like you that keep me here.’

‘Me ? A genuine Ibiza person ? Are you sure ?’ I say

‘Yeah’ … he continues … ‘You fit in. Everybody says so’

Paradox. Paronoia. Paradiddle diddle. The cat and the fiddle. Just when I am starting to feel like the only outsider living a tits-up dream, his island ‘everybody’ thinks otherwise and have given me the double thumbs-up by some secret, illuminati vote. There’s nowt as strange as Ibiza residents. For a moment my ego is fiercely buffed, my rose-tinted spectacles polished to a gleaming sheen. The end of the night closes with Maribou State playing Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ – it gives me goosebumps so merits tweeting and instagramming.

Feeling good but can I get a witness – or a signal up in here? That would be a no. Gala Night is in the middle of some bizarre Bermuda triangulation between your phone, your wishes and your message transmitted on the three-legged donkey of spanish service providers. When the last piece of confetti has fallen and the booth is cleared, I meet Sophie in the car park and we drive in convoy (and down the back roads to avoid the police check points around Gala Night) to Underground. We are way too early and it is way too empty so we stay for two then head to Ibiza Rocks at Pikes Hotel. I’m dj’ing plus it’s close-by so it would be rude for us all not to.

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH

On Sunday morning I mostly give my yoga mat the roll out it deserves. I start the day with a nice long hatha session then head to Eroski to shop for barbecue things – tiger prawns, sausages, chicken breasts – all to be marinated before leaving. Sunday is all about celebrating Sophie’s birthday in Calamity Bassa. When I arrive, Brett, John and Mr Doris have already taken charge of all things sizzling on the griddle whilst the rest of us bring our dishes to the table. I chair hop putting the world to rights with Trish, Helen, Miss W, Debra, Sophie, John, Tina and Clare. We eat like rationing is over, and once Colin Peters’ finally arrives with his Traktor set up he blows us away with his legendary balearic blissfulness.

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Like a unicorn in an emerald glade, the subject of my work here reared its head once again, shimmied its mane then bolted for the clearing just underneath the red sun. Tonight I wasn’t the sole focus of the table chatter, there were at least five or six other stories in play at that time so when I locked on and locked in to the conversation that clanged, the words rose and flew like a murder of crows in my head but were quickly gone. I listened and graciously accepted the advice from all, logging and tagging every precious word, computing every possibility with Alan Turing-like precision. The best way to crack the code ?

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Colin leaves to play elsewhere and the entertainment becomes a comical laptop / iphone free for all.

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We are sharing all the love there is, musical, alcoholic, friendship and whatever else is on hand – all for the friendly buzz and not the high. The richest, stickiest cacao fig brownies gave everyone an addictive, spiritual hit. They were the perfect augur for an astrologically magical night where a full moon turned into some woah-trippy sky shit, morphing into an eclipse, then a blood moon and all shared sitting on the roof, reflecting and appreciating with some fellow sky-watching fiends.

When the boys pack up their laptops, I step in with the mix that I had just recorded for Michelle Manetti’s ‘Lipstick Disco’ site.

We dance into the dawn watching clouds take the shape of Mickey Mouse and soaking up a sunrise like a watercolour palette. We’ve been eating, drinking and talking all day. I am one over the eight, happy and exhausted and go to sleep, on the sofa in the landing unable to co-ordinate walking to the empty spare room which is right next door.

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Three hours later I am awoken by Sophie’s dogs, Lucky and Lucy, who are going crazy, jumping all over me, licking me and then sitting on my head. If only I had a boyfriend who was ever this delighted to see me, I think. Then I realise I can’t move out of their way because my neck has been savagely guillotined by the sofa arm rest. It’s time to find Helen, power up Sugar and head home … I have five hours to sleep before I play another 9 hour shift. God give me strength. Or a bullet. Or maybe just a rich husband.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH

WORD OF THE DAY

WAYWORN

\WEY-wawrn, -wohrn\

adjective

DEFINITIONS 1. worn or wearied by travel.

0-Vuskup12-azerty-s-

After a long weekend of irregular eating I have just woken up with my forehead pasted to my keyboard. My brain apparently left the building and my body has been on pause after guzzling a home made breakfast burrito of spicy bacon beans and scrambled eggs with herbs. Anti-Hangry Measures must always be taken. I’ve been gifted with an AZERTY tattoo on my forehead and I am so tired and emotional that I have whatsapped Sophie for missing items that I later find are on the passenger seat of my car where I left them. I also keep crying at Best Vines of cats and babies. I can’t keep my eyes open to watch anything longer than a Snapchat or a looped GIF without experiencing a sense of deep hypnose. I can’t physically attend or even handle one more closing party (but Tuesday is Cocoon in Benimussa). The only closing party I can be bothered to attend is that of my bedroom curtains, and the horizontal lap of honour that will come when I clamp my eyelids tight shut. Bu-bye Ibiza. I have one more day to go and I am dragging my feet like Frankenstein. Besides, isn’t that … rain???? This funky mood is the culmination of weeks spent out on the work, rest and play tiles.

Yes, today is Monday and as Robert Frost once wrote, I have miles (or in my case another 36 hours) to go before I (can get some decent) sleep … So hi-ho, hi-ho it’s off to the Taller Pitiusos to get Sugar (my Volkswagen Golf) fixed (driver side wing mirror was clipped in the car park, b*st*rds never leave a note here!). Then I brave the downpour and drive like all four horsemen of the apocalypse (marvelling at five rainbows on the way), to play to the staff and the handful of weather-beating party people around Pikes Hotel Bar and Pool. It’s my last contracted day here: it seems fitting that ‘the end of the world as we know’ it weather matches this mood.

I feel disconnected like a satellite. Happy sad. It has been a great experience but when I get to the booth area and set up behind the decks there is no fanfare. Everyone is moody, talking about going home, being cold and moaning about the rain. The staff are on a downer because they – and everything – keeps getting wet, the Pikes Hotel pool area is a sodden ghost town and everyone who has braved the bar or restaurant is wearing jackets and jeans. No one is singing in the rain. A few are dancing at least, even if Winter is here before the summer has ended.

I play a great block party set travelling from Drake and Frank Ocean to Jocelyn Brown, Sharon Redd and First Choice and more without breaking sweat. Just as I am winding down to leave I am asked to play beyond closing hours because a rather lovely client (one obviously packing some clout) called Elliot has kept the bar open. Once I’ve finished I am introduced to the famous client, then pass the time by standing, distributing my weight from foot to foot (he is bloody tall) whilst propping up the bar in the Plaza Mayor and talking and drinking beer with Elliot aka Example until the early hours. I tell him I am blown away  by his latest single ‘Whisky Story’ and how much I loved the quirky video (which I can’t post – thanks Vevo!). He is totally nice in the face of my fangirldom.

In return he tells me that has listened to my set from start to finish and we talk about music – Call 911, Pete Rock, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Shaggy, Wyclef – he is full of stories. Then the conversation is thrown wider, we discuss proving oneself, doing things for the community and charity, about growing up in the hood, growing up in Manchester, about education, psychology, films and politics. It is a good day. I don’t remember the drive home but am home for 3ish and I sleep like the dead until 10.30am. When I check my phone Elliot has friended me on Twitter.

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH

Start the day with yoga again. It’s the only thing that is giving me the energy and focus to see me through to the end of the season. I am running on one bar but I get my head together and calmly organise my cds and usb sticks then head to Hotel Es Vive which normally looks like this…

Hotel Es Vive by La Skimal

Jamie and the team are on super form despite the incoming deluge of rain that lands early evening right on cue with Apple meteo. I am set up out of wetness’s way  – annoyingly out of good mixing earshot of the monitor – in the doorway of the Experience Bar, looking out towards a busy restaurant area and a deserted pool. It’s like Silent Disco in reverse, everyone else can hear what I’m doing except me. It’s my last day here as well. The season has ended and emotions are mixed – I am happy, play well despite the guerilla dj booth conditions, eat a little bit and chat with my bosses Jason and Nick at the end. I’ve loved playing here. The staff are just lovely, good humoured under the sky confetti and the clients are upbeat and enjoying the sounds. Here I can play what I like without compromise, they are my first work family and they’re all about to leave the island.

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH

I am mad with myself. It has rained so hard all night that I slept like a hobo on a subway train. It is still raining when I wake up so I am not prepared to do anything other than yoga.

I feel caged and pace in that ‘want to go out’ way. I missed Tuesday’s Cocoon after-party because my boogie buddies were not hard partying enough to love partying in torrential rain. I don’t seem to be able to do anything constructive today except write 800 words : 799 words of which I have a sneaking suspicion are shit. I am doubleplussulking. Just keep writing. At least I have achieved somehow by collecting my package from Correos.It’s a column dress that has the distinction of being worn by Rita Ora : my best friend Jo has posted it to me because she forgot to give it to me when she visited me in Ibiza.

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It’s a no underwear required, a bit-too-big, white to acid yellow column that (when ironed) looks stunning on me as she said it would. I consider wearing it to the Amante closing party then remember that last year some twattish, textile terrorist stuck chewing gum on the front of my shocking orange bodycon wrap dress. This cannot be repeated. I decide to a) steam it then press it like the anal beeyatch that I am and b) wear it (accessorised with a thin gold metal belt and gold, strappy sandals – not my gardening boots as shown here) to the closing of Cirque Du Soleil’s new club, Heart where I can guarantee there won’t be any question of wardrobe envy. And yes I know the P on my wall is not straight – OCD readers who try to straighten the wall hanging in my picture are fifty shades of kerazeee indeed.

Back in my office and I am being brain washed by the blank screen again. I haven’t written a word of reviews for DMC World Magazine Online nor started selecting the music for my radio show. On the bright side I have watched a couple of trailers for The Danish Girl, Spectre – the new James Bond and The Revenant (Oscar or taxi for Di Caprio again ?) all Oscar possibles and blockbusters guaranteed IMHO. I’m not sure what the hell else I have done with this day but it has gone with the wind, rain and clouds. What else is there to do in Ibiza, especially when it’s raining ?

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As the season closes for the hotels, bars and clubs my daily routine is imploding. My wish to get involved in pure, wild animal craziness is on the wane.

I am on the guest list for Tini and the Gang at Lipps and Underground but I am dragging my feet like a puppy in a new leash. The season has ended, the contracts are up. We are nearing the time when everyone packs up and leaves, goes home, goes on holiday, goes back to thier families before they start planning their return and the next season. I haven’t decided what I want to do yet. I can’t. My brain is battered, scrambled by this season. All I want to do is to eat, sleep, rave, hibernate, repeat.

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So that’s exactly what I do. Minus the rave.

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HOW TO KILL A DJ – Day 2

11057221_518288024996422_8856540957208814254_nTO MAKE CHANGES NOT EXCUSES

I have lived and breathed music since before I was born. My musical heritage started with my mum, Blanche, who was a jazz and cabaret singer. In the 60s she co-owned ‘The Ebony Club’, the first integrated dance club in Manchester. Legend has it that, when she was pregnant with me and my twin, her waters broke as she was singing onstage with her band at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester. Consequently music and sirens run through my veins like A Rhesus Positive.

It wasn’t long before I’d graduated from ‘Up Jumps A Rabbit’ to David Bowie, The Beatles, The Jacksons, TSOP, Roxy Music and a wild mixture of funk, soul, new wave, electro and disco. The first 7 » single bought solely for me was ‘Pop Musik’ by M

M – Pop Muzik

I can still remember every lyric now I played it that much. Next I pooled my spends with my twin sister Paula to buy The Crusaders’ ‘Street Life’

The Crusaders – Street Life

and The Police ‘Message In A Bottle’ (import on green vinyl)

The Police – Message In A Bottle

I financed and fed my music addiction with an after-school and weekends paper round that bought me 12s by  Human League, Gary Numan, John Foxx, Spandau and Duran Duran.

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Most djs I know start like this. We are the Indiana Jones’s of our chosen fields. But there is much more to dj’ing and being a success that depends on exterior forces. No matter how much you know, the how much you do, the how many people you pull in and the who you know and who they know who can help and push you will take you much further. It takes a team. No man is an island, especially on this island. For three years I have been knocking on doors but getting slow-where. To succeed on this island – and to live here all year round – you have to hustle hard and I am missing those essential genes and chromosomes. True, I can hustle better than some, but not as well as most. So when the work offers come in and the receipts are totalled, they don’t place my earnings anywhere near Calvin Harris or the Swedish House Mafia in the Forbes Rich List. Not this year anyway.

All things considered I am an above average ( sic award winning) dj who, so far, has lived a pretty amazing life. I have happily enjoyed the fruits (and the odd Bounty) of 20 odd years of this character building, life shaping career loosely termed as dj’ing. On any given day it’s the music that drives me, that blows my core reactor sky high. It’s a weird quirk – and I’m not sure who else feels this, but my temperature goes through the roof when I’m in the mix. It doesn’t matter whether I’m playing nu to deep house across Europe or disco, funk and techno in Ibiza – my biological reaction is the same. Or maybe that’s just a Samantha-strength hot flash.

What started out as a cash-in-hand hobby gave me a much needed release and relief from my ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ marriage and intense graduate studies. Since then it has provided the backdrop and antidote to three relatively high pressure (not JLaw or Beyoncé level …) music industry day jobs. Trowel on a few impressive bouts of burn out, some long-term overseas living in two countries and two extra languages and it’s grown into an internationally recognised career that has been my sole source of income since 1999. Like Peter Pan’s shadow, it has become who I am without my having even noticed. Now it’s time to pick it apart, restitch and reinforce the seams so that it fits me better.

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Wherever my heart and soul crash into any genre – there you’ll find my sound and my record collection. I like to pour this over ice into a long and strong-sipping set. Like when push came to a great freezer bag heaving shove for the nine hour luxuries of my Ibiza summer. Two fried hard drives and a flooded storage unit did nothing to deter me from creating nine hour, 75 to 130 bpm odysseys out of a cobbled together collection of Cds from the dry boxes in my I-Safe storage unit.

I always put a lot of love, heart, soul and effort into my sets. So you’ll understand my Paddington hard stare when people congratulate me on my set by saying either (as an innocent compliment) that it was a great set for a girl, or worse, that I am wasted.

Paddington – Hard Stare

‘But I haven’t drunk a drop’ I say. They don’t mean mullered though. Not even spannered. Not spangled either. They mean wasted as in unappreciated, as in I should be playing somewhere better than this. Somewhere bigger. Somewhere fuller. Somewhere cooler. Feel that burn. I’m always polite back. I believe in myself and good manners and argue (most times without swearing) that they have it all wrong. I fan them with the flames of my absolute devotion, searing love and passion for music and dj’ing. Facts, figures, statistics, wherefores, howevers, whatevers, why nots and whys are all my friends. Yet this side of season end, all that has suddenly stopped making sense. I have a fluttery feeling that’s nothing to do with a post Pulpo Gallego Gaviscon shot and everything to do with my pesky gut instincts?

I love my life and my job and I’m truly grateful for all the joy and the lazy (by 9-5’ers accounts) lifestyle that it brings. Yet something about its rhythm has started to frustrate me. It also bothers me that disappointment has tinged the edges of a happily busy season. Doing OK is not an option when you live alone anywhere and especially not on this expensive island. My heart says ‘feel the love, keep on keeping on and remember the good you’ve done here’. My head says ‘no regrets, you’ve enjoyed your time here, now take what you’ve learned and build on this elsewhere. Make sure that the people you keep around you, the way you do your job and the choices you’ve made throughout the years are continually helping not hindering your progress. Make sure that all of this has been worthwhile.’ My heart can’t wedge a word in edge-wise. My head always has a lot to bloody say.

Meanwhile, my instinct is shouting ‘man up’. This is a small island. You can only take so many pictures of sunsets and delicious seafood platters and of the same people in the same places at the same parties in the same clubs before you start to see the groundhogs. Logic says it’s not disloyal to want to do something more with your life and do this somewhere else.

It looks like this is a good time to let the Ibiza me go. So this is when the fun begins. No present like time.

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Sterling void & Paris Brightledge – It’s Alright

Sterling Void sang ‘and the music plays forever’ and like every seasoned raver that knows the rest of those lyrics, I know ‘it’s gonna be alright’. But I love it here. I love living and working in Ibiza. I know that the highs I have experienced are not the sort of rush I will ever match pushing papers at a desk job. 20 years plus spent appearing on stages and in superclubs, playing to hundreds of thousands of people, rushing through the streets of Paris with a police escort and playing to thousands of people in some sublime outdoor venues and being ushered into a club with people screaming your name and security flanking you every night leaves you breathless. It is a proper head trip. So is hearing your jingle and name played daily or weekly on the radio. Receiving awards, being paid to do what you love and not feeling like it’s work at all – these are blessings indeed that are worth more than a ton of Class A’s bought at cost price on Silk Road. Does cashing up before you hang up a barista’s pinny in Costa Coffee come a close second ? Of course not. The memories I have of the last 20 years are nothing short of amazing, and the shared nostalgia runs deep, but no matter what level of player you are, sooner or later you have to make a choice. Something has to give in the bizarre love triangle between you, your life and the music. Or does it?

No matter what the vagaries of the economy and political climate have thrown me, I have evolved, persisted and persevered when others like me (who were far more successful than me) have thrown in the towel. But the recurrent nightmare persists. A legion of flesh-eating, retrained zombies beat a grisly path to a 6 star (hi speed wifi mandatory) DJ Rest Home to prey on the weak. They break every window and door down but the stone-deaf dj’s inside are oblivious to the groaning and battering and sound of breaking glass. I wake up in a cold sweat and reassure myself with some comforting affirmations.

  1. I rise to more challenges than a Great British Bake Off finalist.
  2. I bounce back from more knock-outs than Stuart Hall.
  3. I rebuild myself, my life and everything surrounding me from ground zero in four cities and three countries
  4. I am harder, better, faster.
  5. I always replicate excellence.
  6. I am a Princess. Or a Kardashian. Child swapped at birth.

It’s time for some tough love. I can feel the sand shifting. The tide of emotions, that ebb and flow of ending and beginning, is rising like the kraken inside me.

 

Below the thunders of the upper deep;

Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,

His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep

The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee

About his shadowy sides; above him swell

Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;

And far away into the sickly light,

From many a wondrous grot and secret cell

Unnumber’d and enormous polypi

Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.

There hath he lain for ages, and will lie

Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,

Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;

Then once by man and angels to be seen,

In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

‘The Kraken’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

Tracy said ‘9 months and go out laughing’… how to do ? I mean how to do ?

my colonel-mustard

TO BE MOTIVATED NOT MANIPULATED

I am pregnant with an idea. In the next nine months I will plan my own murder. It’s going to be like a giant game of Cluedo (bags-eye the glorious sunflower yellow, of course).We’re playing on a giant board with music and a rave in each corner plus a few good friends and some pictures of sunsets and poetry and planning. Most of all with planning. Much as I’d rather it was DJ Paulette in the main room with a USB stick, my loaded laptop is far mightier than a 64MB pen drive. The goal is to go out laughing… and to do this with crowd support (or crowd funding).

50/50 or ask a friend? I’ve never been fifty and I’ve never retired before, so forgive me for not wanting to call this and not knowing how to be or do either. Apparently I don’t look it, (ie forty eight, whatever that means). I subconsciously don’t ACT it, I certainly don’t feel it and I definitely don’t want the music to stop, which is four quarters of the problem. I don’t know any dj who has so-called retired who has not been exhumed weighing at least ten kilos heavier and with way less hair on top of their heads. Or more if you’re Paul Oakenfold. Admittedly Oakey never went away but either he has Wayne Rooney’s hairdresser’s number or I am Michelle Obama. Every DJ resurrection involves waving one’s legend like Excalibur (or an enormous Nag Champa jostick if you’re Balearic) in one hand and spinning a bag of oldskool house and rave classics with the other. I am never going to give up my music, yet I struggle with this. I’ll just have to wing it.

Aloe Blacc – I Need Dollar

I’m not saying that it will never be attractive to me but the concept of playing a set of big old tunes and back to back house classics does give me the willies. Who wants to play all the old hits ? All night ? Back to Back ? Without a break ? To a public with a school reunion mentality but dressed in modern rave attire instead of novelty school skirts, shorts and ties. I dread that awkward moment when my set can be timed by the placement of Voodoo Ray, Gat Decor, Dream Lover, Good Life, Strings Of Life, Big Love, Higher States of Consciousness, Jaguar and Promised Land. Where to next, once the punters start to remark on their Pavlovian regularity (and believe me they will)? I’d rather have my head slammed repeatedly in a Metrolink door than have to play all the hits just for dollar. I’m sure that science has proved (somewhere) that a roomful of monkeys could cobble together a respectable classics set using the new Pioneer CDJ2000s. Somebody just shoot me now. And don’t get me started on people making a career out of re-editing other people’s music. Should you find me hypocriting somewhere by headlining the next big ‘back to 1994’ wrinkly rave, feel free to show me this paragraph. But hold the door for me when you see me carrying my Bitcoin billions into the bank.

How can I change tack without going too far off course and keep buzzing about music and clubs? How can I make the sort of change that stretches and inspires me ? One that is legal, decent, conscious, honest, unselfish and generous? Which option or opportunity might provide the stepping stone to the next chapter?  And is it possible to see my bit part written into Manchester’s musical herstory? Am I doing the right thing even? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions but I feel ready to go boldly and raucously into the nights, dark and dazzling,  that this pilgrimage is about to bring.

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About those options and opportunities. I have decided to keep a diary. This diary. Maybe it’s not the career booster method that immediately sprung to your mind but don’t knock it. It’s a start. Psychologists recommend writing your feelings out and I have a lot of those.

Inspired by the picture I have in my mind and the cyclone of words flying like butterflies around my head, I sit at my computer poised to write. I am mostly waiting for an Emmaus sized catharsis and revelation. I look like I am trying to squeeze this out like it’s a silent fart in a lift. Then I stop dead like a Basset Hound on the scent of something it can’t quite define or recognise. The screen is still white and I am suffering from divine blindness. A question and answer session ensues. With myself. Out loud (of course). I regularly consult and argue with my inner expert. Should I post it this a blog ? Yes maybe – then my links will make immediate sense to the swipe generation. Do I post it as a vlog ? Erm – can’t be arsed making crap hand held / selfie stick clips on my iphone – they look so home made and unprofessional. Plus there’s always something embarrassing on the bathroom floor and out of frame toilet shots aren’t the way I’d like to go viral. Who in their right mind takes a selfie after doing a number 2 and before flushing the chain? Not me. Home photo sessions and videos are indeed really shite. Add some scruffy randomness on the bed or sofa or kitchen work top that you wish you’d moved before you pressed record and send … No. Something has to be left to the imagination – at the outset at least. But if that fails, then there’s always Youtube, Instagram and live streaming.

Try as I might to drag it behind me, this body is heavier than I thought. If I’m going to murder myself (on paper) I need a good plan and a lot of help (not just psychiatric). I am thinking ‘Sex and The City’ with a bit of ‘Shallow Grave’ but all wrapped up in ‘I’ll Be There For You’. It’s got to be a cross platform affair. It’s a sad state of play but most dj’s, a&r’s and managers I’ve spoken to don’t happen to list reading as one of their preferred past-times. Unless it’s a flyer. Or a contract. I need to make this so called DJ Life resonate with any and every unannounced eavesdropper outside of this room, this house and this industry. Hmmm … * scratches head *. My premise is solid. No matter how amazing the life, we are all mortal. We are not forever young. Not even Madonna and Calvin Harris. OK maybe Madonna.

The words start to flow, then I delete it all. I write some more. Then doubt and insecurity bound up, panting like two daft Collies who keep returning with a stick for me to throw. Now I am freaking out about what people might think. I tell myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect and that there’s room for fine tuning. And I’m thinking – ‘BUt what if I’m not big enough’? Better to be honest and brave, to do and say the right (write) thing and write the book I have in my head than to be an ostrich who never sees or changes anything and doesn’t ever do anything different.

Breathe. You know it’s gonna be alright. Everything will turn out just fine.

Focus. Think positively. I open Youtube for inspiration and watch best animal clips before making a bee-line for the freezer. I find and eat a Magnum that has been maturing for so long that it could easily have ripped a hole in the other side of the Titanic. I sit back at my desk enjoying the ice-cream brain freeze, then demolish the rest of my half-eaten, in-case-of-emergencies bag of Haribo that’s been sitting on my desk since last night. I stare alternately at my fingers and the screen, glaze over, then do practically fuck all* after this, due to the sugar rush and food coma. *Note to self – I can do this doing fuck all thing quite well.

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Don’t think. Just do it.

… To Be Continued …

HOW TO KILL A DJ DAY 1

Some of this is fact, all of this is fiction. But if the truth doesn’t mind, then none of this even matters. All you need to know is that I am verbally incontinent and can no longer hold my peace.

Jhelisa – Hold My Peace

SEPTEMBER

The constitution has been written.

constitution

TO LIVE BY CHOICE NOT BY CHANCE

Space Ibiza, Friday September 25th, 2015 – Glitterbox closing

Funky Green Dogs – Fired Up

Join me upstairs in the Sunset Terrace at Space, Ibiza as Todd Terry plays his ‘one last tune’ for the Glitterbox Closing Fiesta – it’s Funky Green Dogs ‘Fired Up’ and we are doing our damnedest to ramp up the sexy. This is me – a dazzling human discoball in my traffic-stopping sequinned jacket, electric blue Chanel glasses, bright white glitter t-shirt and black asymmetric tassled suede skirt. I’m fierce. I’m fabulous. And working that ‘Nearly Big Five No’ salt and pepper ‘fro like the diva that I am. I’m dancing next to Tracy, the straight talking, Yoda conscience of our gang who is wearing a beige Armani wrapover dress with a hemline that leaves much to the imagination and a neckline that leaves nothing at all. Next in my eyeline is the fabulous Foxy (our débutante draglamourpuss) who is flirting and narrowing her eyes at the straight boys in her incendiary, feline way whilst Anna Cini, grande dame of the VIP is effortlessly commanding everyone’s attention with her imposing personality, outsized jewellery and dramatic decolletage. We all sizzle for shizzle. We are the sex in this city: for tonight at least.

« … Can I say one thing …’ Tracey’s voice cuts through the music like a hot knife through butter – I stop dancing and offer her my best ear. She lowers her voice and continues ‘if I have one message for you it’s this…9 months and go out laughing.» Her comment pierced the wall of sound like William Tell’s arrow through that apple. Dazed, I felt her words hit me with the boom of the confetti and CO2 cannons. I floated with the force above the strobe-lit heads, and landed to the ‘ooh aah’ sound of an easily impressed crowd. Cue unprecedented activity in the remaining active neural pathways. Our dance-off resumed seconds later and like nothing had been said but her words had walked in and shook shit up. Just like that.

Tracy is an in-demand consultant in the Banking world. She is paid to see where change is imminent and essential and find solutions when others can’t.   She is a specialist in her field and she does not candy coat anything. Ever. Especially not to her friends. To her I shouldn’t accept or settle for climbing the Ibiza ladder by playing nine hour sets in some cool hotels, bars, restaurants and occasionally in prestigious clubs. To her I am not being listened to properly (annoying when that is what dj’ing is all about) and should seriously reassess my position here. She says that I can and should be doing better than this and that this is maybe not the right place for me. Wow. I thought I was doing so well. It sucks hard that there are some truths that only your best friends will tell you.

Other people’s perspective is such a beautiful thing. Now I am close to tears yet laughing like I’ve od’d on nitrous oxide. Or maybe that’s just the effect of a bump of coke, three shots of tequila, a hierbas con hielo and the ecstasy all kicking in at once? Whatever it is, it’s given me an ‘Inception’ kick to the ground floor of reality’s future.

‘Get your bearings again, centre yourself … don’t run and don’t cry … I repeat this like a mantra until I disappear into the anonymity of the dancefloor. After trudging a personal furrow to Tee’s Freeze beats, I open my eyes and look around. Everything is still the same. Nothing has changed. Everything is as it always was and will be. There we were, four party-starters, showing out and showing off in the VIP of Space, Ibiza. But here I stand on the snake that takes you back to the beginning of the game to start all over again. I feel free.I feel excited. I feel afraid. I feel cheated. I feel sick. I feel lost. I feel inspired. I feel all of the above all at the same time and I also feel strangely relieved.

In the overfull but volume-lite El Salon / smoking area, Horsemeat Disco and DJ Pippi were smashing the classics. James Hillard finished with a disco re-edit of Norman Connors’ ‘Take It to The Limit’ and Pippi amped it up with a jacking vocal / soulful house set including Masters At Work’s ‘Backfired’ (both of which felt more relevant to me than ever before). Up until this point, my dj life, much like this Glitterbox party has passed in an ecstatic haze. I have bounced like a kid between the backstage area, the dj booth and the dancefloor like the party would never end. Still, I am a happy, clappy clubber, congratulating Pippi on his choices, dancing and distracting and being mega sociable talking to BHS / Lo Cura’s Dave Phillips and some new found shot-guzzling friends about my jacket and my glittery silver shoes – in a whirlwind of profound superficiality.

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Then way ahead of the usual curfew, someone from the Direction – or a technician (not sure which) – came to turn the sound down again, and did so so drastically that the crowd who were in full rave, instinctively start the penguin migration to repopulate the main room for the headline dj. Every club on the island does this, especially if there are not enough people to fill all the rooms that are open. It is a method that we djs all adhere to without complaint but one that I don’t always agree with. Like now.

In life as in art as in clubbing. Flow is a beautiful thing. When a room is rocking and full why limit people’s dance floor choices ? If people are having a good time in the second room then leave the second room open. Why does the party ever have to stop ? Why should it  even? When I started dj’ing that was how fresh, new talent used to rise to the top. It was all about that moment when push comes to shove and someone noticeably and unexpectedly cuts it way better on performance, musical content and crowd appreciation than the other djs on the bill. Let the games begin and let the people decide. But things have changed drastically in those 23 years. It was so much simpler back in the day when and where I started…

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I officially (ie name on a flyer) began dj’ing 23 years ago in the Pussy Parlour at the Flesh Night at the Hacienda in Manchester. It was promoted by flyers and posters. There was no internet, no email and the only social network was our friends, our home phones, a few working phone boxes and the doorbell / door knocker. We arranged to meet in pubs or at bus stops. And when we got to the Hacienda it was a rave from the changing of clothes in the car park, to the party in the queue and onwards from the cloakroom and the café on into that mecca of hedonism. The Hacienda had two rooms, and at the Flesh Night only four djs (mostly residents) covered those rooms and played all night. The second room finished half an hour before the main room and you could set your watch by it.

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Displaced like an ant from a work top, I find myself walking around in circles unable to settle.This ‘smiley mouse in a wheel’ routine is actually part of my drug and club enjoyment.

I find the others, we repeat and rave our way to the end of the night, falling out of the club laughing and blinking. Sunglasses on and we admire the sunrise taking shape over Ushuaia from the dingy, tarmac outside the entrance door of Space. We discuss the idea of going on to an after hours at Underground or going on to their sumptuous villa in Santa Eularia (where, incidentally, they respectably keep going until just after midday). Remembering that I have to work in five hours bursts my boogie bubble, so I leave them with hugs and double european kisses and walk alone to my car. I bump into friends Guy and Dean and we have one of our fucked up but funny, thought association conversations about the Glitterbox dj line up for the night (I never knew you could get so much lexical mileage out of Greg Wilson, Dimitri from Paris and Todd Terry ?) and then we talk about everything and nothing at all. It passes the time until we get to the Playa D’En Bossa roundabout where we part company. By the time I get to my car, (which might as well be in Africa I have parked it so far away) the brisk walk has brought on an unexpected but welcomed rush. I sit and gather my thoughts.

From 5pm till midnight I have been a wedding dj, playing the whole seven hours of the pre to blessing to dinner and dancing event on one drink, 2 mini shots of gazpacho and with no toilet break. My failure to find any leftover food in the kitchen and an insulin slump meant tear arsing it to Playa D’En Bossa. My life was saved by guzzling the quickest Vitello Tonnato in town and a chat with my friend, the chef Tim at Clandestino. My friends were ready to leave and the restaurant was waiting to close as I arrived but everyone waited until I had eaten so we could car pool to Space and fly together in a chemically assisted, high altitude (and attitude) balloon. That’s what friends are for, right ?

Should I drive or should I call a taxi ? Is it real or Memorex ? I know this shouldn’t even be a consideration – The Guardia here are severe with black people at the best of times and the 500€ and immediate confiscation of licence penalties is a total stinger for everyone at any time. But there are no taxis on the road and the taxi number is ringing out. It is clearly off the hook. It’s 7am, there’s no such thing here as an Uber and Ibiza is suddenly a ghost town. There is literally no one on the road except me. No pedestrians, no cars and no guardia nacional or civil to be seen (which is bizarre for a stretch of road that notoriously lights up the Road Cool WhatsApp group like July 4th every night). There’s nada. Niente. Nothing stirring, not even this smiley mouse behind the wheel.

I have glitter confetti instead of diamonds stuck to the soles of my shoes and my head is a whirlpool of nostalgia and memories. For no good reason and for all of the above, I start to sob gently with my head resting on the steering wheel. Let it go.

Tears dried, I take a deep breath and centre myself. Eye balls are focussed, the optic nerve is happily at rest. I’ve never been one for gurning nor eyes Warner Brothers whirling in their sockets so thank goodness for small mercies there. And there is still nothing on the road. That I instinctively sat in the driver’s seat facing direction of the traffic and looking straight ahead out of the crystal clear windscreen is a box well ticked (you would be surprised how many fail THAT test and still drive!). Yes! I can feel my feet and co-ordinate the pedals perfectly. Yes! I can put the key in the ignition without needing instructions, prayer or a co-pilot. The Guardia are sleeping with their wives and lovers and home is just a kiss away. All road risk has been carefully assessed. Mirror. Signal. Manouevre. And away we go (even Ibicencs don’t use their mirror when they are sober so I know I am doing well.) I am home in 15 minutes. I thank Sugar out loud and kiss her on the dash as I take the key out of the ignition. Even though I am not proud of the motoring risks I have taken, my trusty VW always gets me home in one beautiful, smiling piece. I shower, promising myself that I will never do that again and snatch four hours sleep as the day – and the island – wakes up.