Dudes! How are we doing? I took aaaaaaaages off from blogging in order to move city, start a new job, help run a festival, and then newly married Sam Holland reminds me that this is exactly the kind of shit I ought to be blogging about. So yeah, I’m starting up again. Hello.
So as I’m sure most of you know, I’m working at The Full Moon & Moon Club, and have recently been promoted from resident DJ to all round busybody. Best thing about this new job? Getting to work behind the bar whilst awesome, awesome bands are on. Within the last few weeks, I’ve been pulling pints for Tree House Fire’s album launch, Hip Route downstairs, Canadian heroes Pink Mountaintops, and had my face ripped a new one by Karma To Burn and Peter Pan Speedrock, not to mention the glorious weekend that was Hub Festival. I’ve rediscovered riffs people. I’ve taken far too long off from bands, only going to nights full of processed kicks and snares, but Hogslayer, Karma, and P. P. Speedrock have re-introduced me to the power of guitar riffs.
There’s a strange split between music scenes at the moment. All the DJs seem to know all the DJs, and all the bands know all the bands…why is there not more intermingling? I spent the past 4 years getting to know every DJ and every scene in Cardiff (and many in Bristol), and I gotta say, getting to know the bands in 2014 has been even more fun. Since anybody can DJ from their laptop these days, the ‘scene’ seems less about swapping ideas, and more like a game of who can be the most up-to-date on new releases and free downloads. Have you heard ‘x’? Have you heard ‘y’? Obviously there’s nothing better than sharing your favourite music, but it’s starting to feel like a competition, and here’s why. If I show one of my DJ compadres a tune at 110bpm with a sick wobble, then they can play that tune out and profit off of it. If I show them a tune by a speed metal band which is actually better, that’s a worthless share, because it can’t be used by said DJ in a set. But hang on, is that really the point of sharing music? Isn’t it supposed to simply inspire? Reminds me of the recent cuts to the Radio 1 roster. The word ‘demographic’. *shudder*
I think what I’m getting at is this. Just because you happen to be in a scene, it doesn’t make that scene your whole identity. If you look outside the sound you have found yourself in, then you’re opening yourself up to higher and higher levels of inspiration. If you’re a folk singer, and you can spot something you actually like about gabba and techno, you’re winning. If you’re a drum ‘n’ bass DJ, and you find some sludge metal that really gets you going, then thumbs up. But remaining so insular to your own scene, that you congratulate everyone in it, and shun outsiders…well that just holds us all back. Seeing the wood for the trees I think it’s called.
So the big gig this week is on Thursday with Andy Cairns, frontman of the alternative metal band Therapy?, a fantastic opportunity for all of y’all to remember your roots! As I said, every Tom, Dick & Harry is apparently a ‘DJ’ now, but how many of you also learnt guitar as a teenager? Weren’t you all about grunge, punk & metal when you were growing up? If you’ve taken a few years off from some face-kicking rock music, I guarantee you, those feelings are still there. That little rocker in you is lying dormant ready and waiting to break free.