Monday, 9 May 2011

Should I, Shouldn't I?

Sometimes it's hard to know what to do - I'm seriously thinking about calling it a day DJing - The last year has made me take a look back at how I earn a living and I'm beginning to feel that maybe time is catching up with me.

I'm beginning to feel that I'm now at the age when I need to re-evaluate how I do things. I'd already stopped doing 18th parties ages ago, then 21sts followed. Now I'm looking at 30ths and wondering whether people appreciating someone old enough to be their Dad DJing at the party for them.

I'm still doing the job and still getting lovely remarks each time I play out at parties, but I'm starting to feel that perhaps it's time to call it a day - I've got bookings as far ahead as the end of this year, but in the interim, I'm going to think seriously about calling it a day.

I've worked too many times, especially at nights I've put on and played to too few people, that the last year has been the first time I've found myself not enjoying it as much as I always have.

I always said to myself that when I stopped enjoying it, it was probably time to call it a day. However, there are still nights when I go out and it's as great as it ever was.

Take last Saturday as an example - I'd been booked to do a 40th birthday party, and the client wanted a soulful night, with lots of Caister anthems and a bit of Disco as well as Motown and other soul related tunes and to take some requests as well. This was just the type of party I really enjoy doing.

The party was only for around 50 guests, but it was a great night with an appreciative audience, who liked their music and had a great time. Here's the play list for the evening:

1 Fab Samperi ft Jonathan Molina - Listen Up
2 Jazzelicious - Fantastico
3 Sunlightsquare Latin Combo - I Believe In Miracles
4 Barbara Pennington - On A Crowded Street
5 Wilton Felder - Inherit The Wind
6 Sherrick - Just Call
7 Real To Reel - Love Me Like This
8 Black Box - Fall Into My Love
9 Mark Johnson - Daydream
10 Bob Sinclar - Darlin'
11 Charme ft Luther Vandross - Georgy Porgy
12 Teddy Pendergrass - Believe In Love (Phat Phili Mix)
13 Gerry Le Veaux - Front Of The Line
14 Jaheim - Ain't Leavin' Without You
15 Heston - Greatest Lover
16 Eugene Record - Overdose Of Joy
17 George Benson - Love Ballad
18 McCrarys - Love On A Summer Night
19 Keni Burke - Hang Tight
20 Chanel - My Life (TC & MWorld Southern Knights Mix)
21 Don E - Love Makes The World Go Round
22 Norman Hutchins - I Really Love You
23 Neo - Smile
24 Chi-Lites - Try My Side (Of Love)
25 Alexander O'Neal & Cherelle - Saturday Love
26 Gladys Knight & The Pips - When You're Far Away
27 George Benson - Inside Love (So Personal)
28 T Connection - At Midnight (Danny Tanaglia's Faithful Mix)
29 Blackbyrds - Walkin' In Rhythm
30 Al Matthews - Fool
31 David Ruffin - Rode By The Place (Where We Used To Stay)
32 Raydio - Jack & Jill
33 Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis - You're Gonna Get Next To Me
34 Gloria Gaynor - This Love Affair
35 Gloria Scott - Too Much Lovemaking
36 Lew Kirton - Heaven In The Afternoon
37 Willie Hutch - Soul Strut
38 Walter Jackson - Touching In The Dark
39 Dennis Taylor - Smile
40 Leroy Hutson - Get To This
41 Finis Henderson - Skip To My Lou
42 Dayton - Sound Of Music
43 Average White Band - Let's Go Round Again
44 Jocelyn Brown - Somebody Else's Guy
45 Fatback Band - I Found Lovin'
46 Young & Company - I Like What You're Doing To Me
47 Atlantic Starr - Circles
48 Booker Newberry III - Love Town
49 Jr Walker & The All Stars - How Sweet It Is
50 Elgins - Heaven Must Have Sent You
51 Temptations - Ain't Too Proud To Beg
52 Kool & The Gang - Ladies Night
53 Chic - Good Times
54 Rose Royce - Car Wash
55 Abba - Dancing Queen
56 Luther Vandross - Never Too Much
57 McFadden & Whitehead - Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now
58 Angie Stone - Wish I Didn't Miss You
59 Gwen McCrae - Keep The Fire Burning
60 Chaka Khan - I Feel For You
61 Michael Jackson - PYT (Pretty Young Thing)
62 Anita Ward - Ring My Bell
63 Supremes - The Happening
64 Martha Reeves & the Vandellas - Jimmy Mack
65 Bobby Bloom - Montego Bay
66 Freda Payne - Band Of Gold
67 Chairman Of The Board - Give Me Just A Little More Time
68 Sam Cooke - Twistin' The Night Away
69 Little Eva - Locomotion
70 Willie Mitchell - Champion (Part 1)
71 Frank Wilson - Do I Love You
72 O'Jays - I Love Music
73 James Brown - Sex Machine
74 Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight
75 Stevie Wonder - Superstition
76 Isley Brothers - Harvest For The World

There was only one request that didn't fit the format, and that was for Abba - but hey, it was asked for. The client asked me to go with requests, so I played it - BIG mistake - totally cleared the floor, but it didn't really surprise me.

At the end of the evening - the client came over, and said that I'd played just what they'd wanted and that they were really happy. The guests had a good time. Throughout the evening people were dancing, and everyone enjoyed themselves, including me.

It's just a shame it's not like that when I put anything on - I would've thought I'd had a fair bit to contribute to the scene round here, but apparently that's not how it appears. After a year of trying with events, I've managed to get people to drive from places like Rotherham, London, Bedford, Thetford, Melton Mowbray and more, but I haven't been able to get people more than 20 people from Cambridge to come, so perhaps I'll stop wasting my time and just do parties and other people events.

Every party or wedding I've done here has been really great and people have always come up to me and told me what a great time they've had and what quality music I play, but I've been unable to transfer that to the events I've put on. It's a shame, because more than anything, it's eroded from the joy I get from what is my chosen profession.

I think it's time to take stock and decide where my future lies with regard to DJing.

Fortunately I'm still enjoying doing my radio shows, but that too may have to change if I make the changes I envisage making in the next year. Unless I can derive an income from what I do, then maybe I'll have to take another route. Personally it'll be a sad day for me when I do call it a day, but that's still in the future for now.

After a great night on Saturday though, it was time to get the Sunday Shake Up on the air.

Here's the playlist:
1 Al  Johnson & Jean Carn - I'm Back For More
2 Keni Burke - Risin' To The Top
3 Miles Jaye - Let's Start Love Over
4 Oleta Adams - Never Knew Love
5 SWV - Right Here
6 DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - Summertime
7 Jazz Crusaders - Keep That Same Old Feeling
8 Al Jarreau & George Benson - Breezin'
9 Brian Hughes - Here We Go
10 Richard Stepp - Caught Up In A Whirlwind
11 Yarbrough & Peoples - You're My Song
12 Beverley Knight - Mama Used To Say
13 Billy Paul - Your Song
14 Dexter Wansel - Sweetest Pain
15 Stevie Wonder - As
16 Temptations - Treat Her Like A Lady
17 Central Line - (You Know) You Can Do It
18 Grover Washington Jr - Winelight
19 Blackbyrds - Rock Creek Park
20 Lalo Schifrin - Bullitt
21 Donny Hathaway - The Ghetto
22 Leo's Sunshipp - Give Me The Sunshine
23 Ohio Players - Who'd She Coo
24 Prince - Sign O' The Times
To hear James' recent shows, go to

The rest of the day was spent getting the Pure Grooves magazine sorted and it was put online today. Click here. 

That's it for now - I probably sound like I'm fed up - at the moment I am. But as Willie Hutch says in "Soul Strut" - 'Who knows what tomorrow may bring'...

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