No one likes the Birdie Song. It's the devil dressed in a 'song'. The other songs that are hated at weddings may surprise you though.
No one likes the Birdie Song. It's the devil dressed in a 'song'. The other songs that are hated at weddings may surprise you though.
Oxfordshire DJ and broadcaster Neal Veglio is making another appearance as host at the prestigious Didcot Business and Community Awards this year.
The Didcot-born broadcaster's returning back to his home town, and spending the evening on the stage of the prestigious Cornerstone theatre to once again front the awards ceremony.
The annual Didcot First organised gala night recognises the most community-focused local businesses and organisations.
Last year's winners included Soha Housing, Go Green Taxis, Sustainable Didcot, and Soll Leisure.
Speaking about being given a second crack at hosting the event, Neal said; "I'm so happy to be asked back. I'm really proud of my Didcot roots, and always welcome the chance to come back to the town and just do what I do, in the company of the community and neighbours that I love."
Just when we thought the music legend reaping had passed, and Death had left the earth to settle for a while, and our pop icons to survive a little longer on this mortal coil, Grimmy strikes again. And he didn't just choose any old music legend this time. No. He wanted to make impact once more. This time, taking the father of Dream Trance, Robert Miles.
This one was important to me, for a number of reasons. "Children" was THE first commercial dance record I was played on the radio, while salaried. Before that, the closest I'd come was sitting in the studio and pushing the button to play Everything But The Girl's "Missing" for another DJ who was doing a live remote broadcast at the time. That doesn't really count. I was an intern. Barely out of college.
I remember the feeling I got as those haunting bass filled piano notes played out on the whispery AM radio signal. It shouldn't have worked. But it did. That song was a work of genius. And I am even more fond of it since I learned that the man who created it, did so for charitable reasons, as part of a dangerous driving awareness campaign for the drugged up revellers who were going out to the clubs his song was playing at. He was trying to calm their euphoria, and get their faces off the ceiling, before they attempted to drive home.
This song was special to me, which is why this is less a remix, and more a respectful musical nod.
It's the sound I'm inspired to create when listening back to the original. It uses real piano and guitars to recreate the magic, because like Miles himself, why do it if you're not going to do it differently?
Last year's "A Different World Festival" attracted crowds of thousands, who gathered under the August sunshine to enjoy a mix of new and established acts including Mellor and headliners Little Mammoths - fronted by Noah and the Whale's Matt Urby.
This time around, there will be sets from a host of new acts, and it will all be capped off by a headline performance of Neal Veglio's new festival DJ brand - V3GLIO. Crowds will be treated to an exclusive first-look at a high-octane new kind of set fusing high-energy beats with rock music icons to provide a real dance-along opportunity for party-hungry 'real' music lovers.
A Different World Festival, which is the brainchild of local music fans Simon and Louise Turner, is aimed at providing a 'fully inclusive' festival for music lovers of all ages.
Talking about the return of Veglio to the day's bill, so-organiser Louise Turner said: "Neal kept our event flowing and got the crowd going. We were so impressed we've asked him back to host AND headline this year!"
Neal Veglio was once heard waking up listeners across Berkshire on local station JACK fm. He's delighted to be hosting a high-profile event in the area again.
Veglio said: "After years of holding things together on stages for radio stations, I've been looking for more worthwhile causes to bring my skills to. As a music lover myself, I adore having the opportunity to use my skills to bring more live music to people who might otherwise not have the privilege of hearing it."
The return is testament to the hard work and determination of the Turners who cite their son Sam as their inspiration. And it's been no easy task taking on the challenge for a second time. Louise said: "Last year it was well attended and gives those that sometimes have limited opportunities the chance to experience a music festival. Our festival gives them this opportunity. We have made some incredible friends along the way and learned so much more about disability and how difficult life can be, ourselves."
Tickets are now available to buy from their site at adifferentworldfestival.co.uk
Notes for Editors:
Organisers Simon and Louise Turner can be contacted via the site adifferentworldfestival.co.uk
The festival is taking place at Reading's Abbey Rugby Football Club
I always celebrate when I see that 'boast', because I know it means they're one less person who can challenge me for clients in a very competitive market.
The chances are, if you're booking a DJ from anything other than a recommendation, or reputation, then they probably think they're too cool for your gig, but they need the money to pay for all the ridiculously over the top equipment they've bought. Why would you want to hire a DJ with that attitude?
Here's what I played at a birthday event at a club the other day.
You'll note the direction I took just 38 minutes into the set. Los Del Rio! Whigfield!
Cue the purist DJ 'experts' who don't play cheese: - "Oh my god. I bet you lost the dancefloor at that point, right?"
When a DJ plays cheese in places where the flavour doesn't overwhelm the tastebuds, it can absolutely set a dance-floor on fire. And for the record, Macarena was enjoyed by a gang of cool late teenagers and early twenty-somethings, not a group of mums reliving their 18-30's heydays, around their handbags.
Not that I would have minded if they were. It's all about the fun.
What was your most memorable party moment? I'll bet it wasn't shaking your tail-feather to a credible dance tune. It's more likely to have been to something that the DJ you were thinking of booking has noted on their 'banned songs' list. Wish them luck, walk away, and book with a provider who doesn't think they're too good for your favourite feel good songs.
You can now hire me directly for corporate and VIP parties, and even festivals, through my profile on the brilliant Headliner.io website, which only publicises the most elite of DJ performers.
I can't wait to bring my brand of entertainment to your event, soon! Keep an eye on this page for official announcements of bookings, already in the pipeline!
I go back a bit you know. I started my profession of playing songs on the radio in the mid-90s, just a few years before many of the songs in this coming slideshow were even a concept in an eager-to-please studio producer's mind.
Some of these are still pop classics that get regular airings on the radio even now. And many of them were underground at the time, and have made the cross genre leap into mainstream pop since. Whoever saw Jay Z becoming a regular guest in the pop charts back when the dancefloor anthem in this feature piece was released?
Let's be honest, most of the current dance music being audibly sprayed into the charts can sometimes sound quite generic and music-by-numbers. It's been quite sometime since we were treated to a real adrenaline-raising dancefloor smash that breaks boundaries and punches convention in the ears. That may in fact offer some kind of explanation for the very reason this previous post I made, exists.
Honestly, recent music from the likes of Avicii and David Guetta has done nothing to prop up the gradually increased snobbery towards the genre.
Not since the early 2000s has anyone really taken a chance, and done something outside the typical realms of 'doof doof' beats and whiney DJ Snake clone synth sounds.
I remember at the time just how perfectly fresh the side project from Thomas Bangaltar sounded when Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You" faded in at Ministry of Sound in the summer of 1998. I had a similar rush when first hearing Spiller's anthemic "Groovejet" started to move feet in an otherwise mainstream Soho late license bar.
As a pimply and undernourished nerdy student, I produced a few pieces of what some might consider the pre-cursor to modern EDM, using something called a tracker - a free piece of software which utilised the quickly evolving stereo audio chipsets of the hugely popular 16 bit generation of home computers.
Two huge 90s dance hits were produced using the same software I spent hours in my bedroom perfecting. One of which was this one, from Urban Shakedown.
I've recently started revisiting my teenage dabbles, and have been using more modern DAWs for my own remixes and re-edits for inclusion in my sets. I feel they add a more 'exclusive' and 'appearance' feel to even the most intimate and private of gigs.
In this era of music production, it's not difficult to put together a professional sounding beat. The dance charts are filled with them.
It is, however, quite difficult to really stand out with a tune that's doing something a bit different.
That's why this video is quite a nice watch.
Think what you like about Calvin Harris' talents as a songwriter or performer, but you can't fault his commitment to his art as a musician. The guy can play actual instruments, and in this video, you can see him doing just that, as he licks out a riff on a guitar, and plonks out a few chords on a piano.
It's shifting the goalposts on a process we very much take for granted, and throwing in a surprise.
Nice work, Calvin.
Not only is this a pretty cool glimpse of the inner workings of a top EDM producer's lair, but it may even inspire a few geeks to actually learn the basics of playing an instrument.
Whether you're basing your choice on price, quality, or availability, it's important to establish their suitability for your event. This goes double for a wedding.
As an actively jobbing DJ in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and the Thames Valley, I've carried all kinds of events, some of which have been weddings. Even with my twenty years of experience, I've never stopped learning with every evening reception that Ive fronted, and I don't think a good DJ ever does.
Do you really want the event's most memorable moment to be the DJ emptying the dance floor because they only have dub-step on their computer? Or maybe the fact the party started three hours too late because they had to go out and rent or buy replacement equipment which went wrong?
Or, worse still, no party at all because the venue wouldn't allow them to set up due to a lack of legal requirements being met.
These are all factors which many busy and stressed-out brides just don't get round to thinking about, but all can and have happened to amateurish and unprepared DJs.
You can cover off all of these concerns with three simple questions you can ask your DJ when you meet them in person. You ARE going to meet with them first, right? That brings us nicely to our first one...
Let's be honest, we all have to start somewhere. Even David Guetta had to do a first gig. And if he's this bad now, imagine how terrible he must have been when he started his career? We can only grow as artists when we put our practice to the test. That said, is your big day the ideal time for them to continue testing their relatively fresh skills? You want to be looking at someone who is serious enough that they're using their own equipment, not renting everything. Fine, they may be missing a couple of touches like top of the range lights, or mood enhancers such as love letters and a cloud floor. If they're struggling to wire up their unfamiliar, rented speaker system, they're probably best thanked for their time, and motioned out of the door during your informal chat, rather than at the end of a disappointing and costly night.
I'm going to level with you here. DJs hate playing requests. Well, that is, some DJs do. There's a reason. It's something pretty much all DJs struggle to overcome when training to entertain crowds for a living. Their own egos. The simple fact is, some songs will simply empty a dancefloor. The fact is, your Aunt Mavis is going to have more than a couple of glasses over her usual limit of Pinot Grigio, and she's going to want to dance to some Englebert Humperdink or Dolly Parton. And the DJ is going to play it for her, or she'll get irate and start putting them on blast for the rest of the night. And once the DJ finally succumbs, she won't be satisfied. She'll want something else. And it will be equally bad. And the dancefloor will stay empty, because even she isn't quite drunk enough to actually dance to it yet. And that is why the DJ hates playing requests. However, this is where the buck stops - it's YOUR day. Not the DJ's. And you need to establish up front what kind of night you want. Do you want an endlessly packed dance floor, with some disappointed guests, or do you want to risk a largely empty floor with a small amount of guests who will have the take-away of an epic night? It's that simple really. Or at least, it is if you're hiring a relatively inexperienced DJ who doesn't have the skill to blend in these necessary evils while still playing to the majority of the invited guests. Make sure this is a conversation you have with your DJ before paying ANY kind of deposit. You'd be surprised how many DJs are so up their own arse, they'd rather walk away from your event than agree to your rules on what to play.
You may be surprised to know, many wedding DJs aren't that great. They'll tell you they're credible, experienced, high-value... some will even use the word 'elite'.
The problem is, like many products in the entertainment space, they'll tell you what they think you want to hear, knowing full well that by the time you realise they're not actually all that great, you'll already be relatively drunk and tired, and will likely even leave the party early to....erm... 'celebrate' your big night in private.
Meanwhile, the DJ's being called out by frustrated guests who aren't getting to hear something they "can dance to", and is now simply counting down the minutes until they can go home and spend the money you've paid them on more 'Deep House' downloads.
A good DJ will have a website (don't book ANY DJ who doesn't. Just don't! No matter what their excuse!) complete with audio and testimonials from previously satisfied customers, and a social footprint to hold them to account.
If you ask these three questions, I guarantee you'll definitely reduce your chances of a disastrous wedding party.
Better still, if you want to guarantee a successful event, go 'tried and tested' and book THE DJ in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley. If you want to read more, click -> this <-
With the current state of the UK Top 40 pop chart of 'all things played on devices and radio stations in the country' you'd be forgiven for thinking we'd become a very one-track minded population, musically. Or perhaps it's closer to the truth to say a thirty-tracks-from-just-two-artists-minded population.
Personally, the moment I realised that the flavour-of-the-moment ginger popster was dominating the purchasing choices of every commercial music fan in Great Britain, I called bullshit.
It's long been known that pretty much anyone with any brains or credibility in the music business doesn't really pay too much mind to that train-wreck of a weekly radio broadcast anymore.
Ever since Neil Fox stopped hosting "The UK Top 40 - a countdown of the songs Britain is buying", we've pretty much sussed out that it was mostly manipulated by record companies, as a way to sell albums and tour dates. That said, as a jobbing DJ on both radio and on the decks, it's quite important to keep at least a watchful glance across the apparent trends.
You actually don't have to look much beyond the first ten songs in the list to spot a slightly suspicious pattern.
So, seeing that, we're supposed to believe that everybody wants to hear nothing but Drake and Ed Sheeran on repeat over and over and over and over again, maybe giving into the temptation of some naff entry-level EDM-by-numbers. Can that really be true?
Well, in short, no.
Not at least according to actual credible music stats, from the less manipulable Shazam, a music tagging app. As in, something which people have actually input their music tastes on. Like, proper legit enquiries. Let's take a look at their top 10 shall we?
Interesting, huh? Ed Sheeran barely makes the top half of that list, even with the most over-played song on his latest album. Drake is literally NOWHERE.
And being that the two are supposedly used by similar demographics....
Is it time that we started to laugh very loudly and sarcastically in the faces of anyone who tries to tell us the shape of the UK Top 40 pop chart? Or am I overthinking it?