Cheesey Songs On Playlists

"Add Cheese To Taste…."

As a DJ, part of the skill is knowing how much cheese to add, and when!

Very often, I will stumble across a DJ who's offering services, and seemingly boasting about the fact that they don't play 'cheese'. It's almost like they believe that's a selling point.

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 extravagant 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 a while back.

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 dance floor 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.






The Three Most Banned Wedding Disco Songs


The Three Most Banned Wedding Disco Songs

Have we lost our sense of fun, since the 80s?

If you'd have gone to any wedding before the turn of the century, the chances are that you'd have been exposed to some absolutely awful songs that everyone just had to instantly drop everything and shamelessly dance to. 

Lately, we've become a bit too cool for all that. I don't know whether it's the age of the internet that's exposed people to a world of music outside of their naff local market radio morning show and their local DJ's record collection, or maybe we've just all developed some actual taste, but things have definitely changed. People have started to compile their own (Do not) playlists. 

There are, however, some songs that generate far more tension among musos than others. Here are the most banned songs, according to DJs from around the world, including myself. 

The Three Biggest Criminals

Now unfortunately, the third one is obviously SO bad, the video has been removed, and I can’t share it here, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out if I offer you this clue. To dance to it, you simply put your arms across your chest, then extend them out, Then do that, while turning ninety degrees, on the spot, again, and again, and again…..

The Worst Of The Rest

If the three songs above were not bad enough (WHO BANS THE MACARENA THOUGH, SERIOUSLY?!?!?) then these ones will definitely leave your dancefloor empty, according to the millions of brides and grooms around the globe.

Village People - YMCA.

VIC - Wobble.

Kool and the Gang - Celebration.

Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive.

Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe.

B52s - Love Shack.

Beyoncé - Single Ladies. (ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!?!)

Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines. (This one I totally get.)

Before you get all bridezilla because this list represents your curated Spotify playlist titled "Steffies OHMIGAWD This Is Like The Best List Of All Time Awesome Songs Ever That I Could Not Live Without", don't think you have to join in with adding these songs to your ban. It should be pointed out that pretty much all of the above songs have at one point or another been near the top of at least one list of requests I, and other DJ's, regularly have at gigs. Apart from the Birdie Song. Literally no one wants to have that played. If it's one that you insist on hearing, then you should feel very ashamed. And if you have the record, kill it. Kill it with fire, and pour acid over the meltings.



Neal Veglio Comes Home For Glitzy Awards Bash

Neal Veglio Confirmed as Host for Didcot BACAs, For A Second Time

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."

For Press Enquiries, contact Neal Veglio here, or Didcot First via their form on this page.

V3GLIO Remixes Robert Miles

The 90s trance classic gets some fresh love from your favourite Oxfordshire and Berkshire DJ 

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?

Veglio To Headline Returning Reading Festival

Reading Festival's Little Brother is back for another go - and THIS TIME it's BEING HEADLINED BY a local DJ favourite.

Frontman: Neal Veglio is hosting as well as headlining as up-and-coming Festival act "V3GLIO"

Frontman: Neal Veglio is hosting as well as headlining as up-and-coming Festival act "V3GLIO"

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."

In action: Veglio's DJ sets have featured at a number of venues

In action: Veglio's DJ sets have featured at a number of venues

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

Notes for Editors:

Organisers Simon and Louise Turner can be contacted via the site

Neal Veglio can be contacted via or via his Twitter and Facebook.

The festival is taking place at Reading's Abbey Rugby Football Club

You'll Be Surprised At How Many Of These Modern Classics You'd Forgotten About

Grab a coffee because you're about to take a huge bite of nostalgia pie

Let me see that Thong Thong Thong Thong. No, seriously. Wait.  No, don't call the police. I'll go. I'm sorry.

Let me see that Thong Thong Thong Thong. No, seriously. Wait.

No, don't call the police. I'll go. I'm sorry.

Ready for a tuneful time-warp?


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?

Click to check out PopSugar's brilliant run down.

Calvin Harris - The Making Of "Slide"

EDM star Calvin Harris takes us into his studio for an intimate nose at his production work-flow


             "Guess you guys aren't ready for this yet....but your kids are gonna love it!....."

             "Guess you guys aren't ready for this yet....but your kids are gonna love it!....."

What goes into making a trendy dance tune in 2017?

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.


Three Questions To Ask Your Wedding DJ Before Booking Them

It's the most important party of your life. Don't risk it becoming the worst. 



When it comes to booking a DJ for a party, it's important to balance out your various needs.

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...

Do you do this as a business or a hobby?

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.

Do you play requests?

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.

Do you have any evidence of your abilities?

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 <- 

The UK Top 40 Pop Chart Might Have Just Confirmed Its Irrelevance

Are we REALLY all buying music from just TWO artists?

Drake and Ed Sheeran

What does YOUR Spotify playlist sound like? 

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?


Don't Price Yourself Out Of A Great Event By Hiring Cheap DJs

'Going Cheap' is a common trap - but a bit of research can save tears!

&nbsp; Don't risk having this kind of image being burned into your guests' memory!&nbsp;

  Don't risk having this kind of image being burned into your guests' memory! 


Why are so many people unwilling to properly invest in that service provider whose job is so important?

There's little more exciting than throwing a party, and having a great DJ keeping your friends and family dancing all night with the best tunes, and great entertainment.

The aforementioned DJ is the only person who can ensure that happens and it's a minefield securing the right one.

Let's face it, by time they get it wrong, it's already too late to get it right.

When you decide to book the DJ for your event, you probably do what most people do - shop around for the biggest bargain. You're human. We all want a great deal. 

Before you pay the deposit on that £80 for-the-night DJ, let's look through list of must-haves you'll likely want from your music jedi.

Music Knowledge

Anyone can play a series of tunes in a sequence. Let's face it, that's what iTunes and other similar apps were invented for. Some people can even play them in time, at the same BPM. The problem is when you try and take that system away from your busy office machine, and put it on a stage. Can your iTunes DJ quickly read their audience and assess their tastes by watching the tunes that they're reacting to, and play more of that, and less of the other stuff? 

Also, do they know the importance of phrasing, harmonic mixing, and timing different genres to avoid sound code clashes? Can they identify why it's not always important to play every single song in the chart, as a priority?


While we're talking about the tunes, do you know where your prospective service provider is getting theirs from? They may well boast "30,000 songs in an extensive music library that's second-to-none", but if that library is built from hours spent ripping MP3s on YouTube, they're not going to sound great, not to mention the fact that you're enabling their music piracy. A premier DJ will refuse to use anything less than top quality MP3 pools, which service them with nothing but high quality performance quality audio. I'm a member of several of these, and as a 'Clubkillers' affiliated DJ, I have a database of the hottest music that's dance-floor tested, and setting clubs and discos around the globe on fire. 


Does your DJ know how to avoid coming across as a socially awkward robot, incessantly staring at their laptop screen rather than engaging with the crowd? Do they know the right time to pick up the microphone and generate some energy? Can they even pick up a microphone, or does the idea of talking to strangers fill them with dread?

As a DJ for more than twenty years, I've spent a huge amount of time honing my skills on the stage. I know when to get hype going, and I know when to shut up. That isn't something you can learn from watching instructional videos on YouTube.


What is your DJ using to play their music collection to your guests? 

Chances are, it's something called Virtual DJ. While there's nothing particularly wrong with that as such, the software costs anything between completely free and dirt cheap, and therefore lends itself to bedroom DJs, who price themselves super low in order to get the all important experience they need. We all have to start somewhere. However, do you want their start to be at your event? Wouldn't you prefer someone who's using state of the art equipment, and the most reliable and proven software, which only the most serious and committed of DJs are prepared to invest in? As a top of the range controller and Serato DJ user, I know that my equipment is favoured by the world's finest award winning DJs. 


Any idiot can practice their skills in their bedroom, before putting together a carefully planned - and often tightly edited - mixtape. The real challenge is taking that skill out to an event, and performing at least as well, for paying customers. 

That's a guarantee that only a premier DJ with years of experience can offer. 

Does your DJ have the ability to react to requests at the event, and make it sound like they planned to play them the whole time?

If things go wrong, do they have a 'Plan B'? Are they a good problem solver? Things happen. Can they react quickly and adapt their performance, or their part of the event to accomodate any last minute changes or incidents?

As a performer with more than twenty years of experience, I've seen, heard and handled pretty much every possible outcome and challenge, and have the skills to deal with them head on.

In most cases, you have to get it right first time, because it's going to be the only time.

I've been re-booked by the same family three times, but that's rare. It's based on reputation and customer satisfaction. Most people will only ever hire one DJ in their lives. It's important to make sure that that one time, is a good time. 

It doesn't always seem all that important a purchase until it's already too late. This goes double for booking a wedding DJ.

Yes, you can get your event taken care of for less than the cost of a high quality whisky, but don't risk a financial hangover. You should always manage your expectations when opting for a cheap DJ. 

If you want to guarantee a goodnight, always do your research, ask the right questions, and insist on a meeting up front. Only by talking directly can you see through the smokescreen.

And we haven't even touched on the all important assurances surrounding insurance, PAT tested equipment and contracts...

Have you ensured you have some come-back should your DJ just not bother turning up for the event? What's to stop them from letting your gig go, in favour of a better paying one, on the day? The internet is full of these horror stories, and in almost all cases, the cause of the problem has been a cheap 'bargain' DJ.

To avoid all of the issues described above, and guarantee a smooth, memorable event, you can contact a hugely experienced, quality DJ in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and the Thames Valley, through my booking page.



Market Research

I'm working on something.

I'm quite excited about it, but I'm needing your help before I can really get stuck in.

All will be revealed in due course, but I'd really appreciate it if you'd take literally thirty seconds to answer this little quiz!

Create your own user feedback survey

Horse Drum and Bass

This video of a horse with a chicken was CRYING OUT for a drum and bass soundtrack...

Mission accomplished.



UPDATE - 3AM Alarm Call Arrives More Quickly Than Expected

Four days of Christmas cover has become seven days of Christmas cover.

Things change fast in radio.

And never do they change faster than when you're a freelancer...

The other day I excitedly posted about covering my long time radio buddy Paul Ellery, as he takes a short leave from his hectic morning schedule over Christmas... this was something which was picked up by the trade press, and read by more than two thousand people. 

It seems my previous excitement has been doubled almost overnight, as my early Christmas gift has arrived earlier than expected. I shall be heard on the airwaves across Herefordshire and Monmouthshire from December 21st - until December 23rd of this week as well!

Wish me luck with that early morning call!