The View from the Booth is three years old this week. I only realised this when I received an email from tumblr, accompanied by what I thought was a gaudy and unnecessary cake until I noticed how much it looked like the cake I posted to celebrate our first birthday. Ahem. So, anyways….three years. If it were a baby, it would be old enough to have a voice, and show signs of a personality. The time to leave babyhood behind and enter the twisted world of childhood. For those of you wondering where I’m going with this don’t worry – we’re there now. I am about to announce the biggest development in The View from the Booth since I first pressed publish three years ago……We are expanding into a podcast.
This means not only will you be able to read my thoughts exactly as they cascade from my head, but I’ll finally be able to add some extra nuance through the tone, pitch and volume of my voice (as I always say – text often lacks context). The other equally large development is that you will no longer only hear my voice. There will regularly be guests on the show – other DJs who can impart their own views from their respective booths. One of my favourite things about Djing in Liverpool is that most of the DJs here are friends, despite competing for the same slots in the same places. There’s a genuine empathy between (most) of us; an acknowledgement of the unique challenges we encounter – both good and bad. In part they were the inspiration for this expansion.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times there’s been a thread on Facebook of one of us relating a story about the wanton stupidity of drunk people, and the rest of us piling in to show off our war wounds. Not too dissimilar to many of my previous posts. It reinforced what I already knew: most Djs are privvy to some extremely funny, shocking and plain weird shit - it’s not just me. However, this will not turn into grumpy old men for DJs. You know how I feel about DJs complaining – I plan to do everything possible to escape the tendency to sound like we’re whining about a great job that we all choose to persue. A podcast is a much better vehicle for allowing DJs to voice their opinions about everything in our world, while allowing their peers to respond, interject, and challenge, hopefully making for better entertainment. There are myths to be debunked on both sides of the booth.
For that reason, most of them already know about this. I’ve canvassed the community and there are plenty willing and waiting to contribute. I must now apologise to them, because they’ve read all of this part once before:
The aim of the show is to be conversational; just like this blog reads as though you’re sitting here next to me, the podcast will put you in my living room with a couple of friends. We will come together to swap stories about shared experiences, and help the audience gain an insight into what the life of a DJ is really like. Alongside this, and equally importantly, it’s about the exchange of musical ideas and knowledge between us as individuals, and us as a group with our audience. It’s not just going to be DJ stories - each DJ on the show will pick a song to play and talk about, and there will be room for features on a particular musician, label, or venue; reviews of a particular album, show or piece of equipment; and even debates on a topic from the world of music. The plan is to have one blog and one podcast per month. Sometimes the podcast will expand on a topic raised by the previous blog – sometimes it’ll be the other way around.
The format will be dead simple – 45 minutes, 3 DJs, 3, songs, 3 sections. The podcast will be uploaded initially to theviewfromthebooth.tumblr.com, with secondary uploads on mixcloud and (eventually) iTunes. We have gained a PRS Limited Online Music Licence at a cost of £126 per year, and pay any duty due to PPL through use on Mixcloud, yet this will be a free streaming webcast. Many of the intended guests are musicians as well as DJs, and it’s an important show of solidarity that every musician we play gets what they are due financially. Speaking of guests, for our maiden voyage I’ve invited a couple of veteran sea dogs……
Part of the Speakeasy Liverpool Family and one half of The Chicken Brothers with Burnitov, his imaginative moniker came after hearing a BBC record from the 70’s ‘Barbara Woodhouse: “Training dogs her way she uses the phrase a couple of times and I thought it was hilarious and started using it as a scratch sample, then decided to use it as my name.” He’s been a DJ since 2002, Always scratching whether playing hip hop, breaks or electronica, he progressed onto glitch hop, electro swing and vintage remix in recent years. He’s played to crowds of 3 people and 3000 people, and remembers enough of it to pass on a few pearls of widsom.
I could hardly leave him out could I? Friend, inspiration, next door neighbour, landlord….Monkey is the guy who gave me my first break in Liverpool, and put in motion the chain of events that lead me to type these very words. One half of Flat Cap & Whippet (don’t ask me which), Compere for Mellowtone, soon-to-be star of Channel 4, and involved in far too many other projects to mention, it would be easier to list the styles he doesn’t play then those that he does. I’ve never heard him play classical music (I know he will now see that as a challenge), and he’s not that keen on pop, although he can and will always surprise you. If you’ve been on a few nights out up here, there’s a high probability that you have danced to his music.
Between us we’ve got over 30 years of Dj experience, and at least 2 of us can talk for England, so it should be a great show.
It’ll be with you on Hallowe’en – I hope you enjoy it.