“I’ve told them a hundred times: put ‘John Eden’ first and ‘Puppet Show’ last”

photo by Hannnna

The gig at Shunt last night was pretty wild. The space is a labyrinth of railway arches under London Bridge station – the entrance is actually in the station itself.

The event was part of the London Netaudio Festival, so lots of the nooks and crannies in the venue were filled with electronic audio/visual installations some of which were pretty cool. In fact you can still check it out for yourself – Disrupt and Appleblim are playing on Saturday, and tonight is Berlin night). It is good for a wander – something I very much admire in a night out. The organisers were nice.

I caught a bit of SJ Esau who was doing that thing where you sample yourself making noises and then loop it and it becomes the backing track. He was pretty good, but it got on my tits after a while – conservative musical monomaniac that I no doubt am.

My stint was preceded by a young lady playing sporadically fearsome downnbeat techno. She was cool but her name was something like Granisidjdjd and I gave up asking her to repeat it after my second attempt. She seemed slightly bewildered that I would “just” be John Eden, ha ha.

I’d spent the previous evening assembling a p.a. system and trying to figure out how to use a 16 channel mixing desk for a klezmer band. This worked out pretty well considering my total lack of experience with either klezmer bands or assembling p.a. systems.

So I didn’t expect any difficulties turning up somewhere to play some records, but low and behold it was impossible to get any sound out of the record decks (DJ Granisidjdjd was keeping it strickly digikal so she was alright).

Eventually several people came to my aid and we kicked off with some proto digi ragga classics which went down ok. About 20 minutes in one of the decks started playing up and I was informed that my set would be interrupted by a performance by some Italian artists who had their own soundtrack. Which is cool – I’m not some kind of primadonna and I’d be amazed if anyone had shown up just to see me anyway.

Things which have previously interrupted my DJ sets:

a) A completely silent Tai Chi demonstration
b) Me standing on a 4-way and cutting off all of the power.

photo by Hannnna

So I was playing Ackie’s “Call Me Rambo” when the sound began to fade down and was replaced by some bassy dronings. Lo and behold, a 20 foot high puppet made of clingfilm and bicycle pumps entered the room. Somewhere out of sight it gave birth to a little teeny cling film baby. There was much fearsome wandering the room in a slightly threatening way. Vrooooooooooohm Vroooooooohm Vrooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohm.

After that there was little else I could do but slam down some version excursions (Heavenless, Yush) some UK fast chat and the odd mash up and pop cover. Party music!

Next up were Numbers Residents who were two nice young chaps from Glasgow who seemed intent on using 3 decks, plus CDs plus two laptops. They kicked off with a Barrington Levy jungle tune and seemed to know the koo.

Later on in an off licence I heard a wicked arabic vocalist singing over the Bam Bam riddim but unfortunately it was on the radio so nobody in the place had a clue who it was. A nice mystery to finish off a great night.

Thanks to Thorsten from Highpoint Lowlife for inviting me out to play.

One Comment

  1. That post was so genius.

    I was in a taxi in Bristol a couple years ago and what sounded like an arabic version of Kraftwerk’s “The Model” started playing. I asked the driver who it was and he just shrugged.

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