Meet the DJs
Over the coming months we'll be featuring our team of DJ's who you'll meet during our club nights around the Herts, Beds and London Regions. We'll probe deep and hard (stop making up your own jokes!) and get the low down on what makes these guys and gals tick!
Featured here are the two old skool DJ's who have been around since the early 80's...
My love for the soul scene stems back to our school days! my earliest memory is night after night and summer holidays in Marks dining room with a home made set of decks and a pile of 12inch choons that would have been anyones envy!
Our days were filled with trawling the record shops for 12" choons we had heard on Robbie Vincent and Greg Edwards soul spectrum radio shows or read about in Blues and soul magazine. Our favourite haunt to sniff out a bargain was Davids Bookshop in Letchworth or if we where feeling flush the odd pilgrimidge to Groove records and The Record Shack in Berwick Street London!!
The Knebworth National soul day on a sunny bank holiday on May 26th 1980 was the day that my love for the soul scene was to have have a lasting effect on both myself and Mark.. We still talk of that day as if it was yesterday! From the very first moment to the last is something that will stay in my mind forever... Light of the World whom at the time were the brit jazz funk pioneers took the stage and the place erupted the whole day was just pure magical and to watch the legend that is Lonnie Liston Smith perform the what is now known as a 'caister soul classic' Expansions was just top draw!..
For anyone that did not follow the 'family' back in the 80s every club in every town had their own little groups ( that where known as 'tribes')... The Ashford soul sisters, The Brixton Frontline one of the biggest tribes, The Canvey Goldminers, The Paddington Soul Partners even stevenage had its tribes that would frequent the allnights and the Caister soul weekenders.
The Back water bruces and the Stevenage pose patrol to name just a few.. tribes would gather at events like the National soul day and caister for weekenders and alldayers and each of the clubs started allnighters and that was when other 'tribes' would go to different towns with their own styles and t shirts with their 'tribe' name emblazoned on them and dance through the nights never any sign of trouble people just came for the music and to follow the 'in' DJs that were known as the Soul Mafia the likes of Chris Hill, Greg Edwards, (the late)Froggy, Tom Holland and Sean French!!
Mark and myself had been bitten by the bug and from that day on we would be funkateers!! our love for the music has never changed even after nearly three decades! we moved on to become mobile Djs together and both worked for the same pirate radio stations in stevenage S.T.A.R and S.O.S Radio 105.5
We both got regular work, Mark went off to do his residencies and i got a chance to work in a club on the Tor Britania crusier before trying my hand in the disco bars in the canarys and tenerife... a gap of almost 8 years followed when i settle down and got married and had my two beautiful girls who have grown into my pride and joy... after my record collection and my cd mixer!! ( only joking Danielle and Soph!!) my record collection was put into safe storage but every now and again the urge became to much and they were out again.
Now its 2012 and the chooons sound every bit as good as they did in the 80s we have dusted down them classic chooons and brought the headphone out of the loft and DJ Mark Almond and Ivan Childs are back in stride again and with our specialist nights we hope to revive our brand of top classic jazz funk and soul and start to bring the memories back and the following we are building up seem to be enjoying it too its a great feeling to know there is still a demand for these fantstic chooons and we love playing them as much as you love hearing them... thanks for your support keep believing and remember if it moves..... FUNK IT
Best Ever Tune: GQ - Disco Nights
Still get a buzz everytime I hear this track. So many other tunes I love but this just has good memories for me.
1st DJ Residency: Bowes Lyon House, Stevenage.
1982 was a good year for me, Bowes was a 3 night a week residency, but also started DJ'ing at the Regal in Hitchin and Strebs (formally Bo Jangles) in Stevenage.
Top 3 Movies: Die Hard 2, Sliver, Pulp Fiction
All the Die Hard movies are great but loved the sequel best. Sliver because Sharon Stone looks her best and sexiest, gr8 thriller. Pulp just because its Tarrantino!
Have loved dance music from about 1978 while still at Chells Secondary School. A major turning point was attending one of the biggest dance events in 1980 at Knebworth, billed as the National Soul Day it was a day to remember (Ivan and myself the first to the main arena - We could run alot faster back then!!!).
It's always great when Ivan and myself get together we talk about classic dance choons like it was yesterday, even to the point I can remember the first 12" records I bought (sad I know!), Third World Cool Meditation was the 1st, followed closey by Edwin Star Contact and Gene Chandler Get Down.
However, DJ'ing over the years from Mobiles, Pubs, Clubs and Radio has helped me appreciate all types of dance. Although I still have my deep passion in the Jazz Funk Soul music I love anything Ibiza style dance, Ambient Chillout to Trance and Bangin' House music (search out YouTube DJ Mark Almond).
The early days of the Jazz Funk Soul Nights venture has been an exciting journey, trying to persuade Club and Pub owners that there are hundreds of people around who love to indulge in the real old school dance classics!!! It's been interesting during recent outings to see its not just the 40 somethings that enjoy this era of music but everyone from early 20's to your thirtysomethings...
Both Ivan and myself are very approachable at the events (especially if your brandishing a ten pound note!!), so pop up and say hi or better still request your fav tune.
You can also check out my personal web at www.djmarkalmond.co.uk