I don’t get home until 4am after deejaying Friday nights, so my Saturday mornings start pretty late. When I eventually drag myself out of bed I try to wake up with a few hazelnut lattes. That done, thoughts turn to my Saturday night gig at Tree Bar & Nightclub in Hooper Place, Old Town. Like most DJs, that means preparing the grooves to shake the dancefloor and the clothes that make the man shine.
In terms of my sartorial groove I am very much retro, I love the classic B-boy vibe and old school brands like Fred Perry and Adidas. Independent retailers John Anthony and The Forum, both located in Swindon’s Brunel Shopping Centre, are the best local emporiums for ‘gentlemen’ of discerning taste.
Next stop is either Red House Records in Faringdon Road for new tunes or Blood On The Tracks Records in the Brunel for second hand vinyl. The rest of the afternoon is spent chilling out with fellow DJs in the super-hip Baila Coffee and Vinyl in Victoria Road or at home preparing new mixes for my Saturday night set at Tree.
Swindon has always punched above its weight when it comes to nightclubs, dating back as far as the legendary mega-club The Brunel Rooms. I started my DJ career at upmarket noughties classic The Apartment, a club that was regularly voted the best in the South West. The 1,500 capacity Tree was once a brewery and the lovely old building is now a suitably elegant party venue. It is certainly one of the few nightclubs in the UK that is a listed building!
Tree has state-of-the art sound and lighting systems over two floors and most weekends the place is rocking to the rafters with excited punters. Depending on the night, you might find me playing urban grooves, soulful house or classic floor fillers. That means anything from Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and Fatman Scoop’s Be Faithful to new sounds like Kanye West’s I Love It and B.Young’s 079ME. I’ve been playing Tree since it opened two years ago and pride myself on delivering a set that will keep the dancefloor rocking, but we also like to hire big name DJs for special nights to freshen things up; Danny Howard, DJ Swerve from Kiss FM and DJ Target One from Radio 1Extra have all played here. When it comes to a great night out, we can give any big city club a run for its money!
After consecutive late nights, I allow myself another lie-in before a Sunday morning exercise session in my home gym. Before I started deejaying I was mad on martial arts and represented England across Europe as a black belt in jujitsu. After music and martial arts, my other great passion is cooking for all the family. I might swing down to the specialist stores in Manchester Road for masalas, pastes and exotic veg for my home creations - I do a mean fish curry or lamb meatballs! If we fancy a traditional Sunday roast, it’s usually The Weighbridge Brewhouse in Penzance Drive, a really classy restaurant in another lovingly restored Victorian building.
If I’m not too bloated and in need of a lie-down, I’ll grab my Canon EOS 5D MKIII camera and get out and about in Swindon taking photos of interesting architecture or the natural world. I’m lucky to live right next door to Lydiard Park, which kills two photogenic birds with one stone - I can take photos of the old stately home or St. Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze Church (named as one of the most beautiful churches in Britain in a book by former National Trust chairman Sir Simon Jenkins) before turning my sights to the woodland and lake.
Another advantage of living right next to Lydiard Park is that I can enjoy all the live entertainment, concerts, opera, etc. from the comfort of the window seat in my bedroom!
Sunday nights I wind down at home with my wife by binge-viewing TV series like Blackish or science documentaries. Before nodding off, my thoughts will briefly turn to another week of (hopefully) great new tunes and exciting new sensations on Swindon’s buzzing nightclub scene.
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