In the same way that most local DJs cut their teeth, my first clubbing experiences were at the age of under 18, It all started back in circa 1994 when I was bought my first set of FAL wooden cased twin record deck player, complete with twist volume dials for Christmas.
I was like a dog with 2 d@@ks, now I bet you wondering how on earth you can mix on these...well let me explain, back in the day if you wasn't lucky to own a decent lighter, you would always find that a small box of cooks matches were readily available ha ha ,and if you got one of said matches you can wedge it in between 33 & 45rpm and hey presto you have a pitch control, and boy was it hard as nails to mix with.
I was managing a small second-hand record shop at the time called Hits, Misses & Vintage Records, situated in Far Gosford Street, Coventry. Here is where I got first dibs on the vinyl that came through the door, and boy did I bag some bangers! Some of which are still in my vinyl collection today. We had a speaker situated above the front door to the shop and played music to the street and passers-by, I was always getting told to play more of a variety rather than me on my decks! I started playing at a pub called the Hope & Anchor on a Thursday night and at the Plough on London road Coventry alongside 2 of my dad’s friends, Alan Bayliss & Will Richardson two well-known DJ’s of their time these boys were playing house and handbag sounds, I remember it well as the first Duel Vestax CD player had just came out, and these two just bought it.
Practicing on my FAL state of the art Decks I continued with my vinyl, but also started to use these new Vestax with CD pitch control, a first of its time and I we very fortunate to be able to play with these on a Thursday night at the Hope & Anchor.
We had a guy we knew who worked for Tempest Records in Birmingham and he was into his House & Handbag Jerry his name was, he was well connected in the industry and was fond of my dad so took me under his wing, as well as bringing me all the white label and promo CDs.
Between 1996-1999 I played a fair few Slots in and around Birmingham to include The Dome II (named after the large metal round lighting rig around the dancefloor), Pulse (then changed to Zanzibar) Wobble, Miss MoneyPennys @Bonds then it moved to Liberty’s until around 2004 then was taken over to be a Indian restaurant called Akbars and still is to this day.
Meanwhile I was growing, playing in Coventry also, I had a fortnightly residency at Bar Coast, Dogma & a weekly slot Suzi Q’s here I played alongside my then long-term DJ partners and very good friends Huggy and Chelston we were are still a collective called “The Soul Food Brothers”. Once we (Soulfood Brothers) once were booked to play on a boat party leaving from Gloucester Quays, everything was going well the boat was packed and it was rocking, until all of a sudden, the needles on the decks hop, skipped, and bounced all over the record leaving a packed boat in complete silence, after about 10 seconds we hear a faint voice of a person shout from the back of the boat “ The Captain has crashed the boat” after a short moment of silence once again the whole boat party cheered in sync, the music cranked up and we carried on, true story that, the captain had been drinking and we had to carry on the party for the next hour and half crashed into the bank until the boat company got a replacement captain! I will never forget that night.
I played once or twice for God’s Kitchen as a warm up DJ when it was at the Planet nightclub (former home of the Eclipse) a member of my extended family co owned the Eclipse and a few of my uncles ran the door there, so this was a massive influence in my passion for music & the rave scene back in its day. The Eclipse was voted club of the year in 1992 by a music magazine. It was also voted as having the best lights, the nicest door staff, the second-best sound system, third best toilets and fourth best flyers, Pete Waterman and Michela Strachan filmed there for the program Hitman & Her. With these connections it opened up doors for me to play at places like the Foundry, The Planet, The Glasshouse, and sometimes id go see my friend Paul Morrell play at Careys and spin a few with him and our mutual friend Richard Costello who used to own one of my favorite record shops called Disscuss records on Stoney Stanton Rd in Coventry, where I once won a DJ competition, the 1st prize was an Allen & Heath XOne 32 Mixer ( I still have the mixer to this day).
After this I went on to Play at a few places near Coventry in Leamington Spa, called Sugar & the White Horse.
It was after this I took a break from the Scene.
2014 Semi retired but I’m back behind the decks for Vinyl only Soul Food Brothers gigs, we played at the lounge Bar Coventry, Bar Suave Coventry, Eight Bar in Leamington & I played on their twice-yearly boat parties.
5th Nov 2016 and I’m out of retirement and off to play at Ministry of Sound London, alongside my good friend Kuska playing for FunkDelux, this brings Skinnfella back out of retirement and gagging for me as the bug is back, Since my return I’ve had the pleasure of playing at Crazy Daisy’s, Gatecrashers Ruins after party, Big Bamboo, 2018 in Ibiza I’ve been behind the decks Mambos & Es Paradis, last summer I played at some MOS summer festivals and a monthly club classics night at the Pippin Coventry, I’ve played at a charity event for a old skool Legend Rob May R.I.P
2019 has started with a bang, 4day booking secured in Ibiza for SOS Ibiza, playing poolside, Float your Boat Party, Eden, Plastic, joining Jealous Media, securing my own Bi-weekly show on AA1 radio (now into my 3rd year and partnered up with James Silver, we take bookings as a duo called SilverFella), monthly slot on AATT radio, a guest slot an Mayhem Radio and recently playing at Chic nightclub, one of Birmingham’s top clubs of now.
After converting to digital playing i have been building a event company we have CDJ 2000 Platinum set up, CDJ 300 set up XDJ-ZX, along with a massive sound system, stage rigging, lights and lasers. Now co own 3 events of my own, Raveistory, Smile with Jay G Grainger formally Cream resident and All Things House, along side my good friend and founder of Amnesia House est 1989.
Bookings are coming in and this year i am branching out North and South my good Friend and well known DJ John Kelly linking me up in Liverpool and Manchester and Leeds. My New Year Resolution is to make time to do more mixes and post up on soundcloud like i used to.