Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Symix at OAD – I review my husband – this could get messy!

Symix at OAD – I review my husband – this could get messy!
It wasn’t an official OAD special. But the 19 July 2014 was always going to be a special one for me.  My husband Simon, known as Symix in the DJ world was going to do a set.  I have been with him almost nine years now.  I know he underplays himself and what he can do.  I have heard the stories of all the famous people he has met and mixed with.  I even went to see Lee John from Imagination with him and found one of his mixes on a CD that was being sold there.  (It had been used for Lee John’s European tour).  But my husband is not one to draw attention to himself.  I wanted to shout it to the world.  Yes I’m the loud one in the relationship!  But I have never heard him DJ.  He still mixes but stopped performing before I had met him.  This was my chance to see him in action.

Anyway, you should by now know how much I love OAD.  I have written several blogs about how great it is and how much fun I have there.  Simon had not let me see the set list before the gig.  He had told me nothing.  Given me no hints and no matter how hard I try, I couldn’t get the information out of him.  All I knew was Fame by David Bowie was in there, along with No GDM by Gina X. That was it.  That’s never gonna last an hour set!  But he wouldn’t let me know what he had planned for his set list. It was driving me mad.
We got to Birmingham in the pouring rain, and I was glad to get to the hotel.  Well I would have been glad but before  I had even got to my room they had a power cut and we couldn’t even see to go to the toilet.  We were on the 4th floor which meant a lot of energy up and down the stairs to complain.  I was worried I would have no energy to dance later.

We went to the pub next door and had something to eat and drink, then checking the hotel again (still no electricity) we walked into town and found a food festival on.  There was a gin stall that gave demos of mixed gin cocktails, well while in Brum.  So I did.  After another hour we headed back to the hotel and sat in the dark reception area.  (Yep still no electricity).  I got talking to a hen party who offered us some wine. Well while in Brum.  So I did.  I had just about given up the thought of having time to crimp my hair when the lights came back on – almost four hours later!  I hurried up to our room to get ready.  Well it does take some time to transform me into Jasmine Storm!
We were at OAD quite early.  I am always early.  It’s a bad habit.  But I would rather listen to music I love than sit in the pub or my hotel room.  It started to fill up and the anticipation of getting to hear Simon’s set grew.  It was so lovely to catch up with all my OAD friends . More like family really . Genuine lovely people.  You don’t realise how rare and lucky us darkling’s are until you stop and take a moment to realise. 

Simon’s set was due to start at 12.30am.  I took my place near the dj booth and was ready to dance.  Fame started the set. Bowie is always a good choice.  (My idol so excellent choice for me) but everyone else was also up and dancing.  Gina X – No GDM is one of my all-time favourite tracks and I loved dancing to that.  Well that was the two tracks I knew done and dusted.  What next?  More Bowie that’s what!  Fashion works for me.  Two Bowie’s – double bonus and on top of all the Bowie David already plays.  I know Simon put Memorabilia by Soft Cell in for me too.  It’s one of my favourite Soft Cell tracks.
But it wasn’t just me dancing and enjoying the set.  Everyone was on the dance floor.  I overheard someone say ‘This DJ is great.  Does anyone know who he is?’  I have never been more proud to be able to say  ‘That’s my husband!’

I love OAD, the atmosphere, the people and the music.  This night was a special to me.  But don’t take my word for it.  Here is what a few others have said in the Facebook group.
Fantastic night as usual and loved the guest dj’s

Fad gadget – that is all. Xxx
Some interesting tracks played and the usual lovely people

Top night. Loved the guest dj sets and the mixing was great. Haven’t heard that for a while. Big big thank you to everyone who made it happen

Yet another fab night! My highlight was the beach mixed with da da da in symix’s set. Genius :D
And final word comes from David, the manager of OAD - .For me, Symix’s DJ set was the highlight of the night, even more so because it was his first time as a guest DJ at OAD.  You will certainly be asked to DJ again!

Original Set List

Fame - David Bowie

Back to nature – Fad Gadget

No GDM – Gina X

Fashion – David Bowie

Lady Shave – Fad Gadget

Feel Me – Blancmange

Love Song – Simple Minds

Memorabilia – Soft Cell

Life in Tokyo – Japan

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

The Beach – New Order

Da Da Da – Trio

Just can’t get enough – Depeche Mode

Baby turns blue – Virgin Prunes

To cut a long story short – Spandau Ballet

Sound of the crowd – The Human League

We live so fast – Heaven 17


Note: We live so fast was cut from the set as the video was played just before, so the set was changed to the following:

Der Amboss – Visage

Love will tear us apart – Joy Division

Night train - Visage



Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Commitments Show (Palace Theatre)

The Commitments

My son’s 17th birthday. Over the last few years we have set a new tradition of going to see a west end show to celebrate. But 17 is a difficult age. I didn’t want to take him to something he would consider babyish.  The Commitments was the perfect answer. He is a guitarist himself and studying music so this was the perfect show. He loves blues and soul. He plays guitar and he likes musicals. How much more perfect can I get?
We had a lovely day in London, spending time at Covent Garden and Camden. We ate in his favourite pizza place and then onto the theatre.  I love the Palace Theatre. It looks old and yet feels rather small and intimate. It makes you feel special as if there are only a few of us that are viewing the performance.  The Commitments do soul and blues. The Palace Theatre feels like a tenuous link to the Palace Theatre Ballroom in The Blues Brothers.

Anyway on with the show.  The sets were good. I really loved how the Rabbitte’s home worked.  They even had a front door and old-fashioned wallpaper!
The opening scene was great, there was no wedding scene, but instead they were playing in a shop window. Fab start. I actually preferred it to the wedding scene in the film version.

I had always really loved the auditions part., when Jimmy is getting a band together.  I had hoped they had kept that as it was always one of my favourite scenes in the film. It was so funny. Don’t you want me was a great song for the audition!
Every actor/singer on stage could sing. (Yes even Jimmy!) But Deco was breath-takingly amazing. His voice would get him laid no matter how gross his habits.  Killian Donnelly played the part really well. I also loved Jimmy, played by Denis Grindel. He was so personable. But every performer was talented and really gave their all. Outspan was just like you expected him to be. Joey Fagan still gets all the ladies (and even winked at me!).  I couldn’t fault one of them. And authentic lrish accents to boot!

Some things have been changed, but this did not detract from the overall greatness of the show. Imelda was Jimmy’s friend (not Bernie as in the film) and they made Imelda a brunette instead of a blonde. And there was no Elvis conversation with Joey The Lips Fagan– which I always enjoyed.
Some of the songs felt a bit removed from the genre, for example ‘what becomes of the broken hearted’ (Jimmy Ruffin) and I cant get no satisfaction (The Rolling Stones), but I realised why towards the end.

The end of the show is The Commitments giving us the performance of their lives. I was out of my seat dancing and singing at the top of my voice. As I was first row, it may have helped get some others out of their seats. I have never been shy and sang away is if my life depended on it.  Mustang Sally, River deep mountain high and Try a little tenderness are a few classics and the performers gave their all.
It was an amazing show. At the end someone sitting in my row came up to me and told me how impressed he was I knew all the words to every song.

If I could, I would see this every night. If you are looking for a feel good show - This is it!