11 October 2005
GUTTA SURVIVES RUFFNEK
I've just recovered from a rather vicious stomach bug that left me practically bed-ridden over the weekend. It was like having a forty-eight hour hangover, minus the headache. I puked, shit and puked some more until I'd pumped my system clean dry. I lost 4lb by the end of it. Fucking awful, and I missed Toxic Dancehall because of it. Boo!! I reckon it must've been the cheeseburger I bought from the burger van outside Timbuk 2 on Thursday night. I tend to avoid such places, but I'd had a few drinks and my judgement was impaired. But at least Ruffnek Discotek #3 was another successful evening.
Having downed a vodka and Red Bull followed by a couple of lagers, I was just about ready for my first serious djing assignment on home turf in nearly a decade. My old skool set seemed to go down quite well with the clientel - apparently there were actually a few punters dancing at one point, although I was too absorbed in not fucking-up to notice. I wasn't technically perfect by any stretch of the imagination, which was annoying cos the practice sessions at home leading up to it had been really encouraging, but I think I just about got away with it. Plus, of course, it was an absolute pleasure to bring all those old bleepy records out of retirement and put them back to work on the dancefloor. I didn't get to play everything I'd hoped (sorry guys, no Tricky Disco this time), yet still managed to over-run the old skool half of the set by fifteen minutes. Then I played Geroche's "Death" from start to finish, followed by a Monkey Steak test-pressing that I'd never heard before (brought along especially by Atki2 - he wouldn't let me keep it, though!) and ended by cramming as many Mark One, Plasticman and DMZ classics as I could before Dub Boy(below) took over. But the biggest shock was about 20 minutes in, when I looked up briefly to see DJ Pinch leering at me over the dj booth. I hadn't expected him to be there and must admit his 'professional' presence unnerved me a bit. Even worse, later on when I dropped Plasticman's "Venom", Pinch leaned over making the circular hand motion indicating he wanted a rewind, which I duly attempted, but managed to accidently knock the needle of the turntable, leading to an embarrassing moment of utter silence. I could've died. But still, I should make it clear that Pinch was only at the event briefly before heading off somewhere else and, as far as I can tell, he'd come down especially to show me support and wasn't aware how nervous he was making me feel.
Later on, El Kano delivered a dark, experimental set featuring tracks from acts like SLT Mob and DJ Distance, getting progressively more abstract and unhinged as he want on. Biggest surprise was when he dropped LFO's mid-90's 'come-back' single "Tied Up", a track that didn't really fit with me at the time, but made complete sense in Kano's world on Thursday. My mate Mike reckoned he saw a girl breakdancing around that point. I missed that unfortunately, although the visual highlight for me was the lumbering, slightly worse-for-wear figure of Psychbloke, in Batman T-shirt and accompanied by his 'clever, attractive wife' going absolutely mental on the dancefloor. Now there's a couple who now how to enjoy themselves. Watch out kids - Dad-bloggers in the area!!
Poor old DJ Blazey (see pic @ top) turned-up just before 1pm, looking palid and sweaty. Turns out he was feeling sick as a dog but gamely soldiered on and, accompanied by Joker, managed to whip the remaining partygoers into a grimey frenzy, despite a few technical hitches in the first half. And who was that kid doing the MCing with the crazy afro-puff hairstyle? Or did I imagine that? I was a bit mashed by that point, I must admit. The last hour is all a little hazy, ending with the notorious cheeseburger incident...but let's not go back there.