Thursday, 13 March 2014

On Celebrity Club Appearances

Expressing an unpopular opinion always attracts a risk of controversy but here's mine, that nightclubs shouldn't book reality television stars and minor celebrities to come 'DJ' at their events. Across the UK this trend continues to thrive under a relatively simply format, you pay some bloke/lady off the tv to turn up at your club, wherever it may be and they will 'play' some tunes, have their photos taken, give out some shout outs and generally poke their perfectly oranged face above the parapet to give the assembled masses something to gawp at.

It's a scene from a thousand music videos, providing you the chance to breath the very same stale and sweaty air that someone who's been in front of camera does and perhaps even imagine that you could be their mate on 'Made In Towie Shore'. The format clearly makes economic sense and draws in the punters, otherwise it would have been canned a long time ago. For those being paid to appear, it's also clearly a very easy money earner on your downtime between series.

My objection to it comes not through their choice to appear, but that the very notion of a celebrity appearance detracts from what clubbing should be about in my opinion. I just can't work out why their appearances are so attractive to the average clubber.

Night clubs don't offer you the glamorous sheen of the television, carefully edited and scripted to make every moment appear more fabulous than the last. They should be a great equaliser of the people, you all share the same music being played and have a collective emotional response to what's chosen. Those who choose to pay extra can elevate their own self esteem with a 'VIP booth' which in reality adds value to your tired feet from dancing over anything else. The DJ cuts an almost lonely figure, beats weighty with the responsibility of providing the tunes for the night.

So who do you trust with the the selection of the all important music. Someone with a deep love of music in general or perhaps an expert on their favourite genres? Or do you plump for a silicone infused, pearly toothed person with some carefully coiffed hair and an ability to shout 'Big Up (Insert name of town or club here). I might be cynical in my presumption that they might not have the same skill in mixing, manipulating the music and throwing in sounds from the depths of a genre right there alongside fresh new tunes. But I'm probably not. Anyone can look at the Radio 1 chart and pick 20 or 30 songs with similar sounding beats to lead into one another, so why pay someone lots of money to do that simply because they've been in whatever scripted reality show people are watching these days.

What to do to draw in the masses once you've got rid of your man with an acronym after his name? Simple. There's a wealth of music producers, DJs, artists and bands who'd drop barnstorming sets and give people an experience to remember. Some of the best sets I've seen in Cardiff have been from resident DJ's who've never once looked up from their decks but as they jam away people go nuts for them! Every adjustment, mashed up beat and slowly filtered melody are done with purpose and the crowd loves it. Perhaps I'm in the minority in thinking that you when you go out, you go for the music, drinks and fantastic times.

I'm sure there are some for whom these fantastic times can be provided by someone who's occasionally in page 14 of Hello Magazine telling you that they love your city. I'll stick to the music though!

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