Tonight saw me beneath the chapel of Clare College in Cambridge for Ben’s 18th, Joe’s 21st and James’s 48th birthday (I think I got those in the right order!).
Wow – what a good night!
It’s the first time I’ve worked in Clare College, and I had nerves before I arrived. I’m more than familiar with how difficult it can be to get disco equipment in and out of those places from experience. For instance, Girton college has doors that are so narrow that you have to turn sideways and Emmanuel College sees you going into the function room via the kitchen.
This one was a pleasant surprise!
Even though I was below street level, it was literally half a dozen very shallow steps down from the van to the stage area. The reason for so few steps? It’s a very low, vaulted ceiling which when lit up with the disco lights looks absolutely fantastic!
So, to the party……
I was booked to entertain between 10pm and midnight. The birthday boys and their family were having dinner in the college and these things always take time. Being the good and well prepared DJ I am though – I arrived at 8pm to set up.
Why? I hear you ask…Quite simply because I’ve never worked there before but after speaking to the function manager on the telephone knew that I’d have to unload the van, move it to their car park which is 3 miles by road, walk back (thankfully only half a mile…don’t ask), and then set up.
in the event – it was lucky I was early. Halfway through setting up James came into the room to let me know that dinner was running ahead of schedule and they’d be in early….eek!
Not to worry – gear installed, sound checks done, background music on until the guests arrive. No problem 🙂
Having done the sound and lighting checks – I was really happy with the setup tonight. The room is vaulted with lots of columns holding up the chapel above. The acoustics were absolutely fantastic and despite the lack of headroom, pointing the lighting to the ceiling looked absolutely brilliant.
I honestly don’t know if my customers and guests know or appreciate these facts. From my side of the booth though, I notice things like the sound being “off” or the lighting not looking quite right….it’s a DJ thing and to be honest it’s probably only us that notice.
Ben and Joe had prepared the playlist for the evening which for an 18th and 21st was a surprise. There was more James Brown than Jay-Z which is a rare treat for this type of party. It turns out they knew their guests very well indeed! The floor was packed from beginning to end (which makes me a very happy DJ indeed).
Obviously as usual I took requests during the evening. Appearances were made by Steps, S-Club 7 and others of the same ilk….all to masses of dancing and cheering. That was a really, REALLY good night from my side of the booth.
Unfortunately midnight came around all too quickly and it was time to pack up and go home (whilst the youngsters went on to a nightclub to which they’d got free entry).
So, happy birthdays Joe, Ben and James – I hope you enjoyed the evening as much as I did 🙂