take me home


Where did our love go?

December 30th: God knows how I got talked into this, but it's happening. Bring in the new year the same way you saw out the old one...!


Alright folks..

Since sleep is for losers, the People's Republic Of Disco and How Does It Feel To Be Loved crews are coming together for a one-off New Year's Day Party on January 1st 2005

We're going to be taking over the Windmill in Brixton from 8pm till late for IT'S TOO LATE TO STOP NOW, a night of ska, soul (northern, motown, 60s etc), funk, reggae, hip hop etc..

It's going to run from 8pm till when we collapse and it's completely FREE

The Windmill Pub Blenheim Gardens Brixton SW2 5BZ

December 19th: Well, what a way to end the year! We said it would be busy and we were right. Last time Stuart DJ-ed at the club, exactly two years ago in December 2002, we had roughly 170 people through the door over the night. This time we were sold out by ten and Michael from the Buffalo Bar estimated that there were 600 people queueing at half nine. Six hundred people! That's insane. Sorry to everyone who couldn't get in, but we did warn you. And there you go: proof that Stuart is three times more popular now than he was a few years back!
  It was a great, great night. Stuart was fine company and an excellent DJ, of course, and the atmosphere was perfect: friendly, understanding, just relaxed and cool. Thanks to Peter and Steve for the mince pies and cakes. Thanks to Angela for doing the door, as always. Thanks to Stuart for DJ-ing. And thanks to everyone for supporting the club and making sure we're still here after two and a half years!
  Anyway, my highlights:
  * The trio of 'City Sickness', 'Reel Around The Fountain' and 'Good Vibrations'. The last of the three in particular sounded spectacular.
   * Do You Believe In Magic? by The Lovin' Spoonful - first play at the club and what a stormer!
   * Love Goes On by The Go-Betweens - wonderful

 * Un Garcon En Mini Jupe by Karo - brilliant French soul pop
  * The first song off the Language Of Flowers album. I'd meant to play 'It's Not You' by them but messed it up. Still sounded great.
  * Talulah Gosh by Talulah Gosh. Loads of people asking "who's this??" Go and investigate immediately if you haven't heard Amelia from Heavenly's former band.

That's it. Sorry we didn't get a NYE HDIF sorted out. There's no HIDF in Brixton in January and no HDIF in Highbury in February, but normal service will be resumed by March. Have a great Christmas and see you soon!

PS - After this night and the David Gedge night, HDIF is now the proud holder of the top two spots for the Biggest Bar Take Ever at the Buffalo Bar, beating former holders Guided Missle into third place. That's a club supposedly for twee indie kids with the record for the hardest drinking! Well done everyone. Guided Missle! Artrocker! Club Beer! Your boys took a hell of a beating!

December 5th: I've been asking Dan Treacy for new TVPs songs to play for weeks now, so when he showed up with a CD of four new songs for me, I was excited and nervous and all those things you get when you care about how something's going to turn out. I played one of the four - more next time, once I've had time to sit down with them - but it sounded really really great. It's called 'My Dark Places' and it sounds like the TVPs back on superb, unique form. "You'd be surprised if you knew me..." is a brilliant, knowing comeback line. And new singer Victoria adds some depth and texture to it all.
Oh dammit. Just listening to the second song now - 'You'll Have To Catch Us First'. Should have played this on Friday night. It's a real dancer. I'll definitely play it on the 17th. Anyway, you'll be able to hear for yourself this Friday when the TVPs play Bush Hall. See you there.

December 4th: Phew! I didn't think anyone was coming along to this one, what with the Penelope Tree and the reopening of The Fanclub and The Violent Femmes and ATP all offering excitement elsewhere, but - as usual - I was fretting about nothing. The Canterbury was nice and busy - about 140 I think - and the atmosphere was fantastic, really friendly and understanding. A few people came up and asked for stuff outside of the remit, as happens most times, but when I explained that wasn't what the club was about, they all pretty much went 'OK, fair enough, really enjoying it anyway'. South London people, I love you! Thanks to The Actionettes for putting on a superb festive dancing show and for being the life and soul of the dancefloor before and after their slot. They forgot they were meant to be DJ-ing as well, so I turned in a mammoth stint of 9-11.30 and 11.50-2.15, which was great as I got to play loads and loads and loads of stuff. Five B&S! Five Smiths/Moz! Tons of soul! And I got to meet and chat with loads of people when they came up asking for requests. Including one exchange which went like this:
Girl: "If you play 'Move On Up' by Curtis Mayfield, the dancefloor will explode!"
Me: (concerned): "I don't want that to happen."
Girl: "Well, not literally..."
She was right though. The dancefloor did explode (not literally) and a fine time was had by all. Thanks to everyone for coming along and making it such a wonderful night. I had a ball.
My highlights:
* Since Yesterday by Strawberry Switchblade - a spot on request and cheers at the opening bars, excellent...
* If You Know What I Mean by PP Arnold - a storming soul dancer, the latest addition to my collection of favourites
* City Sickness by Tindersticks - its second outing and went down even better than the first. What a song! Sounded amazing.
* If That's What You Wanted by Frankie Beverley & The Butlers - another northern gem from my outing to Greenwich.
* Nowhere Fast by The Smiths - why haven't I played this before?!?!?
* Last Time I Saw Him by Diana Ross And The Supremes - glorious last song, Ms Ross knee-deep in naive pathos, someone playing a banjo, Alabama 3 taking notes on the side!

November 27th: Just done the card purge and now I've got a huge pile of individually named, lovingly laminated membership cards to turf into the bin. It's all rather sad really. Farewell Anna and Simon Love! Goodbye Allis Regan, Rachel Gibson, Leo Collett! Adios Sophie Duck! Adieu Lisa Duck! Right, time for a quick head count. Just got rid of - drum roll please - 130 cards! Phew.

November 26th: I've added a load of new Morrisseys to the Random Morrissey Generator. Have fun!

November 25th: Sorry it's taken so long to update this. Been quite a busy few weeks round these parts. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came down the the club last Friday. I'm really sorry for quite a lot of things. Sorry so many of you couldn't get in - we sold out by half ten, with a huge queue still stretching around the block. Sorry it took so long on the door - 100 people applied for new membership cards, which added to the hundreds that haven't been picked up meant that poor Angela had to sort through tons of cards to find each one. And, of course, that took time. I've sent out emails this week to people who haven't picked up their cards and we'll be having a huge card purge tomorrow, with unclaimed cards heading for the bin. Sorry it was so packed inside - we did our best to get as many people in and I think the club was a little too full. It won't happen again, I promise. And sorry for the dodgy sound - it was muddy during David's guest slot and then seemed to fade in and out for the last half hour of my slot. Very very annoying. So sorry if that hampered your enjoyment. It certainly pissed me off.

Apart from that though, what a great night!

Here are my highlights. Thanks to David for his set. See you for our Christmas knees up with The Actionettes in Brixton!

* Lift Me Up by Saturday Looks Good To Me - at last! the only band i've ever tried to sign to the non existent HDIF label gets a spin at the club. i sent them two emails, promising that i'd make them stars in the UK, even though I know absolutely nothing at all about running a record label, and they quite rightly ignored me. this indie pop second cousin to 'town called malice' is a dancefloor stormer and certainly got everyone moving on friday.
* La La La La La by The Blendells - hang on i'm going to have to listen to it while i type, it's so good. the first song in my set and what a classic - part soul clapalong, part garage spiritual, with a horn break that heads straight for your goosebumps. love it, love it, love it.
* City Sickness by Tindersticks - hurrah! at last again. t'sticks get an airing. first time out of the traps for this one and i can't think why i haven't played it before. sounded magnificent.
* Don't Pity Me by Joanie Summers - i went to a northern night in Greenwich to get ideas for new tunes and came back with The Blendells, this and a load of others. same intro as 'be my baby' but morphs into a blue eyed brit female soul dancer. glorious!
* Add It Up by Violent Femmes - ages since i've played this and an excellent request from Lisa! cut through the crappy sound and got everyone going. i was surrounded! fantastic.

November 8th: In many ways, the club has been leading up to last Friday for the past two and a half years. Playing the whole of the 1986 festive fifty was actually an idea that I'd holding onto for a while now - I'd checked through the line ups in an idle moment about six months back and thought one day it might be fun to give over the entire night to the man and the music that inspired us. I never dreamt that it would take John's death for me to put the idea in motion. He seemed like he'd go on forever. It still feels strange that he could possibly be gone.

So, after a week and a half of frantically trying to find all the tracks - and thanks here must go to Trevor, Lee, Rob, and Rupert for providing some of the more tricky parts of the 50, as well as thanks to Karren, Joel, Sean, Peter and countless others for offers of help and moral support - the night was upon us. Rob Da Bank had mentioned us on Radio One the night before while sitting in on John's slot - thanks Rob, we really appreciate it - and that and good press on the net and in the South London Press had inspired over 100 people to apply for membership. Now I just had to do justice to the idea.

It was a weird night really - usually I bring hundreds of records and reams of CDs. This time I just had one little box, hardly half full. I warmed things up with half an hour of non 50 tunes - two from the new Saturday Looks Good to me album, 'The Blues Run The Game' by Simon & Garfunkel, 'Stars Of Track And Field' by B&S, 'The Teams That Meet In Caffs' by Dexys - and off we went. 'The Body Of An American' by The Pogues at number 50. Followed by a band I never thought I'd play at HDIF...The Mission. And so it went on. Normally I run on stress and adrenalin when I'm DJ-ing, always in a mild panic about what to play next. This time I had it all there in black and white. I just had to follow the 50 and see where the night would lead us. Number 37 - 'Lucifer Over Lancashire' by The Fall - was introduced by Peel himself. Rob had sent me mp3s of eight tracks from the original broadcast, complete with John's introductions. A big cheer went up, of course, and would do so whenever he came back on the mic. It was nice to feel that he was with us in some way.

Stephen Street did an excellent job with his guest slot, bringing back the soul that makes up a huge part of HDIF's identity and making my night by spinning The B 52s. Thanks Stephen. And then it was midnight and back to the 50. A few people had said to me during Stephen's set that playing the 1986 festive fifty was a nice idea but I was being a bit brave - brave as in slightly foolhardy. No one would want to dance to these tunes in this order would they? And the answer at some points was clearly: no, they wouldn't.
Freiwillige Selbstokontrolle's 'I Wish I Could Sprechen Sie Deutsch ' wasn't perhaps the dancefloor highlight of the night, but hearing it made it all feel worthwhile somehow. Like we being true to the spirit we were venerating. 'Levi Stubbs Tears' didn't inspire much nifty footwork, but seeing people standing and singing along was glorious. 'Rules And Regulations' was a particular personal highlight, especially as I had two seven inch versions to choose between. Black vinyl and blue vinyl. Oh, I loved early Fuzzbox me.

The top ten was always going to be emotional, but the double whammy of 'The Queen Is Dead' and 'I Know It's Over' was spectacular. And it nearly went very wrong. As we approached the top ten, I realised I'd made a huge mistake. Yes, I had both songs. Of course I did. I'd ticked them off earlier that week. I'd ticked them off just before leaving the house. What I didn't stop to consider was that I had them both on the same album - 'The Queen Is Dead'. I couldn't switch seamlessly from one deck to another. I was going to have to leave a gap. Worst still, I have 'The Queen Is Dead' on vinyl. If one track was on side one and the other on side two, I'd be fucked. I'd have to stop one song, pick the album up off the deck and then find the second song while the crowd bayed for my blood. I couldn't believe it. What an idiot. Thankfully, of course, 'The Queen Is Dead' is track one, side one, and 'I Know It's Over' is track three. So I pulled the fader down, everyone cheered for a lifesaving few seconds, I dropped the needle somewhere near where I hoped the start of 'I Know It's Over' was, and...it was all fine. I just about got away with it. Cued up 'Panic', pressed go and all was well with the world. Phew.

Next thing I knew this guy was saying something. What's that mate? "You're meant to be playing 'Panic'!" I'd left rundowns of the 50 around the venue so everyone could see what was coming next. What? I stopped and listened. Oh god: it was 'Big Mouth Strikes Again'. Again. I'd only just played it at number twelve. Jesus, what a bloody fool I was. I've no idea how that happened. Really no idea. I put 'Panic' on next to get us back on track and two thirds of the way through the song, it just cut out. Again, no idea why. I hadn't triggered the sound cut-off like last month. I'd been talking to someone and they'd walked off at exactly the point the sound went. Had they tripped a wire? I was panicking like mad, but everyone was singing. A big, rousing singalong of 'Panic', keeping it going. It was great, but I didn't hear it really. I was just thinking: "What's gone wrong? What am I going to do?" I lined up the next song - 'Velocity Girl' - and pressed play, more out of bliind hope than anything else. And...it was there!

Of course, no one minded and a few people joked that the night wouldn't have been truly in the spirit of the man himself if something hadn't been played at the wrong speed or some sort of technical mistake made. Well, I 'd managed that. Maybe it was John looking down on us. It would be nice to think that was the case. Most likely, though, it was just me being an idiot. The top three flew: 'Mr Pharmacist', Age Of Chance's cover of 'Kiss', and, of course, 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out', with John's closing words from the broadcast added on at the end. A round up of the fifty's highlights, details of who was in session the following week, closing with "Coming up shortly the midnight news summary. Thanks very much for listening and good night..."

'Teenage Kicks' had to follow of course. And then I wanted to finish with 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' by Otis Redding, the song that John had said always made him cry when he was DJ-ing. But it was late, I was tired and emotional and 17 doesn't half look like 11 when you've had a skinful, so I put on the wrong bloody song! And then the wrong song again (tip: 12 still isn't 17)! But we got there in the end, technical hitches and all...! Thank you to everyone for coming along, thanks to all those who offered kind words at the end, and thank you to John Peel for introducing us to the music we love and changing our lives totally. May he rest in peace.

November 4th: Added a new forum to the HDIF messageboard, entitled Musicians Wanted. If you're a musician in London or the UK, looking for like minded souls to form your dream indie band with, then here's a place for you to advertise. Did you get that Google? London indie musicians wanted. Britain indie musicians wanted. UK indie musicians wanted. Are you receiving us? Can you hear us at the back? Anyway, give it a go...then we'll have new records to play at the club!

The messageboard is here - http://s4.invisionfree.com/howdoesitfeel/index.php?

November 3rd: Worked out the timings for Friday. They are as follows:
9pm - doors open
9.30-10.30 - Festive fifty, numbers 50-36
10.30-12.00 - Stephen Street
12.00 - 2.00 - Festive fifty, numbers 35-1

November 1st: Sorry about the website being down for the last few days. Due to a mix up, f9 managed to wipe my entire account. Luckily, I had everything stored on my desktop, otherwsie I'd have lost the lot! We're now at our lovely new home as part of the Bowlie server. Thanks to David and everyone for coming to our rescue so quickly!

October 27th: As a tribute to John Peel, I'll be playing all of the 1986 Festive Fifty, in order, for the next HDIF this Friday. I may have to split the fifty either side of Stephen Street's set, possibly ten before and the top 40 from midnight til close. I'll work that out in the next few days.
Without John Peel, we wouldn't be here.

Festive Fifty 1986
1 Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
2 Age Of Chance - Kiss
3 Fall - Mr Pharmacist
4 Primal Scream - Velocity Girl
5 Smiths - Panic
6 Smiths - I Know It's Over
7 Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
8 Shop Assistants - Safety Net
9 Jesus And Mary Chain - Some Candy Talking
10 Fall - US Eighties - Nineties
11 Smiths - Ask
12 Smiths - Bigmouth Strikes Again
13 Weather Prophets - Almost Prayed
14 Half Man, Half Biscuit - Trumpton Riots
15 Fall - Living Too Late
16 Wedding Present - Once More
17 Soup Dragons - Hang Ten!
18 Wedding Present - This Boy Can Wait
19 Bodines - Therese
20 Fall - Bournemouth Runner
21 Cocteau Twins - Love's Easy Tears
22 Primitives - Really Stupid
23 Pastels - Truck Train Tractor
24 Billy Bragg - Levi Stubbs' Tears
25 Soup Dragons - Whole Wide World
26 Fall - Realm Of Dusk
27 Age Of Chance - Bible Of The Beats
28 Wedding Present - You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends
29 That Petrol Emotion - It's A Good Thing
30 Very things - This Is Motortown
31 We've Got A Fuzzbox - Rules And Regulations
32 The The - Heartland
33 Freiwillige Selbstokontrolle - I Wish I Could Sprechen Sie Deutsch
34 Mighty Lemon Drops - Like An Angel
35 Smiths - Cemetry Gates
36 Wedding Present - Felicity
37 Fall - Lucifer Over Lancashire
38 Cocteau Twins - Those Eyes, That Mouth
39 Half Man, Half Biscuit - Dickie Davies Eyes
40 Elvis Costello - I Want You
41 Billy Bragg - Greetings To The New Brunette
42 Flatmates - I Could Be In Heaven
43 Shop Assistants - I Don't Want To Be Friends With You
44 Mighty Mighty - Is There Anyone Out There?
45 Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - By The Time I Get To Phoenix
46 Colourbox - The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme
47 Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling
48 Fall - Dktr Faustus
49 Mission - Serpent's Kiss
50 Pogues - The Body Of An American

October 20th: My, it's pouring down outside. Torrents. Just posted up Tracyanne and Carey's setlist from last Friday. It's on their page in the Guest DJs section.

October 18th: Here we go again...another great night! Thank you! As we hadn't done a HDIF in north London for two months, I thought this one might be busy, but then there were a host of other things on on the night - Le Tigre, Lloyd Cole, American Music Club, the reopening of Stay Beautiful - so it could have gone either way. A great piece on indie pop on the Guardian website helped spread the word and, of course, a lot of people came along to see our guests Tracyanne and Carey from Camera Obscura, and it all turned out fine in the end. Oh, I do like to fret! Thanks to everyone for coming along, thanks to Tracyanne and Carey for an excellent set, and thanks to the guy who said "Have you got any Farmer's Boys?" right after I'd played 'Matter Of Fact'. When I told him I'd just played them, he paused for a second and then asked for Shakira! Almost as good a call as Kosheen. Oh happy days...

My highlights then:

*I'm In A World Of Trouble by The Sweet Things - officially the second greatest northern soul song ever!
* Keep An Open Mind Or Else by McCarthy - irresistable political pop, glorious!
* A Little Bit Of Something (Is Worth A Whole Lot Of Nothing) by Little Richard - yes, the godfather of rock'n'roll makes his HDIF debut. Only the latest sounds at this club night! An amazing soul tune.
*Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now by The Wedding Present - but in French
* Chick Habit by April March - a welcome return!

That's about it. Three weeks until the next HDIF now as there's five Fridays in October. Next stop Bonfire Night and Stephen Street as our guest. See you there!

October 3rd: I know I always say this but....what a night! Possibly my favourite night at the Canterbury yet. Not as packed as last time but a nice amount of people - about 120 - and a truly great atmosphere. Being in such a friendly environment really makes it for me - so thank you for being so lovely...and for saving the night when I messed up the second time.

Here's what happened then. Possibly my favourite HDIF moment ever.

There's a sound monitor above the bar at the Canterbury with a series of lights. As long as I keep it in green, there's no problem. But if it goes into red and stays in the red for 20 seconds or so, I trip a sound monitor which cuts the power in the main room. I've been fine so far but on Friday I blew the power twice. First time during 'Heard It Through The Grapevine' by The Slits. It was all going well, dancefloor nice and full and then...bang. Lights out, power off, sound cut. Michelle got it all back to normal in less than a minute and I slapped myself on the wrist. Pay more attention man. I have to admit it had been quite a messy one up until that point - me missing the cue for the next track quite a few times because I was too busy chatting to people or taking requests. It was genial chaos behind the decks. Just how I like it.

The second time was late on, about quarter to two, about a third of the way into 'You Can't Hurry Love' by The Supremes. There was about 40 people left in the club by then, but pretty much everyone was dancing. One girl was even dancing on a chair. The power went, the lights shut off, and a groan went up from the dancefloor. And then one bloke and his mates started singing the chorus, determined to keep going. And everyone joined in. "You can't hurry love/oh you just have to wait..." Michelle had the power back on and just as they got to the end of the chorus, I pressed play and...in came the bassline and off we went again to a huge cheer. It was wonderful.

Which is why I always want to say thank you thank you thank you after every HDIF. Because it's you who turns a good night into a great one. It's your requests, it's your energy, it's your love for the music, it's all down to you. An unexpected request at just the right moment can make everything for me - send me off into a different direction, give me a fresh load of inspiration, and suddenly the quiet panic I'm doing my best to hide sometimes is gone. So please keep asking me for songs, please keep singing when it all cuts out, please keep being the best folk a club could hope for.

And all that before I even get around to mentioning Dan Treacy's set. I was amazed when Dan agreed to DJ at the club. Honoured. It was to be his first public appearance for quite a while and I couldn't quite believe it was going to happen. But at ten to nine he appeared all smiles with a simple "hello mate, I'm Dan", and that was that. He turned out to be a real pleasure, with exactly the kind of brilliant dry sense of humour you'd expect. Ed Ball and another friend from the TVPs showed up to offer support and fans from as far afield as Sweden and Ipswich made the pilgrimage, and it was well worth it. A great mix of indiepop, northern - including 'The Magic Touch', which made my night - and modern stuff like Morrissey and The Killers. Thanks Dan!

I had some Rough Trade indiepop compilations to give away on the night, but couldn't think of a competition. Peter from Twee Net came up half way through. "Your question should be: 'Four people who are on the indiepop compilation are here tonight. Name them all.'" OK, well there's Dan of course, and Amelia, and Phil Wilson from The June Brides had shown up too. But who was the fourth? "Well, you don't win then." Number four was Claudia from Magnetic Fields. Ah, I'd forgotten they were on there. Claudia requested I play some Talulah Gosh, so I dug out my seven inch of 'My Best Friend'. "They didn't know what to do to start off with did they?" laughed Amelia afterwards. "But they got the hang of it halfway through." Think she was just being modest. It went down a storm from where I was standing.

My highlights then:

* I'm In A World Of Trouble by The Sweet Things - my new favourite northern song. A real dancefloor stormer.
* Jacob's Ladder by the Monochrome Set - a glorious debut for a great song
* Soul Time by Shirley Ellis - my second favourite new northern song...!
* Artificial Energy by The Byrds - a first time spin for this one too (after midnight anyway) and it went down a storm

...plus all of the above!

That's it. Thanks again to everyone. See you all in two weeks time.

September 23rd: I'm extremely pleased to announce that our DJ on October 1st will be Dan Treacy from the Television Personalities! Really looking forward to it.

September 20th: Sorry for the lack of updates on here recently. Had computer trouble and then went on holiday to Hungary for a week so this is the first time I've been able to sort out the photos from earlier in the month. A storming night, our fullest in Brixton yet. Thanks to Amelia for an excellent set. Happy birthday to Dickon and Carl, who both turned significant numbers on the night. Thanks to everyone else for coming along and celebrating with them. We even had an international indie pop star in! Claudia from Magnetic Fields, on the one night for ages that I didn't play any Magnetic Fields. My highlights are lost in the haze a little but here goes:
* Made Of Stone followed by Slow Graffiti. A wonderful moment. Taking a packed dancefloor and slowing it right down. Thanks to everyone who danced to this. Made my night.
* Change by Aretha Franklin. Glorious.
* Really Stupid by The Primitives.
* Fever by Marie "Queenie" Lyons. Fantastic soul version.
* How Soon Is Now? for the last song. A tribute to Mr Morrissey's Reading performance. He played it first, we play it last. Simple. Sounded immense.

I've updated the Club page with details of the forthcoming guest DJ run. Still waiting to hear about the next HDIF's guest, but the run up to Christmas is pretty much fixed now. I can't wait. It currently reads like this:

Oct 1st - to be announced in the next few days
Oct 15th - Tracyanne Campbell and Carey Lander from Camera Obscura
Nov 5th - Stephen Street
Nov 19th - David Gedge from The Wedding Present
Dec 3rd - The Actionettes
Dec 17th - tba

August 31st: Added Sergio's set to the DJs page and another single to the Great Lost Singles page. Please take a look. More of these would be great.
   I was listening to 'Her Handwriting' by Trembling Blue Stars yesterday and thinking that it really is Bobby Wratten's masterpiece. As much as I love The Field Mice, there's something about this album that just makes it gel. The sense of narrative as you follow his break up with Annemari is wonderful and 'Do People Ever?' gets me every time. Think I'll be playing some stuff from it on Friday. Maybe one night I should just play the whole album early doors.

August 22nd: What a night! A storming set from Sergio from Ya No Puedo Mas, and the HDIF Summer Collection flew off the shelves. Almost all new songs, all night. I threw in a few old favourites for the last fifteen minutes ­ "Geno", "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" ­ but mostly it was fresh blood a go go. Can't really pick out a highlight as the whole night was a highlight, but I have soft spot for my three themed links:
"Show Me" by Joe Tex followed by "Show Me" by Dexys
"Keep It Clean" by Camera Obscura followed by "Do It Clean" by Echo And The Bunnymen
"Scooby Driver" by Belle & Sebastian followed by "Baby Driver" by Simon & Garfunkel

Thank you thank you thank you! See you in Brixton!

August 19th: I couldn't see the bus into town straight away so I jumped in a cab at Glasgow airport. It would only be a few quid extra, I reasoned, and my record case was heavy. Full of half-forgotten vinyl, here for my own comfort more than anything else. The cabbie wanted to know if I was a DJ and told him not really, it was just a hobby. What did I play? I wasn't going to get into namedropping The Chesterfields and The Farmer's Boys, so I just said soul, bit of tamla, bit of northern. That kind of thing.
He was impressed. "That's my music!" he exclaimed. He was actually into more seventies soul and funk (and I'm firmly in the sixties, as I'm sure you've noticed), but we found a middle ground. "Right, you have to hear this!" he said, and stuck on a CD of The Undisputed Truth, and proceeded to wax lyrical about Norman Whitfield. I didn't know much about the Undisputed Truth, but liked what I heard and asked if he knew "Smiling Faces Sometimes" by The Temptations. "That's an Undisputed Truth song! I'll play it for you!" And there it was. Four or so minutes instead of thirteen odd but still the same song.
We were nearly at John's flat, but there was one more thing I had to hear. "This is my favourite song of all time. Not just my favourite Undisputed Truth song, but my favourite song ever." Blimey. This was bound to be good. "It's called 'You Make Your Own Heaven And Hell Right Here On Earth'." And, my god, what a song! Similar cut to "Smiling Faces Sometimes", a slow, melancholic build with little touches of orchestral euphoria. Just heartstopping. And then we were there. CD off, bags out, cash and handshakes exchanged. I was just ringing John's doorbell when I heard a shout. "Ian!" Maybe I'd left something in the cab. "Here, take the CD. I burnt it myself. I can easily do another." Wow. Welcome to Glasgow.
And that pretty much set the tone for the weekend. Hospitality, up and beyond the call of duty. It's easy to see why National Pop League is so popular. John puts his heart and soul into it, just gives everything he can. There's me just turning up with my records every few weeks and making it up on the spot, whereas he meticulously plans the setlist, does a fanzine and a badge for each night. I was there to play Little League, a NPL offshoot at the RAFA club. NPL at The Woodside is a packed, sweaty affair by all accounts, 250 people at gas mark twelve, and Little League is designed to be a quieter, more civilised night out. The venue could hold 170 easily, but John shuts the doors after 100 to give everyone a bit more room. Once I'd experienced the Woodside the night after for The Winchester Club and Wintergreen, I could understand totally. I was drenched with sweat after dancing to one song (admittedly that song was all eight minutes of "Rapper's Delight", but still...)
So Little League is more like a private party. Literally, in this case, as John invited a fair few revellers back to his flat afterwards to carry on going. He'd filled the fridge with beers, had it all planned. I was reminded of the Metropolis boys in Sweden who every so often pay for cabs for everyone to go to the beach after the club. I'd have everyone back to mine after HDIF but I'm not sure the party spirit would survive the journey south. Living five minutes walk from the venue sure has its advantages!
John had made up an order of service for the occasion, like the things you get handed at weddings. The lyrics for two hymns were included ­ "The Magic Touch" and "Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache". "Ceremony conducted by Mr Ian Watson". Aw, bless. It's all about the details isn't it? "If you don't get people dancing by half ten, then you should start to try," I'd been told. Last song was quarter to one. I turned out a HDIF greatest hits, pretty much summarising the first two years of the club. It went well and seeing people dancing to the likes of "(Love Is Like A) Heatwave" on the big wooden dancefloor seemed nicely appropriate. I had a couple of scares when usual surefire hits cleared the floor ­ Martha Reeves' "Heard It Through The Grapevine" and "Let's Dance" by Jimmy Cliff, but apart from that it was a blast.
Thanks to John for putting on the whole night and putting me up for the weekend. Thanks to everyone for coming along and dancing and being so friendly. And thanks to the guy who requested "I Don't Love Anyone". It took me a while to get round to it, but it was right song, right time, and my runaway highlight of the night!

August 16th: Thanks to everyone who came to HDIF at the RAFA club. I had a great time. Hope you enjoyed it too. I'll post up a full account of my weekend in Glasgow in the next few days. In the meantime, pics from the night are up on the site now!

August 8th: Phew! Another great night...even though it was very nearly a disaster.
At about half past eleven, Michelle from the Canterbury Arms came up to me and said "Ian, I've got bad news". Apparently there'd been some sort of blow out in the local electricity sub station. "We're going to lose power in 45 minutes." The club was filling up nicely, Mike had the dancefloor rocking, and now this. I just laughed. I told a few people what was going on. "You've got 45 minutes left to dance, possibly." It was like waiting for the bomb to drop.
But in the end nothing happened. The power stayed on and we had a great night. Thanks to everyone for coming along on a ridiculously hot day, thanks to Mike for a great set, and thanks to the electricity board guys for sorting everything out in time. My highlights:
* Let's Dance by Jimmy Cliff. I bought an album of Jamaican reggae and ska stars doing soul tunes and this is the runaway highllight on it. Great song, really got things moving.
* Thinking Of You by Colourfield. Been meaning to play this for ages. A lovely moment.
* L.O.V.E. Love by Orange Juice. What the club's all about.
* Mr Big Stuff by Jean Knight. Slinky, sexy, cool.
* Safety Net by Shop Assistants. Haven't played this for over a year. Sounded fantastic!
* The Model by B&S. An inspired request.
*Walls Come Tumbling Down by Style Council. A glorious HDIF debut.
* Highway To Hell by Hayseed Dixie. A bluegrass version of AC/DC's finest moment to end off the night!

Glasgow here we come!

August 2nd: Just to confuse things once again, I've decided to use a new messageboard. Don't know what will happen to the Yahoo group, but please take a look at this


August 1st: Just spent a week in Barcelona, learning Spanish. I stayed in a little student residence and had classes every day from half nine until half four. It was great fun, albeit a little scary.
Barca is a lovely city and I managed to make it along to a bar/club called Fantastico, which is the local answer to HDIF. On the Saturday night that I went a DJ pairing played everything from Hefner and Pavement to The Supremes. The only weird thing was the Spanish hours. The place was empty at 11, just filling up at 1, and by half 2 there was no sign of anyone dancing, even though the bar was buzzing. Dancing's for post 3am, apparently, at the discotecerias. Still, a great find. Go if you're ever in town.

July 19th: Just posted up Chris King's set on the DJs page. Excellent stuff. My highlights:

* Lotsi Go Go Go by Throw That Beat In The Garbagecan! - exellent track from a long lost German indie pop band. Been meaning to play this for ages, great to see a full dancefloor rocking to it. If you're Klaus or Lotsi or any of the other Throw That Beat members and are reading this, send us an email! Be great to have you as guest DJs if you're ever in London.
* Uptown by The Chambers Brothers. Suggested by a young soul rebel of my acquaintance and a storming soul track, even if only me and him were dancing to it!
* Matter Of Fact by The Farmers Boys - been meaning to play this for ages, finally got round to it. Superb soulful jangle pop.
* Lemonhead Boy by Heavenly - a first outing for this one, sounded fantastic
* The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis - my momma told me...
* We Got A Groovy Thing Going On by Simon & Garfunkel - after seeing the boys rock Hyde Park on Thursday, a little nod. This dancefloor stormer is not what you'd expect from S&G, but brilliant nonetheless - The Boxer and Leaves That Are Green also got an airing

...and tons more. Here's what got played early on in my bid to introduce more obscurities into the set. Forgot to play Obscurity Knocks, like an idiot. Forgot to play loads actually. Here's what I did manage:

Town To Town - Microdisney
Language Of Flowers - Pale Saints
Keep An Open Mind Or Else - McCarthy
Heavenly Pop Hit - The Chills
The Painted Word - Television Personalities
Love Zombies - The Monochrome Set
The Jerk - The Larks

July 18th: Phew! Our messiest night yet. Sold out by 11.30, people dancing in the DJ booth, a chaotic yet friendly couple of hours. Great set from Chris King. Thanks Chris. More on this tomorrow...

July 4th: What a night! With Edwyn Collins and James Brown playing elsewhere in town, I'd convinced myself this was going to be a quiet one. In fact, it was our busiest Brixton night yet. Thanks to The Actionettes for a fantastic dance and DJ set, as always. And thanks to everyone for coming along. Here are my highlights:

* the white noise of Kennedy rocking a packed dancefloor
* Love Power and Am I The Same Girl? by Dusty Springfield
* Almost Prayed sounding glorious!
* You Been Gone Too Long by Ann Sexton - another northern classic
* Well Of Loneliness by McCarthy
* Have Love Will Travel by The Headcoatees - cover of the Sonics classic
* Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved and Mother Popcorn by James Brown
* Stand By Your Man by Bettye Swann - country got soul!
* Time Of The Season by The Zombies - a little Glastonbury send off

Afterwards I was approached by a guy who introduced himself as a "West End promoter". He wanted to make me an offer. "This is your first night isn't it?" "No," I replied. "The club's been going for two years." He wanted HDIF to become part of a club night he was doing at Turnmills, with me DJ-ing one of three rooms. You can imagine my response. Still, I told him it was very flattering to be asked and that I was glad he'd enjoyed the night. He didn't seem very pleased.

About three years ago, myself and Angus were asked to be regular weekly DJs at School Disco after a try out slot we did in Vauxhall went really well. We turned that down too. I didn't like the idea of climbing into school uniform every week, but all things considered I think I regret turning that one down more. We could have done it for a month...oh well! They were nice guys too, the School Disco lot. They deserve their success.

So the West End will have to wait. I'd love to do a one off at The Talk Of The Town one day. HDIF with The Actionettes there would be fantastic!

June 20th: A weird but great night, this one. I went to see the New York Dolls at the Royal Festival Hall (my second time that week - they were fantastic!) and didn't show up until half eleven or so. Billy Reeves of theaudience and Uncle Bob's Wedding Reception fame had run the club in my absence, celebrating his birthday along the way too, and had done a stirling job by all accounts. Thanks Billy, sorry I wasn't there to hear it. I took over but my head was still at the RFH, so it took a little while to get things going. In fact, it took Billy's suggestion of Lean Period by Orange Juice and This Ole Heart Of Mine by the Isley Brothers to really kick it all off - after that, we were flying! Here are my highlights:
* In The Country straight after Wrapped Up In Books - just to see where that 20 per cent royalty pay out was going...!
* My Best Friend by Talulah Gosh - a HDIF debut for the Gosh and they went down a storm
* Glad I Knew Better by Howard Tate - a glorious northern track
* Number One Son by Camera Obscura - excellent!
* Celtic Soul Brothers by Dexys - first time I've tried this one and it worked a treat
* You Did It by Anne Robinson - the track Fatboy Slim sampled for Gangster Trippin', a great dancer
* Sparky's Dream - I really should play more Teenage Fanclub!

Thanks to everyone for coming down. See some of you at Glastonbury!

June 19th: Here's Amelia's set from the last time she DJed at HDIF. In alphabetical order, rather than running order. Excellent stuff:

Adult Net - Waking Up In The Sun
The Aisler Set - Hey Lover
Baby Birkin - Mélo Mélo
Bad Dream Fancy Dress - The Supremes
Bis - Kandy Pop
Blondie - Picture This
Laura Cantrell - Not the Tremblin' Kind
Cinderellas-Baby, Baby (I Still Love You)
Alma Cogan - Snakes And Snails
Cookies - Don't Say Nothin' Bad About My Baby
Dressy Bessy - Lookaround
Elastica - Stutter
Freezepop - Freezepop Forever
France Gall - Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son
Girls At Our Best - Fast Boyfriends
Kenickie - I Would Fix You
Lesley Gore - Maybe I Know
Ladytron - Play Girl
Le Tigre - Hot Topic
Jackie Lee - The Town I Live In
April March - Chick Habit
Beryl Marsden - Breakaway
Pizzicato Five - Mon Amour Tokyo
Raindrops - Da Doo Ron Ron
Rondelles - Rediscover Fire
Saint Etienne - Who Do You Think You Are?
Shangri-Las - Give Him A Great Big Kiss
Sandi Shaw - Message Understood
Dusty Springfield - I Only Want To Be With You
Stereolab - Ping Pong
Toys - I Can't Get Enough Of You Baby
X Ray Spex - Warrior In Woolworths
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Pin

June 7th: Here's ET's set. With his highlight too!

"Highlight for me was definitely the entire floor rockin' out to Mudhoney, and '(We Hate The Fuckin') NME'!"

Part One: Cutie
Comet Gain ­ Jack Nance Hair (Mei Mei)
Daniel Johnston ­ Love Me Do (Seed)
Lemonheads ­ Luka (Taang!)
Heavenly ­ P.U.N.K. Girl (Sarah)
Beat Happening ­ Nancy Sin (Sub Pop)
Jesus And Mary Chain ­ Just Like Honey (Blanco y Negro)
Maureen Tucker ­ Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (Trash)
Quasi ­ It's Hard To Turn You On (Up)
Teenage Fanclub ­ Everything Flows (Paperhouse)
The Pastels ­ Different Drum (K)
Maher Shalal Hash Baz ­ Unknown Happiness (Geographic)
The Smiths ­ This Charming Man (Rough Trade)
Belle & Sebastian ­ Lazy Line-Painter Jane (Jeepster)
Rachel Sweet ­ B.A.B.Y. (Stiff)
Randy And The Rainbows ­ Denise (Rust)
Girls At Our Best ­ Fast Boyfriends (Happy Birthday)
Sonic Youth ­ Kool Thing (DGC)
Dub Narcotic ­ Fuck Shit Up (K)
The Chefs ­ Sweetie (Attrix)
The Girls ­ Chico's Girl (Lauper Death)
Dexys Midnight Runners ­ Geno (EMI)
The Undertones ­ Teenage Kicks (Good Vibrations)
The Buzzcocks ­ I Don't Mind (United Artists)
Ramones ­ Baby I Love You (Sire)

Part Two: Grunge
Dinosaur Jr ­ Just Like Heaven (Blast First)
Mudhoney ­ Touch Me I'm Sick (Sub Pop)
Nirvana ­ Love Buzz (Sub Pop)
The Troggs ­ With A Girl Like You (Fontana)
Thee Headcoats ­ (We Hate The Fuckin') NME (Damaged Goods)
The Breeders ­ Divine Hammer (4AD)
Beastie Boys ­ No Sleep Till Brooklyn (Def Jam)
Huggy Bear ­ Her Jazz (Wiiija)
Dinosaur Jr ­ Freak Scene (Blast First)
Pavement ­ Range Life (Big Cat)

June 6th: With the Pixies playing over the road at the Academy, it always had the potential to be a brilliant night. We even had a certain Kim and Kelley Deal on the guest list, so we were excited from the off! Everett True put in an excellent set, chucking in some grunge and post grunge classics to liven things up a little - hearing Touch Me I'm Sick at HDIF was a little surreal, but fun! - and I did a flyer run after the Pixies and enticed a few people over to the Canterbury. Come midnight we were buzzing! The Deal sisters never showed in the end, but we had a great night anyway. At one point I looked up to see the dancefloor was full, with a nice amount of space between the dancers. It was just right. Here are my highlights:

* Magic Touch by Melba Moore - I'd happily play this every second song all night. It was a tune I'd been looking forward to playing all week so the timing was crucial. I played it after something popular like Cannonball by The Breeders and it just flew. In fact the danceloor was fuller for this than whatever indie pop tune I played afterwards. I knew then it was going to be a good one.
* A song by Candi Statton I don't know the name of. I wanted to play I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart (Than A Young Man's Fool), but I didn't have the tracklistiing for the CD. I'll find it no problem, I thought and started skipping through the songs. But it wasn't to be found! Seconds were ticking away on the track that was playing, so I went with the first upbeat sounding tune I could find. And it was fantastic.
* The first song on side one of the Laverne Baker album I've got. Another soul classic that I've been meaning to play for ages. Again went down a storm. I thought I'd be playing noiser stuff for the Pixies crowd, but it ended up being more soulful than ever. Excellent.
* She's Losing It by B&S - haven't played this at the club before but it sounds fantastic.
* Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow by Felt - at half one! All bets were off by this point. I'd dropped the usual big tunes for the soul classics and some untouched favourites from my indie collection.
* Punka by Kenickie - an early favourite. Not quite a dancefloor filler but those who were into it were into it wholeheartedly. Great to see people punching the air!
* Come two o clock I didn't want to stop, but I carried on for a little longer with my ironic soul triple whammy - Get Ready, Hold On I'm Comin' and Keep On Keeping On. All songs that suggest that the club's just about to get going rather than coming to an end.
* Take Me Home Country Roads by Toots And The Maytals. As a nod towards the band I reckon will be one of the hightlights of this year's Glastonbury festival, a feelgood version of the John Denver classic. "West Jamaica, mountain mama..!" Take me home.

May 30th:

And by the time we'd finished, it was daylight.
  I was going to Stockholm on work. They wanted me to fly in and out on the same day but I had different ideas. I put the word out on the mailing list ­ was anything going on that Friday and could I DJ somewhere? Everyone wrote back saying the same thing ­ there's a free music festival at the university called Popaganda. Go to that. I emailed Popaganda offering my services, but heard nothing back. My friend Astrid, who lives in Stockholm, suggested I try the Lucky You collective who run an indie pop night. They were friendly but couldn't help as they were in Paris that weekend.
   And then I got an email from Linda. "Go to one of my favourite places Metropolis," she advised, "They play anything from Hidden Cameras via Belle And Sebastian to Marvin Gaye." Perfect. A home from home. I emailed Metropolis and heard nothing back. Oh well, I thought. It was short notice, after all. And I had a good night planned anyway. Meet Astrid for a natter, check out Popaganda and end up the night at Metropolis. Sounds like fun.
   And then I got an email from Peter. "We would love to see you DJ at our biggest dancefloor together with our resident DJ Robert Kruus this Friday!" he wrote. "When we get the opportunity to book foreigners we're usually able to make place. And so we've done. Just bring your favourite dance records and we'll have a terrific evening together." Fantastic. "Oh my God, you just prance into Stockholm's grandest club, don't you?" huffed Astrid. Being a month shy of eighteen she couldn't go to either Popaganda or Metropolis. She'll be at HDIF on June 18th, making up for lost time.
    And so I met Astrid in a cool Stockholm café and listened and listened and listened. When she's famous, I'll be able to say I once supped orange juice with that girl. And she will be, I have no doubt. Then onto Popaganda with the rest of music-loving Stockholm. The under eighteens were encamped on a slight hill overlooking the compound, the over eighteens were inside guzzling mini cans of beer at two pound fifty a pop. A horrific sounding ska punk band were grunting on one of the two stages, so I found a sofa in a tent and tried not to think about the fact that I'd been up since 5.30am and Metropolis was going on til 4!
   An equally as horrible Scottish acoustic troupe started up on the other stage so I went to see a Swedish stand up cum poet instead. There's something reassuring about standing in a crowd laughing at something in a language you can't understand. You just tune into the flow of sounds and ripples of amusement and go with it. I once spent a very happy night in a bar in Reykjavik watching the funniest band in the world without understanding a word. They played the "Cheers" theme tune in the style of Bob Dylan, deliberately hammed up that Celion Dion song from "Titanic", did something bizarre using a roll of sellotape as percussion, and gabbed away in Icelandic throughout, hilarious at all times. And then they dropped the gags and played an amazing Teenage Fanclub-style perfect pop song with spot on harmonies and jangle guitar. No one I've spoken to in Reykjavik has any idea who this band was. Please write if you know.
   I laid down for a nap during the next band, the Swedish Coldplay if you can imagine such a notion. And woke up for Bergman Rock, who Astrid assured me are "Swedish legends Bob Hund singing in English". Righto. Atrocious name aside, Bergman Rock were superb: if The Hives were Roxy Music, if Ultrasound had some melodic krautrock in them, if Trabant were laying into Suede instead of Pulp (one for the Icelandic crowd there). They're old enough to be Howlin' Pelle's uncles so don't expect the fashion rags to come running, but a great band nonetheless. A quick google reveals that they once had a single called "Instead Of Music: Confusion". Excellent. At Popaganda the singer leant into the crowd, adoring hands tugging at his wrists and arms, while a security guard held the back of his shirt to stop him tumbling into the front row. For some reason this made me very happy.
   It was pushing eleven by the time I walked over the footbridge towards Metropolis. Everyone was at Popaganda. Ten thousand people so they say. There was a club night on site that went on til three and the room looked like it could hold a fair amount. Metropolis seemed dead as I got closer. Peter did say they were worried about Popaganda and rightly so, it seemed. But then I turned back to look over my shoulder and a stream of people were coming out of the subway exit towards the club. "They're following you!" exclaimed Anders, Peter's partner in crime and the public face of Metropolis. His job is to talk to people, be it clubbers, security guards or venue owners, and to solve problems and he does it very well. I was worried that I'd be a lot older than everyone at Metropolis (being an ancient 35!), but the guys were mid to late twenties and very welcoming.
   Anders gave me a quick tour. In the garden out the back there was a tented bar with a DJ. People could chill out in the garden or venture into the tent, which was heated by a blast of hot air coming out of a huge tube in one of the walls. In the winter, the snow is feet deep but they just carve a path to the tent and carry on as normal. That I'd like to see. The music played in the tent also airs in a small dancefloor inside and in the main bar. At the other end of the venue was the larger dancefloor where I was playing and off that a room with a blackjack table and a croupier. I'll have to have a word with the Buffalo Bar about installing one of those. At about 1am the small dancefloor indoor would switch to being soundtracked by the Music Machine, which was essentially a huge jukebox powered by a joystick. People selected songs and a large screen displayed what was coming up. Right then, though, Peter was playing "Sensitive" by The Field Mice in the large room . In the tent/bar, the DJ was spinning Teenage Fanclub. I was in heaven.
   And so it began. There were three of us DJ-ing in the room. Robert who played dance, r&b and the like, Peter who played modern day indie hits like "Bandages" by Hot Hot Heat and lots of stuff by The Cure, and me. We played half an hour each in rotation, which was a little odd to get used to after doing two hour sets but it worked well. I started my first slot with an empty dancefloor and ended with it packed. That's what playing The Smiths early does for you! The rest is the usual happy blur, but I can remember good responses for "Magic Touch" by Melba Moore (my new favourite northern song!) and "Hazey Jane II" by Nick Drake. I even chanced some French stuff, with a mixed response. "Les Responsable" kicked as usual and then I played that French version of "Paint It Black". A cheer went up at the intro, quickly followed by groans of disappointment when they realised it wasn't the Stones. Very funny. Easily the biggest tune of the night, though, was "Deceptacon" by Le Tigre. I wanted to play the Chi-Lites song that Beyonce sampled to lead into Robert's r&b set but didn't get round to it. Those half hours run out quickly!
   Linda came up to say hello and I thanked her for putting me in touch with Metropolis in the first place. And I met Peter's girlfriend, Rosie, who'd just got back from seeing the night's other big musical attraction. . . Lionel Richie. Oh yes. Apparently he played in an open air venue by the sea and the view was spectacular. Peter played "All Night Long" at the end of the night in tribute and suddenly I was at Club Beer Sweden.
   Half four and it was broad daylight. I'd been up for twenty two hours give or take but I felt wide awake. It was a fantastic, fantastic night and I can't wait to go back. Thanks to Peter, Anders and Robert for making me feel so welcome and thanks to Linda for suggesting the whole thing in the first place. I want to do more of these now. Anyone else feel like putting on a guest DJ in their club? Email me! ian@howdoesitfeel.co.uk

May 26th: I got some Swedish press! - http://www.metropolis.se/city_howdoesitfeel.jpg

May 25th: I'm very excited to announce that I'm DJ-ing this Friday at the Metropolis club in Stockholm. I was going over for work and Peter and Anders at Metropolis have kindly allowed me to play their club. It looks like a fantastic night out - I was going to go there anyway before I got their email. The website for the club is at http://www.metropolis.se - please come and say hello if you go along. Can't wait.

I've also added a gallery of guest DJs, listing - where possible - their sets. Take a look.

May 23rd: Here, as promised, is Simon's set. Excellent stuff.
'Candyskin' - Fire Engines
'The Strange Boutique' - The Monochrome Set
'The Well of Loneliness' - McCarthy
'Man O'Sand to Girl O'Sea' - The Go-Betweens
'Velocity Girl' - Primal Scream
'White Mice' - Mo-dettes
'Blue Boy' - Orange Juice
'Why Does The Rain' - The Loft
'More than a Dream' - The Farmer's Boys
'Where are you Baby?' - Betty Boo
'Sorry to Embarrass You' - Razorcuts
'Wednesday Week' - The Undertones
'The Number One Song In Heaven' - Sparks
'The Monochrome Set' - The Monochrome Set
'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' - The Smiths
'Pillar to Post' - Aztec Camera
'Party Fears Two' - Associates
'Town to Town' - Microdisney
'The Model' - Kraftwerk
'William It Was Really Nothing' - The Smiths
'Thinking of You' - The Colour Field
'Whatever is He Like? - The Farmer's Boys
'Reward' - The Teardrop Explodes
'I Must Be in Love' - The Rutles
'Right Here' - The Go-Betweens
'It's Going to Happen' - The Undertones
'It Happens' - Primal Scream
'Orphans' - Teenage Jesus
'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' The Smiths
'Heaven Knows I'm Missing Him Now' - Sandie Shaw
'I Get a Kick Out of You' - Gary Shearston

May 22nd: My head's spinning after this one. A great, great night. Thanks to Simon Barber for a superb set. I'll post up what he played very soon. My highlights:
* Eloise by Claude Francois - amazing, mind-boggling French language version of the song the Damned had a hit with once, all part of the night's vaguely French theme
* You Can't Hurry Love by The Concretes - my new favourite band, from Stockholm, gorgeous Camera Obscura meets Hidden Cameras perfect pop
* Let Me Go Home by Camera Obscura - sounded massive, fantastic
* Baby Love by Annie Philippe - following on from the reference to Baby Love in Let Me Go Home, but a French version. You can imagine how pleased I was with myself.
* I Sowed Love And Reaped A Heartache - from a compilation of country soul music (that's country that's got a bit of soul in it!) a glorious track
* Uptight by Nancy Wilson - fabulous female vocal take on the Stevie Wonder classic
* Lean On Me by The Redskins - an inspired request
* All the French stuff, especially Un Garcon En Mini Jupe by Karo.

See you in Brixton!

May 4th: After much soul searching we've decided to introduce membership for HDIF. Please take a look at the page here for the full info and details on how to get your free membership.

May 3rd: Our first night of the year at the Canterbury Arms and it was a stormer. Thanks to a mention on XFM, a picture caption in Time Out (featuring HDIF regular Kieron, looking very suave!), and a listing in The Guardian Guide, the place was nice and full. Amelia's all girl set was excellent. I'll post up what she played when I get it. My highlights:
* Falling And Laughing at 12.15 - our live link up tune. At the same time it was also being played in Glasgow and Sheffield!
* Wrap It Up by Sam And Dave - oh, what a horn riff, glorious!
* Son Of A Gun by The Vaselines
* Valeri by The Monkees
* The clapping during There There My Dear
* Chick Habit by April March, played by Amelia - what a song

Thanks to everyone for coming down!

April 26th: Here, in no particular order, is Stephen Street's set from the last HDIF. Thanks again to Stephen for a great set.
Rip it Up Orange Juice
Start The Jam
Damaged Goods Gang of Four
Get Off of my Cloud Rolling Stones
Genius of Love Tom Tom Club
Right back where we started.... Maxine Nightingale
Tears of a Clown Smokey Robinson
Give me just a little more time Chairman of the Board
Heaven Must Have Sent You The Elgins
I'll Keep Holding On The Marvelettes
Keep On Running The Spencer Davis Group
Stoned Love The Supremes
Do I Love You Frank Wilson
I Want You Back The Jackson 5
Helpless Kim Weston
I Can't Help Myself The Four Tops
What Difference Does.. The Smiths
Mr. Pharmacist The Fall
Song 2 Blur
Maybe Someday Ordinary Boys
Interesting Drug Morrissey
Girls And Boys Blur
Rock the Casbah The Clash
Last Junkie On Earth The Dandy Warholes
Last Nite Strokes
Freakin' out Graham Coxon
Week in, Week out Ordinary Boys
Diggin' your scene The Blow Monkeys

April18th: Another wonderful night. Thanks so much to everyone for coming along. Thanks to Stephen for a great set. Thanks to BSE for the cakes and party treats. Sorry to everyone who had to queue to get in. We reached capacity by quarter to eleven and operated a one in one out system for the rest of the night. Apparently there were still people trying to get into the club at ten to two!
My highlights then:
* Seven Day Fool by Etta James - just glorious
* It'll Never Be Over For Me by Timi Yuro - to mark her
passing, a magnificent tune
* Obscurity Knocks by the Trashcan Sinatras
* Hot Topic by Le Tigre - the dancefloor bouncing with this one
* Funky Funky Fever - what a tune!
* The Concept - always, always a pleasure

Just two weeks til Brixton! Can't wait.

April 9th: I haven't been writing much here recently have I? Apologies for that. Here's what I've been up to recently
* Went to see my friends Stephen and Alma in Whitstable. We went out to a pub called The Fountain where DJs were promising "funk, soul, latin, afro beat and ritmo". Ritmo? I texted my friend Angus who's on first name terms with the funk and its many brethren, but he had no idea. He thought it was my tip for the Grand National. So, obviously, we had to go and experience this exciting new music. The Fountain is a fantastic pub - a neat oblong with DJ booth and dancefloor at one end, and bar at the other. The place was nicely packed and the DJs were spinning funk, soul and latin. All very cool. But wither the ritmo? I went up and asked the guy what exactly ritmo was and he admitted that it was a term they'd coined themselves. It's Spanish for rhythm, apparently. Fair enough. I asked him to give me the nod when he played some ritmo and then promptly forgot all about it. Great night, though, and by the end of it I had a booking for HDIF at The Fountain! So there will be a jaunt to the seaside at some point in the summer.
* Earlier that day we spent a few hours in Herne Bay, just along the coast. It boasted twelve charity shops, so Adrienne was happy, and I found a very cool record shop with an astonishing selection of old soul records. I'd have spent a fortune in there if the records hadn't been twelve or fourteen quid each and some quite scratched. "I'm 40 years old too and I've got a few scratches," was the proprietor's explanation. Righto. I bought the Laverne Baker album with "No Monkey Don't Stop No Show" on it and the Frankie Valli album with "The Night" on , which I'm listening to as I type this. It's...well, a bit odd. More Polyphonic Spree than soul, very early Seventies.
* The day after that we drove to Camber for the last day of ATP. I haven't been to ATP for a few years now. I loved the Bowlie Weekender and each subsequent line up has got further and further away from that original idea and hasn't really been of much interest. But how could I resist Sunday - The Tindersticks, Love, Catpower, Arab Strap!! Catpower played with the lights on, shifting the emphasis away from herself, which I thought worked really well. I've always thought Arab Strap were a bit of a one trick pony - "Girls Of Summer" is great, but that's about that - but I clearly haven't been paying attention as they've come very very good. Love were fantastic, despite the lack of horn section (just one bloody trumpet - how hard is that??), and The Tindersticks soundtracked some very drunken dancing at the end. As for the rest, Explosions In The Sky offer post rock by numbers and it's hard to see the point (Mogwhy? as one wag put it); Jackie O Motherfucker played one song in half an hour and were quite magnificent; Sophia I like, but were far too loud; The Notwist were a revelation, a post rock band with a bit of roll in 'em.
* Next day we went to Le Tigre at The Astoria, bumping into a crowd from Urban 75 (The Editor and his lovely girlfriend Eme, plus the equally as ravishing Dubversion and Furvert - ah, blog injokes, don'tcha just love 'em). Le Tigre were amazing, especially "F.Y.R", which had the lyrics on a big screen behind them, and the closing double whammy of "Hot Topic" and "Deceptacon".
* I've been chatting to a guy on U75 who lives in Ljubljana in Slovenia in a squatted army barracks in the city which hosts an alternative community and he's invited me to bring HDIF over. Flights are only 50 quid on Easyjet apparently. Well, I'm up for it! Anyone fancy a trip overseas?
* Well, that's about it. Have a great Easter and see you next week!

March 20th: Fantastic night last night. Thanks to everyone who made it down. I really enjoyed myself, the best one for months. Fewer people than usual - only about 50 by half ten but 120 by the end of the night! - but it was better for there being more room to dance. It felt more like a house party at one point, although that might be because we all know so many people who come to the club now. My highlights:

* Rock N Roll by Velvet Underground - had me dancing like a loon behind the decks, fantastic song
* Funky Street by Arthur Conley - I meant to play Funky Fever as well but didn't get round to it. Always next month I guess.
* The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More right after This Charming Man
* Cecelia - hearing someone say "is this Cecelia??" in an incredulous tone at the start
*Atta Girl - seeing people screaming the "fuck you" bit
* Keep On Keepin' On

Thanks to The Legend! for his set. Excellent stuff. Here's what he played:

I Don't Mind ­ Buzzcocks
Whole Wide World ­ The Soup Dragons
Don't Crush The One You Love ­ Tears In X-Ray Eyes
Denise ­ Randy & The Rainbows
Hearts And Crosses ­ Heavenly
Homosapien ­ Pete Shelley
Where's Bill Grundy Now? ­ Television Personalities
Thrush ­ The Chefs
You Make Me Blush ­ The Blue Minkies
B-A-B-Y ­ Rachel Sweet
Putty (In Your Hands) ­ The Detroit Cobras
L.O.V.E. ­ Orange Juice
Sing Your Life ­ Morrissey
Sings 'Carlotta' ­ Judy Nylon
Come Back ­ The Mighty Wah!
Plan B ­ Dexys Midnight Runners
Different Drum ­ The Pastels
Nancy Sin ­ Beat Happening
Will You Love Me Tomorrow? ­ Maureen Tucker
Baby I Love You ­ Ramones
Move Over Darling ­ Tracey Ullman
Chico's Girl ­ The Girls
River Deep Mountain High ­ Ike & Tina Turner
Telstar ­ The Tornadoes
Whole Wide World ­ Wreckless Eric
Take The Skinheads Bowling ­ Camper Van Beethoven
Teenage Kicks ­ The Undertones
Freakin' Out ­ Graham Coxon
Bad Girl ­ The Detroit Cobras
Sad, Sad Song ­ M. Ward
Kid ­ Pretenders

March 18th: Went to see Diana Ross at Wembley. She was fabulous.

March14th: I played a short set last night at the second Offline club night at The Ritzy in Brixton. There were seven DJs playing everything from country to reggae. It was great fun and very drunken. Here's what I played (roughly) in my 45 min slot:

Gimme Shelter - Merry Clayton
We Can Work It Out - Stevie Wonder
Out Of Time - Chris Farlowe
You Can't Do That - The Supremes
Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache - Dexys Midnight Runners
Keep On Keepin' On - The Redskins
Hazy Jane II - Nick Drake
Heard It Through The Grapevine - Gladys Knight And The Pips
25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago
I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart (Than Be A Young Man's Fool) - Candi Statton
Felicity - Orange Juice
Under My Thumb - Wayne Gibson
What Goes On - Velvet Underground

I did have this weird idea to do a whole set of soul versions of the Beatles and the Stones, hence the first four tracks, but in the end thought that would be a bit too much. The Redskins sounded superb.

March 4th: Just updated the club section with the details of HDIF starting up regularly in Brixton. Hurrah! The first one is April 30th and then it's the first Friday of every month from June onwards. Our first guest is Amelia Fletcher again and she's going to do an all girl set. Full details on the club page.

Apart from that, just want to say that if you're looking to dance tomorrow night (Friday 5th) and are in London, come along to The Penelope Tree in Camden. Full details from their website which you can access via the links page. It's 7-12 and looks like being an excellent night out.

Feb 21st: Feeling a bit groggy after last night - the chocolate vodka strikes again! Thanks to everyone for coming along and thanks to John from NPL for a superb set. I especially enjoyed dancing to Candi Statton. Excellent choice. A full list of John's set comes after this, but first my highlights of the night:

* Paperback Writer - after some debate on the messageboard this got aired and sounded fantastic
* Hazy Jane II by Nick Drake. What a song. A real pleasure to play.
* I Only Want To Be With You - an inspired request. Sounded great!
* What's So Funny About Peace Love And Understanding followed by Just Like Honey - my little nod to Lost In Translation.
* Everything Flows - always a joy
* It Happens by Primal Scream - was actually saving it for later on but I mistakenly played it early in the night, still sounded fantastic
* Sonny by Bill Cosby - for everyone who was there at 9.30!

John from NPL's set:

Railyway Children - A Gentle Sound
Stereolab - Captain Easychord
Shins - Mine's Not A High Horse
Brilliant Corners - Brian Rix
Life Without Buildings - PS Exclusive
Cat Stevens - Here Comes My Baby
Cranebuilders - You're Song
Field Mice - Coach Station Reunion
Camera Obscura - Happy New Year
Magnetic Fields - Strange Powers
Sebadoh - The Freed Pig
Tindersticks - City Sickness
Love - ...Between Clark And Hilldale...
Elvis Costello - Welcome To The Working Week
Hidden Cameras - Smells Like Happiness
Left Banke - I've Got Something On My Mind
Orange Juice - Consolation Prize
Candi Staton - I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart
McCarthy - Well Of Loneliness
Trashcan Sinatras - Obscurity Knocks
Sleater-Kinney - Get Up
Lloyd Cole And The Commotions - Rattlesnakes
Le Tigre - Deceptacon
Aislers Set - Hit The Snow
Felt - Grey Streets
Smiths - These Things Take Time
Wire - Outdoor Miner
Belle And Sebastian - Dirty Dream Number Two
Dexys Midnight Runners - (Let's Make This) Precious
Weather Prophets - Almost Prayed

Feb 20th: I played a short set last night as part of the Offline club night at the Ritzy in Brixton. Just the soul and northern half of my playlist, plus Good Vibrations, Andmoreagain, and so on. It was great fun. The night's free to get in and is run by Urban 75, an excellent Brixton based community website that's a bit like Bowlie but without the indie pop. There's more on the night at their website: http://www.urban75.org/offline/

Feb 9th: Sorry for the delay in updating the site but I've been on holiday. Three weeks in India, flew into Mumbai and out of Chennai, making our way by bus and train in between. The flight out was actually on the morning after the last HDIF, so I DJ-ed til two, got home by half three or so and was up at six to go to the airport. India was amazing, of course. It feels very strange to be back home in Brixton.

Great night in January. Thanks a lot to Andy for DJ-ing (brilliant set, spot on) and for enticing his indie pop celebrity pals along (Stephen Street! Simon from The Chesterfields! Hopefully we'll be able to get one or both of those to be guest DJ in the future). My hightlight of the night was:

* All twelve glorious minutes of "What's She Like" by Dexys. Hardly anyone danced and it was one am so I should have been keeping the floor rocking by then, but I don't care. The few people who did dance all the way through (cannon! we salute you!) were more than enough and one guy actually came up to shake my hand afterwards. No, thank you! Playing songs like that is what the club's all about in my mind.

That's about it. I have too much India in my head to remember much more, but it was a great night. A record crowd (170 people!), thanks to a good listing and critics tip in Time Out. Looking forward to next week now. See you then.

Oh and....here's a rough list of what Andy played:

'I Fought The Law' - Bobby Fuller Four
'Heaven Must have Sent You' the Elgins
'Devil With The Blue Dress' Shorty Long
'Candy To Me' Eddy Holland
'Helpless' Kim Weston
'Higher & Higher' Jackie Wilson
'Superstition' Stevie Wonder
'Jackie Wilson Said' Dexys
'Keep An Open Mind' McCarthy
'She Looked Right Through Me' Waltones
'Therese' the Bodines
'Suedehead' Morrissey
'Goodbye Goodbye' Chesterfields
'First I Look At The Purse' the Contours
'Needle In A Haystack' Velvettes
'Behind A Painted Smile' Isley Bros
'Tighten Up' Archie Bell & the Drells
'Right Here' Go-Betweens

and.....'This Town Aint Big Enough...' Sparks

Jan 5th: Better late than never. Drum roll please, for the HDIF POLL RESULTS!!!!



Belle & Sebastian - Step Into My Office Baby
Beyonce - Crazy In Love
Outkast ­ Hey Ya
Hidden Cameras - Ban Marriage
Franz Ferdinand - Darts of Pleasure

Runners up (stuff that got one vote each, basically)

The Tyde - Go Ask Yer Dad
REM - Bad Day
Junior Senior - Move Your Feet
Vic 20 - Txt Msg
Missy Elliott - Pass That Dutch
Tender Trap - Como Te Llamas
The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)
Blur - Out of Time
Johnny Cash - Hurt
Electric Six - Danger High Voltage'


Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Hidden Cameras - The Smell Of Our Own
The White Stripes ­ Elephant
Camera Obscura - Underachievers Try Harder
The Lucksmiths ­ Naturaliste

Runners up:

Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird's Bark
The Strokes - Room on Fire
Dressy Bessy - Dressy Bessy.
Sleepy Jackson - Lovers
Aerovons - Resurrection
The Mountain Goats - Tallahassee"
Jet Johnson - Micropolitan
Blur - Think Tank

And I'd like to add:

The New Pornographers ­ The Electric Version
The Brunettes ­ Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks


(Which is just essentially a list of gigs you went to. Apart from the winner which got more than one vote!)

Dexys Midnight Runners, Royal Festival Hall
Arthur Lee performing as the Andmoreagains, Kings Cross Scala in
Belle and Sebastian, Brighton Dome in December
Okkervil River, Paris 7th of October.
Duran Duran - Kentish Town Forum
Teenage Fanclub, Astoria.
The Strokes, Alexander Palace, 6th December
Paul McCartney at Earls Court
The Lucksmiths and Aislers Set, LSE
Radiohead, Manchester Evening News Arena (November),
Supergrass, York Barbican (January)
Tender Trap, L'Age D'or du Pop
Red Bull Dozers, Winchester Club, Glasgow Aug 2003
Steve Malkmus/Graham Coxon, RFH
Blur @ Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chicks on Speed .
Bjork. Shepherd's Bush.
Cinerama, Dingwalls
Hidden Cameras, ICA
Kimya Dawson

Just in case you feel the need to share, the HDIF messageboard is at:


Jan 4th: Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for making 2003 such a great year. Fantastic Christmas HDIF - thanks to everyone for coming along. A perfect night, I reckon. Brilliant set from Clare and Matt - here's what they played.

Tullycraft - Twee
Chocolat - Like A Starberry
Huggy Bear - Her Jazz
Spearmint - Sweeping the Nation
Hidden Cameras - The Man That I Am With My Man
Brian - We Close 1-2
Cinerama - Kings X
Kenickie - I Would Fix You
Postal Service - Nothing Better
Olympic Lifts - Horizontally Vertical
Melys - Chinese Whispers
Delgados - All You Need Is Hate
Hefner - Good Fruit
Animals That Swim - Faded Glamour
Pet Shop Boys - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
Lush - Hypocrite
Bis - Eurodisco
Stereolab - French Disko
Ladytron - The Way That I Found You
Orlando - Just For A Minute
Abigail - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Baxendale - Music For Girls
Hit Parade - Christmas Tears

Plus, I did my inaugural covers set. Which was:

Morrissey, Moon River
Frente, Bizarre Love Triangle
Belle & Sebastian, Here Comes The Sun
Aztec Camera, Jump
Magnetic Fields, Heroes
Luna, Sweet Child O Mine
The Popguns, Harley Davidson
PJ Harvey & Bjork, I Can't Get No Satisfaction
Wedding Present, Make Me Smile
The Slits, Heard It Through The Grapevine
The Raincoats, Lola
Teenage Fanclub, Here Comes Your Man
The Fall, Victoria
Dexys Midnight Runners, Jackie Wilson Said
The Pastels, Lonely Planet Boy
Sissy Bar, Gin And Juice

I've got two new favourite albums right now. "Don't Stand Me Down" by Dexys - and a double album CD of "Ridin High" and "Sugar N' Spice" by Martha Reeves And The Vandellas. If you want to get a headstart on what I'll be playing this month, then buy these. I stood at the bus stop outside Woolworths in Brixton today, trying not to dance while I was listening to "Leave It In The Hands Of Love". What a tune. It was like that bit from The Full Monty where they're in the dole queue. You know what I mean, I'm sure. Expect to hear lots of Dexys and Martha Reeves in a week and a bit.

2003's weblog is right here

2002's weblog is right here

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