Thursday, December 04, 2003

Just done it

Prior to the 1998 World Cup cart horse England legend Tony Adams was interviewed in one of the papers he reads in his post-booze renaissance. He plays the piano, goes to the theatre and doesn̢۪t feel self conscious about giving paternal love to another man. One copy of the Observer to Mr Adams please.

He said the weight of expectation on a World Cup squad is the hardest thing to bear because when you're the one on the pitch, it's you who has to do the things everyone at home assumes you will. So, whilst most people have the luxury of sitting in their chair claiming, when 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go, that Tony Adams is the best in the world at shutting a game down. It is Tony Adams, human being, who executes the minutiae of what this means - slowing the game down, retaining possession, keeping a clear head, staying organised, communicating, closing others' down etc. If he doesn't, regardless of his history or reputation, the team will lose and he'll be to blame. Everyone expects it; Tony's got to do it.

It's this malaise of expectation that people with a similar background to me often go through. Our comfortable, middle class, safe and stable upbringing lulls you into a false sense of security. Our parents provide a comfortable environment that we've grown used to. If we needed something, generally speaking we could have it. We didn't have shed loads of money but nor were we short, concerns about cash, if there were any, simply never got through to us kids. There may have been the odd overdraft here, or loan there but it didn't deprive us of shoes.

Now we're in the big bad world it's easy to assume that these comfortable straight lines of our childhood will continue. That without any effort we can forge and afford that same comfortable life. It's easy to forget that in order to stay on that even keel we still have to steer the boat. Redundancy, divorce, separation, negative equity and all the things you may never have experienced in the past are still there to get you. Just because your in an ocean with a thousand fish, doesn't mean you can stop swimming.

On Saturday night Tredge told me he was 'Loving my work' on the decks, I don't take, or believe compliments easily so I told him that we played what we wanted for four hours then stuck Crazy in Love by Beyonce on. It's rather easy to assume that this is all there is to it. After all, people like dancing and having a good time, so all you have to do is put good records on. Simple.

Afterwards, I was kind of disappointed that this party staple was the thing that triggered mass shape pulling extravaganza. After all it was the record that made people move, I just put the needle on that record. But then again football's just about someone kicking a leather bag of air between two sticks. Having a comfortable and successful life is just about having money, a positive outlook on life and nice friends and family. Conceptually it's all so easy.

I got thinking. It is easy to play records and operate a mixer, it's easy to say that you simply drop a big party bomb and everyone dances. But you try doing it at 7.30 when people are just taking their coats off and you'll get the mildest of nods to a recognisable tune. Try pushing people onto the dancefloor with hit after hit and you'll have an empty dance floor all night. DJ-ing looks easy, and the mechanics of it are, but there's more to it than that. You have to gently cajole people into it, make the atmosphere comfortable and fun, warm their minds and bodies up to the idea.

That's the theory. But better than that, that's what we did. Slowly, over five hours - a fifth of a day - we eased people into the zone. From walking out of a cold winter night and onto the dancefloor. At 12.40 we knew, absolutely knew that the party was ready for that record, we knew the reaction it would get. Why? Because we understood the dynamics of the party, we'd set it up that way, we'd provided the atmosphere, the venue, the drink, the company and the music. Nobody knew that they were being controlled, in fact we didn't know we were doing it, but we orchestrated it all so that at 12.40, no earlier or later, we could pull the trigger and it would go off.

So we pulled the trigger, and it went off. How bloody exciting is that?


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