Merry Christmas from Paul The Party DJ

Merry Christmas from Paul The Party DJ

Well we’re back from our break in Feuerteventura and so it’s finally time to get in the Christmas spirit… Merry Christmas from Paul The Party DJ.

As you may have seen on my FaceBook page my friend Stephen created the must-have Christmas decoration for 2017. Surely everyone will want to put this grumpy Hampshire Wedding DJ on top of their tree to wish all their families;y and friends a Merry Christmas from Paul The Party DJ! Move over Elf you are so last year 😉

Stephen says … “Now be careful with sharp scissors – you might want to ask a grownup to help you…
Cut all around it carefully, then cut along the two sets of dotted lines on the back so that you can wrap it around and slot the two pieces together.
Enjoy!”

I wonder if anyone will make one and send me a picture – I’ve got a bottle of prosecco for the best picture I receive c/o paul@thepartydj.co.uk

Merry Christmas from Paul The Party DJ

Here’s a few Christmas tunes from me with absolutely no Michael Bublé, Pogues or Mariah!

Let’s start with the last person I saw in concert, the amazing talent that is Jacob Collier
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas ~ Jacob Collier & Tori Kelly

This next one was used by Apple for their Christmas campaign a few year back
Stevie Wonder and Andra Day ~ Someday At Christmas

I have a Fast Food Rockers story, but I’m not going to tell you 😛
This is a brilliant Christmas song …
Fast Food Rockers ~ I Love Christmas

As a long-time Chris Moyles listener, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without this one
Lou Monte ~ Dominick the Donkey

I think this is my favourite Christmas song
Dean Martin ~ Let it Snow!

Once again, Merry Christmas from Paul The Party DJ.

One more …

One more post from your favourite, award winning, Hampshire wedding dj on holiday in Fuerteventura. Life sounds better to music and taking a break has given me plenty of time to listen to plenty of favourites and discover new ones.

One more

I really loved Rae Morris’ 2015 debut album ‘Ungarded’ and I’m looking forward to her second album ‘Someone Out There’ which is due out early next year. Here’s one of the tracks she’s released already … ‘Do It’. CLICK HERE for her official site.

There are plenty of bars playing great chill-out here so it was no surprise to hear José Padilla’s “Adios Ayer” in the air as we enjoyed a café con leche. José Padilla is a Spanish DJ and music producer who has been resident DJ at Café del Mar.

Can’t tell you much about this one – oh how I love Shazam 😉
La Isla & Sylvia – Siento (Mahjong Extended Mix)

One of the radio shows I always listen to (usually on the iPlayer) is Trevor Nelson’s Saturday evening “Rhythm Nation” (CLICK HERE). It’s always worth listening right to the end, you never know what you might miss if you don’t! This was the last track on his 25th November show ~ Daniel Caesar’s “We Find Love” taken from his debut album “Freudian”.

Not long left here now so this may be the last of these posts … but then again we’re heading out to one of our favourite bars again today so you never know there may be one more 😉

Coming up next week a special Christmas songs post with no Michael Bublé, Pogues or Mariah!

recharging my batteries

Still Chillin’

So, I’m still chillin’. As I said last time, I’ve got 4G and a phone signal everywhere here so if you need me, or want to check a date, just get in touch.

Here’s a few more tracks from the soundtrack to our break in Fueretventura.

The really great thing is that (so far) we’ve not been bombarded with the usual Christmas music. We’ve also seen some great local musicians playing live.

We’ve got a TV in our room and I’m absolutely loving the BBC’s Christmas video with the school girl and her dad – great message and great to hear this track again! Clean Bandit are so clever – this is the tune of Christmas for me this year.

Another of our favourite bars is Reef on the front in Corralejo CLICK HERE. On one of our visits they were playing some tracks by a guy called Donavon Frankenreiter, he’s a protégée of Jack Johnson and also reminded us of John Mayer. A few tracks stood out including “Pass It Around”, “A Little Bit Of Riddim” and this one ~ “Bend In The Road”

I’ve also listened to a few more old episodes of Desert Island Discs including Ed Sherran’s from earlier this year. It’s well worth a listen CLICK HERE The one track Ed put above all the rest was Nizlopi “Flooded Quarry”. He explains how he became their guitar tech and the huge influence they’ve had on his career. I only knew them for the JCB song so it was interesting to hear Ed’s story. Here’s a video of Nizlopi doing “Flooded Quarry” at The Joiners!

Perfect for still chilling’ to is “Breath” by Télépopmusik. This was the debut single from the French dance music act and features guest vocals by Angela McCluskey. If you look very carefully you won’t see me in this video.

I’m still chillin’ for a few more days so maybe there’ll be another post.

Still Chillin

Recharging my batteries

I’m currently away recharging my batteries. 2017 has been a good year, sometimes challenging, sometimes sad, but overall I feel happy with what I’ve achieved and the decisions I’ve made. We didn’t get as much time away as we’d promised ourselves and so I decided not to take any Christmas party work this year and get some winter sun earlier than usual. So, for the second time this year, we’re in Fuerteventura.

Having said that, I’ve got 4G and a phone signal everywhere here so if you need me, or want to check a date, just get in touch.

While we’ve been here I’ve been catching up on various podcasts including Roifield Brown’s “F X V” (Friday 15. I was listening to his interview with Fil Callender on his his life in Reggae / Jamaican music and they played this wonderful track Heatwave ~ “Mind Blowing Decisions” (this TOTP version unfortunately doesn’t include the full intro 🙁 )

To listen to the podcast click here – it’s episode 27

Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable hour recharging my batteries in one of my favourite bars The Coco Beach Lounge. Playing in the background was an Eryka Badu playlist, here’s one track I just had to Shazam ~ “Window Seat”. I liked it because it had a fabulous chilled groove – the video brings it to another level. I know that I’m a tune and vibe man – that’s to say I don’t always listen to lyrics (especially at first) – but I certainly didn’t expect a video like this!

One of the highlights of 2017 for me was seeing Ian Hunter, one of my heroes from the 70’s. I actually did a print of Ian for my art A level! He was the front man of Mott The Hoople and a solo start in his own right. I finally got to see him for the first time a few months ago at The Engine Rooms and he didn’t disappoint. For a man who celebrated his 78th birthday a few days earlier he looked amazing in a black Fred Perry polo shirt and jeans – I hope I get another chance to see him. I picked his live album to listen to when I walked to the shops one evening. We may not have had as much time away as I’d have liked this year but we’ve seen some great shows which is also a good way of recharging my batteries.

Finally, for this post, I’ve been listening to another “Guilty Pleasure”… Desert Island Discs! Every episode is available as a download from the BBC Radio iPlayer. I decided to listen to the Kay Mellor episode from earlier this year as we’ve been enjoying her latest drama Love Lies & Records. Among her choices was Amy Winehouse’s version of “Our Day Will Come” which she uses as the theme music for the latest tv show. Rest in peace Amy.

I’m lucky, I have a job I love but I still need things to look forward to, so holidays and nights out are essential for me. Everybody has to recharge their batteries – make sure you do!

recharging my batteries

Love’s In Need Of Love Today, send yours in right away.

Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” was the first song that came into my head when I woke up this morning and heard about the terrible events following the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

The song is track 1 on side 1 of the “Song’s In The Key Of Life” album which was released in September of 1976 – it’s a classic album, so many of Stevie’s are. Posting a Stevie Wonder song is also appropriate because he’s worked with Ariana (at least once to my knowledge) on the song “Faith” from the film “Sing” (Click here for a video)

The World was a different place in 1976, so much has changed for the better and yet we still face so many problems. The fact that someone took this terrible action against innocent people, many of them children, is beyond belief … and yet it happened. So there can be no doubt that Love really is in need of love today.

“Good morn or evening friends, here’s your friendly announcer.
I have serious news to pass on to everybody.
What I’m about to say could mean the world’s disaster,
could change your joy and laughter to tears and pain

It’s that Love’s in need of love today.
Don’t delay, send yours in right away.
Hate’s goin’round breaking many hearts,
stop it please before it’s gone too far.

The force of evil plans to make you its possession,
And it will if we let it destroy everybody.
We all must take precautionary measures if love and peace you treasure,
then you’ll hear me when I say …

Oh that Love’s in need of love today.
Don’t delay, send yours in right away
Hate’s goin’ round breaking hearts
Stop it please before it’s gone too far”

Love's In Need Of Love Today

8 Days Of 80’s ~ Day 2 ~ Champaign ~ How ‘Bout Us

8 Days Of 80’s ~ Day 2 ~ Champaign ~ How ‘Bout Us

It’s day two of my attempt to pick eight tracks from the eighties and share them on FaceBook. If you’d like to take part message me and I’ll nominate you.

Champaign ~ How ‘Bout Us
This was released early in 1981 and was a top 10 hit here. The group named themselves after their hometown of Champaign, Illinois, and featured Pauli Carman and Rena Jones on vocals. “How ‘Bout Us” was written by keyboard player Dana Walden.

The significance to me was that it was one of the big ballads of that year, the year I went to DJ full time in Jersey and met Ce, my wife. This was the song we picked for our first dance when we married in 1983.

CLICK HERE to find out more about my time in Jersey.

8 Days Of 80’s ~ Day 1 ~ John Lennon ~ Woman

My first choice is John Lennon. Sorry, let me explain, my friend Rory, who currently lives with his lovely wife Gina in Hayward near San Francisco, challenged me to take part in “8 Days Of 80’s” on FaceBook. I’m supposed to post an 80’s video each day & nominate two people to do the same for eight days. Those two people (if they choose) should then, in turn nominate two more people etc. BUT I don’t like nominating people unless they want to take part – so, if you want to take part, please let me know.

Obviously I could chose hundreds of tracks so these aren’t going to be my definitive choices, they are just where my mind takes me while I’m doing the challenge. If you think some of these tracks are naff …. get over it! I could have chosen far worse!!

I thought I’d use the opportunity to give a little more substance and context to my selections and so for the next 8 days I’ll be posting my selections here too with added waffle.

Day 1 ~ John Lennon ~ Woman

“Woman” is taken from John Lennon’s 1980 album Double Fantasy. He chose it to be the second single and it was released in January 1981 after he was murdered on 8 December 1980. CLICK HERE for more about John Lennon

I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news of John’s death, visiting a friend near Penzance in my old MGB. I was at a point in my life where I had no real idea of where I was going, I was already DJ’ing but working in the motor trade as a parts salesman /delivery driver and getting ready to visit Jersey for the first time.

Having visited Liverpool last week I felt this was as good a choice as any to start my 8 Days Of 80’s

Liverpool ~ Two And A Bit Days In The Life

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Last week we took another break, this time it was up to Liverpool with our friends Luann and Steve who are over from their home in Cincinnati in America. Steve is a friend since school and college who married American girl Lu and moved to the USA.

Ce and I have only been to Liverpool once before, that was back in December 2013 when we went up to see Paul McCartney at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

New musicWhen we were on holiday in Majorca in May I read this book, my great mate Ian got me for my birthday last year, about 70’s Liverpool based band Deaf School and it brought the city to life for me so I decided a visit would be in order.

I mentioned this to Steve, on a Skype to him in America, and he said they’d love to join us. As soon as he said they had a trip to England booked I started to make plans – under a certain amount of self-imposed pressure to get it right and make the most of our time there!

Watch out for the PINK HIGHLIGHTED links to click for more information. (but not that one ~ lol!)

I guess for me this was a bit of a pilgrimage. I have been a Beatles fan since childhood, my Dad got me several of the early singles including Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is, We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper in 1965 and Paperback Writer /Rain in 66. I also remember a visit to Edwin Jones (now Debenhams) to get The White Album as part of my Christmas present in December 1968.

We collected Lu and Steve from T3 at Heathrow early on Monday morning and headed north arriving in Liverpool early in the afternoon.

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Hard Day’s Night Hotel (brown building in the centre of this pic – our room was at the other end on the top floor overlooking Mathew Street). I’ve done a TripAdvisor review which I’ll link to once it’s been approved – suffice it to say it’s a good hotel in a great location and represents fair value for money so we’ll be staying there again.

They also host weddings at The Hard Days Night Hotel in the “Two of Us” Suite. My guess is that it wouldn’t be an easy venue to play at for a DJ but I’d love to have the opportunity if anyone is interested!

Anyway, we booked in and then headed off to check out Liverpool on foot – we didn’t actually use our car from Monday afternoon to Thursday morning (although I did move it to save some cash – see TripAdvisor hotel review.) The Cavern in Mathew Street was literately just around the corner!

IMG_4525 The FAB Four in The Cavern (Me, Ce Lu and Steve)

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Live music on the stage at The Cavern – it was free when we visited but I believe they charge sometimes – I almost tried to extend our stay so we could see Crowded House tribute act, wait for it … Crowded Scouse, play there on the Thursday night – it’s a good job I didn’t because it was cancelled because the singer was sick. Anyway the Cavern is great – the drink wasn’t expensive and you get a real feel for how it would have been in the 60’s.

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Almost directly opposite the Cavern in Mathew Street is Eric’s which was the home of much of the music that came from Liverpool in the seventies and eighties.

Eric’s was originally co-owned by Ken Testi who was tour manager of Deaf School. Among the bands that famously made the trip to Liverpool to play at Eric’s were Blondie, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, Iggy Pop and The Stranglers as well as many Liverpool acts who started out there like OMD, Teardrop Explodes, Big In Japan and Echo & The Bunnymen.

Mathew Street is a must visit for any music fans of the 60’s 70’s or 80’s. That area of Liverpool is full of bars and, restaurants and clubs – we refuelled at the Weatherspoons pub on the Monday and also had a decent burger meal at Wall Of Fame (great service but poor veggie offering – TripAdvisor review link) on the Wednesday evening watching the Wales Portugal match. Finally here’s Paul & John outside Wall Of Fame …
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On the Tuesday morning I had booked us on a private tour with Fab 4 Tours. When I checked outside at 9:55am Phil was already waiting for us and for over 3 hours we were taken on what I can only describe as a FAB trip.

IMG_4562 Peace & Love at Ringo’s child home in Admiral Grove with Ce, Phil (our FAB guide) and Lu. His parents were living on Maglin Street (about a minute away) when he was born but moved here

IMG_4579 Paul’s, 20 Forthlin Road, with Phil.

IMG_4581 “Mendips”, John’s Auntie Mimi’s in Menlove Avenue (the people are on a National Trust tour – must do that next time), this is where John spent most of his childhood. The other half of this semi is currently for sale! (Steve wants to buy it).

IMG_4588 George’s family home from 1949 in Upton Green with Phil showing photos from his wonderful collection and telling us about the girls who slept in the front garden with Georges mum making them cups of tea in the morning and much, much more.

I could go on, the tour with Phil was freakin’ awesome (Tripadvisor review of Fab4Tours) and we have lots more pictures and memories. We did the 3 hour “Lennon” package for £60, it was superb value for money. I really would go again today if I could – if your planning a trip to Liverpool just do it! Click on this link if you missed the one above CLICK HERE!!!

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On Wednesday we headed down to the river front and The Beatles Story Priced at £14.95 this is another “must do” for anyone who’d like to know more about John, Paul, George and Ringo. It’s a time-line based attraction and you each get a media player to hang around your neck with headphones so that you can listen – you can pause, play again, skip, whatever. As well as the basic commentary there are also interview’s, video clips and photos to look at – once you get the hang of the controls it’s really good.

IMG_4643You start with a nod to Elvis and the music scene of the 50’s and then it’s the Woolten fete where John first met Paul and it takes you through various scenes representing most of the main events – and this day (Wednesday 6th July) was the 59th anniversary of that meeting. It was strange to think we were there the day before.

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From there it was on through The Casbah, the trips to Hamburg, Hessy’s music shop, The Cavern, NEMS record shop and then the singles, E.P’s, albums, tours and films – from the release of “Love Me Do” through to announcement by Paul in April 1970 that the Beatles would never work together again. Less than eight years that changed everything (for me at least), 22 singles, ten albums, four films and over 200 songs.

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It didn’t end there because there are also sections on their solo careers ending with a a tribute to the famous White Room at John and Yoko’s house at Tittenhurst Park where the Imagine video was made.

Then there was a “discovery zone”, a cafe and a pretty good souvenirs shop at the end and I picked up a few bits and pieces – some where priced slightly higher than at the shop next to our hotel but there wasn’t much in it.

We spent around 2 hours in The Beatles Experience but could have easily stayed longer.

After lunch we headed back to visit The Liverpool Museum another “must see” and it was free (donations welcomed). There is all kinds of stuff over 3 floors, we investigated the music and arts, sport, TV and cinema areas but I reckon you could spend a whole day there and still not see everything. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t been to a museum for quite a while but I loved it.

The music section had all kinds of exhibits about the Liverpool scene through the years including this case about Eric’s featuring Deaf School.

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The film area was also very interesting, there is a mini cinema area with short films explaining what it was like to visit Liverpool’s picture houses back in the day and how the City welcomes film makers and why it’s often chosen for it’s architectural settings. CLICK HERE for details of the Reel Stories exhibition. There is also an app you can use to find all the films featured.

TWO OTHER THINGS I WOULD DO AGAIN …

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While we were in Liverpool we also took in a trip to the Royal Court Theatre to see a brilliant comedy called “The Royal”. It was set in The Royal, a hospital about to be closed down and then demolished and was written by and starred Lindzi Germain, Angela Simms (CLICK HERE to see her in a classic Aldi advert – it Will make you smile) and Lynn Francis and the production also featured Danny O’Brien and Alan Stocks. It was Directed by Cal McCrystal and we laughed … A LOT!

I’d really recommend a visit to the Royal Court, it’s a great theatre, very well priced and they also have an option where you can eat before the show – I had “Scouse” in our hotel restaurant before we went but it was cheaper at the Royal Court and looked just as good or better!

I’m absolutely sure we’ll be back there next time we visit the city.

I also wanted to mention The Shiraz, a turkish restaurant just up the hill from the hotel. We had breakfast there all three morning of our visit and it was excellent. This was their £3.20 small breakfast, great value for money and plenty for us – great food, great price, great service.

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Thursday, after breakfast, we left the city but we headed out via Powis Street in Toxteth (just a few streets away from Ringo’s childhood homes). Phil pointed this street out to us on Tuesday because it was used in the set of Peaky Blinders and I wanted to snap our car there.

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Liverpool is an amazing city, the regeneration funding has been well spent, the people really are lovely. We didn’t do The Casbah, the Cathedrals, much of Hope Street and loads of other stuff – two and a bit days wasn’t enough, so we’ll have to go back. If you’d like any more information from me please feel free to ask.

Peace & Love,

Paul x

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New Music ~ Four from C’an Picafort

The Party DJ

Recently my wife, Ce, and I managed to grab a last minute break to Mallorca ~ we booked on a Thursday and flew out the following Tuesday. We went to a hotel in C’an Picafort on the north east of the island, we’ve actually stayed there a couple of times before so knew exactly what to expect. As soon as we booked I went looking for new albums, I never switch off completely on holiday but new music gives me something different to focus on even though I’m still checking my email and FaceBook pages regularly and staying in touch with my couples. I have over 30,000 tracks currently in my library but I’m always looking for something new and as music is a tool of my job the business pays … well that’s what I tell the myself!

Paul The Party DJ

So here are the four albums I spent my week relaxing in the sun with…

Hed Kandi ~ Tropical Nights
When we go away I always like to take a new dance compilation album with me, this time it was the latest from the Hed Kandi brand, released on 6th May. As well as all the individual tracks these compilations often come with bonus continuous mixes of the tracks – this album has two. I was already familiar with some of the tracks (like the Jonas Blue version of “Fast Car” and Sigala’s “Say You Do” but there were plenty of new ones to keep my toes taping. Among my favourites are the Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP cover of The Beatles “From Me To You” and Junior J’s “Keep It Comin'”.

A lot of current dance music seems to be at a slightly lower tempo than a few years ago and as well as what I think of as a marimba sound that has been evident for a while there seems to be some steel drum settings on the keyboards. For a quick taste of the album CLICK HERE to see an advert.

Recreations ~ Baby Boomers 2
This is the new album from Sam Duckworth who used to be known as Get Cape Wear Cape Fly. This album came out on 29th April.

My love of Get Cape Wear Cape is a dad and daughter thing. Our daughter Amy and I discovered him in 2007 when he was all over the Glastonbury coverage, so I treated her to the “Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager” album and we’ve been fans ever since. I think we’ve seen him a couple of times, possibly once as a support act and definitely in a show at The Wedgwood Rooms.

Recreations is his latest incarnation (is that right word?), it’s the same but different and we love it. Stand out tracks for me are “Pipe Down” (CLICK HERE for video) and “Built To Last”.
CLICK HERE to find out more about Sam and Recreations.

Mary Chapin Carpenter ~ The Things That We Are Made Of
Also released on 6th May was this new album. Mary Chapin Carpenter is an American musician, she’s categorised as a Country artist but I think of her as a great singer songrwriter. I loved her 1992 “Come On Come On” and 1994 “Stones In The Road” albums, but I haven’t bought a new album from her for a long time.

The Huffington Post said “Beautifully written and lovingly paced, The Things That We Are Made Of is an uplifting and very human account of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s self-reflective consciousness.” and they are right.
Stand out tracks for me include “The Blue Distance” click for video and “Map Of My Heart”. I’ve just booked tickets for us to see Mary in Salisbury – we haven’t seen her before so this will be real treat. CLICK HERE to go to the MCC website

Gregory Porter ~ Take Me To The Alley
Another album that was much anticipated was this follow up to Mr Porters 2013 album “Liquid Spirit” ~ “Take Me To The Alley” which also came out on 6th May. Gregory Porter has worked very hard to establish himself as a big star in the Soul and Jazz worlds, this album confirms his position at the top.

From the opening bars of the first song “Holding On” the whole album is a real treat to the ears, it’s beautifully performed and produced. Here’s “Don’t Lose Your Steam” from a recent appearance on Later … with Jools Holland (CLICK HERE)

There you have it, four very different albums all released this year and all very good. I get a bit tired of people saying there is no good new music, I think they just aren’t looking. I also read this book about the wonderful Deaf School, it was a birthday present and this was the first chance I’ve had to really sit down and read it – absolutely brilliant.

New music

Oh, and by the way, we had a fabulous time as well.

Funky DJ

Day 7 #7DayMusicChallenge ~ Earth Wind & Fire ~ My Promise

Earth Wind & Fire ~ My Promise

I never thought we’d get to see Earth Wind & Fire.  Back in the day their shows were legendary for their high-energy and big production values.  In September 2013 they released their first new album in eight years, “Now, Then & Forever”, with 3 of the original members and then announced a tour – we had to go!

2014 wasn’t a great year for us personally and we missed at least one concert we had tickets for, but on 10th September we saw Earth Wind & Fire at the Bournemouth International Centre and they were absolutely amazing.

Like all the artists I’ve picked in my #7DayMusicChallenge I could have chosen numerous songs here but rather than go for an oldie I’ve picked “My Promise” from “Now, Then & Forever” – you can see original band members Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson with the current band that also includes Phil’s son – absolutely love it!

Never forget Life Sounds Better To Music!