Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A funky mix from the Larmer Tree 2000.

The Larmer Tree Festival is based near Salisbury in South England. Hard to believe this was back in the year 2000.. I had been invited to DJ for the Larmer Tree Festival's annual party after success at the Festival that year. This was back before Club Larmer had really started at the festival, and was just an idea. Before Club Larmer was established, live bands used to come and play impromptu sets in the cafe area after having played on the larger stages, or we would have experimental acts filling empty slots. We would have to cobble together enough kit by blagging gear from the other stages.This gig happened with the most minimal and basic equipment, so the mixing is a bit wobbly (but to be honest, my sets often are!).

I like this set, as it includes some brilliant tunes like Curtis Mayfield's "We Gotta Have Peace", and some unusual choices: "Handa Wanda" (if you have not heard of The Wild Magnolias before, check them out; they were from New Orleans, dressed like red Indians and played a special brand of Mardi Gras funk), Dick Hyman's mad version of James Brown's "Give It Up Or Turn It Loose" and Sir Joe Quarterman's "Find Yourself" (I have always loved his more well-known track "So Much Trouble In My Mind" which I will dust off for my next gig as it suits the current finanical climate so well), plus Ray Barretto's Latin-style cover of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise".

The back of The Wild Magnolias' LP sleeve

This was a good party and led to us setting up the Club Larmer proper, which got better equipped and more popular at the festival over the years. It was (and still is as far as I know) the late night DJ/dance area of the festival. I enjoyed some great funk and disco sessions there with some fabulous enthusiastic audiences and great collaborators. As far as I remember, I DJ'd there each year from 2000-2007 (even though I am not always mentioned on the Larmer Tree's website listings).

I didn't have my own set of decks at the time all this was going on, so I arranged to borrow some for one of the Larmer Tree Festivals. I asked a fellow DJ if he had a set of Technics 1210s I could borrow. "Yes mate", so, on the day of the gig I went round to pick them up. It turns out that they weren't 1210s at all, and he was lending me two ancient 1970's hi-fi turntables (the ones that were driven by a rubber band and had an automatic disc loader that would drop the needle on the record for you). Needless to say, DJing with these was a challenge. I got myself some decks fairly quickly after that..

I hope you enjoy this mix, rough as it is..

Simon x

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