The Last Gasp!

poster image: with a squinty eye

This Sunday night, 25th November, I am back in Thomas House‘s DJ booth for “the Last Gasp! New Sounds of the Old West”, which takes place on the last Sunday of the last week of every month. Hence the name!

I missed last month as I went to see Dead Can Dance, so I am looking forward to getting back to my tunes!

Purists please note that I use DJ software and mp3 files. No, it doesn’t look as cool as spinning 45″ vinyl but for me, it is no more ‘cheating’ than using a DSLR camera as opposed to a manual film camera in order to take good photographs. Also, I can carry my entire music collection in my bag and not break my back in the process. Anyway, I digress.

As much as I love music and have played music live for years, I had never DJed prior to this monthly slot but there’s a first time for everything. I remember my father telling me how he was offered a promotion on the basis that he could perform a particular function. Contrary to what he told his line manager he couldn’t, but upon being offered the new job, he set about asking his colleagues for help and successfully filled the role.

The current owners of the Thomas House bar have been there for a little more than a year. During this time I have got to know them very well and have helped them here and there with little things, taking photos or having pin button badges made to promote their bar. Since I began my photography degree, I have seen much less of them!

One evening, a customer who I know asked for a particular song to be played over the bar’s sound system. It was a Richard Hawley track that I knew I had in my laptop bag and so the bar owner suggested I go and ‘plug in’. Before the song had ended, I had lined up another and so went the remainder of the evening. Everyone was enjoying the music and knowing that I had an involvement in a Roots/Americana festival in Ireland, I was asked to put on such a night once a month. It’s a genre of music that I love. It’s the starting point for a lot of music we hear today. I feel a future post coming on…I digress….

For many publicans, it can be difficult to get people into their bars on a Sunday night due to the fact that many people have work on Monday morning, they have children to look after or they’ve simply exhausted their weekend entertainment fund! Thomas House was also wishing to diversify from their typical musical offerings. so a somewhat chilled, Sunday night was attractive to them.

I’ve really been enjoying the experience and appreciated everyone who has come to hear me. It’s a quiet night in there I admit and I can understand that. Were I not DJing myself, I would rarely be in there myself that late in the week. The genre of music I play lends itself to Sunday nights however, so passers-by can still come in for a pint and a chat without walking into a full on rave!

When I was studying music, I played in a great number of concerts, in groups and as a solo performer. When I started playing the guitar I busked on the street and played in several bands. DJing takes me back to a type of performing which I haven’t done in many years and it’s a great feeling to play your favourite tracks and see people’s feet tapping along.

If you are in the area this Sunday night, drop by and say hello!


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