My Best Set to Date?

When I began this recent spate of posting, this was the first post I wanted to make – but having started it, I realised that I really no idea what it was going to be about. I was still on a high from this year’s DJam, and more specifically, from the Sunday evening, when I felt that I’d just played my best set to date. That in itself, however, doesn’t necessarily make for a particularly interesting post – it all fell apart not long after “Hey everyone – I just played my best set ever!”. Now I’ve had a little more time to think, I think I have a better idea of why I thought it my best ever set, and what exactly I mean by that. So time to try again.

Firstly, I spent this year’s DJam on crutches, courtesy of a torn calf muscle after hopping off a train, yada di yada, enough about that. So no dancing for me. This wasn’t as frustrating as it sounds – had we been about to head off for a week at Herrang, or Studio Hop or any of the other great camps we could have been going to, it would have been a calamity, but I was going to be running (hobbling) around anyway doing organisational things, DJing, sorting out equipment, running DJ workshops and film sessions etc – so any dancing, would have been the icing on the cake, not my raison d’être. Broken or otherwise, I intended to have a fantastic time, and I certainly did.

Sunday was my busiest day – I delivered part one of a DJ workshop that I’d worked on for well over ten hours, and a movie session which had taken a good few hours preparation.  I’d selected the music for and DJ’d six competition prelims and finals, and having done – ahem – less than sterling work on the DJ schedules (see previous post), with two rooms to run, and an hour and a half’s sleep in the previous forty eight hours, I found myself with the opportunity to play for a full three hours until close. Had I been fit to dance, I might have done differently, but I felt it would be fun to do, so I went for it.

In hindsight, I don’t think there was a better time to do this. Everyone had had a couple of days to relax and settle in to the event, then we’d psyched them all with some very well-received competitions, we had some superb dancers there… and everyone wanted to dance and dance and dance. It would have been hard to go wrong in those circumstances, and it was far and away the most fun I’ve ever had in a single set. It felt like I was able to sit there and play track after track of my all-time favorite music, and watch a room full of talented dancers go creatively nuts to it. For three glorious hours. It’s hard to overstate just how exciting that can be. The spontaneous jams at the end of the set, the huge round applause when I finally had to stop and close down the evening – none of these hurt either.

So was that a great set? From my side, absolutely, but honestly… you’d have to ask the dancers – and I did get a lot of great feedback. Was it my best ever set? Impossible to answer, but it has to be up there with my best. And boy oh boy, was it ever fun.

Photo by Jazzy Lemon

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