Dance Music Disaster Gigs: Part Two

Sam La More

“So I was playing this gig in Beirut, as you do. It was some Paris Hilton VIP party, whatever that means. They had the Lebanese army flanking the dance floor, armed with machine guns. To say it was a weird gig is an understatement. Anyway, it all started out rather well until Paris arrived and started telling me what to play. “Play some Bob Sinclaire,” as she calls him, “I hate techno.” So I played some Steve Angello. She didn’t know the difference.

Five minutes later though, she had me kicked off the decks for not playing hip-hop. Well, after a bottle of Belvedere I thought it may have been appropriate to flick her the middle finger a few times, plug my headphones into the mic input on the mixer and blast her with a little Larry David-style “Fuck Huuuugh!” The Lebanese army did not agree. I was escorted out of the booth and interrogated by a rather angry minder who kept spitting in my face.

Fortunately one of the promoters dragged me into an underground bunker which had been turned into B018, a heaving DC-10 style club where we partied until dawn, singing along to Ladyhawke’s Paris is Burning. As Paris says, “Beirut rocks!”

Illya and that infamous ‘poo in the Home DJ booth’ incident

It’s got to be almost the ten year anniversary of it. We used it in an ad for The Globe. I think we took a photo of me at Home, and we hung a toilet roll on the little gate to the DJ booth, with the line: “Music so good, you’ll shit your pants” or something.

I'll set the scene. It was packed up on the Terrace. I think I’d been playing for about half an hour at about 1am. I was mixing away, and I didn’t realise it had happened straight away. I went to look through my record bag, and it all happened so fast. When I grabbed a record and turned around to put it on, the dancefloor had pretty much disappeared. Like, boom, gone. I was like, “What the fuck did I do?”

People were calling out, and my mate’s looking at me over the Perspex, pointing down over the booth. I’m thinking he’s pointing at the record and I’m like, “Relax, I’m mixing!” And he was mouthing, “No, look at the floor!” I turned around and next to me was, well, a shit on the floor. I didn’t know what to do from there. I battled through it and they cleaned up around me. I was so in my groove, concentrating, that I’d been oblivious to what had happened. But there it was, and no one else was.

My friend Pete, one of the regulars up there, had a white shirt on. And ‘cause the girl who did it had shit all over her, trying to get her balance, she grabbed his shoulder and hand-printed him. He copped shit on his shirt. To his credit, he went home, got changed, and was back on the dancefloor. So that’s dedication.

I don’t know what happened to her. I don’t know if she had too much memory of the whole thing. If you’re in the state to think you’re in the toilet when you’re not, I don’t think you’re going to remember much. The story goes that she had left her handbag at the club, and that next week went and picked it up. So…I don’t know…maybe she went back during the week? Me personally, if I’d had a shit in the DJ booth and left my fucking bag next to it, that bag’s staying there.

I’ve had some mad, weird gigs, but I have another story that’s actually incredible. I went up to Newcastle to play The Brewery and it was Sunday evening. I was playing to virtually no one for the first hour. I turned around to grab a track out of my record bag and turned back around – to my surprise, I now had a full dancefloor of people with down syndrome and their minders. The love that the people were showing was amazing; all this great dancing. I’ll tell you what, they knew how to party! I haven’t seen anything like it.

I guess back then you’re looking through records, so you always had to turn your back. Nowadays with CDs you don’t have to turn around. So…there are less surprises now!

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