My stage name, Gary Reggae has stuck and was invented by DJ Pete Allen who used to do a disco at the Rising Sun in Shirley (then my local, now known as the Brass Monkey) and I used to ask for ska/reggae then dance to it! I started DJing myself not long after and bought the equipment needed but the sort of DJing I was doing was more like a wedding DJ (ie just playing records) than what most people would consider a DJ to be now. Playing the records is easy but the skill lays in reading the audience!

I managed to persuade the landlord of the Rising Sun to let me DJ on Saturday night and I continued DJing there when the landlord moved to the sadly demolished Star and Garter pub in Freemantle. Rather than just playing records, I tried to include other features so I had a guess-the-song quiz and used to play what was number one on that day 5/10/20/30/40 years ago.

I had to pack in regular DJing when I joined Orange Street as obviously gigs  would take priority but when I had a stint away from band life, I had a short-lived spot at the Park Hotel in Freemantle (also defunct) but it was hard to get the customers when there was a lot of competition from other pubs close by!

In a world where Spotify and mobile devices mean anyone can play a list of tunes, it is increasingly a niche activity for me but I do the occasional stint of playing records at gigs before and after bands/during the interval etc.

I also offered karaoke and most of my appearances ended up doing that. I enjoyed it but it was hard work and a challenge to do it without my own transport so I used to cart decks and CD cases down there in a granny-style shopping trolley!

Occasional quiz nights were one of the other things I did but that was even harder work! I used to compile my own medley of clips – I found they were too easy at first so I gradually made the clips shorter each week!

Last updated on Friday 19 October 2018 by GaryReggae

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