Tag Archives: Nightlife

What’s chocolate got to do with it?

What on earth has chocolate got to do with Easter?

This has always baffled me and I am sure it has you, however the traditional (or religious) meaning behind Easter is behind the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So what has Chocolate eggs got to do with it? Originally was not allowed by the church during the week leading up to Easter (known as Holy Week).

Any eggs that were ‘laid’ that week were then decorated and presented to children as gifts.

Throughout time this evolved, with the Victorians adapting the tradition to decorate ‘satin-filled’ cardboard eggs with Easter gifts. It wasn’t until the 19th Century that both France & Germany began to introduce the first chocolate eggs.

As the majority of us are ‘sweet-toothed’, this is where the popularity rose to the tradition of providing Chocolate eggs once a year (or more in other peoples cases).

My two girls are getting very excited about Easter; especially my youngest who is a chocoholic.

Easter is a great time to celebrate as well, given the Bank Holiday it falls on so we tend to with an ‘Easter-themed’ event every year!

Unsure of what your plans are for Easter?

Why not pop down to Orange Square Bar in Haywards Heath for the annual Easter Eggstravaganza on Sunday 1st April 2018: https://www.facebook.com/events/211726296045685/?active_tab=about

Orange Square Easter Poster 2018

It’s Free Entry all night and all the fun begins from 8PM onwards.

Peanuts

Pay peanuts and get monkeys

… as the old saying goes!

I witnessed this on a rare Saturday night off recently to attend a party as a guest.

I am not one known to openly critic ones work, however as I was on the other side of the DJ booth for a change, I thought I would offer some words of wisdom to any budding DJ that is starting off and wants to make a good name for themselves or even to a client that is looking to book a DJ for their event…

To the DJ: Always arrive on time or ahead of time

As we arrived at the venue around 7PM, I overheard the party hosts beginning to panic that their DJ hadn’t arrived yet. Trying to ease the situation, my wife did state I was a DJ, however I was not in a position to openly step in to assist as my equipment was at home.

I was a little concerned for the party goers as well. They were expecting their DJ to start at 7:30PM and finally once confirmed with the venue owners, were then told that he wouldn’t get there until 8PM.

This is not a good start in my books, I would always aim to arrive on the allocated time that has been agreed with the host and/or try and arrive earlier to make sure everything is in good running order before the guests arrive. It was fortunate for the DJ that there was an in-house sound system, lighting rig and a DJ booth, however you should never assume all is in working order.

To the DJ: Dress for the occasion

Look presentable. Arriving in a scruffy hoody, jeans and trainers does not set a good image to your business or to your clients.

As it was the party was fancy dress, so I would either get involved with the theme or in smart attire (and I am not talking a full blown tux; shirt, smart jeans and shoes is generally acceptable) to show that you are a professional. Whenever I am playing I wear my own branded shirts to show a) I am proud of my business and b) a chance to get repeat or future bookings from clients whilst advertising my brand.

To the client: Do you know what you’re paying for?

Do not always look for the cheapest DJ/Entertainer. I would ask the following whilst making your booking:

  • What type of equipment do you have?
  • Are you insured?
  • What happens if you cannot make my event? What back-up measures have you got in place?
  • Are you willing to meet up to discuss my/our party plans and music selection?
  • Do you have any reviews from previous customers that I/we can see?
  • Any extras you can offer to make my/our event special?

If the DJ/Entertainer is able to answer the above honestly and confidently, then make your own judgement call on if they are best suited for your event.

Showing intent to meet up with you, shows that they want to offer a tailored package to suit you and your guests needs. At A.C.Knell Entertainment, we never treat our bookings as the same, each night is unique and is usually down to a combination of the music, equipment we use and the guests as well that make the night a huge success.

There are unfortunately like a lot of tradesmen, cowboys in our industry as well. We worked with Dominic Littlewood and Melinda Messenger for Channel 5’s ‘Cowboy Traders’ a few years ago when a rogue Wedding Planner had stolen a couple-to-be’s money for their wedding day. It was great to step in and be able to provide them with an evening reception to remember for all the right reasons.

Reviews

Word of mouth of reviews are very important when looking for a DJ for your event. We take great pride in each event hosted and have some fantastic reviews from customers we have hosted events for over the years; as seen on our Facebook page which has been built up: https://www.facebook.com/pg/A.C.Knell.Entertainment/reviews/?ref=page_internal

You can read more or post your own review linking back to our earlier article on How did we do?

To the DJ: Learn how to read your crowd

This usually comes with years of experience. I am not saying you need a Psychology Degree to analyse people’s behaviour, however get a general feel for what your client and their guests want in advance. Ask them to produce a playlist of their top 10-15 or ‘must-have’ songs for the occasion. A.C.Knell Entertainment offers the right music selection for all events with a diverse library of over 100,000 songs from 1950’s – present day.

It can be easier said than done when you have a mixed age group, however I would advise not sticking to one specific genre of music for too long as this may end up clearing your dance floor.

Interact with the crowd, show that you are approachable and not just stuck to a specific playlist. Use the microphone where appropriate however use it sparingly as well.

To the DJ: Sitting down on the job

A big no in my books! Does not look professional in the slightest and makes it look like you do not want to be there.

Unless you had a legitimate reason for sitting down, such as you have a leg injury as an example, I would try and avoid this at all costs. You’ll end up looking like a Bingo caller instead.

To the client: How was communication on the lead up to your event?

If the DJ has gone above and beyond answering any questions you had on the lead up to your event, then that is great.

It shows they have a general interest in your occasion and are not just taking the booking on for the money.

We hope the above helps when making your own enquires and thanks again for reading!

Upcoming events near you

Happy New Year to you!

I hope you’re well and enjoyed the festive break. We celebrated some great news that the latest edition to the Empire is going to be a boy… so feeling just a little bit less outnumbered now; although the numbers are still against me!

January has been exceptionally busy for me, in what would normally be a quieter time of year.

The first Saturday of 2018 I saw in at Orange Square Bar in Haywards Heath as a few simultaneous birthday parties were in celebration throughout the evening and wow, what an amazing night that was!

It was great to be back at the Bent Arms, Lindfield on Friday night just been as we celebrated Lorraine’s 60th birthday and also her Pearl Wedding anniversary, a great night had by all!

And Saturday just been a joint 30th for both Ricky and Tom at the Mid Sussex Golf Club in Ditchling. Not only was it fancy dress party, however everyone was up dancing all night long.

So where am I this weekend? I return to Bognor Regis at the QE2 (appropriately named after Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II) on Saturday 20th January 2018 for Saturday Night Sessions – a mixture of Commerical Dance, House, RnB and Pop music to get your party started:

Saturday Night Sessions at QE2, Bognor Regis

Although a while off yet, I thought I would also share a great night coming soon to all you Eighties lovers… especially those who remember the night ‘Back to the 80’s’ I used to host at Belushi’s in Brighton:

The 80’s night will be held at Cuckfield Golf Club, in Cuckfield on Friday 13th April 2018 with tickets being sold for £20 per person. This will include a finger buffet and all the great music from this era.

I hope to see you out at either night or hopefully at a venue near you very soon.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday Night Sessions

Saturday Night Sessions at the Maidens Head Uckfield

Hope your start to 2014 has been a happy and enjoyable one so far…

After 2 weeks away from the Maidens Head in Uckfield, we have come back with a fresh new look on the night… Saturday Night Sessions.

I will be spinning all the best tunes old and new, however the pub has some great early bird drink offers between 8PM – 10PM, so it is definitely worth popping down early!

To find out more about the Maidens Head in Uckfield, visit their Facebook page

Look forward to seeing you at the launch evening tonight!

 

Bye bye Belushi’s

Belushi's Brighton logo

Sadly after 4 years at Belushi’s & St.Christopher Inn in Brighton, I will be spinning the decks here for the very last time. It only feels like yesterday when I first stepped into the bar after my good friend Josh Hunt contacted me about a new exciting night he wanted me to play for… Where it all began! The nightclub is situated on the seafront across the road from Brighton Pier which made it a prime location for a popular evening spot.

Coyote Muy Loco

Coyote Muy Loco at Belushi's Brighton

Coyote Muy Loco at Belushi’s

Table top dancers, fire-eaters and House music saw a wild start to your Friday Nights which bought a niche market to the venue.

June 2009 saw my first gig at Belushi’s and the start of great things to come!

Josh continued to run promotions for the night for a year and shortly. I then hired in a promotions team to help promote the night and bring it to new heights… rebranding it to Friday Night’s Muy Loco!

Friday Night’s Muy Loco

Friday Night’s Muy Loco saw our dancers get people up on the dance floor and party like there was no tomorrow.

Friday Night's  Muy Loco at Belushi's Brighton

Friday Night’s Muy Loco

The £1 Wildshooters went down a storm and saw the night getting busier week after week. A diverse crowd from Stag, hen parties and corporate parties would often join in the fun.

General Manager, Russell Newby was so impressed that I began running other nights such as the Belushi’s Christmas Eve’s Snow Party and New Years Eve for 2 consecutive years!

Brighton was still lacking some decent mid-week entertainment and fellow DJ Meesta Sleeps and I came up with the idea to host an Eighties night for an older clientele as well as fans of this genre of music. This is when Back to the 80’s was born.

Back to the 80’s

Back to the 80's at Belushi's

Back to the 80’s

In February 2012, Back to the 80’s bought all the commercial hits of this era to Belushi’s in Brighton every Tuesday Night. As well as the great tunes, we also setup a retro Nintendo Entertainment System (NES Games console) for people to relive some classic gaming from this era with titles like Super Mario Bros setup each week.

This soon became Brighton’s biggest Eighties night running for nearly a year!

Sadly in November 2012, we saw the end of Friday Night’s Muy Loco and the beginning of Friday Night Floorfillers!

Friday Night Floorfillers

Friday Night Floorfillers

Friday Night Floorfillers

Still with the same music policy as it’s predecessor, Friday Night Floorfillers drew in the crowds looking to celebrate the start to their weekend. Next Friday 28th June, sadly marks the last gig that I will be playing at Belushi’s in Brighton and I have many fond memories from all the staff and friends made during my 4 years there.

I would like to thank you – the crowd for being a fantastic support and Russell Newby for giving me the opportunity to entertain you all over the past 4 years and hope our paths cross again.

Memories from some of the nights can be found still on our Facebook pages (Friday Night’s Muy Loco, Back to the 80’s, Friday Night Floorfillers) or by visiting the Belushi’s photo gallery…

I hope to see you all next week as I plan to go out with a bang, in the meantime I have left with you with a 30 minute mix I have put together in memory of the good times at Belushi’s…