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www.markdevlin.co.uk

www.markdevlin.co.uk

Thursday, 26 February 2009

JUST BUGGIN. PLAYLIST & LISTEN AGAIN LINKS FOR 25/2/09














MARK DEVLIN
JUST BUGGIN’ ON OXFORD’S FM107.9 (WWW.FM1079.COM)
PLAYLIST FOR WEDNESDAY 25TH FEBRUARY 2009


To listen again, just click on the following Download links:

Part 1:

Part 2:



JADAKISS Featuring FAITH EVANS: LETTER TO BIG (Bad Boy)

CAM’RON: I HATE MY JOB (Diplomat/ Asylum)

Q-TIP Featuring BUSTA RHYMES & LIL WAYNE: RENAISSANCE RAP
(Universal)

KASHA: MY IMAGINATION (Vivid Imagery)

JACK FLASH: FOUR MINUTE WARNING (DON’T STOP REMIX)

OLD TO THE NEW
DR DRE Featuring MARY J BLIGE: THE MESSAGE (Interscope)

DR DRE Featuring T.I & NAS: TOPLESS (White)

ALI VEGAS Featuring AZ, STYLES P & DANNY McLANE: IT’S SO HARD (Rich Soil Ent/ Asylum)

M.O.P: BLOW THE HORNS (Koch)

B.A.M Featuring LIL FAME OF M.O.P: MY CITY (White)

CAPPADONNA: DO YOU REMEMBER (Chamber Musik)

RAEKWON Featuring GHOSTFACE: CRIMINOLOGY 2009

CHIMA ANYA: JUST BUGGIN’ EXCLUSIVE ’08 FREESTYLES

SPAR: AROUND TOWN IN MY 6 (White)

LEI ANN Featuring FUNKY DL: IMAGINE (HIP HOP REMIX) (Washington Classics)

GUEST DJ MIX: DJ BOOGIEMAN (SKOPJE, MACEDONIA)

LATE: SUPPLY & DEMAND (White)

HEAVEN SENT THUGS: STRUGGLING (Street Life)

SHAUN BOOTHE: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. & BARACK OBAMA (White)

WALE Featuring DUFFY: WARWICK AVENUE REMIX (White)

ALCHEMIST Featuring MAXWELL & TWISTA: SMILIN’ (Koch)

RICK ROSS: MAFIA MUSIC (Maybach Music)

TRIGGADON: JUST BUGGIN’ EXCLUSIVE ’09 FREESTYLE

Saturday, 21 February 2009

CHRIS BROWN'S GREATEST HITS

Thursday, 19 February 2009

JUST BUGGIN. PLAYLIST, LISTEN AGAIN & YOUTUBE LINKS FOR 18/2/09














MARK DEVLIN
JUST BUGGIN’ ON OXFORD’S FM107.9 (WWW.FM1079.COM)
PLAYLIST FOR WEDNESDAY 18TH FEBRUARY 2009


To listen again, just click on the following Download links:

Part 1 (Includes Bristol’s Triggadon & UZ live in the studio):
http://www.sendspace.com/file/8ggo26

Part 2:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/gx8hq8

To listen to the Triggadon live freestyle, hit:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/tnzk02

To watch the Youtube footage of Triggadon live in the studio, click:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cez7X9Mu2k4


LEI ANN Featuring FUNKY DL: IMAGINE (HIP HOP REMIX) (Washington Classics)

B.A.M Featuring LIL FAME OF M.O.P: MY CITY (White)

RICK ROSS: MAFIA MUSIC (Maybach Music)

JADAKISS Featuring FAITH EVANS: LETTER TO BIG (Bad Boy)

NOTORIOUS B.I.G: 10 CRACK COMMANDMENTS (Bad Boy)

RAEKWON Featuring GHOSTFACE: CRIMINOLOGY 2009

CAPPADONNA: DO YOU REMEMBER (Chamber Musik)

THAD REID: THE REASON (White)

OLD TO THE NEW
CAM’RON Featuring JAHEIM: LORD YOU KNOW (Roc A Fella)

CAM’RON: I HATE MY JOB (Diplomat/ Asylum)

TRIGGADON, T-DOT & BIG CEAZE: JUST BUGGIN’ EXCLUSIVE ’08 FREESTYLES

TRIGGADON Featuring SOPHIA MAY: CHASING YOUR DREAM (Wiseguy Entertainment)

TRIGGADON:
TRIGGADON EXCLUSIVE FREESTYLE

GUEST DJ SEQUENCE: BLACKOUT CLASSICS/ PHAT PHILLIE, BLACKOUT RADIO, ZAGREB, CROATIA

BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS: WE IN THERE (ATCQ REMIX) (Jive)

D-NICE: CALL ME D-NICE (J)

CHUBB ROCK: THE CHUBBSTER (Select)

DE LA SOUL: THE MAGIC NUMBER (Tommy Boy)

DE LA SOUL: SAY NO GO (Tommy Boy)

JUNGLE BROTHERS: STRAIGHT OUT THE JUNGLE (Warlock)

KASHA: MY IMAGINATION (Vivid Imagery)

WALE Featuring DUFFY: WARWICK AVENUE REMIX

SHAUN BOOTHE: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. & BARACK OBAMA (White)

HEAVEN SENT THUGS: STRUGGLING (Street Life)

LATE: SUPPLY & DEMAND (White)

ALCHEMIST Featuring MAXWELL & TWISTA: SMILIN’ (Koch)

Q-TIP Featuring BUSTA RHYMES & LIL WAYNE: RENAISSANCE RAP
(Universal)

ALI VEGAS Featuring AZ, STYLES P & DANNY McLANE: IT’S SO HARD (Rich Soil Ent/ Asylum)

TRIGGADON LIVE FREESTYLE ON MARK DEVLIN'S 'JUST BUGGIN', FM107.9, OXFORD

Bristol MC Triggadon revisits Mark Devlin's 'Just Buggin' radio show on FM107.9, Oxford, to drop another live freestyle session. February '09.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

'NOTORIOUS' MOVIE REVIEW



















MARK DEVLIN'S REVIEW OF 'NOTORIOUS' (15)

The biggest challenge facing director George L Tillman Jr’s biopic of the late great rapper Biggie Smalls was to make it palatable to non hip-hop diehards. Not an impossible feat; ‘Ray’, for instance, told the Ray Charles story to a wide and varied audience. Although the elements of hip-hop culture on display may be alienating to non-followers – the dialogue isn’t something you’d want to recite over tea with the vicar – ‘Notorious’ has enough cinematic devices to satisfy the demands of most movie-goers – a rags-to-riches tale, romance, sex, drama, violence, and, at the centre of it all, a deadly rivalry, in this case between Biggie and fellow slain rapper Tupac Shakur.

Although lacking any facial similarity, newcomer Jamal Woolard’s imposing frame gives the central character plausibility, and strong support comes from Naturi Naughton as Big’s protégée and occasional lover, Lil Kim. Derek Luke’s performance as super-producer Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs, however, seems way off-track, not least because he bears no visible similarity to the real-life subject. Antonique Smith plays the other woman in Big’s life, his widow, the singer Faith Evans, with Angela Bassett the only familiar performer, playing the rapper’s mother.

While hip-hop fans will relish seeing the story of Biggie’s short time at the top acted out, the screenplay glosses over certain more controversial issues, crucially, the real reason the rapper died in a hail of bullets in March 1997 and who could have been behind it. Similarly, Woolard’s portrayal only really scratches the surface of what really made Christopher Wallace/ Biggie tick, and such sanitisation may well be down to the fact that the movie was sanctioned by Wallace’’s mother Voletta, and Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs as producer and executive producer respectively.

What certainly aids the film is its fast moving pace and its hugely moving ending. ‘Notorious’ emerges as an exciting and tragic account of a man who was, to many, the best that ever did it.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

CHIMA ANYA FREESTYLE ON MARK DEVLIN'S 'JUST BUGGIN', FM107.9

Chima Anya, frontman for Oxford hip hop crew GTA, drops a new live freestyle on Mark Devlin's 'Just Buggin' radio show, FM107.9, February '09.

MARK DEVLIN CHATS TO CHIMA ANYA OF OXFORD'S GTA CREW ON 'JUST BUGGIN'

'Just Buggin' radio host Mark Devlin chats to Chima Anya, frontman for Oxford's GTA crew, on FM107.9, February '09.

JUST BUGGIN'. PLAYLIST, LISTEN AGAIN & YOUTUBE LINKS FOR 11/2/09














MARK DEVLIN
JUST BUGGIN’ ON OXFORD’S FM107.9 (WWW.FM1079.COM)
PLAYLIST FOR WEDNESDAY 11TH FEBRUARY 2009


To listen again, just click on the following Download links:

Part 1 (Includes Oxford’s GTA crew live in the studio)

Part 2 (Includes Mark Devlin DJ mix live in Norway)


To watch the Youtube footage of Chima Anya live in the studio, click:

Here

And here




RYAN LESLIE Featuring JADAKISS: HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE (REMIX) (Next Selection)

WALE Featuring DUFFY: WARWICK AVENUE REMIX

RAEKWON Featuring GHOSTFACE: CRIMINOLOGY 2009

SHAUN BOOTHE: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. & BARACK OBAMA (White)

YOUNG JEEZY Featuring NAS: MY PRESIDENT (Def Jam)

STREET BEAT OF THE WEEK:
CAM’RON: I HATE MY JOB (Diplomat/ Asylum)

CONSEQUENCE: JOB SONG (G.O.O.D Music)

LEI ANN Featuring FUNKY DL: IMAGINE (HIP HOP REMIX) (Washington Classics)

LATE: SUPPLY & DEMAND (White)

ALCHEMIST Featuring MAXWELL & TWISTA: SMILIN’ (Koch)

JADAKISS Featuring FAITH EVANS: LETTER TO BIG (Bad Boy)

ROYCE DA 5’9: SHAKE THIS (One Records)

LIVE STUDIO GUEST: CHIMA ANYA (GTA, OXFORD)

CHIMA ANYA: CLOCKS (White)

CHIMA ANYA: C (White)

GTA: IT’S THE LOVE (GTA)

GTA Featuring KID FURY: DO YOU KNOW (GTA)

CHIMA ANYA EXCLUSIVE FREESTYLE

DJ MIX: MARK DEVLIN LIVE AT SOUL CITY, CAFÉ OPERA, BERGEN, NORWAY

CAPPADONNA: DO YOU REMEMBER (Chamber Musik)

Q-TIP Featuring BUSTA RHYMES & LIL WAYNE: RENAISSANCE RAP
(Universal)

ALI VEGAS Featuring AZ, STYLES P & DANNY McLANE: IT’S SO HARD (Rich Soil Ent/ Asylum)

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

MD'S HOT JOINTS, FEBRUARY '09



















The ten that are blowing up the radio airwaves and/ or rocking dancefloors this month.


VYBZ CARTEL Featuring SPICE: ROMPING SHOP (White)
The hottest reggae pairing since Beenie Man and Lady Saw, and the most X-rated record since Akafella's 'Put It In My Mouth'. Vybz and Spice copulate aurally over the beat of Ne-yo's 'Ms Independent.' Don't expect to hear it on your local breakfast show.

YOUNG JEEZY Featuring NAS: MY PRESIDENT (Def Jam)
Following Jay-Z's Obama-inspired version of the hood classic, Jeezy comes with a topical remake of his own, with added input from Nas. Speaker-rocking intensity.

CAM'RON: I HATE MY JOB (White)
Just when you thought urban music had run out of relevant subject matter, Cam'ron breaks his hiatus with a tune that will strike a chord with well over 50 per cent of its potential audience. A new Monday morning anthem.

MR. VEGAS: HOTTIE (VPD)
A return to form for Vegas, coming with the type of bashment joint that made him king of the dancehall in the late 90s. Straightforward party-rocking goodness.

RICK ROSS: MAFIA MUSIC (Maybach Music)
The most bearded man in hip-hop growls and rambles, most notably taking a swipe at 50 Cent's recent activities; ('burn the house down, don't forget the gas can, jealous stoopid muthaf*cka.') The 50 answer-back has already come. More beef than Brazil.

JADAKISS Featuring FAITH EVANS: LETTER TO BIG (Bad Boy)
The keynote track from the ‘Notorious' movie soundtrack. You'd have to be either deeply cynical, or have zero interest in hip-hop not to be moved by Jada's lyrical summary to the spirit of Big on everything that's passed in his absence, coupled with soulful driftings from his widow.

RAEKWON Featuring GHOSTFACE: CRIMINOLOGY 2009 (White)
Word is that Raekwon has remade his entire classic 'Only Built For Cuban Links' album from 1995, with this as the first taster of what to expect. The abrasively chiming beat of the original has been retained, and still sounds as memorably striking as it ever did.

LEI ANN Featuring FUNKY DL: IMAGINE (HIP-HOP REMIX) (Washington Classics)
Funky DL's young protégée meanders her way through a breezily soulful tune, infinitely superior to most of the bland popped-out ish that passes for 'R&B' right now, underpinned with some solid hip-hop beats.

B.A.M FEAT. LIL FAME OF M.O.P: MY CITY (White)
Hip-hop of the variety that makes High Street club managers and mainstream radio programmers nervous … which is exactly the way it should be. A slamming, M.O.P-style nosebleed-inducing tribute to the big bad city of New York.

RYAN LESLIE: HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE (Next Selection)
The producer-turned-artist who's credited with straddling the fine line between 'real' R&B and the popped-out club-friendly sound comes with an offering that's far less impactive than 'Diamond Girl', but nevertheless does the trick.

‘YES MISTA DEVLIN’ (1999). THE MARK DEVLIN VINTAGE MIXTAPE SERIES. VOLUME 2 – DOWNLOAD AND ABSORB.

















Yes folks, It’s about that time. We’re on to volume two in the reloaded MD mixtape series.

‘Yes Mista Devlin’ first appeared in January 1999, and was the first to feature the exclusive freestyles that were to become a staple ingredient of future volumes. We kicked off with four of ‘em – a debut showing from from a very young Kid Fury, (who was rolling with me to clubs as my MC at the time,) an even younger Lethal, Simone from Nottingham’s Out Of Da Ville crew, (still going strong today under the moniker of C-Mone,) and Kelz of Bristol’s 3PM Crew, a frequent character on my Galaxy 101 Swing Shift show of the time.

Even more entertaining from a personal point of view was the appearance of the first of my comedy skits, this one being the notorious ‘Antonio’ sequence to introduce Kid Fury’s freestyle. Pure comedy, and actually sounding even more hilarious now it’s been cleaned up for radio!

Side two plays out with a couple of 80s electro revivals – Dhar Braxton and Joyce Sims – that I remember playing just before 7am at my first (and only!) DJing appearance at the world famous Southport weekender. (Fate is a strange thing – my future wife was in the room at the time, but we didn’t actually meet until over a year later!)

These were the days of inside liner notes, too. This one featured MD’s big-ups and disses, with ‘people who think your life doesn’t matter if you don’t live in London’ appearing in the latter.
Pure nostalgia, great memories and some cracking music.
Download and absorb.

Yes Mista Devlin, side 1

Yes Mista Devlin, side 2





YES MISTA DEVLIN. THE MARK DEVLIN MIXTAPE VOLUME TWO

Side one:

MC LYTE Featuring GINA THOMPSON: IT’S ALL YOURS
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST: LIKE IT LIKE THAT
FOXY BROWN: HOT SPOT
BIG KWAM: THE REUNION (Instrumental)
LETHAL: EXCLUSIVE ’98 FREESTYLE
FOXY BROWN Featuring KID CAPRI: FOX BOOGIE
BRAND NUBIAN Featuring BUSTA RHYMES: LET’S DANCE
BLACK EYED PEAS: JOINTS & JAMS (Instrumental)
CROOKLYN CLAN Meets STIK-E & THE HOODS: SAY WUUT!
DEF SQUAD: THE GAME
R KELLY: SPENDING MONEY
ANTONIO (Skit)
KID FURY: EXCLUSIVE ’98 FREESTYLE
TOTAL Featuring MISSY ELLIOTT: TRIPPIN’
BUSTA RHYMES: GIVE ME SOME MORE
OC Featuring CHANGING FACES: CAN’T GO WRONG


Side two:

GENERAL DEGREE: TRAFFIC BLOCKING (Players Inc Remix)
GENERAL DEGREE: TRAFFIC BLOCKING
BEENIE MAN: LET HIM GO
HAWKEYE: VEX IF YA WAAN VEX
BUCCANEER: SOCA NOMA
LADY SAW & BEENIE MAN: HEALING
SPLASH RIDDIM
LADY SAW: MAN INNA MI HOUSE
PINCHERS: AGONY
SIMONE: EXCLUSIVE ’98 FREESTYLE
KELZ: EXPLAIN MYSELF
BIG DADDY KANE: AIN’T NO HALF STEPPING
MAIN SOURCE: LOOKING AT THE FRONT DOOR
LEADERS OF THE NEW SCHOOL: SOBB STORY (Instrumental)
PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH: THE CREATOR
SNOOP DOGGY DOGG: PUMP PUMP
DHAR BRAXTON: JUMP BACK (SET ME FREE)
JOYCE SIMS: (YOU ARE MY) ALL AND ALL
SHEILA E: A LOVE BIZARRE


In the meantime, a reminder that you can still download volume one, ‘Take It To The Streets’, right here:

Take It To The Streets, side 1


Take It To The Streets, side 2

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

MIDWEEK COMEDY

Click on image to enlarge

TEDDY TOUCH & MARK DEVLIN LIVE IN NORWAY - HOT MIX DOWNLOADS!














Remember the days when people actually used to go to clubs to listen to what the DJ was spinning, without considering it their life’s mission to instruct them in what to play? Remember when punters used to actually trust the DJ, and give them the benefit of the doubt in assuming they do actually know what they’re doing?

Rare as they are, these events do still exist, and one of them happened recently during a double bill link-up between Mark Devlin and the Norwegian hip hop key player Teddy Touch – the fantastic Soul City Friday nighter at Café Opera in Bergen.

It was heavy hip hop and reggae all the way without a pop joint in sight. Here’s a chance to listen back to the soundtrack to a fantastic night.

Hot. (And they're specially cleaned up for radio play too!)

Teddy Touch live in Bergen

Mark Devlin live in Bergen

Monday, 2 February 2009

MD'S TOUR DIARY, JANUARY '09














I’m not naïve enough to assume the rest of ’09 is going to continue on such a positive vibe … but is there a better way to start a new year than bringing your newborn daughter home for the first time!? I picked up Parveen and little Zaina from hospital on New Year’s Day, and we spent the next couple of nights getting used to all the routine responsibilities of new parents. There’s no denying it’s damned hard work, but the rewards just cannot be measured.

I was back on the DJ trail on Saturday 3rd in Watford, and there was little surprise to find the night quiet and lacking in action. Post-New Year’s Eve plus cold weather plus a credit crunch never adds up to a wild night in clubland. There was more of the same on Monday 5th.

I made the observation in ‘Tales From The Flipside’ that the UK music industry pretty much takes a month off from regular activity over the Christmas/ New Year period. Evidence of this came from 7th January onwards, when my e-mail inbox started filling up with a huge influx of new tunes, after remaining inactive for quite a while. My first ‘Just Buggin’ on Wednesday 7th marked my final retrospective on the big JB anthems of ’08. By the following week, I was more than ready to devote a show to all the heavy new tuneage that had been getting stockpiled.

Among gems to go straight in my DJ chart were Eminem’s return with ‘Crack A Bottle’, Jay-Z and Santogold’s ‘Brooklyn Go Hard’ and Rihanna and Chris Brown’s ‘Bad Girl’. Less impressive was Flo Rida’s disgusting ‘Round Round’, horrifically based around the hook of Dead Or Alive’s 80s pop hit ‘You Spin Me Round.’ It doesn’t bode well for the state of mainstream so-called ‘R&B’ in ’09! My first radio guest of the month was the Canadian MC Shaun Boothe, responsible for the awesome Unauthorized Biography series. So far, James Brown, Bob Marley and Muhammad Ali have had the treatment. This guy’s a real find. Check him out on-line at www.myspace.com/shaunboothe

You wouldn’t have known it was January from being at The Second Bridge in Bath on Saturday 10th. Far from displaying any seasonal downturn, my Vaults area was absolutely rammed. Kid Fury and Spex cracked me up on the portion of their Phat Club show that I caught while leaving Oxford. A snippet from their conversation went:

Fury: What if, after a couple of years in office, Obama turns out to be just another regular president?
Spex: But he’d still be black…

(By the way, I’ve just discovered Obama has his own Myspace page – how crazy is that? www.myspace.com/barackobama)

The first of two long-awaited European jaunts came on Friday 16th, this one to Zagreb, Croatia. The event brought home just how much additional personal organisation is now going to be needed. Previously, I'd have trotted off to the airport and jumped on a plane without a thought. With a baby now to think about and Parveen currently unable to drive, I first had to take the two of them across to her Mum's in Aylesbury for a weekend's lodging.

A crack-of-dawn departure loomed. I'd been laid off from G's on the Thursday night owing to the January slowdown. In the event, this gave an opportunity to go to bed at 10pm, (the first time I've done such a thing since I was about 14,) and get up at 3.30am, with at least a bit of sleep under my belt. The likes of Ryanair and Easyjet have yet to start routes to Zagreb, leaving Hungarian operator Wizzair as the only airline to offer reasonably-priced flights from London. The annoying thing is that they only fly on certain days of the week, and Friday isn’t one of them. So my only option was to leave Luton for Berlin Schoenefeld at 6.30am, then jump on a Germanwings flight to Zagreb. Just a slight delay on the Easyjet flight would have spelt disaster, but thankfully it was on time.

I was back in the Croatian capital to play Maraschino Bar, (Maraschino is a cherry brandy and the national drink of Croatia,) and manager Kreso ran me to my hotel. Straight afterwards I headed into the city to link with Blackout Radio/ Bumsquad DJs affiliate, and all-round Croatian hip-hop kingpin Phat Phillie for lunch, beers and conversation. Items on the agenda included how much we were anticipating the upcoming 'Notorious' movie, the extent to which certain high-profile DJs have truly sold their souls to the devil, and how little time it took each of us to do our recent 'best' of 2008 reviews!

I played for a mammoth four hours at Maraschino, an intimate and friendly spot that was providing relief from the bitterly cold conditions outside. During my set, a group of girls handed me a slip of paper saying how much they were enjoying the music and asking when I'd be back. It's moments like this that keep you going in this job, and give a little reminder of just why it is you do what you do. The pictures are now up on Myspace and Facebook, and I recorded my (very eclectic) set, highlights of which are available to listen to via the links in my Myspace blog – www.myspace.com/therealmrkdevlin.

An overnight freeze had set in by Saturday, and I abandoned my sightseeing for the warmth of the hotel pub before being taken back to the airport, this time flying back direct. With no time to waste, I dashed straight from the airport down the M1 to Watford, just in time to play my regular session at Que Pasa. By closing time I was pretty wacked, but had an undisturbed (baby-free!) night of sleep in wait at home. On Sunday, I headed across to pick up Parveen, and with a couple of hours' baby cover, we went out for a meal and the first bit of proper 'us' time in three weeks.

Next on the travel agenda was a two-nighter in Bergen, Norway, in the company of key mover and shaker Teddy Touch. With no direct flights available, I travelled outward with SAS via Copenhagen, and how the hell I made my first flight is something I still can’t quite comprehend. I made the mistake of taking the Underground's Piccadilly Line to Heathrow Terminal 3. It was so painfully long that it felt like I'd travelled to Mars and back via China. By the time it eventually arrived I was convinced my travel plans were doomed. Incredibly, after some Olympic-standard sprinting, I made it to the plane seconds before the door was slammed shut, and sank, panting, into my seat. Only a reputable airline like SAS would have allowed me to check in 20 minutes before departure. Ryanair? Forget it.

Curiously, SAS is the flag carrier for Norway, Sweden and Denmark, but not Finland, which has it's own Finnair. On disembarking in Copenhagen, the flight crew said goodbye to all the Danish passengers in their own language, but knew to switch to English for the Brits just by looking at them. I've no idea how they achieve this. I clearly can’t pass for a Dane.

Bergen is Norway's second largest city, and it's well documented that the country is the most expensive in Europe. Naturally, salaries are generously weighted to offset the cost of living. I remembered a margerita pizza costing the equivalent of £11 on my previous visit in 2003. This time, a cursory glance at a TGI Fridays menu revealed it to have risen to £15, while chargrilled chicken was going for £21, and a beer would set you back a fiver.

I linked with Teddy for dinner during the evening. As a vegetarian, my choices in a country which features reindeer and whale on many a menu were always going to be limited, but we found an appropriate spot. Both gigs had been much anticipated as they carried an 'anything goes' music policy, coupled with an open-minded crowd. (They do still exist, even if you have to go to Norway to find them!) Thursday night's excursion was at the small and friendly Silver. A lot of reggae and hip hop got spun, and I went back to back with Teddy for the last portion of the night as we vibed off each other's tune selection.

The high-speed wi-fi in my hotel room enabled me to download 40 or so tunes during Friday, as well as post the previous night's pictures on-line. The second gig was Teddy's well-established Soul City session at Café Opera. Norwegians hit clubs late; alcohol is so pricey that revellers have their own pre-parties at home, only going out when they're already drunk. By 12.30 the place was packed, and a stunning hip hop-flavoured soundtrack got spun. I recorded both mine and Teddy's sets, which are now available for download. Sadly, by 2.45 the night had come to an end. All Bergen's venues must now close by this time in an effort to curb late-night antisocial behaviour. It never really worked in the UK.

I debated whether it was actually worth going to bed, with one of those famous crack-of-dawn flights home on Saturday, this time routing via Oslo. With Parveen and Zaina away, it meant I could spend the afternoon sleeping before setting off for the weekend's final gig at The Bridge in Oxford.

… and that was January.