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www.markdevlin.co.uk

www.markdevlin.co.uk

Monday, 29 March 2010

MD'S CLUB DATES, APRIL/ MAY '10




















































GOOD FRIDAY
Friday 2nd April
SO SEDUCTIVE/
BLACK SHEEP MAG WALES LAUNCH PARTY @
The 411 Club, Cardiff, WALES

EASTER MONDAY
Monday 5th April
URBAN ANTHEMS @
FM107.9, Oxford (www.fm1079.com)
(7-10pm)

Saturday 10th April
PORTRUSH OPEN SURF FESTIVAL
AFTER PARTY @
The Playhouse, Portrush, NORTHERN IRELAND

Saturday 17th April
DJ DRASTIC/ COALITION NETWORK SESSION @
88.9FM, Brooklyn, NEW YORK, USA

Saturday 24th April
BRIDGE @
The Bridge, Oxford
(10.30pm-3am)

Friday 30th April
FABULOUSO @
Mono, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND

Saturday 1st May
SATURDAYS @
Mirage Club, Aylesbury
(10.30pm-3am)

Sunday 2nd May
MARCY'S BIRTHDAY BASH @
Arch Angel, Kensington, London

Saturday 8th May
SOUL @
Gandhara, Valencia, SPAIN

Friday 14th May
DISCO MASH @
The Second Bridge, Bath
(10.30pm-3am)

Saturday 22nd May
SATURDAYS @
Mirage Club, Aylesbury

Saturday 29th May
BRIDGE @
The Bridge, Oxford
(10.30pm-3am)

BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
Monday 31st May
URBAN ANTHEMS @
FM107.9, Oxford (www.fm1079.com)
(7-10pm)

BLACK SHEEP MAG WALES LAUNCH PARTY SET FOR 411 CLUB, CARDIFF


















It's Wales' time to party on Good Friday, as Black Sheep Magazine touches down at Cardiff's hot new urban music nightspot for its official Wales launch party. It's all happening at The 411 Club at 3-6 St. Mary Street, Cardiff, on Friday 2nd April.

411 is run by DJ and promoter Moniz, who has been active for many years on the urban/ R&B/ hip hop/ dancehall scene, and has brought his musical vision to bear on the club. Its formula, he maintains, is simply a cool, relaxed atmosphere for unpretentious people who want to dance, socialise and enjoy good music without any of the dramas - or poor-quality sounds - that tend to occur elsewhere.

Black Sheep's Mark Devlin will be spinning for the Black Sheep party alongside Moniz and the 411 residents. There'll be top-notch CD giveaways on the night, and other surprises.

The session runs from 10pm til late, with tickets at £7 in advance, or £10 on the door. Further info. at www.411cardiff.com. The club can be contacted on 02920 667996.

URBAN ANTHEMS WITH MARK DEVLIN, EASTER MONDAY ON FM107.9















On Easter Monday, 5th April, Mark Devlin returns with another instalment of Urban Anthems on FM107.9. It's three hours of classic old-school throwbacks, spanning hip hop, R&B, new jack swing, reggae, garage and jungle, plus, half an hour of end-of-night Quiet Storm-style slow jams!

Listen from anywhere, 7-10pm GMT, (8-11pm CET/ 2-5pm EST/ 11am-2pm PST) on www.fm1079.com

Thursday, 25 March 2010

JUST BUGGIN. PLAYLIST & LISTEN AGAIN LINKS FOR 24/3/10

















MARK DEVLIN
JUST BUGGIN’ ON OXFORD’S FM107.9 (WWW.FM1079.COM)
PLAYLIST FOR WEDNESDAY 24TH MARCH 2010


To listen again (ad-free!), just click on the following Download links
(To Download, just click on the arrow icon in the top bar of each track.)


PART 1
(Includes Red Rat/ Double R interview)



PART 2
(Includes MD 1990 Revival Mix)



CLASSIFIED Featuring CHOCLAIR MAESTRO & MOKA ONLY: QUIT WHILE YOU'RE AHEAD

CLIPSE Featuring ROCK ROSS & PHARRELL: I'M GOOD (REMIX)

FREEWAY & JAKE ONE: THROW YOUR HANDS UP

LITTLE BROTHER: CURTAIN CALL

MURS: 316 PT 2

J57, MR. BEATZ & KINETIK: THE INCREDIBLE

THADD WILLIAMS: SINK OR SWIM

STREET BEAT OF THE WEEK:
RESPECT DA GOD Featuring SMIFF N WESSUN: CRABS (KOOLADE REMIX)

THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD: HUSTLE HARD

CHIMA ANYA: DEATH

OLD TO THE NEW:
CONSEQUENCE Featuring KANYE WEST & JOHN LEGEND: SO SOULFUL

CONSEQUENCE Featuring STYLES P: DON'T STAND SO CLOSE

GUEST ARTIST INTERVIEW: RED RAT, AKA, DOUBLE R
DOUBLE R: PARTY PUMPING

DOUBLE R: MI READY FI PARTY

DJ MIX: MD 1990 REVIVAL MIX:
LL COOL J: MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT

STETSASONIC: NO BS ALLOWED

LL COOL J: JINGLING BABY

CHUBB ROCK: TREAT ‘EM RIGHT

QUEEN LATIFAH Featuring DE LA SOUL: MAMA GAVE BIRTH TO THE SOUL CHILDREN

MONIE LOVE: MONIE IN THE MIDDLE

DIGITAL UNDERGROUND: PACKET MAN

KING BEE: MUST BEE THE MUSIC

PUBLIC ENEMY: WELCOME TO THE TERRORDOME

GANG STARR: JUST TO GET A REP

NDAMBI: THE ONE

RAEKWON: LIZZ

STEALF/ JERZEE DEVIL: RAIN GO AWAY

ZECHARIAH WISE: WHISPER BACK

WALE Featuring GUCCI MANE & WEENSEY OF BACKYARD BAND: PRETTY GIRLS

KINETIK Featuring MICALL PARKNSUN: RUN DEM OUT

LEFTY & TAB ONE: SIGN OF THE TIMES

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

BLACK SHEEP MAG WALES LAUNCH PARTY SET FOR 411 CLUB, CARDIFF


















It's Wales' time to party on Good Friday, as Black Sheep Magazine touches down at Cardiff's hot new urban music nightspot for its official Wales launch party. It's all happening at The 411 Club at 3-6 St. Mary Street, Cardiff, on Friday 2nd April.

411 is run by DJ and promoter Moniz, who has been active for many years on the urban/ R&B/ hip hop/ dancehall scene, and has brought his musical vision to bear on the club. Its formula, he maintains, is simply a cool, relaxed atmosphere for unpretentious people who want to dance, socialise and enjoy good music without any of the dramas - or poor-quality sounds - that tend to occur elsewhere.

Black Sheep's Mark Devlin will be spinning for the Black Sheep party alongside Moniz and the 411 residents. There'll be top-notch CD giveaways on the night, and other surprises.

The session runs from 10pm til late, with tickets at £7 in advance, or £10 on the door. Further info. at www.411cardiff.com. The club can be contacted on 02920 667996.

URBAN ANTHEMS WITH MARK DEVLIN, EASTER MONDAY ON FM107.9















On Easter Monday, 5th April, Mark Devlin returns with another instalment of Urban Anthems on FM107.9. It's three hours of classic old-school throwbacks, spanning hip hop, R&B, new jack swing, reggae, garage and jungle, plus, half an hour of end-of-night Quiet Storm-style slow jams!

Listen from anywhere, 7-10pm GMT, (8-11pm CET/ 2-5pm EST/ 11am-2pm PST) on www.fm1079.com

Saturday, 20 March 2010

ROB BASE & DJ EZ ROCK: IT TAKES TWO - ORIGINAL CLASSIC

The re-use of its intro on Snoop Dogg's 'I Wanna Rock' has reminded me what a phenomenally slamming Hip Hop classic Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock's 'It Takes Two' is, and has remained throughout the 22 years since it first appeared. Truly a timeless classic, it joins the likes of House Of Pain's 'Jump Around' and Naughty By Nature's 'Hip Hop Hooray' as a track you could drop in any type of club - even down to your average High Street cheesy corporate spot - and be guaranteed of a whoop the minute the 'hit it' intro gives way to the first bar of that infamous 'wooh, yeah' breakbeat. OK, Rob Base is no lyrical genius, but it doesn't matter. This joint is all about energy and flavour, and it's marinated in both.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

JUST BUGGIN. PLAYLIST & LISTEN AGAIN LINKS FOR 17/3/10















MARK DEVLIN
JUST BUGGIN’ ON OXFORD’S FM107.9 (WWW.FM1079.COM)
PLAYLIST FOR WEDNESDAY 17TH MARCH 2010


To listen again (ad-free!), just click on the following Download links
(To Download, just click on the arrow icon in the top bar of each track.)


PART 1 


PART 2


CLIPSE Featuring ROCK ROSS & PHARRELL: I'M GOOD (REMIX)

LITTLE BROTHER: CURTAIN CALL

TY Featuring SARINA LEAH & SHAUN ESCOFREY: EMOTIONS

SNOOP DOGG Featuring LIL' KIM & LADY OF RAGE: I WANNA ROCK (Queen Mix)

REDMAN: MIND ON MY MONEY

CLASSIFIED Featuring CHOCLAIR MAESTRO & MOKA ONLY: QUIT WHILE YOU'RE AWAY

DJ REVOLUTION PRESENTS MALCOLM & MARTIN: THANK GOD

STREET BEAT OF THE WEEK:
J57, MR. BEATZ & KINETIK: THE INCREDIBLE

OLD TO THE NEW:
ROYAL PRIESTHOOD: ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD: HUSTLE HARD

MURS: 316 PT 2

WALE Featuring GUCCI MANE & WEENSEY OF BACKYARD BAND: PRETTY GIRLS

LUPE FIASCO Featuring 1 TRAE: I'M BEAMIN' (REMIX)

CHIMA ANYA: DEATH

THE ALTERNATIVE SELECTION:

RAEKWON: LIZZ

ERYKAH BADU: WINDOW SEAT

SEAN PAUL: HOLD MY HAND

ROMAIN VIRGO: WHO FEELS IT KNOWS IT

SERANI Featuring DING DONG: DRIVE OUT

T.O.K: CHAMPION

CAPLETON: MEDLEY (AL FINGERS PASS OUT REFIX)

TAPE LOOPS Featuring FINLEY QUAYE: NEVER DO THAT (PARKER REMIX)

VITAMIN D: 9000 LOOKALIKES

SHEEK LOUCH Featuring RED CAFE: AIN'T NO HALF STEPPIN' 2010

CONSEQUENCE Featuring STYLES P: DON'T STAND SO CLOSE

LEFTY & TAB ONE: SIGN OF THE TIMES

KINETIK Featuring MICALL PARKNSUN: RUN DEM OUT

LAWS Featuring DIZ GIBRAN: LOOK EASY

PHENE: THE ILLZ

STATIK SELEKTAH: YES MEN

VINTAGE SWING SHIFT RADIO TAPE RIP FROM 1998














Vintage episode of The Swing Shift from Galaxy 101 just posted on my Soundcloud. Classic 90s soul, swing and hip hop sounds. For those who remember.

Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

BLACK SHEEP MAG WALES LAUNCH PARTY SET FOR 411 CLUB, CARDIFF


















It's Wales' time to party on Good Friday, as Black Sheep Magazine touches down at Cardiff's hot new urban music nightspot for its official Wales launch party. It's all happening at The 411 Club at 3-6 St. Mary Street, Cardiff, on Friday 2nd April.

411 is run by DJ and promoter Moniz, who has been active for many years on the urban/ R&B/ hip hop/ dancehall scene, and has brought his musical vision to bear on the club. Its formula, he maintains, is simply a cool, relaxed atmosphere for unpretentious people who want to dance, socialise and enjoy good music without any of the dramas - or poor-quality sounds - that tend to occur elsewhere.

Black Sheep's Mark Devlin will be spinning for the Black Sheep party alongside Moniz and the 411 residents. There'll be top-notch CD giveaways on the night, and other surprises.

The session runs from 10pm til late, with tickets at £7 in advance, or £10 on the door. Further info. at www.411cardiff.com. The club can be contacted on 02920 667996.

URBAN ANTHEMS WITH MARK DEVLIN, EASTER MONDAY ON FM107.9















On Easter Monday, 5th April, Mark Devlin returns with another instalment of Urban Anthems on FM107.9. It's three hours of classic old-school throwbacks, spanning hip hop, R&B, new jack swing, reggae, garage and jungle, plus, half an hour of end-of-night Quiet Storm-style slow jams!

Listen from anywhere, 7-10pm GMT, (8-11pm CET/ 2-5pm EST/ 11am-2pm PST) on www.fm1079.com

Thursday, 11 March 2010

JUST BUGGIN. PLAYLIST & LISTEN AGAIN LINKS FOR 10/3/10

















MARK DEVLIN
JUST BUGGIN’ ON OXFORD’S FM107.9 (WWW.FM1079.COM)
PLAYLIST FOR WEDNESDAY 10TH MARCH 2010


To listen again (ad-free!), just click on the following Download links
(To Download, just click on the arrow icon in the top bar of each track.)

PART 1 

PART 2 (Includes David Craig's Notorious BIG tribute mix)


SNOOP DOGG Featuring LIL' KIM & LADY OF RAGE: I WANNA ROCK (Queen Mix)

CAPLETON: MEDLEY (AL FINGERS PASS OUT REFIX)

MURS Featuring SICK JACKEN & UNCLE CHUCC: THE PROBLEM

PHENE: THE ILLZ

BIG REMO: THE CORNERSTONE

STREET BEAT OF THE WEEK:
LITTLE BROTHER: CURTAIN CALL

TY Featuring SARINA LEAH & SHAUN ESCOFREY: EMOTIONS

INSPEKTAH DECK: THE CHAMPION

ROYAL PRIESTHOOD: CHAMPION

RAEKWON: LIZZ

ERYKAH BADU: WINDOW SEAT

NDAMBI: THE ONE

LEFTY & TAB ONE: SIGN OF THE TIMES

OLD TO THE NEW:
REDMAN: TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT

REDMAN: MIND ON MY MONEY

GUEST DJ MIX: NOTORIOUS B.I.G TRIBUTE MIX BY DJ DAVID CRAIG, (DUBAI, UAE. WWW.DJDAVIDCRAIG.CO.UK)
INTRO
DEAD WRONG
BIG POPPA
WARNING
THE WHAT
CANT YOU SEE RMX
TEN CRACK COMMANDMENTS
F&^%ING YOU TONIGHT
RESPECT
DREAMS
KICKIN THE DOOR
ONE MORE CHANCE RMX
GET MONEY
UNBELIEVABLE
WHO SHOT YA
HYPNOTIZE
I GOT A STORY TO TELL
MACHING GUN FUNK
JUICY

LUPE FIASCO Featuring 1 TRAE: I'M BEAMIN' (REMIX)

LAWS Featuring DIZ GIBRAN: LOOK EASY

THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD: PASS DA MIC

SELASI Featuring RAEKWON: KEEP ON

STATIK SELEKTAH Featuring TERMANOLOGY: EIGHTY TWO

DJ REVOLUTION PRESENTS MALCOLM & MARTIN: THANK GOD

Monday, 8 March 2010

MD'S TOUR DIARY, LITHUANIA, MARCH '10.

























































A gig in an underground nuclear bomb shelter-turned club was always going to be special. Sure enough, Club Gravity in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius didn't disappoint, ending up one of those occasional experiences that reminds you just why it is you do what you do. Amidst the more dreary drudge activities of regular weeks, I find these outings are life-affirming and vital!

My previous experience of playing in Riga was plagued with a Flipside-style disaster when my Air Baltic flight was delayed by four hours and didn't arrive until 2am, resulting in me being whisked directly from airport to decks in a matter of 30 minutes. I landed at a far more comfortable 6.45pm on this occasion, (Saturday 6th March,) and linked up straight away with DJs Mamania and Mantini, the two key players in town. Vilnius was a freezing minus 3C with a biting cold wind.

My hotel, the Europa City, was conveniently situated just across a freeway from Gravity. I walked over at midnight, following the crowds that had congregated outside, drinking and blasting music from their cars prior to going in. It's a low-key, unassuming exterior. Once inside, a walk down a long, narrow tunnel takes you deep into the bowels of the underground lair that is Gravity. Apparently, should the worst ever occur, the club would immediately be reclaimed by the government and revert to its original intended use.

There's video snippets of the entrance to the club here, and the crowd going crazy to some tuneage right here.

The event, The Jam, happens once month and is the club's most popular, attracting a loyal crowd. My set followed Mamania, directly after a troupe of street dancers had performed their routine, (see here for a brief video of that.) I had the time of my life dropping two hours of jump-up party bangers, (including a foreign road-test for Tinie Tempah's 'Pass Out', which thankfully destroyed it even though it's not been released in Lithuania.) I recorded my set, and an edited version is available to listen back to right here.

A mere two hours' sleep is par for the course with Euro gigs, and after drunken late chats with Mamania and British promoter Mark Splinter, I headed home, with a very swift 30-minute connection in Riga, Latvia. Gravity may well go down as my top gig of 2010. It'll certainly take some beating.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

JUST BUGGIN. PLAYLIST & LISTEN AGAIN LINKS FOR 3/3/10

















MARK DEVLIN
JUST BUGGIN’ ON OXFORD’S FM107.9 (WWW.FM1079.COM)
PLAYLIST FOR WEDNESDAY 3RD MARCH 2010


To listen again (ad-free!), just click on the following Download links:

PART 1 (Includes KINETIK interview)


PART 2 (Includes DJ Teddy Touch mix):


FREEWAY & JAKE ONE: THROW YOUR HANDS UP

CRITICAL MADNESS Featuring JOELL ORTIZ: TO THE TOP

TY Featuring SARINA LEAH & SHAUN ESCOFREY: EMOTIONS

GURU Featuring ANGIE STONE: KEEP YOUR WORRIES

GURU Featuring DEE C LEE: NO TIME TO PLAY

INSPEKTAH DECK: THE CHAMPION

STATIK SELEKTAH: YES MEN

STREET BEAT OF THE WEEK:
DJ REVOLUTION PRESENTS MALCOLM & MARTIN: THANK GOD

THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD: HUSTLE HARD

SUBSTANTIAL Featuring J SOUL: U WERE THERE

NDAMBI: THE ONE

FREEWAY Featuring RAEKWON: ONE THING

OLD TO THE NEW:
ERYKAH BADU: ON & ON

ERYKAH BADU: WINDOW SEAT

GUEST ARTIST INTERVIEW: KINETIK

KINETIK: IN THE CITY

KINETIK: LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND

KINETIK: NOTHING LASTS FOREVER

GUEST DJ MIX:
DJ TEDDY TOUCH (NORWAY)

RALPH MYERZ Featuring TALIB KWELI & STRONG ARM STEADY: GREY GOOSE (SOULDROP REMIX)

SADE: SOLDIER OF LOVE

WESTSIDE CONNECTION: HOO-BANGIN`

APACHE: GANGSTA BITCH

NWA: A BITCH IZ A BITCH

RAH DIGGA: BREAK FOOL

LUDACRIS: SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY

SNOOP DOGG Featuring JAY-Z & KARDINAL OFFISHALL: I WANNA ROCK RMX

SIZZLA & KARDINAL OFFISHALL: COME FLY WITH ME RMX

GHOSTFACE KILLAH: RUN

KRS- ONE: SOUND OF THE POLICE

ONYX: THROW YA GUNZ

KOOL G RAP Featuring NAS: FAST LIFE RMX

A TRIBE CALLED QUEST: OH MY GOD

THE MAD LADS: GET OUT MY LIFE, WOMAN

SADAT X & ILL BILL: X AND BILL

JABEE & ADLIB: BEST RAPPER ALIVE

SELASI Featuring RAEKWON: KEEP ON

LITTLE BROTHER: CURTAIN CALL

STATIK SELEKTAH Featuring TERMANOLOGY: EIGHTY TWO

PHENE Featuring LAWS: FREEDOM AIN'T FREE

Monday, 1 March 2010

MD'S CLUB DATES, MARCH/ APRIL 2010



































Saturday 13th March
BRIDGE @
The Bridge, Oxford
(10.30pm-3am)

Saturday 20th March
SATURDAYS @
Mirage Club, Aylesbury
(10.30pm-3am)

Saturday 27th March
BRIDGE @
The Bridge, Oxford
(10.30pm-3am)

GOOD FRIDAY
Friday 2nd April
SO SEDUCTIVE/
BLACK SHEEP MAG WALES LAUNCH PARTY @
The 411 Club, Cardiff, WALES

EASTER SATURDAY
Saturday 3rd April
SATURDAYS @
Mirage Club, Aylesbury
(10.30pm-3am)

EASTER MONDAY
Monday 5th April
URBAN ANTHEMS @
FM107.9, Oxford (www.fm1079.com)
(7-10pm)

Saturday 10th April
PORTRUSH OPEN SURF FESTIVAL
AFTER PARTY @
The Playhouse, Portrush, NORTHERN IRELAND

Saturday 18th April
TBC @
New York City, NEW YORK, USA

Saturday 24th April
BRIDGE @
The Bridge, Oxford
(10.30pm-3am)

Friday 30th April
FABULOUSO @
Mono, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND

MD'S DIARY, FEBRUARY 2010







































































It's almost four years since I gave up using vinyl as a result of the digital revolution. I switched to CD, which is the method I still use in clubs. I get asked virtually every time I play why I haven't done as everybody else and gone to a laptop-based Serato system. Just for the record, whilst I certainly see the benefits of Serato, (mainly being able to conveniently carry a huge array of music for all occasions,) there are three aspects of using it that put me off.

First, as someone that's had countless headphones and microphones nicked, I'm concerned about the security of leaving a Macbook unattended in a DJ booth. Maybe that's down to some of the spots I find myself playing in, but I wouldn't feel comfortable even nipping to the loo and leaving it in certain places. Secondly, the danger of some drunken twat spilling a drink on my laptop fills me with dread. And thirdly, I've played many events where there have been two or three DJs on the bill, with each one having to wire and unwire their assorted Serato cables, often leading to interruptions, distortions, wrong leads being pulled out, etc. Far better to just roll up to a booth, slide a disk into the CDJ, and you're off. I'm extremely disciplined with burning new CDs weekly, and I carry an extensive selection of tunes in my wallet wherever I go. You can do anything on a CDJ1000 that you used to on a turntable. It works for me. That's how I feel about it.

Anyway, all that rambling was intended as a precursor to my first overseas gig of '10, which was at the underground bar venue We Got Beef in Helsinki, Finland on Friday 5th Feb. It's a curious choice of venue name, particularly for a vegetarian, but We Got Lentils would have been even more ridiculous. In preliminary chats with promoter resident DJ Svengali it emerged that the venue doesn't house CD players, so we opted to bill my set as an old-school vinyl revival one. It called for military precision in my tune selection in order to avoid my hand baggage becoming too heavy to carry, a problem I frequently used to face.

The weather forecasts had Helsinki down as being minus 5c, which was positively tropical compared to the minus 25c of a couple of weeks earlier. Touching down at 8.30pm I was met by my old DJ mate Drew Myrie, who I used to spin with at Legends in Northampton back in the day. Drew moved to Helsinki to be with girlfriend Mia a couple of years ago, and has adjusted to Finnish life nicely - speaks the language, Winter tyres on the cars, etc. He also has a sauna in his apartment, and that's where we headed straight away for a beer and a chat.

Saunas are a big part of Finnish social life, and are often taken in conjunction with a dip in a frozen lake to balance the blood flow. I was very happy to avoid that part ... although we did sit out on the frozen balcony for a short while afterwards.

We got to Beef around midnight, and I span a set consisting of hip hop and reggae revivals, in the end using every piece of vinyl I had. It brought back lots of memories - particularly the playing of reggae 7"s from Jamaica with the middles cut out. The bar fills out late and was buzzing by the end of my set, but we couldn't hang around for long. Drew and Mia were leaving for a holiday in Lapland at 8.30 in the morning - a snow-laden ten-hour drive - and they dropped me at the airport on the way out for my return flight.

After a chance to catch up on sleep at home, it was off to spin at The Bridge in Oxford, just as rammed as the previous week. The following Saturday, the 13th, it was Mirage in Aylesbury, another spot that frustratingly doesn't fill up until an hour or so before closing, which invariably means nobody's ready to go home when the lights come up. Go out earlier!

On Saturday 20th, I headed off to The Second Bridge in Bath, my first time there since November. Playing in the main room was James Ussher, aka Ussherman, who like me was travelling up from Oxford. (Our carbon footprint through driving up separately leaves a lot to be desired.) It had been another weekend of harsh weather, and the constant sleet didn't help. Equally unhelpful was the closure of the M4 between junctions 16 and 17, forcing a tedious re-routing via random country roads in both directions. Once there though, the gig was very strong. The DJ booth in The Vaults has been slightly improved, preventing punters from seeing the restricted area behind it as a public thoroughfare.

The weather wasn't showing much improvement by the time I set off on business to Geneva on Tuesday 23rd. It wasn't the fog which delayed the departure by over two hours, however. That honour fell to French air traffic controllers who were on strike, (what a surprise,) creating a knock-on effect of delays through the day. Also flying out of Luton was Judge Jules, on the way to Ireland, although he had the privilege of only a half-hour delay.

On the subject of Luton Airport, it's unbelievable how anal they've become. Harsh rules and regulations are posted everywhere, Third Reich style, and they've taken to charging for anything they can get away with, from £1 for a transparent bag for toiletries, to a charge for even dropping passengers off outside the terminal! Britiain's most unfriendly airport, for sure.

I was staying just over the border into France in a charming town called Ferney Voltaire, and used the trip to test out my (very patchy) French. I have no problem in making myself understood; it's making sense of the answers I get that keeps me stumped. Geneva's a very friendly and welcoming city, and so is its airport, which offers free wi-fi, laptop charging points, and highly reasonable Duty Free charges among the plus-points. London's airports could certainly learn a lesson or two from the Swiss model!

The flight back was no fun. We hit some of worst turbulence I've ever experienced, with a kid nearby screaming 'we're all gonna die' as we fell through the sky. I've never been happier to see Luton.

The latest of our occasional Black Sheep Magazine Executive Management meetings took place on Friday 26th. What that generally means is a bunch of us getting together for drinks and moans at a London boozer. To be fair, there was some business value to this excursion; we had a meeting with a PR company re strategies for the site before heading to the rammed Square Pig in Holborn. Good to catch up with Stretch Taylor, Bru, Natalie and others. During the session, I slipped round to a side street to record an interview with hip hop artist Kinetik. It must have looked like a surreptitious drug deal to any onlookers, but it wouldn't be the first time. (That it's been thought, I mean. Not that I've done a drug deal.)

End of the month payday style at The Bridge, Oxford the following night. And that was February.