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www.markdevlin.co.uk

www.markdevlin.co.uk

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

MD'S DIARY, MAY '11



















































































































Besides marking the birthday of Swindon DJ Vince Mancari, (hi Vince!), May Day has long been steeped in occult mysticism, and it's no surprise that events of major significance tend to occur on this date. In the past these have included the formation of the Bavarian Illuminati in 1776, Tony Bliar's manipulated victory at the British polls in 1997, and the announcement of Hitler's death in 1945. (More on the whole subject for anyone interested right here

It was no great surprise, therefore, when I came downstairs in the early hours of Monday 2nd to hear the BBC trumpeting the 'death' of Osama Bin Laden as announced by 'Mr. Hope' Barry Soetoro ... opps, sorry, Barack Obama. As many will have noticed I could talk about this stuff all day (!), so I won't digress any further, except to point you in the direction of the Hoof article by Shaun Shearer on the Black Sheep Mag site, which pretty much sums up the whole shameful farce:

Oh, and while you're there, you could do worse than check out Andrew Kay's excellent interview with the hip-hop legend that is Rakim!

Right, rant over, time to get on to DJ-related matters. I uploaded a couple of new items to Soundcloud at the start of the month. One was the Spring '11 edition of Urban Anthems - a pure nostalgia trip back to better days, better times, better music. If you miss the soul, swing, hip-hop and ragga of the 90s, (plus a couple of excursions into the 80s and 00s,) you should be feeling the selection big-time. It's available to download here:

Urban Anthems Podcast Spring '11 P1 by Mark Devlin

Urban Anthems Podcast Spring '11 P2 by Mark Devlin

The other was an upload of one of my very earliest Swing Shift shows, which went out on Galaxy 101 back in 1996. Authentic revivals from a stunningly good year for urban music, (that's REAL urban music, kids.) You can relive the vibes of that one here:

Swing Shift 5/7/96 P1 by markdevlindj

Swing Shift 5/7/96 P2 by markdevlindj

The month's first gig outing was a return to The Cherrywood Lounge on the grounds of Farnborough FC on Friday 6th. This marked another instalment of DJ Mr. Jay's Soundsational night, this time with fellow veteran jock Matt 'Shaggy' Tobin on the bill. We didn't let the odd requests for Bon Jovi and Guns N Roses distract us from what was billed as a night of soulful vibes old and new, and I found myself rinsing a few Weekender anthems to get in the mood for the Southport event, where I was headed the following day.

At midday on Saturday, I picked up Black Sheep Mag writer Andrew Kay at the train station, and we set off on the motorway trek to Minehead, Somerset. This is the new location of the legendary Southport Weekender, named after its long-standing Merseyside home. Upnorth Promotions clearly took a risk in relocating the event so far South for the first time. Theoretically, it should have marked good news for Southerners, for whom the long-ass journey up the M6 was always a bind. In truth, Somerset is a fair old whack too. We did it in exactly three hours.

After checking into our Wetherspoons pub accommodation, we headed for our first look at the site. The Butlins venue is sprawling, and the central entertainment hub certainly impressive, with each of the four music rooms enjoying more space than back at the Northern spot. As ever, I bumped into several old friends and familiar faces as we flitted between the arenas.

Frustratingly, at 9pm I had to leave the site in order to cane it back along the winding A39 towards Bath, where I was booked to DJ at The Second Bridge. The skies had opened and I JUST made it in time for my 10.30pm start. As fate would have it there had been a booking mix-up, with another DJ already installed in The Vaults, so I was posted in The Earl, the club's feeder bar. This turned out to be a great move, as I was able to drop another set heavily influenced by the vibes of Southport - lots of soulful, funky stuff. I was back in Minehead by just after four, and able to take in the last couple of hours. Annoyingly I'd missed Grandmaster Flash, Naughty By Nature, Shortee Blitz and David Rodigan, who apparently 'murked' it, but I caught DJ Spinna, EZ, Trevor Nelson, Kerri Chandler, and an uplifting diverse house set from Kenny 'Dope' Gonzales. Here's a couple of snippets from that:





The full Black Sheep Mag report on the event from Andrew and myself is right here:

My next outing was an excursion to Valencia to see in my birthday on Wednesday 11th. It was another dawn red-eye special courtesy of Ryanair, which involved leaving the house at 4.30am. It's a problem - I'm no fan of Ryanair's corporate policies, but when they'll take you to Spain for less than £30 (assuming you know how to bypass all their rip-off 'extras',) what can you do? My accommodation was part of a University campus which had been booked for me by Valencia's DJ Cosy O due to its proximity to the club. I was installed there by midday, and immediately took a walk to the nearby beach in a balmy 78 degrees.

Spanish clubbing can be a shock to the system to us Brits familiar with nights being all wrapped up by 3am. I didn't even link with Cosy, (a Londoner who relocated to Spain around ten years ago) until way after 2, and the venue, Rumbo 144, was still in its warm-up stages by 3. We linked with a couple of fellow DJs, one from Seattle, the other from Paris, and shared anecdotes and gripes for a short while.

By 4.30, the place was packed and kicking, and I jumped on the CDJs. Cosy, myself and a third DJ then dropped a little back-to-back freestyle session to finish. It was a fun night and I was very restrained on the alcohol, with a clear(ish) head following the mere two hours sleep I managed before heading back to the airport. Arriving home in the afternoon, I was greeted by my two-year-old daughter presenting me with a card she'd made and saying 'Happy Birthday, Daddy.' What more could a guy ask for?

A couple of nights later, Latvian mash-up king DJ Aiva was over in the UK as part of a brief visit. Aiva looks after me when I go out to spin in his homeland. On this occasion, I was hosting him for a spot at Mirage in Aylesbury, following his set the previous night in Northern Ireland. I still get lost every time I go to Milton Keynes, but somehow managed to find the central coach station, where I picked up Aiva and his girlfriend. A while later we went on to Aylesbury. Mirage is a proper late-night spot, with punters often not reaching until 1am. It turned out lively in the last hour, as we juggled the set.

A trip to Southampton was on the cards for Saturday 14th. The session was Rude Love, a new night promoted by the South Coast's 5Ft Heroes duo, at Bliss nightclub. Being a room two situation, (with the usual commercial fare occupying the main room), I was able to drop a full-on set of proper R&B and hip-hop, with lots of bashment and UKG, the clued-up crowd totally lapping it up. Owen of the 5Ft Heroes delivered a cracking set afterwards, including a full Bob Marley tribute. Hats off to them for making it work. After the club closed, I had one of the most surreal conversations of my life with head 5-Footer Youssef. Dude is deep. With my head suitably fucked, I took off to grab some sleep at the house of an Aunt and Uncle who live in Southampton, before returning home to the chaos of Camp Devlin on Sunday.

On Monday, Parveen, Zaina, Akilah and myself took off for five days' holiday on a caravan park in Norfolk. It turned out to be a highly enjoyable few days away, replacing the daily drudge with ways to keep two-year-old Zaina entertained from dawn to dusk. I pretty much managed four days away from the internet, meaning my e-mail inbox was heaving with a backlog of music downloads that took a clear day to trawl through on return. If I'd left it any longer, deleting the lot and starting from scratch would have been the only option!

I uploaded the Summer '11 edition of Urban Anthems in time for the late May holiday weekend, which is now available on my Soundcloud - http://soundcloud.com/mark-devlin/urban-anthems-summer-11-master. It's a further nostalgic excursion into great music from better days, and in my opinion you'd have to be pretty damn fussy not to find something there to your liking. Check it out!

Urban Anthems Summer 11 edition by Mark Devlin

I rounded off the month with an excursion to Plymouth on Saturday 28th. The five-hour journey was a right old bind, not helped by the fact that it was the start of the Half Term break, leaving the roads clogged with caravans and holidaying families. After taking care of business, I headed to Union Street, where all the city's bars and clubs are clustered together in one easily-policable location, to hang out at Fresh City. This is the South West's leading urban music brand, and I played their night at the Candy Store a few times in the 00s. It's now moved a few doors along to Crash Manor, where I linked with my old homie DJ Jonezy for a hang-out and a chat. DJ Snake was a rinsing a real-deal bashment selection, and it was great to see such stuff rocking a city centre club on a Saturday night.

I'd overlooked the fact that Sunday marked the Plymouth Half Marathon, which, besides waking me unfeasibly early by the loud speaker commentary penetrating my guest house room, also meant the city was a nightmare to navigate out of. Well, at least I got a lot of in-car CD listening done.

... and that was May.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

URBAN ANTHEMS SUMMER '11 EDITION

More throwbacks from better days! REAL R&B, hip-hop and ragga. Download and enjoy.
Urban Anthems Summer 11 edition by Mark Devlin

MARK DEVLIN: URBAN ANTHEMS PODCAST
SUMMER '11, VOLUME 1

TQ: WESTSIDE

KELIS: GOOD STUFF

MC LYTE Featuring PUFF DADDY & MISSY ELLIOTT: COLD ROCK A PARTY (BAD BOY REMIX)

NAUGHTY BY NATURE. FEEL ME FLOW

TEEDRA MOSES Featuring JADAKISS: YOU'LL NEVER FIND

YUMMY BINGHAM: ONE MORE CHANCE

FANTASIA Featuring REMY MA: WHEN I SEE U

THE GAME Featuring KEYSHIA COLE: PAIN

FUGEES: NAPPYHEAD

PHARCYDE: DROP

SOULS OF MISCHIEF: '93 TIL INFINITY

WU TANG CLAN: PROTECT YA NECK

MALCOLM MCLAREN: SHE'S LOOKING LIKE A HOBO

GRANDMASTER FLASH: THE MESSAGE WITH DROP

LISA LISA & CULT JAM: I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME

DE LA SOUL: A ROLLER SKATING JAM NAMED SATURDAYS

SNOOP DOGG: MURDER WAS THE CASE (REMIX)

DEAD PREZ: HIP HOP

ROOTS MANUVA: WITNESS

SIZZLA: RAIN SHOWERS

SPICE Featuring PINCHERS: RUDE BOY LOVE

YUSH 2K Featuring SANDRA MELODY: FADE AWAY

YT: ENGLAND STORY (CHAM ANSWER)

SPICE: GRAB YUH HOOD

PATRA featuring YO YO: ROMANTIC CALL

MD'S CLUB DATES, JUNE/ JULY '11

















Friday 3rd June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 4th June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Friday 10th June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 11th June
The Earl, The Second Bridge, Bath

Thursday 16th June
Cafe Ceol, Bangor, NORTHERN IRELAND

Friday 17th June
The Living Room, Oxford

Saturday 18th June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Friday 24th June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 25th June
Mirage, Aylesbury

Saturday 2nd July
Rude Love, Bliss, Southampton

Friday 8th July
Supa Dupa Fly (Old School 90s set), The Jazz Cafe, Camden, London

Saturday 9th July
The Earl, The Second Bridge, Bath

Tuesday 12th July
Soul City, San Antonio, IBIZA

Wednesday 13th July
Soul City, San Antonio, IBIZA

Saturday 16th July
Mirage, Aylesbury

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

URBAN ANTHEMS SUMMER '11 EDITION

More throwbacks from better days! REAL R&B, hip-hop and ragga. Download and enjoy.
Urban Anthems Summer 11 edition by Mark Devlin

MARK DEVLIN: URBAN ANTHEMS PODCAST
SUMMER '11, VOLUME 1

TQ: WESTSIDE

KELIS: GOOD STUFF

MC LYTE Featuring PUFF DADDY & MISSY ELLIOTT: COLD ROCK A PARTY (BAD BOY REMIX)

NAUGHTY BY NATURE. FEEL ME FLOW

TEEDRA MOSES Featuring JADAKISS: YOU'LL NEVER FIND

YUMMY BINGHAM: ONE MORE CHANCE

FANTASIA Featuring REMY MA: WHEN I SEE U

THE GAME Featuring KEYSHIA COLE: PAIN

FUGEES: NAPPYHEAD

PHARCYDE: DROP

SOULS OF MISCHIEF: '93 TIL INFINITY

WU TANG CLAN: PROTECT YA NECK

MALCOLM MCLAREN: SHE'S LOOKING LIKE A HOBO

GRANDMASTER FLASH: THE MESSAGE WITH DROP

LISA LISA & CULT JAM: I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME

DE LA SOUL: A ROLLER SKATING JAM NAMED SATURDAYS

SNOOP DOGG: MURDER WAS THE CASE (REMIX)

DEAD PREZ: HIP HOP

ROOTS MANUVA: WITNESS

SIZZLA: RAIN SHOWERS

SPICE Featuring PINCHERS: RUDE BOY LOVE

YUSH 2K Featuring SANDRA MELODY: FADE AWAY

YT: ENGLAND STORY (CHAM ANSWER)

SPICE: GRAB YUH HOOD

PATRA featuring YO YO: ROMANTIC CALL

PROFESSOR GRIFF EXPOSES 'BLOOD SACRIFICES' IN HIP-HOP

This is an old interview, but I just came across it, and it'll blow your mind if you've got 20 minutes to absorb it. PE's Professor Griff alleges P Diddy, Damon Dash, Jay-Z, Beyonce and others were involved in blood sacrifices to their Illuminati handlers. Whether you go for the theory or not, it's essential listening for anyone who follows the behind-the-scenes moves in hip-hop.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

C.A AKA RYAN DESHAWN & COLUMBO BLACK: I LOVE OBAMA (OBAMA DISS)

In light of Obama's upcoming UK state visit, I can't recommend this enough for those who appreciate real talk and don't fall for the brainwashing of the mainstream media. At last an artist visionary enough to see through the illusion. And a black one too, so no pre-programmed cries of 'racist!' on this occasion!
I love Obama(Obama Diss)- C.A. aka Ryan Deshawn & Columbo Black Prod by Pelican City by Ryan Deshawn

Saturday, 21 May 2011

CONSPOETRY, AND AN OPEN LETTER TO MANKIND














... that was Fairytale Time, courtesy of BBC News. And now, here's what's REALLY going on. Big up to Thommo at www.conspoetry.com.

Friday, 13 May 2011

SOUTHPORT WEEKENDER 47 REVIEW - THE GROOVE MOVES













(From Black Sheep Magazine)

'The Minehead Weekender' just doesn't have the same ring about it. So the organisers of the legendary Southport, now at its 47th instalment, wisely decided to keep the familiar moniker when they relocated to Somerset for this year's event. It was a big risk - although Minehead is more geographically convenient for the Southerners who used to moan about the grinding trek up to Merseyside, the winding A39 approach still makes for a fair old whack - especially for Northern folk. By the end of this weekend, however, the overwhelming consensus was that the move had been a great success with the venue, the sprawling Butlins site, a visionary choice.

Boasting a huge central leisure hub, the most obvious benefit was that the regular four rooms of music had each been given extra space, with soulful dance haven The Powerhouse now resembling an Ibiza superclub. The other winning aspect was the line-up. A bit of freshening up had taken place, with one or two old DJ names dropped, a sprinkling of new ones added, and a diverse offering of one-off specials, ranging from Naughty By Nature and Grandmaster Flash, to Beverley Knight and yet another return for Sounds Of Blackness.

The real highlights of Friday night were Roger Sanchez's excursion into classic house anthems, and a coveted appearance from John 'Jellybean' Benitez, a veteran of the New York dance scene, seemingly enjoying a bit of a Greg Wilson-style re-emergence. Over in The Funkbase, there was little disagreement that reggae don David Rodigan 'murked' it, (to coin a popular Twitter phase,) indicating that a touch of reggae might well be a strategic move for future events.

Southport is the type of event where a DJ's entire performance can be judged on one killer tune selection, and JP's early Saturday set of strictly vinyl 45s included the sublime grooves of Faze One's 'Ridin' High'. Much later, EZ dipped the volume to have hordes of girls singing the lyrics to 702's 'You Don't Know' in his garage classics set, before Trevor Nelson rounded off proceedings, opting for old-school anthems like Gwen McCrae and Sister Sledge over more contemporary sounds. In The Connoisseurs Corner, Dexter Wansell had been in live performance, delivering covers of the likes of Teddy Pendergrass's Love TKO' and The Jones Girls' 'Nights Over Egypt.' Later, DJ Spinna came with some disco-infused rare grooves, but disappointed by playing sat on a stool, looking bored. Was 90 minutes of standing really too much to ask?

My personal highlight was witnessing Kenny 'Dope' rocking The Beat Bar with a hugely diverse set of house bangers, finishing with some spine-tingling classics like Marshall Jefferson's 'House Music Anthem', Aly-Us's 'Follow Me' and Sterling Void's 'It's Alright'. The Master At Work had the crowd forgetting all about the fact that it was 6am and they'd been on their feet all night.

If you like the sound of it, be sure to get those bookings in early for Southport 48 in May next year. For fans of soulful grooves, it's a weekend experience that's truly hard to beat.

MARK DEVLIN



After milling around the CD and T-Shirt sellers on Saturday night, I took a dip into the Connoisseurs Corner to watch a fairly low turnout listen to Kev Beadle's soulful, jazzy offerings. As atmosphere wasn't at an apex, I decided to head over to the Beat Bar where Snowboy was offering a Tourettes-driven set, (he cursed like a sailor whilst introducing every track,) which slightly marred the wonderful, eclectic mix of jazz-funk, broken-beat and Brazilian licks, moving a half-filled room. The staff, along with some punters, broke into a few carnival chain dances, to the delight of others watching by or getting down on the dancefloor.

A little while later, soul singer Alice Russell burst onto the stage and belted out some of her tunes, which had a Latin flavour to them, sprinkled with some danceable jazz-funk. There were some musical snob pundits to the left of me who weren't feeling Alice. I wished they'd shut up, but they didn't stop me from enjoying proceedings, including some shoulder-shuffling and toe-tapping, all from the comfort of the leather sofa I had co-opted.

It got to 11, and I thought I'd head over to The Funkbase. It wasn't as full as I was expecting- perhaps the slapped-on flyer for a PA from Beverley Knight hadn't filtered through the chalets? No matter, there was a nice old-school selection of 80s and 90s R&B and hip-hop. Miss Knight came on stage promptly and played the crowd with a cover of Junior's 'Mama Used to Stay', her cover of Soul II Soul's "Fairplay" and her first single from 1994. She was UK Queen of soul personified: beautiful, soulful, friendly, warm and talented. The crowd (which had grown in the last hour,) lapped it all up. Off went Beverley and DJ Steve Wren went back to a lovely mix of old school hip-hop including 'King of the Beats' by Mantronix and 'Don't Scandalize Mine' by Sugar Bear.

Predictably, by 1am the crowd in the Funkbase had swelled in time for Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel. A montage of the legend played behind him on video screens, punctuated by Freddy Mercury's "Flash" vocal sample from the movie of the same name. Laptop computer and turntables were the order of the set, and Flash must have ripped through 150 songs, rocking the crowd and demanding participation through hand waving and reciting lyrics. He took his set to unpredictable places, including a medley of rock anthems from Nirvana and Blur, to old-school hip-hop and 90s anthems, including the bookending of his own 'White Lines' and 'The Message'.

The set went over some of the audience's heads, but all in all, it was a compelling ass-moving selection that brought back memories. I'm still not sure that segwaying tracks through scratching makes the turntable a stand-alone instrument, but that's a small quibble as the energy levels were high, and the crowd appreciated the effort Flash had made and the choices he took. No mean feat given an often-hard-to-please crowd like those at Southport.

I headed over to the Connoisseurs Corner once again to catch DJ Spinna playing a nice mix of disco and rare groove. He sat down in the booth. At that hour of the morning, I couldn't blame him.

It was my first Southport Weekender and I really enjoyed the culture of the whole event, and all kinds of people vibing in several rooms, all there as music lovers and party groovers. Perhaps I should have paced myself a bit better, but Grandmaster Flash will be a highlight in the memory bank for the the future, for sure.

ANDREW KAY

For further information and future bookings, go to http://www.southportweekender.co.uk

BARACK OBAMA - A LIE TOO FAR


Black Sheep Mag's Shaun Shearer goes IN on Barack Obama. Catch it here.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

THE SWING SHIFT, GALAXY 101, 5/7/96

Some pure 90s nostalgia from first time around! This is one of my very earliest Swing Shift shows, which aired every Friday night on Galaxy 101 in Bristol. Pure street soul, swing, hip-hop and ragga all the way, including an interview with radio legend Kool DJ Red Alert recorded in New York. Stunningly good music that was all current at the time, and listening to it makes you realise just how great that decade was, and how much has been lost in the music that's laughingly referred to as 'R&B and hip-hop' these days!
Swing Shift 5/7/96 P1 by markdevlindj
Swing Shift 5/7/96 P2 by markdevlindj

Monday, 9 May 2011

KENNY 'DOPE' ROCKS THE SOUTHPORT WEEKENDER

Master At Work Kenny 'Dope' keeps The Beat Bar at the 2011 Southport Weekender dancing til 6am with an eclectic set of house bangers.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

SOUTHPORT CLASSIC HOUSE BOMBS

Kenny 'Dope' ripped it with these two in the Beat Bar at the Southport Weekender. Timeless classics.

Friday, 6 May 2011

BLACK SHEEP MAG - IN THE NEWS


Mariah Carey/ David Guetta/ Beyonce/ Snoop/ Prince/ Eminem/ Dre/ Waka Flocka Flame/ Stephen Marley and loads of others all in the news over at http://www.blacksheepmag.com/news

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

MD'S CLUB DATES, MAY/ JUNE '11














Friday 6th May
Soundsational, The Cherrywood Lounge, Farnborough

Saturday 7th May
The Vaults, The Second Bridge, Bath

Wednesday 11th May
MD's Birthday Session, Rumbo, Valencia, SPAIN

Friday 13th May
Mirage, Aylesbury, (with DJ Ai-va of Latvia)

Saturday 14th May
Rude Love, Bliss, Southampton

Friday 20th May
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 21st May
Mirage, Aylesbury

Thursday 26th May
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Friday 27th May
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Friday 3rd June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 4th June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Friday 10th June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 11th June
The Vaults, The Second Bridge, Bath

Thursday 16th June
Cafe Ceol, Bangor, NORTHERN IRELAND

Friday 17th June
The Living Room, Oxford

Saturday 18th June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Friday 24th June
The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 25th June
Mirage, Aylesbury

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

THE SWING SHIFT, GALAXY 101, 5/7/96

Some pure 90s nostalgia from first time around! This is one of my very earliest Swing Shift shows, which aired every Friday night on Galaxy 101 in Bristol. Pure street soul, swing, hip-hop and ragga all the way, including an interview with radio legend Kool DJ Red Alert recorded in New York. Stunningly good music that was all current at the time, and listening to it makes you realise just how great that decade was, and how much has been lost in the music that's laughingly referred to as 'R&B and hip-hop' these days!
Swing Shift 5/7/96 P1 by markdevlindj
Swing Shift 5/7/96 P2 by markdevlindj