Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wedding disco

Someone's asked me to 'DJ' at their wedding.

When they say DJ, I'm not going to be DLT (tempting as it is) or Fat Boy Slim, but I've got to make up a playlist to play through the ipod to hopefully start the dancing.

I've always thought the trick of getting everyone on the dancefloor was to play songs they know, but not be too obvious about it, for example no Don't You Want Me, more Sound Of The Crowd. That always gets me going, and once on, I'm rarely off.

The average age is about 38ish, teenagers in the Eighties, and some older parents and parents friends who always seem to take to the floor. I remember by aunt and uncle, then in their seventies frugging to She Sells Sanctuary. So I'm thinking a bit of everything, stretching across the decades, taking in ska, glam, rock, goth, electronic, disco, etc. They don't want anything 'now' from me, as someone else is taking care of that side of the musical spectrum. I'm strictly retro and I don't really do soul or funk (some Motown, some northern, no Barry White). It's for about an hour and a half. I'm kicking off with a bit of rock. So here it is so far:

Pour Some Sugar On Me/Def Leppard
Rocks/Primal Scream
She Sells Sanctuary/The Cult
These Boots Are Made For Walkin'/Nancy Sinatra
Israelites/Desmond Dekker
Green Onions/Booker T & The MGs
Money/Flying Lizards
Funky Town/Lipps Inc
Funky Cold Medina/Ton Loc
Walk This Way/Run DMC
Doin' The Do/Betty Boo
Pop Muzik/M
Video Killed The Radio Star/Buggles
Lucky Number/Lene Lovich
Queen Bitch/David Bowie
Blockbuster/The Sweet
Virginia Plain/Roxy Music
Antmusic/Adam & The Ants
Cool For Cats/Squeeze
Perfect Skin/Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
In Between Days/The Cure
Temple Of Love/Sisters Of Mercy
Sound Of The Crowd/Human League
Material Girl/Madonna
Kiss Me/Steven "Tin Tin" Duffy

On the reserve list:
Something Better Change/Stranglers
If The Kids Are United/Sham 69
Live It Up/Mental As Anything
Need You Tonight/INXS
Viva Las Vegas/ZZ Top

It's only a short set, and while I'm quite happy with it up to and including Money, then I fear it's losing its way. I'm thinking of ditching Sinatra, Madonna, Cole and Duffy.

I don't want to be too cheesey, I don't want to be too obscure, but I'm thinking as I'm on late, and everyone will be drunk, this should be just the ticket.

What say you?


Simon said...

What no Abba???

Very brave choice for a wedding, particularly the opening salvo.
I would be worried with the first four or five songs that they are a little bit too out there to get anyone off their seats.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

Can one actually dance to Perfect Skin? I wouldn't have thought so.

I like Like A Prayer as a Madonna pick that gets everyone on the floor.

Chris Hughes said...

Listening to it now (thank you, Spotify) and I think you could do a sort of desultory student shimmy to it. You know, looking into the middle distance and flopping your fringe, all of that.

If you're on late, I think you'll be all right, but you should definitely start with Rocks.

Five-Centres said...

The bride is a big rock fan, and has specifically requested Leppard and the Cult.

Cocktails said...

I say where is Come on Eileen? Can there possibly be a British wedding without this song?

I think you could go more pop personally: Haircut 100, Propaganda 'Duel', Style Council 'Shout to the Top' etc. And if you were all 5 years younger I would say that MC Hammer and Dee-lite are must-haves.

Love the Lene Lovich and Tone Loc though!!

Beth said...

Well, I would ditch 'Money'.
I listened to it again recently (thank you Spotify) and thought it was weak. I'd stick in 'The Night' Frankie Valli (or The Four Seasons 'Oh What A Night')

Definitely no Abba though!

Matthew Rudd said...

Don't ditch Madonna, someone *always* asks for her. Kitten's right about Perfect Skin, I reckon. If the Cole must make your list, then Lost Weekend is the standard.

You know the people involved and that's what matters. The only other song I can see that I'd baulk at playing at my own nights is Virginia Plain - it's harder to dance to than you realise.

Your reserve list includes a song I'd play every time - Need You Tonight is an immediate floorfiller.

Good choices. Good luck. And remember to tell anyone who criticised you that you reckon they're shit at their job too. Works every time.

Planet Mondo said...

I've done a few sessions of decks pesting here and there and use funky cover versions of tunes like Fever, Gimme Shelter, Sunshine Of Your Love to warm up

Then bankers like Primal Scream - Rocks (which mixes neatly into Sly Stone Dance To The Music...) later

I would add also Town Called Malice, Groove Is In The Heart plenty of Motown to your playlist

The rule of thumb I use is get the girls dancing first and the fellas will follow - Beautiful Stranger Madonna, or Kylie/New Order mashup Can't Get Blue Monday work well

My brother who's played the Q Awards, V Festival and at New York Fashion week plays this sort of sequence for weddings and family events.. one that everyone knows/one that that some people will know/one forgotten nugget that a few people will know and back to the beginning

Here's a some snippets of sets I've used in the past..
4. Kylie – Slow (Soundhog Remix)
5. Stone Roses – Fools Gold
6. Grace Jones – Pull up to the Bumper
7. Prince - Alphabet Street
8. Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3 – Ian Dury
9. Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads (12” version)
10. Dance to the Music – Sly and the Family Stone
11. Scissor Sisters I Don’t Feel Like Dancing (Linus remix)
13. Tommy James – Money Money
14. The Beatles – Taxman
15. The Jam – Start
3. B52's - Love Shack
4. The Jacksons - ABC
5. Diana Ross - You Keep Me Hanging On
6. Smokey Robinson - Tears of a Clown
7. Stevie Wonder - Uptight
8. Gloria Jones - Tainted Love
9. Tom Jones - Venus
10. Peggy Lee - Dock of the Bay
11. Elvis Presley - A little less Conversation
12. Scanty Sandwich - Because of You
13. Bryan Ferry - Let's Stick Together
14. The Four Tops - I'm a Believer
1. The Isley Brothers - It's Your Thing
2. The Coasters - Love Potion No 9
3. Solomon Burke - Maggies Farm
4. The Flirtations - Nothing But A Heartache
5. The Isley Brothers - Get Into Something
6. James Taylor Quartet - Starsky & Hutch
7. kitty Grant - Glad To Know You
8. Lipps Inc - Funky Town
9. David Christie - Saddle Up
10. Marvin Gaye - Got To Give It Up
11. The Jacksons - Dancing Machine
12. Cerrone - Supernature
13. Donna Summer - I Remember Yesterday
14. Donna Summer - Love's Unkind


Madonna - Boogie Oogie Music - bootleg remix
Kylie – Can’t get Blue Monday out of my head
Depeche Mode – New Life
Soft Cell - Bedsitter
Crown Heights Affair – You Gave Me Love
Freez – I.O.U
Rockers Revenge – Walking on Sunshine
The_James_Taylor_Quartet -Starsky_And_Hutch
Kitty Grant - Glad To Know You
Jackson 5 - ABC.

Five-Centres said...

THanks everyone for your suggestions. Come ON Eileen will not be played at this wedding. Or Abba.

I think the girls first then the blokes follow thing is a good tip, and especially thanks to you PM for your lists. Some useful ones on there. Talking Heads is a must.

Roman Empress said...

I wish I was going, just to hear you play Temple of Love.

Bright Ambassador said...

Billy Ocean - Love Really Hurts

At my sister's wedding I saw two people foxtrot to Frankie's Two Tribes.