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|Sit Down Punk I Want To Talk To You|
By Piers Thompson
I dont mean to brag I dont mean to boast but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast
I love playing rappers delight. As a dj, it’s the benchmark of the gig. If the crowd whoops when you drop this tune, you know everything is all good. I have played it from Cannes to Glastonbury, from 1979 till last Friday, from W10 to E2.
I particularly love it because for three months in 1979, when I played every night at the much missed Venue in Victoria, I was the only DJ in town with a copy. It never failed to clear the floor. I still played it every night. And it turns out I was right.
The story is that Sylvia Robinson who founded Sugarhill Records (and who sang Shame Shame Shame as Shirley & Co) went to one of Cool Herc’s block parties where the toasting blew her mind. The next day, she went searching the streets of the Bronx for the Mcs. She found 3 guys on a street corner, who said we can do that: Wonder Mike, Hank and Master G.
This is the moment that gave us Funkapolitan, Pete Rock, Public Enemy, Afrika Bambataa, Eminem, Skinnyman, Jay-Z and the rest. That scratching is making me itch.
Tell someone who gives a fuck, I hear you say. Well, it came to mind because on Friday night, at the Masons for the latest KTF charity do, we had a Rapper’s Delight to rival even the ETA Halloween party at The Yard. And I was worried that Rock n Rave wouldn’t withstand the move from the WIV. I was as wrong as wrong could be.
As usual, there was a stupendous line-up of bands giving their all to an appreciative crowd. Ever since the Committee came up with these nights in response to the Tsunami, they have been BRILLIANT. Before thanking my agent, I would like to big up Flesh For Lulu, Ruth Peel (ENO), Rotten Hill Gang, Big Linda The Egg, Rowan Bolan, Delphi, God Damn Liars, Little Fish, Urban Voodoo Machine, Pink Cigar aka Delinquents and Left Step Band who have played for the love of charidee.
We have raised money for causes from Kensal Rise to Sumatra: for Water Aid, Shelter, Special Yoga Centre, New Life Mexico, Paradise Found, SOS Sumatra, Fun For Life (Sri Lanka), Norwegian Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Save The Children UK, Action Aid, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Pandaw Hospital Ship Burma amongst others.
It warms the cockles of even my cold, cold heart to know that as an indirect consequence of Sylvia Robinson’s whim one day back in 79, we get to assuage our consciences and atone for a bit of our West London decadence. We all went to heaven in a little row boat. Clap hands.
It’s good to think of those less fortunate than ourselves, for the haves to spare a thought for the havenots. Perhaps less is more. It certainly has been this year. I have twice played sets this at KTF dos that I have been really proud of. Both have involved a single deck, last Friday and at Ravenous in the Spring.
Having spent Friday night playing a couple of songs between bands, without the usual full frontal aggression with various roadies (which I miss by the way), I got the decks back at 1.45. One more tune they told me. Well I was still playing one more tune past 4am. I got the fever for you.
Thanks everyone who came for a great night. It’s all about you. And let’s here it for the committee, Hugh, Emma, Delphi, Joao and Donica. Heaven must be missing five angels.