If you haven't read part one then DO IT NOW! (it's here)
So…where were we?
I will pre-empt what I’m about to talk about with a disclaimer, I am a card carrying lighting geek, almost obsessively so. I also admit and accept that very few people (let alone guests at a 40th birthday party) will be as critical of a lighting setup as me. So, in the interests of fairness, I’ll provide an overview of the lighting on offer; There were a two mini moving heads, a few assorted LED effects, a cluster laser and something else (which was obviously memorable!). At WhyBuyNew we stock a huge range of lighting effects including some of the best lighting brands. Unfortunately, these all seemed to be cheap imported alternatives (and judging by the wiring on display, the chance of them being PAT tested was minimal!).
For those who are, possibly correctly, already accusing me of being overly fussy about lighting…I haven’t quite finished. What happened next switched on the first big warning light in my mind (no pun intended). It was about 8pm so very early doors and the DJ proceeded to switch on every…single…one of their lighting fixtures. The house lights were still on at this point, there was still sun beaming into the room, people were still arriving and small talk was still being made. What was worse is that the music, both in terms of content and level, could only be described as ‘background’ at this point. Said background music was now being accompanied by a completely uncontrolled mess of coloured dots from the LED fixtures, thousands of red spots from the cluster laser all to the backdrop of two uncontrolled (and fantastically underwhelming) Chinese mini moving heads.
As I mentioned above, I’m a big stickler for lighting control and I understand that not everybody (in fact very few people) cares as much about ‘professional’ lighting as I do BUT (and it’s a massive BUT) this ‘all on’ approach is, in my opinion, highly problematic;
Ask anyone about the most important job of a mobile DJ and the answer is likely to be, almost universally, music selection. Now, despite my previous admissions about being a lighting geek (and my reservations about this particular DJ’s lighting strategy), I am no exception in this belief. However, consciously, or often subconsciously, lighting can be used to build a mood, provoke reaction from the crowd and complement music genres. By simply ‘switching the lights on’ at the start of the night you lose some vital tools in your arsenal.
BUT, like I said, to many people the attitude remains “he’s got some flashing lights so he must be a professional” and they wait for the music to do the talking. It was on this basis that I allowed the DJ ‘the benefit of the doubt’ hoping that he could still rescue his performance with careful track selection.
Well...This is where the cracks in my façade of politeness began to show.
The first couple of hours were predominantly easy-going background stuff, the stuff that people know and can casually hum along to. People were still arriving, there was conversation flowing and all was good in the world. But then 9pm came, then 10 (it is worth noting at this point that the event was due to finish at midnight) and, the only real sign that there was a disco present was the chaotic, whilst simultaneously underwhelming, array of flashing lights at the front of the room.
So, 10:30 came and went and my diplomacy dyke had finally cracked. I, politely at this stage despite a few pints of Stella swishing about in my stomach, went to speak to the DJ and made some suggestions as to what might get some more people on the dancefloor. I knew that my wife’s family liked a bit of Ska so I suggested something of this ilk to get people moving. After a second request we FINALLY got a bit of Madness…Hurrah! Power to the people! (something to do with the Renegade Master). This was closely followed by some more Madness, Some variation might not have gone amiss but, hey, it was ‘Nightboat to Cairo’ and I think we can all agree that’s a classic. Finally, we had dancers, we had good music and, dare I say it…We had an atmosphere. And then, just when things were on the up…
…Rhianna!... F**king Rhianna! The dancefloor emptied, people looked bemused and we were back to square one [sighs].
Multiple more tries to get the party started (albeit through the DJ, even under such strenuous circumstances I hadn’t resorted to saying ‘give me a go, I’ll do better’) fell on deaf ears. I tried everything, the UK Garage, some Northern Soul…I even suggested that ‘Summer of 69’, ‘Living on a Prayer’, ‘Chelsea Dagger’ and ‘Mr Brightside’ might not be a bad idea (OK, I might not have named the tracks like that but eluded to it).
Midnight rolled around, the DJ played on for a bit before finishing on ‘New York New York’ (See? There WAS a clichéd mobile DJ in there somewhere, where was he earlier when I would have sold my soul for a bit of Agadoo*).
*OK, I’ve taken it too far but I’m making a point here!
So what’s the point of this story? Asides from some counselling for me, it’s an admission that, whilst the customer certainly isn’t ALWAYS right, sometimes they are. It’s also a lesson in ensuring you have the right equipment (including a microphone!) and that lighting shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Fear not though, if you’re now worried that your mobile rig isn’t up to scratch (or you may have just made a mental note to never invite me to your events!) then whybuynew.co.uk have got your covered. We stock everything you need for your mobile disco including speakers, lighting, stands and accessories (oh…and microphones!). We have the best prices in the UK on new and used DJ equipment and offer fast and free delivery.
Don’t see what you need? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with whybuynew today and we will be more than happy to help.