The bands get it right between the eyes for being retro and not taking chances and yet no-one mentions the wedding DJ!
At least the bands wrote their own songs, the wedding DJ with his fixed green and snake eyes ploughs on playing someone else’s yesterday hits, those tried and trusted songs from decades ago that they borrow in a second hand, thrift store take on someone else’s experience. It’s a snapshot of another culture as the seventies and eighties are compressed into mini theme park experiences of pop culture with the kind of songs that even Terry Wogan has got bored of getting dusted down for another gurning evening of forced good times.
The wedding DJ comes in many guises. There is the mobile disco music version with his fixed list of ‘floor fillers’ or there is the hipster version- the wedding DJ in disguise, who plays virtually the same songs as the local DJ but without any of the skill and gets lauded for it. The wedding DJ is so threaded into our culture that we don’t even notice and still book them because we are too scared of the liberation offered by our own iPod’s random button.
‘wooooo’ goes the wedding DJ ‘this one is for Annie! who is 50 today!’ in that peculiar voice that goes up at the end of each sentence. It’s that Smashy and Nicey voice that once seemed merely annoying and now in the post Savile meltdown is starting to sound quite sinister. ‘Wooo! This one is the Abba megamix’ and the trusty old Abba megamix goes on and the drunks start doing a conga round the dance floor.
It’s a strange world. The world of ‘fun’ that isn’t fun. A strange leftover from the seventies when kids at school would want to be DJs and save up and buy a microphone first and the decks second. No one in the world wants to hear a DJ rabbiting over the beginning and ends of records. It’s bad enough on the radio where it is considered a great skill to talk bollocks until the vocals kick in. Those intros and outros are there for a reason and it’s not for you to talk over Chris Moyles! They are the tension and release of a great song and not a platform for the strange voice talking cliches at double time.
The wedding DJ is pre programmed to play the same old shite no matter what. If the person who has booked them has a raft of their own requests they are dutifully ignored as the same old set plods out. Here come the songs that no one asked for, danced to by stiff middle aged men and surprisingly agile middle aged women- Chic, Bee Gees, Abba and fer gawds sake Hi Ho Silver Lining….Jeff Beck’s mobile disco classic, the song that ways gets played and the song that no one in the history of music has ever really liked. Was it even a hit?
A whole set of songs to spill beer to played by a gurning gnome who should never be given a mic introducing each song- it could only happen in England where all culture is pantomime in disguise and Smashy and Nicey were allowed to be superstars before the world caught up with them.
We ask for Panic by the Smiths and the wedding DJ looks baffled…if only…if only