This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)
I got to know UK DJ Max E Groove as a super nice guy and excellent DJ. In 2016 he told me about his first gig. "I started DJing together with my nephew. We used the name Maximum Force."
“When I was first asked about my first gig in front of a big crowd, it got me thinking. What a really cool question to be asked! I’ve always been asked about where I’ve played and the best & the worst but never my first.”
“Well here we go. I started DJing together with my nephew. We used the name Maximum Force. We played everything: soul, funk, motown, hip-hop, jungle, and bhangra. Until I turned 18 and got m driving licence, we did bars, weddings, and house parties. We had never played in a club.”
“As I remember we got asked to play at an all dayer, at a location where all the kids under would bunk off and played truant from school. They then went to these parties. We were warming up for a really big Bhangra Band at the time. These ran from 12-6 PM and this one was at London’s Hippodrome, one of London’s biggest clubs in the 80s.”
“We were on from 12-1.30 PM. We were extremely eager and arrived at 11 AM. Then we waited by the stage entrance with our records in milk crates. 20 mins later the black door swings open and a guy said: ‘You boys the warm up?’. Yes!! This was the first time we entered a professional DJ booth, let alone a real club. That’s when the reality kicked in.”
“The club was empty, the lights were on and it looked massive. The venue had a state-of-the-art dancefloor and lighting system, with illuminated dancefloor podiums, and a balcony all around the dancefloor. When the sound check was done, the lights went down, and we were actually playing in a real club.”
“My hands were shaking when I was cueing up my records. People started coming in we started building up from soul, funk, and motown through to hip-hop and jungle, finishing off with Bhangra. Within 20 minutes the club was getting busy. The kids were eager to get their groove on. Our set went on 20 mins longer as the band wasn’t ready. The dance floor was looking nice, so the promotor was happy. That’s when I realised: ‘I like this. A lot’! And the rest as they say is history…”
This interview with Max E Groove is originally published on DJMag.nl in October 2016.