This Saturday, we were up at 7am to travel to Guildford for the privilege of guesting on one of Kane FM’s most popular shows, DaVinci Sound’s 1-1-1 Sessions. Kane FM, currently one of OFCOM’s top Community Radio stations, evolved through the blood, sweat and tears of DJ’s in the local community from a pirate station. The third station in the history of the UK to go from pirate to legal, it is now based on the Surrey university campus and is home to over 100 DJ’s spinning the best underground bass music, not aired on commercial radio.
Knowing that DaVinci sound were live on air at 11am till 1pm Saturday and that later they would be spinning dub plates at the Dub By The River dance, Way Out Radio linked up with the crew to find out exactly what was happening behind the scenes and what a day in the life of a Kane FM DJ was like.
After stepping off the train with strict orders to meet at the back entrance of Guildford station no later than 10.20am, I was met by a speeding silver Jaguar and hastily picked up by Lickle B and Martyn, DJ and producer of the 1-1-1 Sessions radio show. I bundled into the backseat and off we went to the studio, catching up on the way.
Once in the studio Lickle revealed that he hadn’t planned his show as he usually did and would have to improvise. Beside this we were having technical difficulties with the mute button on the microphones so there were a few moments where the presenting mic wasn’t coming through to the audience. Despite this the show went on and Lickle proceeded to play an eclectic mix of dub roots culture, remixes and new waves of dub music which were more up tempo. The show went well and the response on the text line was very strong.
By 1pm, we tied up the show to make way for Saturday Tempest – a house music show with Tina, a DJ who is a proud gamer and technical wizard, capable of building her own synthesisers from scratch!
We carried the gear out to the car park to find a man wearing a flat cap and grey and blue striped Adidas tracksuit waiting for us. It was Daddy Rufneck, who has 40 years DJing experience in the UK and Germany. His Rufneck Sound goes back to 1979 and earned him a name as one of the most enduring underground selectors and DJ’s in the European dub scene. He would be spinning with DaVinci tonight at Dub By The River.
After dropping Martyn and Daddy Rufneck back to Lickle’s base, me and Lickle headed out to find the sound system for tonight. We drove out of Guildford centre (listening to Wu-Tang Clan) to meet a woman in a garage car park. From there we followed her to a secluded, beautiful country home where the sound system was being stored (It was all a bit like a Grand Theft Auto mission in my eyes). Soon a man arrived at the house with a land rover and five of us managed to push this huge PA system onto the roof.
Then we headed back to Lickle’s to prepare for the dance and have lunch and a catch up with Daddy Rufneck who had been living in Germany for 20 years. Soon it was time to head down to set up the sound system so I jumped in Daddy Rufneck’s right hand drive car with custom licence plate and we drove to The Row Barge.
Dub By The River is a brand new reggae jam presented by Kane FM. Each month there are special guest DJ’s and MC’s alongside Kane FM DJ’s and projection visuals. There is also a tasty Caribbean BBQ and face painting for the kids who are welcome to stay until 9pm.
For the first event in March, Kane FM had it’s finest DaVinci Sound and the Boom & Bass crew showing us what Kane’s Roots, Reggae, Dub and Dancehall DJ’s are made of. This month DaVinci sound were back featuring Daddy Rufneck, Dubtastic and Mad Max.
As night by the river set in, the atmosphere was electric. By 10pm the place was packed with dub fans and everyone was dancing. The party didn’t let up from 6pm till 1am and everyone went home satisfied and buzzing.
I learned that a day in the life of a DJ is exhausting but definitely worth it to see so many people laughing, dancing, socialising and enjoying their Saturday night to music which is underground, yet prevalent and culturally still important today.
Tune in to Kane 103.7 FM if you are within 20 mile of Guildford. If not, you can stream online any time of day from any part of the world on: http://www.kanefm.com
Hauling the sound system on top of a land rover for the dance.