An ‘announcement’ popped into my inbox last week that raised an eyebrow, furrowed my brow and made me grab my knees to calm my quaking legs. The Zutons, those purveyors of Commitments-style pop, were available for DJ bookings. Not weddings or barmitzvahs, I hasten to add, but I’m sure Hull University Ents officers were probably doing cartwheels at the prospect of getting a top ten act in to put records on one after another.
The rock star as DJ is an odd little club. For some it’s a second career, like footballers who buy into pubs when their days on the pitch are up. Rock stars can pick up a pair of headphones and still command some semblance of adulation and enough of a fee to buy some wolf repellant for their front door. A Smiths reunion seems unlikely but Andy Rourke from the group bides his time, with a glimmer of hope that he may still get the call from Morrissey, by playing old Smiths records. Ageing bass monster Peter Hook is actually a rather in-demand chap for his prowess on the decks. This, to be honest, is no big surprise as he is one quarter of the most potent ever fusion of club music and punk rock. He has earned his stripes. Not only did he invent indie dance but he, and New Order, lost a fortune on the Hacienda so that kids had an inspirational place to dance. He can do what the hell he likes, to be honest.
A Bloc Party DJ set is also available but at least promises to be cutting edge; Kele is often seen soaking in the sounds of Shoreditch at Bastard Batty Bass or Boombox and the one who hides behind that ludicrous fringe was seen at Bugged Out last month checking out Uffie and Feadz. But let’s take another look at the Zutons. What’s their ‘way in’ to this world? What the hell are they going to play? Cosmic Scouse House? Will Abi play sax over the top of the music like the lanky bloke from Groove Armada was prone to? Have they ever actually programmed a set of music before other than at one of their Uncle’s 60th at a Bootle Social Club? They’re going straight to Hull, boys.