You’ve gotta finish with a song. It’s good advice – at least feels like good advice, this subterranean space – that betwixt booth and bar – a formidable gap even when bereft of patrons, let alone imbued with flexing, fluxing silhouettes, and the occasional whoop as you grab vinyl from the pile marked obvious. Tracks for simpletons to pull shapes to; another evening where the fuckers will dance, dance, dance – but only once you’ve played ‘Now I’m A Believer’, or some other slice of irony-free irony.
And you fancy a drink, maybe need a drink – something frost-cold and aggressively alcoholic, served in a tall, slim glass – but the constant sheen of acolytes who hang about in front of the decks, vaguely demanding a particular record or maybe listless copulation later-on – they’ve decamped en-mass to sleazy corners, out-of-sight, beyond procuring your refreshment as the happy hour crowd genuflect to greatest hits, bopping about to festival headliners whose tunes wield edges as sharp as a circle’s.
And through it all strides a bloke, some management flunky pointing his midnight fingers at his one o’clock watch, droplets of menace hanging from his artfully sculpted sideburns. One more track, he mouths as if every member of the local licensing committee are about to come tumbling through the doors of the club like extras in a Madonna video. Which is where we came in – gotta finish with a song. Anything will do; you’ve spun the hip and the arch and music with its eyebrows raised. Anthems have been played; it’s the hour for that same old record – the one you finish with every set. Something pointed squarely at the wry goodnight, both sharply retro and soothingly familiar. And just because they’ve been bleating for Ashcroft’s version all night – without success – it doesn’t mean you want to play this instead.
But you do so anyway. Because you’re a professional.
(Aye, this was my “signature” closing tune, back in the DJ days. Such the obvious sample, only fit for indie discos. Did however result in Richard Ashcroft earning zilch from ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ – which kinda tickles my fancy).
The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra / The Last Time