This was my best Southport Weekender in years. For many reasons. Mainly because it’s been a while since I’ve not been let down by my own physique (or my own stupidity like last year when I decided that only drinking cosmopolitans was the way to go which resulted in heavy suffering from a painful stomach for the rest of the weekend). We had a nice chalet (number 28 which is ridiculously close to the entrance), cooked nice meals ourselves, avoided eating greasy and we took breaks to rest when the body asked for it. Took me 8 editions to realise that is how to do it. We we’re so inspired by our new Southport Weekender lifestyle Yoeri and I have decided to write a book with recipes to make healthy meals with what you can find in the on site shop and the chalet’s kitchen equipment. It’s perfectly possible. You can even make it fancy as Yoeri proved with his pre-dinner toasts.
But this wasn’t the only reason why I enjoyed it all so much. Meeting some of my absolute musical heroes and having a quick chat with them was nice. Hearing Joey Negro say ‘SPW is probably the only place in the UK where I can pull off a (New Jersey / New York) Garage House set” and realising I’ve been mighty optimistic trying to do it in Brussels. Haha. Won’t stop me trying though. Having had the opportunity to say both to him and Sean P that they are responsible for my Disco addiction was a big highlight. Not sure I phrased it all perfectly clear being a bit star-struck (yeah, I get that with bearded men who play 30-year old music rather than drunks who can play 3 chords on a distorted guitar and think they’re god himself). The Disco Spectrum compilations they put together were seminal in my education as a DJ.
Sean P’s set was my absolute highlight of the weekend music-wise. Almost 2 hours of obscure, top quality Boogie making me dance like I hadn’t done in years. Was so exhausted after his set (it was 7:30 am by then) I almost fell asleep standing up even though Kerri Chandler pumped a banger from Kink & Neville through the main room’s sound system. First time in 8 editions I’ve seen Kerri close the main room on Saturday by the way. Other sets I adored were Benji B’s House excursion (I adore his 4 to the floor sets – always an education on how to play such music), Peanut Butter Wolf’s 80s grooves, Ashley Beedle playing Disco, David Rodigan’s Reggae (a guy looking like a 60 year old accountant turning a room full of pimped up guys and girls inside out – absolutely amazing), the few minutes of Mr Thing I saw, Shuya Okino’s Jazzy House, DJ Spen’s ace Disco set on Sunday, John Morales’ edits, Phil Asher proving he’s a don once again and the good times with Terry and Andy on Saturday afternoon. Was blown away by Jazztronik’s live set. Proper Azymuth styled Jazz meets House. Jocelyn Brown singing ‘Somebody’s Else’s Guy’ was goosebumps galore. Even liked Christian Prommer’s gig although I’m not a fan of the concept. Sounded tight. And Leroy Burgess can do no wrong for me. They should give the man a proper stage (and backing band) though. Still, shouting the words along to ‘Barely Breaking Even’ was heaven. Such an energetic guy. A shame he didn’t stay for a chat.
But the music is only part of the experience. Meeting and hooking up with all those nice cats is what makes Southport Weekender really special. Nick’s friends, my brother from another mother Phil Cooper, the Swiss crew, the Italian guy we met during Sean P’s set, the lovely Glaswegian girls, Phil Asher who’s not only one of our absolute musical heroes but definitely is family too, Jos and the Diephuis boys, Bjorn aka the other Belgian and the community grows with every edition. I had a superb time with my fellow chalet residents. Yoeri, Lieve and Jonathan. This was the best chalet ever and not only because it was a well-equipped one near the entrance. I had a fantastic time with our Belgian friends. Dieter, Maarten, Tom, Karl, Laurent, Tinne, Leen, Tomas, Thijs, Hanne, David, Jonas D., Jouri, Marijke, Kim, Jonas C., Steffen, Joris, Bertrand, Claudia and Gudule. Can’t wait for the next one. Such a shame that’s over a year.
Next to all this I had a fantastic time the few brief moments we spent in Manchester. Mainly digging the crates at Kingbee records and Vinyl Exchange. Scored some absolute killers for virtually nothing. Enjoying them as I write this. Other great thing we discovered was Teacup. That’s Mr Scruff’s tearoom / eating place. That was no doubt the ideal thing to go to on Monday. Healthy food, tea to revive us and quality music in the background. Even more of a fan of the man now. Really thinking about going to Manchester next November just to kick off the habit gently. Gonna miss the winter edition of Southport Weekender a lot.