the trip@theafroba, with vintage vinyl, normally the last SAT each month.
Welcome to another session. I think this night must now be one of the longest continuous running in Reading town centre, especially if you add my previous night No Room For Squares, which started before the trip and then merged with it just about two years ago. Its also so nice to have now played over 70 sessions of this night, and 250 generally here, especially as the afroba was the place that brought me back into this club record playing lark, having now played well over 11,000 tunes here during the last 8 years. Also I am now busier than ever popping up in several other locations locally. To think I was trying to cease my record playing activities a few years ago and thanks to the afroba there looks to be little sign at the moment of me grinding to a halt. It also seems the right time to inform any new trip attendees where this night comes from, quite where it is going to is another matter! In 2001/2, the afroba started sessions in the week of nights playing” interesting music”, a million miles away from the funky house syndrome that pervades the rest of the town centre. Veris with his PROGRAM night was first off and the afroba was filled to the rafters with the likes of funky library/b-music /soundtracks. I came on board by loaning the equipment and eventually started to play a few tunes. Several other dj’s came and went with Dean moving abroad and Tom moving away. Shortly after this I became involved with another night here CLUB RUDE, which still continues but elsewhere locally. This night takes me back to my origins of 60’s Mod Club music. Then it seemed a good idea for me to start my own night NO ROOM FOR SQUARES, which was an entire evening of jazz based music again in the week. The logic of playing on weekdays allowed for complete musical freedom as it was not felt forcing ”obscure” music on customers at the weekend who were a bit more” up for it”, would be right. The “I-bet-ya” team also kicked off their own night and thus begat Dan Le Sac. We also tried a Friday night session called RARE FUNCTION, which mixed obscure with better known, and this paved the way for the TRIP on a Saturday. However all good things come to an end and the smoking ban/licensing hours change a few years ago meant that weekday attendances started to suffer and the prohibitive cost of music licences also added to the problem. So by the middle of 2008 we were down to just the one night, this one, except read below. To promote the afroba sessions however we added a few novel features. The posting of playlists on my shop site, and because I recorded all the sessions on minidisc, the playing back of the nights following the session. So that’s it for a brief rundown, except to mention that we also play back few memorable sessions. The evenings that I remember well were the James Brown tribute night that Veris and myself undertook, the entire Miles Davis evening and the playing of a tune that we broke here that saw its release for the first time on 7”. However you should be aware that we now have another session to complement the trip. TRACKS and GROOVES, with the MIGHTY AC., is always on the last Thursday. SO PLEASE DO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE afroba AND COME AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN (you can hear playback recordings of this vinyl only sessions on most evenings here) AND PLEASE DO COME ON THE LAST SATURDAY AND LAST THURSDAY AS THE ATTENDANCE AT IT MAY DICTATE THE FATE OF FUTURE SESSIONS. IF YOU CARE ABOUT A BAR THAT POSSIBLY PLAYS SOME MUSIC YOU CAN NOT HEAR ELSEWHERE IN READING THEN PLEASE SUPPORT US. The extra evening has come about because I am now able to leave my spare equipment in situ, which I will be testing tonight, so apologies if a few gremlins sneak into the evening.
Also please note the afroba is available for hire, 7 evenings a week-with or without me-just contact Channie or Chris. Recently at this session I was asked to undertake a private party here the following week and did just that, even at short notice managing to sort out most of the required tunes/artists, and the session was even more rammed than a normal one.
The dates each month are displayed in advance here, in the Collectors Centre and Sound Machine in Harris Arcade in Station Road, Reading, or pick up a "flyer" from the shops or me tonight. Previous evenings playlists for NO ROOM FOR SQUARES/THE TRIP, can be found at www.jimz.biz, where plenty are always posted, or e-mail jim at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Also you can now look at my FACEBOOK page, I’m JIM B. DONOVAN, and also join the afroba group now on Facebook. The TRIP comes with a free newsletter and that’s what you are reading right now. Tonight basically the music goes across the board. However the evening does have a tint of jazz/soul/black music incorporated, and does not normally stray into indie/pop or rock, except when it does! The general feel is to try and play music on vintage vinyl that was made to be played on vinyl, and that you cannot hear on a single evening anywhere else in Reading town centre. Because of the size of the afroba we do not aim for a dancefloor audience, but that should not stop you listening or occasionally shaking your rump! We also hope that you will go away with a few tunes ringing in your ears. Also this session runs from 6.30 to midnight, so come early for possibly in future a few surprises. At the moment we are experimenting with a concept called PLAYBACK@theafroba, where we are playing back the recordings we make of the evenings during the weeks following, with a paper-copy available of the tunes played so that you can follow them! At the moment they are running to no particular pattern so keep coming back often if you would like to hear some of them. Also at the moment I have made available 3 old sessions recorded here, Cosmic jazz/British jazz /Miles Davis .
I am afraid all the cd’s recorded live during my sets here at the afroba cd’s have now gone, that’s 16 different in total now for which I pressed up 50 of each, so I best be sorting out more. The last 8 were CLASSY DISCO/DOWNBEAT /THE MOONMIX/BLACK ACTION FILMS/LATIN AND BRAZILLIAN/ SESSION AND LIBRARY MUSIC/ MILES DAVIS and THE FIRST HOUR OR SO. What was really nice was I presented the last set to Mr. Scruff, when he came to see me in the shop recently, and it seems as if a few of the tunes on them are turning up in his sets.
I often worry that I will run out of ideas for special segments but fortunately something turns up and this month it’s………………...We also seem to have gained the plot tonight regarding the amount of tunes I have with me as I am back to 10 (instead of the usual 17) cases and two sevens boxes. The competitions the last few months proved very popular and will now become a regular feature of the night, except I shall have to make the questions a little harder.
Tonight is your evening as much as mine and I am more than happy to play the sort of music you would like to hear if it fits within the broad spectrum of what I am trying to achieve. So get chatting you really could inspire the tunes or the direction this trip takes. If I do not have the tunes or artists with me I will always make the effort to play them the following month. The best way however is to e-mail me via the website-www.jimz.biz before the session, and as a result of that I have some tunes already requested by customers in the shop who hope to be here tonight. I am also expecting a lot of “old” faces who are making this session a regular date. Also feel free to link up with me on Facebook, either via my own page/the afroba group or the trip group.
The TRIP morphed out of a Tuesday session which had been running for the previous eighteen months but which concentrated on a jazz bedrock. The move to a Saturday meant that that the music policy was expanded to fit a weekend situation and incorporated slightly better known music. I also suppose some of the evening will be taken up by some more of the "tunes of my years" as I still have many more to play from my last 51 years of vinyl collecting/playing out. Feel free to ask about any you like, and of course the website will have the full listing up in a few days. I am playing off my original copies so every so often their age will show.
My own musical background divides into at least five "spans". The first selection embraces pre 1964 music when I was learning about the history of jazz/black music and tempering it with popular music of the day and film soundtracks. The second period covers my "discotheque" years from 1964 to 1969, when I got involved in this record-playing lark, in a club environment. Period three takes in the 70's, my first mobile disco period when Disco ruled. Then on to my cop out period in the 80's when I "sold out" and got involved with Weddings, Celebrations, School Discos etc. and played far too much top 40. This period however did not extinguish my love of jazz, hip-hop, early house and techno, which I continued to collect but did not play out with so much. Period 5 from 1990 to date embraces my fondness for early Drum and Bass, Techno, Mo-wax, Coldcut, sampling, etc., and when I finally killed off the mobile caper and dropped back in the club-scene here, right back to square one. I would also like to thank the other dj’s who continue to amaze me with their sheer musical taste and expose me each time we play together to tunes I had just plain forgotten or never knew in the first place. Never think you know it all, you never will, and I certainly won’t as I head towards the great flight case in the sky!
THE NEXT TRIP SESSION IS ON SATURDAY ……………………with Tracks and Grooves with the Mighty AC, on THURSDAY………………………….
Thanks for reading this, and have an enjoyable evening, and a great eleven, also thanks for choosing the afroba. You discovered it, and us, and its just between you, me, the other dj's, and the brilliant bar staff. As usual feel free to pop over for a chat during the evening but apologies if I am not too chatty when the session is over, as the one thing that made me give up the mobile is still haunting me, having to pack up and get it out of here ahead of the bar staff tidying up!
Thanks again-bcnu"Jazzy"JIM, YOUR TRIP RECORD PLAYER. (DJ Baby Boomer!)
the trip@theafroba is inspired by Herbie Hancock/Miles Davis, musical geni.