Turning the tables with Project Guest DJ

Today FM’s Alison Curtis will be guest DJ in John Macs this Saturday night

Today FM’s Alison Curtis will be guest DJ in John Macs this Saturday night

Female DJs will get a chance to turn the tables on their male counterparts throughout the month of February in Mullingar, when John Macs Café Bar hosts a month of all-girl DJ nights.

Kicking off with a guest DJ appearance from Today FM’s Alison Curtis this Saturday January 30, the venue will play host to a different female guest DJ every Saturday night until March.

The month-long residency is part of Project Guest DJ, an already successful club night which was the brainchild of leading Irish DJ (and Mullingar man ) Paul Gilbride (aka DJ Kash/Paulo Gorgio ) and which has been running at John Macs for six months since it moved there from the Final Fence nightclub.

Paul explains the world of DJing is often viewed as being a preserve of the men, but previous Project Guest DJ nights have proved that this is not the case. “There is an exceptional amount of DJ talent out there, male and female, and with Project Guest DJ our goal is to give that talent a chance behind the decks,” he says. “It just so happens that there seems to be more female DJing talent out there at the moment, and we thought it would be great to give these DJs a month all to themselves.”

The Project Guest DJ concept was started by Paul over two years ago, and it has mushroomed ever since. Essentially it gives inexperienced, up-and-coming and even bedroom DJ’s a chance to see what it’s like to DJ in front of an audience at a leading pub or club. Each week, Paul chooses a guest DJ to join him on the decks in John Macs, with the guest allowed up to an hour to showcase their taste in music. “No experience is necessary,” enthuses Paul, who is there to lend a hand if needed on the night. “It’s like an open mic night, except it’s for DJs. Generally speaking, our guests are people who love music, but who have never had the chance to express that love outside of their own iPod, stereo, or mix tapes.”

The idea for the night came to Paul when he was DJing under his DJ Kash moniker some years ago. “People used to give out to me when I was starting off, asking for certain songs or saying such and such a mix was dodgy, and I thought ‘If you know better music, come on up and play it yourself’ and the night grew from that. People who have played guest slots who previously thought ‘anyone can be a DJ’ have a new-found respect for the DJ after they got a chance to see how difficult it can be.”

The night has acted as a kind of breeding ground and, to date, four DJs who started off with a guest DJ slot under Paul are plying their trade as professional DJ’s in pubs and clubs throughout the Midlands.

Conversely, the night also helps attune Paul’s ears to what’s going on musically. “I can only listen to so much music in one week, and each DJ brings his or her taste to the plate, which allows me a chance to hear music I ordinarily wouldn’t hear. You get to know what music is working, and people often bring unexpected gems with them which deserve a much wider audience.”

To date, dozens of aspiring DJs have played Project Guest DJ nights. Musicians such as Blizzards’ frontman Niall Breslin and The Aftermath’s Mick Cronin have also kick-started their extra-curricular DJing career with a Project Guest DJ slot.

The guest DJ sets are uploaded to Soundcloud, so listeners can judge what the guest DJ’s have been playing, and even download the sets for themselves. To date, Paul’s Soundcloud Project Guest DJ site has attracted listeners from Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, and the UK as well as from all over Ireland. As word spreads about the night, he is also set to make it even bigger, with a Project Club DJ night in the works. He also hopes to secure illustrious guests such as Alison Curtis to help break the night nationally.

Alison Curtis has been broadcasting on Today FM for several years and came there having started off at Phantom FM in Dublin. Her late evening alternative music show on Today FM has been a hit with listeners and musicians alike, and in the next month she is to take over the early morning breakfast show between 5am and 7am. An established DJ outside of the radio studio, she will be spinning her trademark mix of new and classic alternative music at John Macs this Saturday.

She will be joined on the night by up-and-coming Mullingar DJ Charlotte Sometimes. Aimee MacManus is the guest DJ on February 6; Andrea Carolan on February 13, Suzette and Mush join forces on February 20; and the month is rounded off with a set from Jen Kelly on the 27.

For more information join the Project Guest DJ group at Facebook or listen to the sets at http://soundcloud.com/paul-g-1

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