The 10 questions chair has been on furlough for a couple of weeks but we welcome it back today. DJ and producer, Kelvin Andrews has been working his magic in clubs and on mixes since the 1980s. He is up there and has worked with the best! We sat him in the 10 questions chair to find out more.
- What got you into DJing?
As a music mad kid sometime in 1978 I saw and heard my first 12″ single at my mum’s friend’s house. It was a U.S. copy of Chic’s Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah). I was transfixed by this gigantic record and the hypnotic sound coming from it. This was the beginning of an obsession. Thanks to my dad I had already been exposed to LPs by BT Express (Do It Til You’re Satisfied) , Grover Washington Jr (Mister Magic) and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack which was everywhere. Me and brother Rich were getting into disco. He was a great dancer, me less so. I had to practice. I wanted disco and funk on the family hi-fi continuously. Luckily we were encouraged to play music so every chance we got it was taken. And anyone visiting who was willing to listen got bombarded.
- Who was the first DJ you saw live?
I’m not sure. It was a midweek night at The Place and I was there with my dad who had put some acts on there. I was about 14. I wandered down to The Basement and heard this thud thud and an amazing bassline. The track I later discovered was Streetwave by The Brothers Johnson. The reaction was immense. Dancers showing their moves, spinning and leaping. I thought, “This is the coolest thing ever”. Not long after I was going to the under 18s night at the Place and that’s where I first heard Trevor M play. Underwater by Harry Thuman was a pivotal moment as was Space Bass by Slick. All played by Trevor in the Basement.
- What was the first song that you bought? It’s impossibly cool but 100% true.
A 7″ single You’re The First, the Last my Everything by Barry White. I was 9. I think the Wombles got a look in not long after so I think Barry was a fluke.
- Who do you think is the best DJ performance wise?
I’ve been to hear DJ Harvey many times and he’s consistently interesting while remaining technically perfect. Andrew Weatherall also (RIP) and Derrick Carter too. All very different styles but equally compelling and inspiring. Most superstar DJs are a bit safe for me. I love to hear the mavericks play.
- Where was the first DJ gig you played?
Maxims 1982 on a trial. They never booked me again. I realised pretty early on that to play the music I loved, I couldn’t expect to get work in mainstream clubs.
- What is the best lyric you have ever heard?
Impossible to answer really but
There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone, and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead, and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all is pretty unbeatable. The whole song. Profound yet effortless and simple. Pure genius.
- Who came up with the name WONK and why?
At the time of the first WoNk parties, 10 or 11 years ago, the word wonky was used to describe a certain leftfield flavour in music. Record company A&R people would describe our pop productions as ‘wonky pop’ We thought ‘wonk’ sounded like the element that made everything wonky, like funk in funky, the pure ingredient. Then one day Danny and I were chatting nonsense and we realised wonk is know in reverse and it became a no brainer. It was definitely a joint effort.
- What song do you wish you had remixed?
As Sure is Pure we got our hands on some of the greatest multi-tracks you could dream of. Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give it Up, Sly & The Family Stone – Family Affair, Aretha’s Rock Steady, the Sister Sledge multitracks… what an education! I’d like to revisit some of those early ones with hindsight and update them and I think that’s on the cards again so watch this space.
How about Prince’s Erotic City. I think reassembling that would be pretty hard to beat.
- What venue would you like to perform? Precious Hall, Sapporo, Japan.
- What DJ would you like to see play in Stoke and where would you put them? Would love to hear Daniele Baldelli at our afters space maybe. Intimacy, originality on massive hi-fi system for 75 of the finest music lovers. That’s my kind of party.