DJs at The Lexington, 10 June 2011

After the bands pack up and the entry price is reduced to nothing, a different side of The Lexington emerges.

Downstairs it’s retro rock, played loud enough to dance to, but largely ignored by this sophisticated middle-class crowd of young professionals. At this point, their focus is getting drunk and having shouted conversations.

The playlist is somewhat hit and miss. You might get David Bowie, or you might be subjected to Ram Jam’s Black Betty. Either way, it’s enough to persuade half the place that upstairs might be a better option.

And they’re right – to an extent. Upstairs isn’t quite as rammed, but the dancefloor is showing signs of movement. After all, it is a Friday night.

The tracks are mostly decent: LCD Soundsystem, Talking Heads, and surprisingly good remixes of everyone from Friendly Fires to Rod Stewart.

But the downfall is in the mixing. Whether it’s laziness or a sheer lack of experience, this DJ seems to have no idea about when to bring in the next song, and which beats mix without jarring.

Each song plays on for about a minute too long, causing a sense of weariness within even the most enthusiastic dancers. Every time, the DJ misses about four chances to bring in the next track. And what he brings in doesn’t make the least bit of sense.

There is a 30 second period at the beginning of each new record when the punters stand still, faces strained, trying to figure out what’s playing.

Anyone who mixes one of Arcade Fire’s least danceable singles, Wake Up, into Vampire Weekend’s Apunk could do with putting a bit more planning into his playlists. His mixing makes this a night of stops and starts, and fails to hold down a packed dancefloor.

When it comes to DJs, it seems, you get what you pay for.

By Sophie Armour


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