Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A slice of the Caribbean wid DJ Derek in W11

Right first things first. I am not edgy, nor am I trendy, alternative or a hippie in any way. I like routine and I like to be within my comfort zone, I like generic radio1 pop music and staying on the safe side of fashion. I do not indulge in class A drugs, go to raves until 10pm the next day and would most likely feel like a sore thumb at an art gallery opening night in Shoreditch on a Thursday night.
Having said that I am also very keen to try new places within the SW and even W borough of our capital city for the sake of a more varied and interesting blog. So Notting Hill Arts Club was the venue of choice last Saturday night and having squeezed myself into a new pair of coral jeans (the outer limits of my 'trendy' wardrobe) I joined 4 boys and a girl and headed West.

Notting Hill Arts Club is an institution within W11- it's proved consistently popular and has cemented itself as a must visit venue in London. They have an ever changing line up of musicians, singers, songwriters and DJ's to suit all musical tastes. Whether you are a reggae, funk, soul, grime or techno lover there is a night for you. Luckily for us we were there to witness something of a Legend; DJ Derek.

DJ Derek is a 69 year old gentleman (YES 69 that's not a typo!) who is a regular favourite DJ at NHAC. Originally an accountant Derek decided that number crunching was a life wasted and so moved to Bristol to play reggae music despite never having visited Jamaica. He has since adopted an authentic West Indian accent and become an institution in the London reggae scene.

I have been fortunate enough to visit a few Caribbean islands and have been present for the annual Antiguan Carnival. From my experience of the Caribbean I believe that NHAC is as close as you can get to the real deal while still being in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, with the exception of Notting Hill Carnival obviously. The music was enjoyable, the drinks were not extortionate, the staff were jolly and the crowd were welcoming, even to a Fulhamite like me. All in all a very fun evening but the star prize really has to go to DJ Derek who stole the show.

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