08:45 Tuesday 31 December 2013

Landlord heads back to roots as a New Year DJ

Written byRICHARD CASTLE

Beer festival, Unicorn Pub, Newton Solney..Paul Needham. Beer festival, Unicorn Pub, Newton Solney..Paul Needham.

TONIGHT, for one night only, Dog and Partridge landlord Paul Needham will entertain his alter ego - DJ Zon the Knight.

DJ Zon has been born out of Paul’s decades-long career as a disc jockey that ended nearly 25 years ago.

Since then, Paul, who has masterminded his Marchington pub’s sudden rise to prominence on Uttoxeter’s music circuit, has been a successful pub landlord.

But he will dust off his decks to entertain punters and diners alike with a set full of popular classics, disco, commercial soul and 60s nostalgia.

Paul will be hoping mixing is as familiar as riding a bike when he starts to spin records again tonight.

But he has admitted he has a few reservations about returning to his roots and only recently had his DJ tools returned from a friend he had lent them to.

Paul said: “I was a mobile DJ for many years until I came to Derby in 1984, where I continued to perform until 1990.

“Since then I’ve done the odd little mixing sessions for friends but I have to say I’ve not had much practice at all.

“I haven’t even checked to see if the decks still work since receiving them back from my mate.

“He didn’t say there was anything wrong with them so I’m presuming there won’t be a problem.”

Paul has also acknowledged how much a performing DJ’s role has changed over the years, with most of today’s dance-based mixers playing wall-to-wall music rather than addressing their audience between tracks.

Although Paul will not be talking ‘too much’, he told his audience to expect a little more interaction than many of his modern counterparts provide.

He said: “I was playing back in the days of the ‘personality DJ’, who wouldn’t just keep mixing but would establish a connection with the audience on a more human level.

“I’m not really a fan of that style and never got into house music. Soul was really where my roots lay.

“So I think the stuff I’m going to play tonight will go down really well - I don’t think too many of my clientele will be calling for me to start spinning techno.

The evening’s entertainment will get underway from around 8pm.

Paul will be using a huge projector clock for visuals and to add some atmosphere to the final countdown towards 2014.

He said: “I’ve got an absolutely enormous collection of records containing some really popular, classic stuff.

“It’s a bit of a departure from my usual New Year’s Eve routine but I have to admit I’m really looking forward to it.

“The eating tables have been reserved but a lot of the locals will be popping down for a dance later on so I’m expecting a great atmosphere.”

Paul has already booked many of next year’s Sunday Club acts.

Further information is available by calling the Dog and Partridge on 01283 820394.

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