ANDY HILL - CHILLS AND FEVER
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Legendary DJ and all round nice guy talks with Suit Yourself about his influences, how he checked into the Modernist scene, his love of great music and his highly successful Chills and Fever Mod night in Hertfordshire......
Hi Andy can you tell us a bit about yourself - Where you are from, your musical tastes and how and when you became part of the Modernist scene.
Hi I was born in Hertford in 1964! I live 25 north of London. I got into The Modernist scene at the age of 14 during the punk era, The Jam were a major influence on my life sending out a message! Listening to The Jam, especially some of their cover versions I began listening and buying Beatles and Kinks records etc! Listening to some of these bands such as The Beatles cover version of Please Mr Postman I found Motown... Baby Love etc. I just loved this sort of music... and still do to this day!
By 1979 Quadrophenia had hit the screens and a whole group of my friends were Mods. We went to see The Jam at The Rainbow at Finsbury Park. Lots of other bands were on the up and clubs for our particular youth culture were springing up everywhere. In those days there was no social media.. so you were either in the know or not! It was a way of life and important to us. A message was sent out from the bands to live a certain way, almost like a religion and this was etched into my life forever! It was about ethics.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite old haunts
To be a Modernist costs money!! Weekend/Nights Away, clothes, transport, records etc !!! At school I had a part-time job as a butcher which gave me the money to do what I wanted to do. Off to Carnaby Street, Shelley’s shoes, Carnaby Cavern to get my latest suit altered. Visiting every junk shop hunting out records etc. My first Lambretta a GP200 was on the road for my 17th Birthday, this was the start of my real freedom! Our weekends started on Thursday nights travelling into London and surrounding places. Favoured haunts in those days were the RSG’s around the Hemel Hempstead area and The Bush Hotel In Shepherds Bush in London and many others. Travelling around the country to seaside resorts...Brighton, Hastings, Margate, Scarborough etc... fun times! Life was forged.
And the promoter and DJ side of Andy Hill, where did it all begin?
Around this time our scooter club wanted to organise its own “Do”, so a friend of mine Nick, who I grew up with, and myself were nominated to DJ the night because we had the most records. We hired some gear and done the night. Looking back it went really well, I would love to go back to that night and relive it... knowing what I know now there must have been loads of mistakes but we were not aware of them. It went so well that we were asked to do it again! We searched Exchange and Mart for some PA equipment and found some in Brixton, with some help from a friend with an estate car and a month's wages in my pocket (£200) we travelled to Brixton and bought the equipment... done the do and the rest is history!
Djing was now to be taken seriously!! Nick and I still DJ together, he runs The State Of Style Club in north London! Over the years I have DJ’d virtually every sort of event from most of my mates weddings to playing with top bands in front of 4000 people. I always get nervous before I go on to play, it doesn't matter whether it’s in front of 20 people or 2000 people! I suppose if I wasn't nervous I would become complacent, I always want to see the dance floor full of happy faces! A couple of years ago I sold my Li 125 as I was not using it because of my DJing activities. I needed something a bit more practical so bought something really unpractical, a Speedster 356 (Jeremy Clarkson owned it before me) This is a fun way of transporting my records, my love of my life, Carole (who is a great support for me) and all her clothes and accessories around!
I am very passionate about music and style, things have to be very creative. My musical tastes are very broad these days...as a DJ you have to listen to a lot of different styles of music and explore these. I read a lot of biographies and cultural books about music and cultures which have lead to me searching out tunes that I love and can play out to you! Endless hours are spent searching the web for new tunes, packing record boxes for events and then re filling them! Through music I can definitely say I have definitely met all my friends... and without music, I would not have any!
Promoting is important... talking about Chills & Fever a lot of ingredients have to be correct to make a club night work.. the Venue (The Corn Exchange is an original ‘60’s music venue where The Who, The Kinks and many other top bands of the day played). Atmosphere... has to be friendly and full on! Bar.. has to be correctly placed and affordable! DJ’s.. have to compliment each other and spin great tunes and be able to entertain! The People... probably the most important., a dedicated crowd who are well turned out who know how to have a great night! Our job is to supply a great night and send everyone home on a high! Quality is everything!
Can you tell how our readers can read more about CHILLS AND FEVER and other events.
We have plenty of fresh new ideas coming up in the future so watch this space. The Modernist scene has evolved and is still evolving through music and style, as long as there are Modernists to entertain on that dance floor I will keep playing and saying “welcome to the centre of the universe!” See you all soon! Keep safe and enjoying life to the full.
Andy will be playing at the Suit Yourself Modernist and Sixties weekend in Bristol - March 2020
More CHILLS AND FEVER gossip, news and club dates can be found HERE