RIP Ranking Roger

Sad to hear today of the death of Ranking Roger, singer with the two-tone band The Beat (aka The English Beat in the USA, and The British Beat in Australia).
The blending of youth culture in music and race, through British two-tone and ska of the 70s and early 80s, seemed to be a beacon for racial integration in an increasingly divided UK at the time.
As a party DJ, it’s always a thrill when you get to play tunes and genres that, these days, are far from mainstream, and so it was when a small group of American lawyers and bankers in their 50s (one very senior in the firm), having their annual staff dinner in a smallish Hong Kong bar, asked if I could play some two-tone.
The bar wasn’t big enough for dancing, but tables and chairs were rapidly pushed aside for them to indulge in a bit of skanking and pogoing in their immaculate tailor-made suits.
To me, seeing that group of well-educated Caucasians embracing a British inter-racial youth culture that, itself, emanated from the poorest parts of Jamaica, was something of a legacy of a movement that almost was.

Roger has to be regarded as one of the pioneers of that movement, and I have to thank him for helping bring the joy of Jamaican music to white rude boys everywhere.

RIP Ranking Roger.

Watch him ranking on YouTube here

Hong Kong Beat wedding and party disco celebrating International Women’s Day with some R&B and dance music

This year, International Women’s Day has perhaps never had more relevance.

Hong Kong Beat expressing support for all women resisting and speaking out against harassment, abuse, neglect, discrimination.

Come on guys, if somebody treated you the way some men treat women, you’d floor them.

Show respect.

Hong Kong Beat

James Brown sang “it is a man’s world”, asserting things like ‘man made the car, the train, electric light, the boat, the ark’…

Unfortunately some men stop thinking at that point, as proof of their supremacy, but James went on to say “it would be nothing, nothing, not one little thing, without a women or a girl.”

He was right, but only to a degree, because, without a woman, none of us would be here. Period.

Men, this is the 21st century. It really is time for us to cherish and respect womankind as an equal.

Wishing all women a happy and hopefully fulfilling International Women’s Day and, although I know there are many parts of the World where this means nothing at all, just wishing that at least one more man will find enlightenment towards our better half.

(Dedicated to my dear wife and wonderful daughter)

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Hong Kong Beat wedding and event disco celebrates St Patrick’s Day

Wishing all my Irish friends and followers a great St. Patrick’s Day with a 90 minute eclectic rocking-and-reeling mix of reels, pop, and rock songs by Irish sons and daughters from the past 5 decades.

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead!

Hong Kong Beat wedding and party disco has updated its Theme Nights page

Hong Kong Beat loves theme night parties – whether its 80s hair rock, 70s disco, Carnivale, Salsa, or movie nights, and many other ideas, we love the challenge of finding and playing great and relevant tunes to entertain during dinner and on the dance floor.

So here’s lots of great ideas for themed parties!

 

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco listens to sounds of Africa for Sunday Selection

From the edges of the Saharan desert, to the cliffs of The Cape, and from the Indian to the Atlantic Ocean, Africa has produced music for thousands of years, and has influenced popular music around the World, especially contemporary music from Cuban and Latin beats, to blues, soul, and rock.

Enjoying some songs from different countries of the Continent for this Sunday Selection. 

Kadi Kadi by Ali Farka Toure  (Mali)
Nzaji by Mario Rui Silva (Angola)
Dança Ma Mi Criola by Tito Paris (Cape Verde)
La Milonga de Ricardo en cha-cha-cha by Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (Congo)
Lekela Muadi by Tshala Muana (Congo)
Abiani by Dobet Gnahore (Ivory Coast)
Kothbiro by Ayub Ogada (Kenya)
Avelo by Tarika (Madagascar)
Sawale by Kotoja (Nigeria)
Masakhane by Miriam Makeba (South Africa)
Mfan Omncane by Dorothy Masuka (Zimbabwe)
Wasuze Otya? by Samite (Uganda)
Wake Up by Oliver Mtukudzi (Seneg

Why should you choose a mobile DJ for your Hong Kong event or party?

You’re organising an event or party, like a wedding, Christmas dinner, New Year party, charity ball, milestone birthday party, fashion show, product launch and you want to have music to get it moving – so do you need a mobile DJ, or do you think a venue’s resident/recommended DJ is good enough?

In this blog, I’m going to share my experience of more than 30 years in mobile and resident DJing for all kinds of events and parties in Hong Kong, UK, and around Asia, to all age groups and cultures, with the hope that it can guide you to make the best choice to fully satisfy your needs.

For the vast majority of people in Hong Kong holding a private event or party of some kind, the only real options for venues are hotel ballrooms, restaurants, bars and members sports/social clubs.

Making the choice can be an easy one if you’re a member of a club, or have a solid recommendation or a favourite restaurant, bar and so on, and if satisfaction with the venue location, look, food/drinks quality and value are your only concerns, well, it will be a no brainer towards making the event a success.

But if music plays any part at your event or party, whether it is just guest appropriate music for pre-dinner cocktails; mood and background music at a shop opening, product launch, or networking event; or dancing is wanted during the party at some point of the night… Then choosing the right music provider is often a tricky choice to make, as so few people actually know a DJ and all too often it is left to an inexperienced or badly-informed person to make a recommendation!

In many cases, a venue will often recommend and may try to insist on, you using their resident DJ, or a DJ they have worked with before.

Now, there is nothing generally wrong with that as a venue also wants to work with trusted service providers, but sometimes and often in my experience, the venue manager or F&B department doesn’t really know much about their recommended DJ or whether – and this is most important – he will be a good fit for what the client wants.

After all, their main concern is not your full satisfaction with the music provider as that is usually secondary to their own prime service delivery: food and drinks. So you could easily end up with a DJ with inappropriate knowledge and skills for your event. Too late to find that out when he turns up in jeans and a snap-back, and starts playing hard-core club music for your Latin themed dinner party and ball…

To make sure that every aspect of your event satisfies your needs, and takes it from being just another event to the most talked about party after everybody has gone home, you need to pay close attention to every aspect of choice of service providers, and not leave perhaps one the most noticeable and memorable aspects to somebody else’s judgment.

I’m certainly not saying that every venue resident or recommended DJ is going to do a bad job. No, I expect that in most cases they will do as good a job as they can be expected to do with their experience and in the circumstances, where they have had limited access to the client and the client’s plans and demands, maybe at best passed on third-hand to them.

If the venue recommends a DJ for you, then make sure you get the chance to talk to the DJ directly and assess his knowledge, skills and, most importantly, his willingness to meet your needs rather than just play what he normally plays for the venue on any day of the year. If the venue doesn’t want to put you in touch with the DJ or, worse still, the DJ isn’t interested to talk to you, then I’d recommend looking elsewhere for the music, maybe even venue, option.

Even if you can talk to their recommendation, it makes sense to Google around to find out what Hong Kong has to offer by way of mobile discos and DJs – surprisingly quite a few – and are able to provide a comprehensive music and DJing service, for a decent comparison to the venue recommended DJ.

When you get in touch with them, the important questions to ask are more than “are you available?” and “how much?” but first of all “could you meet me to discuss?” or, at the very least, ask them about the style of music they play and the depth of their knowledge – especially on genres and decades, as guest lists are often multicultural and wide ranging in age and tastes in Hong Kong. You may need to satisfy your septuagenarian Chairman’s Asian wife as much as your teenage international school nieces and nephews!

Another important aspect to ask them about is how they handle your needs, perhaps for theme, music lists, for requests on the night, running order, how much ‘personality’ they inject into the night, and MCing maybe… And don’t forget one of the most important aspects – how does their setup, or how will they make their set up, fit in with the look and theme of your event?

And take note that a conscientious mobile disco DJ, even if he already knows your chosen venue, will also ask to meet with and sort out logistical arrangements with them well in advance of your event, as much to ensure that everything you require him to do is possible and is delivered to your satisfaction, but also to assure the venue that he can be a trusted business partner that they can rely on too.

A DJ should be like any other quality service provider. He/she is not just somebody who plays a few tunes for the night; it should be an integral part of their service that they are conscious of and sensitive to the demands of the client.

Rather than telling you “trust me, I’m a professional” he/she should be able to tell you how they will provide their service, what level of quality they will provide, how they will meet your needs, and how they will satisfy your guests on the night.

If he/she can do that, then they don’t need to profess to be a ‘professional’, they clearly are.

Good luck and happy great partying!

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Sunday Selection from Hong Kong Beat mobile disco gets a little exotic with the sounds of North Africa

Jammed between the dry deserts and the hot Mediterranean Sea, artists from countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Libya, and Egypt, exhibit influences of tribal African, Arabic and Southern European music.

Chill-out with a cool sherbert while the chermoulah lamb sizzles on the bbq this Sunday…