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Interview With Andy Westcott (Hot Fusion)


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If you're just in from another successful gig pull up a chair and unwind whilst reading the life story of Andy from Hot Fusion smile icon Oh and don't forget to add your comments or ask additional questions:

 

1. What is your DJU Forum Alias?

Andy Westcott.

 

2. What is your Real Name, Age, Location & Marital Status?

Andy Westcott, 45 years ancient, I live near Exeter in sunny Devon and I'm married with 5 screaming kids and an even louder wife.

 

3. What is the Name of your Disco?

Hot Fusion.

 

4. How long have you been a DJ?

Technically 27 years, but....

I did many 'discos' for friends during my school years and after, but I performed my first paid gig in 1980. I worked intermittently after that (down to my circumstances rather than the availability of work) right up to about 1994 when I moved house and fairly suddenly things went full throttle. The situation became unworkable with my main job - a milkman - as it started to affect me and my family so I decided to pack it all in in disgust in 2001, finally performing my last gig in January 2002.

My situation has now changed for the better, and I'm working my way towards starting up again, although better informed this time, and with my hand firmly on the brakes.

 

5. What inspired you to become a DJ?

I've always had an interest in electronics, music and amplifiers/speaker systems, so it was inevitable that I was going to try my gear out on an unsuspecting populace. I liked dancey pop music and had quite a good collection of this kind of stuff so I started to get asked to supply music for casual parties, found I enjoyed it rather a lot and continued down that route.

 

6. Are you a member of a DJ Association / Union?

No, although Musicians' Union looks a distinct possibility for their PLI deal. Their information pack is looking at me now....

 

7. What is your favourite type of function now? (eg: Wedding, 18th Birthday party, etc)

This has to be mixed age events where I can get to play some 90s Ibiza classics, but also dip into 'Tiger Feet', 'Contact' and suchlike, and get away with it! Birthday parties for 30-somethings to 40-somethings I suppose. I've also taken quite a shine to primary school discos.

 

8. What’s the worst/most embarrassing thing you've done in front of an audience?

Probably pressing the wrong button and having to deal with several seconds of sudden silence. Not a lot you can do about that but smile sweetly as the deck re-cues.

 

9. If you could go back to the beginning of your DJ career is there anything that you'd do differently? (eg: The gear that you bought, the way you promoted/advertised yourself)

Rely less on other people; properly research the equipment available, get myself properly prepared, mentally and equipment-wise.

 

10. What do you feel you offer the public that convinces them to book you rather than "the next guy/girl"?

I try to be honest, and not oversell my services; I'm very reasonably priced; I think I have a better sound system than some of the cheaper discos, although the value of this is a hotly debated subject on here, and rightly so; I don't cater for every type of function, aiming to tailor myself to a specific niche and excel in that.

 

11. Have you ever bought something for your show that you wish you hadn't? and why?

Crap tweeters. I've always built my own speakers, and initially bought peizo rubbish which were virtually inaudible, then moved on to cheap horns which barely lasted a month. It was a while before I finally bit the bullet and lashed out on some 'industrial' grade HF horns.

 

12. What's your next DJ purchase likely to be?

Probably more projected light - scanners possibly; I'm also looking at smaller speakers for smaller gigs, although my lad insists I continue with the big ones. Hmmm.... Ok for him - he's young and strong.

Also reviewing my light panels, and may redesign and rebuild them if I do get started again.

 

13. If you could get someone to invent a new piece of disco equipment for your show, what would it be?

An invisible force field which could be placed 1 inch from the front of the rig to protect it from revellers, and across the side to stop kids creeping in behind and nicking the CDs. Otherwise some kind of 3D holographic projection device as a lighting effect.

 

14. What was the worst equipment failure suffered during a gig?

Luckily, nothing important has ever failed - bulb in the front panel probably.

Of course, now I've said that......

 

15. What do you think is the best thing about DJ'ing?

A bit of a cliche, I know, but seeing a room full of people dancing and enjoying themselves to the music you are playing and enjoying.

 

16. What do you think is the worst thing about DJ'ing?

Drunken and abusive people. My skin isn't as thick as it really needs to be in this job and an insult can bother me for weeks.

 

17. What would make you stop DJ'ing (if anything)?

Drunken and abusive people. I have already become more selective about the gigs I will accept.

 

18. How do you think DJ'ing will change, in the next 5 years?

Certainly more emphasis on hard drive based music sources, but otherwise I don't think we will see many changes, certainly not in speakers or lighting.

 

19. Most stupid thing anyone's ever said to you at a gig?

"Can you do a disco for me?" They would have to be pretty stupid to ask me.....

Otherwise the usual - "Can you play something decent?"

 

20. Best advice you were ever given by a fellow DJ?

I never knew any, so I missed out badly there. On here, good advice is dished out on a daily basis.

 

21. And worst advice you were ever given?

"Play it really loud"

 

22. How do you keep up to date with music? (eg Promo monthly CDs, Downloads, Purchase from retailer)

I listen to Radio 1 at work, and buy anything I feel would be useful from the local music shop.

 

23. Name 3 songs that 95% of the time will fill the dance floor for you!

A bit out of date with this one, but it used to be:

Shania Twain's 'Man! I Feel Like A Woman'

Mavericks' 'Dance The Night Away'

Ricky Martin - 'Livin' La Vida Loca'

 

24. One piece of advice you'd give to someone just starting out.

Ensure you have enough music of the right kind to do the job.

(And join DJs United! Invaluable advice available for everyone.)

 

25. What medium format do you mainly use eg vinyl, CD, hard-drive?

CDs with occasional vinyl, but as soon as a suitable licence becomes available, I'll be dropping the vinyl in favour of Cd-Rs. Interested in computer use, but no serious plans to use one yet.

 

26. Have you embraced/adapted any ideas that you've read about on DJU?

Loads - it's really changed the way I perceive the business. Importantly, I've looked at my disco more from the customer point of view, rather than what I want to show off to them.

 

27. What is your best gig ever and your worst?

There are many I can recall as being heaving successes, but one sticks in my mind: A wedding disco in a marquee, about 150 people I suppose. Packed floor from start to finish, but we were running from a generator and it cut out mid-song (Rose Royce's Car Wash) at about 11:30. Marquee lights and all went out. Me and the groom quickly ran some extension leads into the house and I started things up again a few minutes later to a massive cheer and an instantly full floor - quite moving really and a memory for life.

 

Worst gig - done a few of them as well. I recall one in particular (another wedding disco) where I had some idiot requesting reggae all night, and he just wouldn't give up. He was drinking heavily and was becoming more abusive as the night went on - he utterly ruined the night for me. The disco itself was a good night and I was asked to perform another for someone in attendance, but as this abusive guy was apparently a relative, I declined. I think I would handle it differently now though.

 

28. What is your main (most successful) form of advertising your disco?

Word of mouth is pretty much all it's ever been. I also make a point of performing a few freebies to maintain a high profile in certain areas, and this is what I'm currently doing.

I now have a website - pretty rubbish, but I've already had some enquiries plus a confirmed booking despite a notice on there telling people I'm not currently accepting new customers. Maybe this will prove to be a good source of work.

(Hot Fusion - top in Google! WoooHooo!!)

 

29. Have you ever had someone try to claim off you? (eg: Public Liability Insurance or other such legal action)

Thank goodness, no.

I do fear the chances are higher these days though.

 

30. Add any additional comments which you would like to include here...

Great business to be in, pleased to have been a part of it.

 

31. How many gigs do you do a year, how many would you like to do?

I did a massive 8 gigs in 2006, 5 of which were free! But that doesn't really count.

Previously, I would expect to be out most Friday and Saturday nights.

My aim is to do far less in the future and give myself room to breathe - I'm looking at maybe 20 a year to be comfortable.

 

32. What is your average charge for a booking?

Not a lot - I'm pricing myself at around £140, with discounts available for returning customers. I may have to review this in the light of experience - I'll see how it pans out.

 

33. How many tracks do you have in your music collection?

I've never counted. I have about 6 feet of 12" singles, but I don't take those with me.

I have 4 boxes of 7" singles I do take with me - about 1000, which I can't wait to get onto CD-R when I'm allowed;

Several boxes of CD singles, but I usually just take 3 boxes with me, the rest I consider rubbish.

Then there are the compilations and albums - I have NOWs from 40 to current, so you could count all those but many of the tracks are useless.

All in all, several thousand, but I estimate I take less than 3000 truly usable tracks to a mixed age disco. Probably enough when you consider you'll only play about 80 of them....

 

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Respect to you young sir even though you are from the wrong side of the Tamar!

I will try anything,once!

 

The Cornish will arise again !

Manager of the Andy Harris Fan Club.

Keep pasties Cornish

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Thought it was rubbish personally. :rolleyes:

 

2nd most embassing moment : table/coke/drink/last week ring any bells ?

 

Well done Andy.

.....but what do I know ?

 

 

 

Your Big Event

Office:01803 813540

Direct: 0797 0717 448

e.mail:info@yourbigevent.co.uk

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Quote 'Arris:

"2nd most embassing moment : table/coke/drink"

 

No - that was more amusing than embarrassing. The way the ice cubes were lined up directly with you..... I was giggling about that on the way home. :D

 

Anyhow, thanks guys for your responses; So that's another idiot you now know a little more about....

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Good read :Thumbup:

Eddie

 

 

<a href="http://www.vibrant-sounds.co.uk" title="Vibrant Sounds Mobile Disco & Karaoke DJ Ed Bray Eddie Bray eddiebray plymouth devon weddings birthdays parties mobilediscoplymouth" "mobile disco plymouth">www.vibrant-sounds.co.uk</a>

 

 

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>PAFC Pride of DEVON</span> C'mon U Greens

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Great interview Andy smile icon

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Thankyou everyone. :mikee:

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Just read it, nice one Andy, keep doing a few and be choosy, sounds like my approach to the job - Mick

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Cheers, Mick.

I've said this before - if I had to make a substantial income fom this then I would have to accept what I refer to as 'the rubbish' along with the good. All this means really is taking on work I don't really feel comfortable with, such as pubs and bars, which is where I have had the most trouble with abusive people.

 

Luckily I'm more of a hobbyist, so can afford to be a bit choosy if I want to be. smile icon

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hi andy

 

a great read i must say, please dont be put off by the mindless punters, as you so rightly say be focused and go where you will get the most enjoyment as if you are happy so will be your full dance floor!

 

may be one day soon we can meet up as we are not to far away from each other.

 

regards

 

keith

 

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Cheers Keith.

Yep - probably only an hour or so away, there are a few others down this way too so maybe if we can muster the nerve for another DJU-SW meet-up, we could drag you along!

(I'll now await the predictable reponse from another Andy or two about my drinking problem... :D)

 

Pleased you agree with being selective about gigs - I've done the rubbish, now I want to enjoy this as a hobby. Hope all goes well with your new start.

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There's one.... Now we wait for the other. tongue out icon

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  • 1 month later...

Just re read this as i forgot that i had and the thing that amuses me most is the fact that we all have the same issues no matter what lol

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