Pinning down a setlist for Pinups

On Friday I did my second annual DJ stint at the Pinup bloggers’ night in Glasgow (more about last year). I had a great time, as I always do at Pinups – it’s just the sort of indie clubnight I wish someone would start in Edinburgh. No pretensions, cheapish drink, a few live bands, quality music; is that such a tough formula to crack?

I started thinking about what songs to fill my hour-long slot with a few weeks ago. Mostly, I just scoured SoundCloud and Hype Machine, which unearthed a few gems, the latter being especially good for cool remixes. Here’s a one we dropped quite early in the set:

Once I had a ‘longlist’ of tracks I thought we could get away with, I started whittling down to an hour’s worth of musical manna. This included things like Daft Punk, Robyn, The Stooges, ESG, Ladytron, Yeasayer and Ratatat.

On the night I was joined by my pal Ben, who used to man the decks at the student union indie disco in Edinburgh. He has a better idea than I do of what you should play when, judging by the paying public’s reaction. This resulted in one or two hairy moments where we were quibbling over what to play next with seconds left of the previous song, but it was another lesson that no matter how you prepare for a DJ set, at least 50% of that goes out the window on the night.

There was quite a lot of stuff which didn’t make the final cut, simply because they were a bit obscure or didn’t have the right energy. One was this nice remix of the Beirut song ‘Nantes’:

There were also back-up tunes which were drafted in at times when we wanted to keep people dancing – LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friends’ went down particularly well, with one guy telling us this was “the greatest song ever”.

I’d also like to apologise to the three ladies who requested songs – one band I’d never heard of, Goldfrapp and Beyonce’s “new one”.

I’d also like to thank our nominated band, Tokamak, for tearing it up in their ear-splitting set. And sporting some unusual headgear.

And finally, thanks again to the Pinup lads for having us. Find out more about their nights here.

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