What do Sheffield’s DJs think about us?

Apparently this year has been tame so far


Bar crawls, gigs, house parties, endless strangely named club nights. There is a whole night time playground for you to explore.

We spoke to veteran DJs Joel Phillips and Gabby Sanderson about what it’s like to play for you. Gabby and Joel have been DJing for seven and five years respectively.

Their careers run like a checklist of places aspiring DJs dream of playing. Festivals such as Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury, Hyde Park Calling and V Festival.

Both are currently resident DJs at Propaganda, a club night and events group with locations across the globe.

How has this year’s Freshers’ been?

Gabby: I did Sheffield and Leeds for Propaganda. The first weekend BBC Radio 1’s Clara Amfo joined us, the week after it was Ed and Jamie from Bombay Bicycle Club. They were awesome, particularly Sheffield, the best crowds for a long time. It was nuts.

Joel:  Overall, comparing Freshers’ to previous years I think year on year it’s generally got quieter in the city as a whole. I remember those first couple years being absolutely mental. Having said that, Plug has been pretty much sold out for two weeks straight now, but the city centre as a whole hasn’t been the war zone it once was.

Gabby DJing at Propaganda

Gabby DJing at Propaganda

That’s weird. Why do you think it’s calmer now?

Joel: I think the hike in fees has definitely had a big impact, I think you get a lot less of the students coming to university purely for the party. Before the tuition price bump you’d get a lot of people doing token degrees for the sake of a good party, but obviously with the hike this is a much more expensive mistake to make.

Gabby: From my perspective students now and students a couple of years ago are the same, up for cutting loose, enjoying the music and getting hammered.

Did anything weird happen over Freshers’?

Gabby: You always see a few characters, and questionable dance moves, but generally everyone’s up for it and I really love playing for students. The only downside is drunk idiots on Twitter that can get a bit abusive, it’s rare and happens more to the guy DJs than myself but it can be a bit of a downer.

Joel:  Weirdest thing was a chap from Liverpool on Thursday night, he spent a good two hours trying to talk to me and kept asking to have photos taken with me. I’m not sure he had many friends.

What’s it like playing to students, are they more into it than other crowds?

Joel: Yeah, students tend to be a lot more up to date and on trend than your average crowd, so you can get away with playing really fresh tracks that may not go down as well other nights. But by that same accord they are less forgiving, and if you aren’t on it and don’t have that latest banger they won’t be happy.

Gabby: Perhaps at the start of the night but once everyone’s had a few bevies it’s the job of the DJ to make sure everyone is having a great night.

One satisfied customer

One satisfied customer

What’s tracks have been popular this Freshers ?

Joel: The Weeknd “I Can’t Feel My Face” seems to be the most requested at the moment. This one girl was requesting it and judging by her third degree gurns, she definitely couldn’t feel hers. But honestly Arctic Monkeys is the most commonly requested thing. Any Arctic Monkeys.

Gabby: Reaction wise, when we drop the record it’s the usual suspects – White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”, Fratellis “Chelsea Dagger”and Killers “Mr Brightside”. I’m in the US at the moment and those tracks are equally as popular over here. Catfish and the Bottlemen and Royal Blood get decent responses from the music lovers but not everyone at Propaganda is an indie kid.

What are the best and worst things about DJing student nights?

Joel: My favourite part is making a living playing music and enjoying myself. Getting paid to do something you actually enjoy is a massive privilege and it’s always exciting because every night’s different. The downside is not having a regular sleep pattern or a full night’s sleep in about five years.

Gabby: I’m not sure why, but in front of the DJ box seems to be the place where hook-ups like to take place. Anyone reading this, please swap saliva in a dark corner and not where we DJs get a front row seat of all the tonsil tennis. The best thing is when you can see everyone really enjoying themselves, and when they come and tell you that too.

Joel: Oh another thing – people requesting a song after they’ve just had a dirty, smelly, garlic mayo kebab and breathing all over you.

Save the kebab

Save the kebab