We spent a night hanging out with Disco Dave
‘There’s no other event like it, you guys really party hard’
Ever wondered who the man behind the mullet is? What’s beneath that sexy waistcoat? Who is the Dave in Disco Dave?
Well, we can’t tell you. Pop thrives on the mystique of Disco Dave, but we can give you the behind the scene scoop on Pop, from Disco Dave’s dressing room to behind the DJ booth.
For such a famed campus legend, Dave has a relatively simple dressing room. I discovered that, contrary to the long-term love affair Warwick has had with Pop, there have actually been previous Dave’s – the current Dave is Disco Dave III. We are also not his only audience – I know, I felt betrayed too – but don’t worry: he’s only Disco Dave for us.
Elsewhere he works as a dance DJ, which he started out on at the age of 14, but he still said Warwick is the best gig he has. He insisted: “I mean that as well. It really is midweek mayhem, there’s no other event like it. You guys really party hard.”
Once you’re out on stage with him, you can tell he has his favourites. The massive reaction for old favourites like “Seven Nation Army” from the first “duh de duh duh de duh duh” over the mic is surreal to watch from the stage. From the numerous shout outs to Mixed Netball on the front left and the laddish exchanges with Men’s Cricket on the front right, Dave has a rapport with both the audience and the SU team, even snagging me some free Fruit and Nut chocolate from one of the tech team.
It’s not just the music Dave is in charge of when he’s up onstage. He also has the say in who gets the glory of getting their tweets up on the big screen. Tips from the big man himself on how to get Pop-famous include no swearing, and no self-promotion for society execs. He said: “Anything goes really, I’ll put up as much as I can, and it’s all on rotation.” At its peak around midnight, the Twitter feed brings in a tweet every 10 seconds at its peak, making Dave dash between Twitter and his music deck.
Yet his energy never lets up, even when I was starting to lag. Darting to the front to get in a quick water gun fight with the cricket team, and mock-wrestling with the SU manager, his enthusiasm for Pop is infectious. Dave even shared his gum and complementary Red Bull with me to help me keep going.
At midnight the audience at Pop and I got a special treat: a massive selfie with Disco Dave. As part of RAG Week, he’s agreed to do a sports calendar to raise money for Make A Wish, a charity for terminally ill children, which goes on sale next week.
After posing for the club-wide selfie, Dave swapped memorable Pop anecdotes with me. He said: “Last year for RAG, they put me in a gunk booth. The stuff was coming down for 30 seconds, and when I got out it was so slimy I fell over. Still got the scars on this hand…”
Despite the smell and the injuries, Disco Dave is still coming back for more, and said he has solid connections with the regulars he sees in the front row. “It gets really emotional at the end of the year. Those are probably the best nights, ’cause you get a bit teary-eyed seeing them all saying goodbye. Lots of them want a hug from me at the end – it’s a big night for everyone.”
Every night is a big one for Dave – within the first hour and a half, a cricketer had thrown a condom onto Dave’s deck and shortly afterwards someone pinched his bum when he was near the front taking the selfie. After a few hours of the Pop mayhem, I had to admit defeat and head on home, leaving Disco Dave to carry on mixing up madness for the Pop fanatics. Yet he still sent me a text on my way out wishing me a safe journey, making it clear once and for all: Dave, you’re an absolute ledge, onstage and off. And cheers for the gum.