Category Archives: Christmas

Plague raves, ignoring the Derrick May allegations, club closures and Rebekah not leading her own campaign: good riddance to the cesspit that was 2021!

2021 was a year which started out with so much promise. After months and months of lockdown during 2020 – and more of the same as the new year dawned – there was much talk of a great reset within the dance music scene. There was an acceptance that things could not continue as they were.

Things had to change. The money in dance music had to be spread more evenly. The underground had to be supported. New music had to be promoted and rewarded better. We could not go back to the days of top name DJs earning six figure sums for a night’s work whilst those at lower levels got almost nothing.

This blog has repeatedly pointed out during this year that this would never happen. Those DJs in the higher echelons never consented to taking less of the pie for themselves – indeed, they are now getting even more than before the pandemic. And many of these same DJs took no heed of Covid-19, willingly playing plague raves at great risk to the public.

Their careers have not suffered at all, partly thanks to a cowardly, craven dance music press which refuses to call them out over their behaviour. There’s too much advertising revenue and exclusive interviews to be lost if they do so. Indeed, the dance music press spent much of 2021 trying to prove they are the last fart out of a corpse.

There are few better examples of this than the coverage over Derrick May. Since the mainstream press ran allegations of sexual abuse in September 2020, they have remained silent since. It’s only thanks to blogs like Amateur’s House and journalists like Michael James that May’s actions remain under any kind of scrutiny.

Elsewhere in 2021, clubs have been under pressure like never before. My insider has revealed exclusively to this blog what’s been going on – far more clubs than anyone would ever think are currently teetering on bankruptcy. Many excellent clubs which contributed more to the scene than business techno ever will haven’t survived the pandemic, and are potentially lost forever.

But what has rightly come under considerable scrutiny in 2021 was the way women are treated in dance music. It’s with this in mind which techno DJ Rebekah Teasdale founded the #ForTheMusic movement to fight sexual harassment of women in dance music. A laudable move and Teasdale ironically could be just the leader they need.

She’s strong minded, passionate and determined – yet none of these qualities are sadly on show when it comes to leading the movement which she started. Her own leadership – strong when the campaign started – has descended into farce. Teasdale must get to grips with her faltering campaign, which deserves to succeed, early in 2022.

This has also been a year of loss. Chicago house legend Paul Johnson lost his battle with Covid-19 over the summer. The underrated Lisa Moody passed away a few months ago. Other names which have sadly passed on include Ian Carey and Jason Brooks – both members of Soul Providers, and both dead within weeks of each other.

So what does 2022 hold? This blog expects some things to continue as they are now – because it always serves certain interests for them to do so – and some things to change. The seismic changes dance music is undergoing due to the pandemic aren’t complete, and I expect some more rough waves before smoother seas.

But what I do know is how Amateur’s House will cover things. With honesty and integrity. I will call a spade a spade, but I will always try to show fairness. I will speak when I believe something is right, and I will speak when I believe it’s wrong. It will, as usual, be for my readers to decide…

Boris Johnson become the Fairy Godmother as he leaves English nightclubs open for New Year’s Eve – but how did Anastasia and Drizella come to such a different verdict?

Are we seeing a real life version of Cinderella being played out in Britain at the moment? If my suspicion is correct, the British public is playing the title role whilst wicked stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella are being played by Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon and Wales’s Mark Drakeford. Oh, and Northern Ireland’s Paul Givan, but no one ever seems to remember him.

Anyway, Cinderella has been told by Anastasia and Drizella that they may not go to the ball on New Year’s Eve. And now, Boris Johnson – a man who looks like he brushes his hair with a balloon – appears to have assumed the role of the Fairy Godmother, saying Cinderella shall go to the ball. And unlike in the original story, they don’t even have to be home by midnight.

Instead, they must simply “remain cautious” and party outside if possible, according to the Fairy Godmother’s loyal stooge. And it’s meant a very curious situation now exists where nightclubs in England look set to remain open for New Year’s Eve, whereas the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland have closed them.

The question which comes to mind, quite simply, is why. Are Britain’s devolved nations seeing a completely different set of data to England? A quick search on Google shows all four countries are on a relatively similar trajectory as far as case numbers are concerned. Deaths have fallen slowly recently, although hospital trends are less clear.

How can Boris Johnson come to one conclusion whilst Mark Drakeford, Nicola Sturgeon and Paul Givan have come to an entirely different one? This simply doesn’t make sense. Both positions cannot be correct – logically, one side will be proven over the next few weeks to have either been far too cautious or not cautious enough.

And given the way politicians seem to have long dispensed of the pretence they put science at the forefront of their decisions – the failure to publish the evidence that nightclubs are like a coronavirus petri dish nearly two years after the pandemic started is testament to that – I’m finding it very hard to work who’s got the measure of this.

Still, for Wales and Scotland, a similar situation now exists to the one across the Irish Sea earlier this year. So for England’s border cities like Bristol, Liverpool and Newcastle, their gains are the losses of Cardiff and Edinburgh…

Do they never learn? Fresh from sending emails on Sunday night demanding replies by Monday lunchtime, the NTIA start #LetUsDance campaign to save England’s New Year celebrations – on Christmas Eve!

Cast your mind back to the summer months. You might remember a campaign targeted at Prime Minister Boris Johnson to #LetUsDance. It was a campaign launched by the Night Time Industries Association and utilised elsewhere – in particular by Save Our Scene UK.

Since July 19th – the date nightclubs across England were permitted to reopen, with Scotland and Wales opening them the following month – the campaign has been put into a long hiatus. But it turns out it wasn’t a permanent one. Yes, it’s made a comeback – and not a very grand one at that.

An email arrived in my inbox just after 9am on Christmas Eve from the NTIA telling me all about it. The news was embargoed until 11am to give everyone time to write stuff ahead of time. Which is an utterly terrible idea because most journalists working on Christmas Eve are up to their eyes in work already.

That’s why you’re only hearing the news on this blog today. Do they seriously think people, bar possibly journalists scheduled to work through the festive season, are going to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day writing about their campaign?

Then again, what did I honestly expect? These are the people who previously sent an email out at 11pm on a Sunday to get replies for a survey by noon on Monday. I know this is all time sensitive, but this is just ridiculous.

I was hoping for a quiet week on the blog. Fat chance…

Amateur’s House returns on Boxing Day, then! A quick message from your favourite blog on this day of goodwill…

Right, the big day is finally here. The bearded plus size man with the red coat has probably been by now and hopefully given you some very nice presents. And chances are you’ll soon either be cooking a Christmas dinner for yourself and loved ones, or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who has someone else in the kitchen.

Either way, this blog wishes you all a merry and happy Christmas Day. For one day, try to put the, shall we say, unusual state of the world out of your head and enjoy yourselves. It’s been a long year, even by normal standards. Have some turkey, pop open a bottle of your favourite tipple, have a chocolate or twelve and relax.

Normal service on the blog resumes tomorrow. Treats coming up – and I can tell you all this because I wrote them a few days ago – include he concluding part of my series on the garage category on Traxsource, a piece about NFTs and an article about what New Year’s Eve could have in store this year.

Now put your phone down and go and enjoy some more chocolate from the tubs. You know, the ones that used to be bigger in the past…

Merry Christmas!

Not a bad way to end the year! As Louie Vega heads home for the Christmas holidays, Traxsource leave him “honoured and grateful” by awarding him their Artist of the Year 2021 prize…

I know this blog gives him a bit of stick occasionally, but there’s few people in house music whose staying power impresses me more than Louie Vega. People often forget he’s been around since the late 1980s – but the reason he’s still around is because he keeps making new music.

And whilst he’s just as happy to trade on past glories as most DJs and producers from that era, he also knows that as newer generations come along, the charm of those productions from the early days eventually starts to wear a bit thin. So whilst he may describe Traxsource naming him their Artist of the Year 2021 as “unexpected”, I can’t see many others being as surprised.

Yes, having a high profile artist like him on Traxsource undoubtedly helps bolster sales – but those sales wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t one of the hardest working people in the industry today. And one thing this blog will always appreciate is someone who puts the hours in.

So it’s no wonder he’s feeling particularly festive this year, if this picture from Instagram stories is anything to go by…

I understand a Masters At Work release is on the cards for early next year, along with a few other things. Looking forward to it already…

Merry Christmas to all of my readers out there. Amateur’s House returns with plenty more reading on Boxing Day.

It’s a Christmas miracle! The judge definitely did NOT budge – and was part of The Chase team which won an incredible £200,000 for charity…

You might remember that yesterday, I told you about Judge Jules and his then forthcoming appearance on popular ITV game show The Chase. That went out tonight at 5.30pm and before you ask, yes, I watched it. The fact it’s my favourite game show helps.

The beauty of these celebrity specials is you can never quite tell which way it’s going to go. Whilst I strongly suspect one or two of the questions on the celebrity editions are a tad easier than the regular show, how things ultimately go is decided on who gets what right, and when.

So how did Jules do? Well, the first contestant – Jenni Falconer – had put £9000 in the pot and then it was the turn of the judge. He scored a healthy £6000 in the cash builder – meaning he got six questions correct during the one minute round – and then beat chaser Jenny Ryan. Not a bad result.

But the best bit of all? At the end of the game, there was an astonishing £200,000 in the prize pot. They had to beat a chaser one more time. All four players answered questions for two minutes, then the chaser had to try and beat that target. But 20 was too high a target for the chaser.

Now, four charities are £50,000 richer at Christmas. And people say I only publish bad news…

Staying home and complaining about rubbish TV it is, then! Danny Tenaglia cancels his Christmas Day gig at New York’s Hard & Soul – and more will depressingly join in the coming days too…

A number of people contacted me three weeks ago today after this blog published an article about Danny Tenaglia staging a night out at Hard & Soul on Christmas Day. Some of you appeared to misunderstand what I was saying – that the concept of going out on Christmas night was my idea of hell.

I had no problem with anyone else going there. If they like the idea of heading out on the most festive day of the year, more power to them. But sadly, that won’t now be happening – with Danny Tenaglia himself confirming that he, along with the venue, aren’t comfortable running the event at this time. The reason? Take a guess…

This is a truly weird time, isn’t it? Nightclubs remain open in many parts of the world, but a lot of them are cancelling events of their own accord. Indeed, this is at least the fifth cancellation I’ve read about today alone. I feel like I’ve woken up one morning earlier this week and found myself back in the days just before the first lockdowns of 2020.

This isn’t good. Last time around, many countries brought in furlough schemes to help keep things going – there’s no sign of most of them doing the same again right now. It’s as if they’ve realised that approach is unaffordable and ultimately unsustainable.

I wish I could be a little more cheerful about the state of clubland this Christmas – but I’d be lying to you. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see some clubs giving up and closing entirely in the New Year. This thing isn’t over – and at this rate, the only winners will be unregulated plague raves and house parties.

I’m going to go and eat more chocolates…

A mince pie for Santa and a carrot for his reindeer! As Mr Claus starts his journey to bring presents to the world’s children, take a guess which gangster is having an early night too…

So it’s Christmas Eve. If your tree isn’t standing tall by now, it almost certainly isn’t going up this year. By now, you’ve probably got all the stuff you need for a table-groaning dinner tomorrow, and this blog hopes you’ve got all the presents you’re going to need for your nearest and dearest.

And with it being the big day tomorrow, Santa Claus will be starting to make his way around the world shortly to deliver presents for children, no matter where they are. Various trackers are available online if you want to know roughly where Mr Claus is at any given moment – and to be fair, they can be terribly useful.

Why’s that? Well, in the grand spirit of Christmas cheer and mischievousness, I’ll tell you. It helps you to work out when you should go to bed – because remember, Santa cannot come to your house and empty his sack if you’re wide awake, can he? It would be like going round to someone’s house for Christmas dinner and discovering you were only getting Brussels sprouts to eat – a right stinker!

One person who’s determined to show Santa he’s been a good boy this year is DJ Sneak. He won’t be staying up until the early hours of the morning – his Christmas Eve live stream ends at 11pm local time. With his set starting at 5pm, he’ll need plenty of festive sweets and mulled wine to keep him going for six hours.

However, Sneak might want to get a move on after doing his Friday night show. Because according to every Santa tracker I’ve checked, Papa Nöel – to use his French name – will be in the USA between 9pm and midnight. So let’s hope that the self-declared house gangster gets to bed in time.

And don’t forget to leave out a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for his reindeer. Best not leave out one of your joints, though – and I don’t mean of the musical variety…