If you’re in London then you’ve probably heard of Team Awesome. If you haven’t then you’ve not lived. Seriously.
Lets start from the beginning. Two girls joined together by their love of music and having a good time decided to become a DJing duo and managed to secure a regular slot at The Good Ship in North London, a hop, skip and a jump away from Nottinghill and Camden. Not shy about actually telling people about their DJ nights the girls soon became the talk of the town (at least Camden Town anyway). Their blend of electro and dance floor classics was hard to resist and it wasn’t long before the team were filling support slots for bands and of course running their own successful DJ nights across London.
Lets not forget to mention their appearances in The Mighty Boosh Series 3! If that wasn’t enough, the team supported the Boosh boys before some of their live band performances this year. Very cool indeed!Now with two extra sidekicks Team Awesome are well on their way to becoming an institution in the London music scene. You have been warned.
Cat On The Wall’s Jo Whitby caught up with them via e mail.
Cat On The Wall: Welcome to Blind Date! What’s your name and where do you come from?
Team Awesome: Hello, we’re Team Awesome and we’re from London (except for the one from Brighton, and the one currently on a brief sabbatical up in Manchester)
COTW: Team Awesome have expanded! I blame the Krispy Kreme donuts. When and how did this happen?
TA: This was a natural progression brought about by the fact that when we were two there was way too much oestrogen knocking about, and when Christy went up to Manchester then we were rather stuck for the large number of gigs we had booked for the summer, and so our good friends James Hammersley from The London Fractures swiftly became JB Fracture, and Adam Claxton from Butterfly Bangs, Fitty Dam Bang. And we haven’t looked back since!
COTW: Do you have a slogan or some kind of quote or word you say to each other? Like in Team America they say ‘fuck yeah’ all the time or maybe you have a special Team Awesome hand signal?
TA: There is an awesome hand signal, we didn’t make it up though, we stole it from society! We don’t so much have anything we particularly say to each other… but we are all quite proficient in ridiculous dance moves. Especially Fitty, who is the King of 90s dance moves.
How easy (or difficult) is it Djing? I’m planning on Djing at my 25th birthday this year but I have no idea how to line up beats and all that malarkey although I have practised my DJ moves which is an essential part don’t you think?
TA: It’s a common misconception that the skill lies in beat matching, obviously that is important, but it’s not something that you can learn that specifically – it’s more about sensing your crowd and seeing what gets them moving, and what sounds right together, you could feasibly beat match anything, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to sound any good!You can’t have tracks which jarr with one another – they have to flow, as it were. In addition, a lot of venues have CRAP decks, so you have to be able to think it through in your mind and not rely on the technology, we have “our” decks which are top of the range Technics SLDZ1200s, which makes beat matching super easy, but you can’t rely on that, because the set up in a venue rarely will match what you have in, and as such, you need to know in yourself what sounds good and how tracks fit together.Have I mentioned that Laptop Djing is cheating? I might just be saying that cause its too modern and complicated for my tiny mind, but I still think it’s cheating. I think iPod Djing is cheating too.
You’re a very fashionable lot. You even have your own t-shirts. How cool is that?Are you very image conscious or do you see yourselves more as trend setters? What are you wearing at the moment (in a non pervy way)?
TA: It IS cool! But that’s thanks to Charles of London who very kindly took an interest in us and wanted to make our T Shirts for us. Couldn’t really ask for a cooler affiliation, we LOVE Charles of London! I wouldn’t say we are image concious – well, not in our Team Awesome get up anyway!It’s all pretty tongue in cheek to be honest, we just like to have fun and dress up, we don’t take it that seriously cause it should all just be a lot of fun. We were Djing at Rehab in Kent, and we had full on neon UV facepaints and when we were walking to the venue there was the slight worry that they wouldn’t quite “get” that it was supposed to be fun and ironic, and they might actually think we thought we were some kind of neon superheroes (which, actually, we clearly are) and murder us in the back streets of Maidstone.
It is rare these days to come across music promoters who actually care about the music rather than just the money they can make out of it. What made you decide to start putting on gigs for bands?
TA: Exactly that actually! With two members in bands and myself managing four bands, we are very sensitive to that whole set up, slap anything on the bill, doesn’t matter if it all doesn’t fit, make some money, don’t give any to the bands etc. etc. It’s all way too much pressure for something which should just be a lot of fun.Going and seeing a band should be something anyone can do, just a good night out, laughing and dancing. Bands work BLOODY hard and the last thing they need is to feel like just another number on an endless conyeyor belt of pack ’em in, churn ’em out nights.
Any gigs/nights coming up?
TA: Always! Keep an eye on the myspace! We have a monthly residency at the Good Ship but the next big deal will be our Halloween Ball, we have Rev & Snell DJing (Towers of London / Prodigy / Team Disgusting) as well as a beautiful line up of Trash Money headlining with support from The London Fractures and Butterfly Bangs. Lots of dressing up and silly games till 4am, a massive dirty party! It’s gonna rock. Tickets are available online here… http://www.wegottickets.com/event/35635
COTW:I keep being told by my friends that you can lose yourself in London, get all isolated, but there seems to be quite a community spirit where you are. You’re all working together and supporting each other on different projects. Is that something to do with where you live or more about the kind of friends you have?
TA: It’s not really about where we live, as I said we are quite spread out, it’s more about the “scene” as it were, it’s a crazy small world, I keep making new acquaintances only to realise we already know about 6 of the same people and have generally been in the same place at the same time, lots. It’s bizarre really, but it’s good. More people should be more willing to form a little bond, a little army and help each other out, we try and do that with our little group – we put each other forward for stuff where possible, it’s nice, because as much as you are on top of your own promotion, you can’t be everywhere at once!
COTW: Do you have any projects going on at the moment?
TA: We always have projects going on, some crazy scheme one or other of us has come up with, we usually run with them! Lots of ideas, some fans have offered to do us a “behind the scenes” film, which I think could be fun. A lot more goes into putting on these nights than people realise, a lot of times I am in a venue for 12 hours, from start to finish. I think it could be good to see what we do, for other people who want to do something similar. I hope people do start putting on more nights of their own, it’s not inacheivable, it’s a lot of fun and really rewarding.
I hear there’s talk of a Team Awesome podcast? Tell me more!
TA: There is… nothing has happened yet though, we’ve all been a bit too immersed in our various individual projects to sit down and talk it through but JB Fracture has said he will do the technical bits and hopefully we will move on it soon. Maybe in the run up to the Halloween Ball. Keep your eyes peeled on the myspace and facebook groups for more info!
Ok, imagine you’re stepping into the DJ booth, the crowd is loud and energetic, and they’re ready to dance, dance, dance! What are the first 3 tunes you hit the decks with?
TA: Genesis – Justice / We Are Rockstars – Does It Offend You, Yeah? / Hot Ride – Prodigy
Three of the most awesomely crafted songs in the actual known universe. Don’t even THINK about arguing with us, we are resolute.
What are you plans for the near future?
TA: Well, all we want to do is keep having fun, and keep putting on nights which other people enjoy! If there is anything else we can do to bring a smile to people’s faces, then we’ll probably have a crack at that too! However, in the mean time, as I have mentioned already, we’re just gearing up for the Halloween Ball, then comes the Christmas Ball… it never stops in Team Awesome-land!http://www.myspace.com/teamawesomedjsPictures thanks to Team Awesome and fans. Top picture put together by Jo Whitby with a little help from photoshop, now Team Awesome are one big happy family!
Interview by Jo Whitby