If you read my piece on Factory Records in 5 Mag’s November issue, you know I have a fetish for all things Mancunian. Mr. Scruff’s first DJ gig in Manchester was at the famed Dry Bar, and his first 12″ was released by Factory co-founder Rob Gretton’s imprint Rob’s Records. That’s not quite royalty to the rest of the world but it’s kingly to me, and from that moment forward the eclectic roots DJ/producer earned a spot on my list of people who could do no wrong.
Mr. Scruff has played Southport Weekender “about 5 times”, and mixed Volume 7 of the Weekender compilation. “I guess that they like what I do!”
Scruff describes the setting of Southport Weekender as “an out of season holiday camp, which is basically a lot of small chalets, and a large covered ‘entertainment area’, which looks a bit like an airport terminal, containing four or five venues. It’s a tacky venue, but there is quite a tradition in the UK of having music festivals in these holiday camps.
“Most of the other festivals that I play are summer outdoor events. The main difference with Southport Weekender is the crowd, who are generally older, very loyal to the event (some have been going for 25 years!) and are very passionate and knowledgeable about the music.”
Like Spinna, Mr. Scruff’s reputation as a genre-crossing DJ precedes him. “In fact, the selection on my Southport mix, and the music that I would play at the Weekender, is quite narrow and specialist compared to what I normally play. My Southport sets normally concentrate on soul/funk/jazz/boogie/disco/house, and the crowd is very receptive to that mixture.”