Thursday, January 06, 2011

DJ Derek (WN0034)

Been meaning to give this fellow an airing for months now, having stumbled across him through a comment left by Idle Format earlier last year. Finally, the moment has come around...
Derek was born & raised in Bristol, & during the late 50's & early 60's fell in love with the music & culture of the West Indian immigrants moving to Britain. He picked up the lingo by hanging around in barber shops & listening, & picked up the groove by buying & selling reggae records around the country.

Now in his late 60's Derek tours the country armed only with a backpack full of killer tunes, his bus pass & an unquenchable thirst for real ale.
from original Vimeo page
It works for me on a number of levels. I've also long loved what's described above as 'West Indian' culture - the music, food, people and language of the Caribbean - as transported to Britain in the mid-20th Century. So, it seems, does the man in this documentary who has immersed himself in that culture.

The documentary takes conventions about culture, age, nationality and race, and turns them on their head. It's also a great example of how deep a part music can play in people's lives.

When I first came across Derek, I saw posters for him playing in Brighton. Didn't actually get to see him perform, but I was glad to see that he was getting to play what he loved and getting paid for it.


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