t’s 2014. It was all looking very, very good, I was handed an interesting opportunity and I found my tune of the year, if not the entire decade!
Heading into its sixth year, Newport City Radio never looked so good. Last time I spoke about my love of creativity. This time it’s my passion for corporate identity that I’d like to share with you. I respect the power of branding. Even to this day I like our social media pages to match and the Newport City Radio logo to be ‘out there’ as much as possible.
Even on a limited budget it doesn’t take much. It still takes talent however, so thanks to our designer and the team at Sticky Ink we had t-shirts, wristbands, swim bags and info boards in this year. I look rather happy as we attend the Jobs Fair at Newport Job Centre.
Talking of strong looks, we all scrubbed up well as we attended Steve and Nic's wedding. It’s always a challenge for me to remain in one room for any great length of time, but this was easy. Time flew as we went from reception into the evening do. Mr and Mrs Collis did something very clever… booked Big Mac's Wholly Soul Band. They always deliver and were on form that night. Thanks for the invite guys, you both looked amazing and are a wonderful couple.
Also, after arriving a bit too early, and giving us a bit of a scare my first great nephew, Lucas Webb was born. Well done to Kimberly and Carl for keeping it together, and thank you to all the team at the Royal Gwent. I’ll level with you. I prayed for the first time since school (outside of formal church occasions).
My alter-ego, DJ Lamsie, was adapting to more change. All good things come to an end, even when you don’t want them to. After two years, two re-launches, two beach parties and a couple of foam parties that in my opinion were legendary, KMA bowed out gracefully. It turned out that being just a nightclub wasn’t enough. In a recession, you need day trade and maybe food to keep the venue making as much money as possible for as many hours as possible. Customers in Newport were/are reluctant to pay to go into pubs, bars, and clubs, and at 5am, with an hour left, they weren’t really spending money at the bar.
Robbie was pretty much looking after both KMA and Atlantica as Rob was poorly. I supported Robbie 100% with the decision to focus on Atlantica. I’d paid my debt owed to the old Quids in/KMA. Now there was a different challenge ahead.
Upstairs in Atlantica was the Loft. With a good scrub and several coats of paint we could open a different club… and I was to be the manager! I did some asking around and what seemed to be missing was a decent rock club. For some reason, customers of the Meze had fallen out of love with it, and with us being next door, we could start to win some of them over. Then the tricky decision… all eggs in one basket, and go all out on rock, or defined rock night with potential to grow into other nights. I went with the second option!
The staff from KMA transferred over. We had high standards on cleaning as the club had a dirty look too it. We compensated by wiping down tables and checking toilets regularly. In the end, despite my best efforts I couldn’t get it to work. I guess I wasn’t in love with the Loft and went for the wrong market. This experience added to my appreciation for bar managers and owners and explains why you will never find me being disrespectful.
So, what are my five big tunes that sum up 2014?
The Floorfiller: Not necessarily my favourite, but one that I’ve used (or seen used) to pack a dancefloor.
Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – 'Timber'.
This was the one that everyone was singing along to. According to Wikipedia:
'Pitbull said that Rihanna was originally meant to be the featured artist on ‘Timber’, but she had already been asked to be the featured artist on Shakira's ‘Can't Remember to Forget You’ and did not have time to record…'
Could have easily been: Sam Smith – 'Money On My Mind', Calvin Harris – 'Summer', Magic – 'Rude', Avicii – 'Hey Brother', Fuse ODG feat. Sean Paul – 'Dangerous Love', or Avicii – 'Wake Me Up'.
The Twister: This is a song from that year which I normally wouldn’t have fallen in love with, but I did.
Faul feat. Wad Ali – 'Changes'.
So close between Mr Probz – 'Waves', and this. 'Waves' edges it as my favourite song of the year, but as the beats per minute dropped to around 120 on average, this was a great chanting chugger and a twist on my normal taste in dance music.
Could have easily been: George Ezra – 'Budapest', Vance Joy – 'Riptide', One Republic – 'Counting Stars', Tove Lo feat. Hippie Sabotage – 'Stay High' or Hozier – 'Take Me To Church'.
The Clubber: The one song that wanted to get me onto the dancefloor.
Oliver Heldens feat. Becky Hill– 'Gecko/Overdrive'.
Just the energy of this track made me want to shake it on the dancefloor. Another one of those instrumentals that are only enhanced with the right vocal. Becky Hill delivers!
Could have easily been: Kiesza – 'Hideaway', Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne - 'My Love', Sigma – 'Nobody To Love', Lily Wood and Robin Schultz – 'Prayer In C', Gorgon City feat. MNEK – 'Ready For Your Love' or Duke Damont feat. Jax Jones – 'I Got U'.
The Coolest: This is the tune that I felt was the coolest yet mainstream song of the year.
Mr Probz – 'Waves'.
You already know it’s my favourite song of the year, but when this decade ends it could be topping that list too. That voice, the simplicity of the remix, even the lyrics. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve walked along a beach with this playing in my ears. Musical perfection.
Could have easily been: Ed Sheeran – 'Sing', Iggy Azalia feat. Charlie XCX – 'Fancy', Chris Brown – 'Loyal', Beyonce feat. Jay Z – 'Drunk In Love', Arianne Grande feat. Iggy Azalia – 'Problem' or Nico and Viz - 'Am I Wrong'
The Radio Tune: The one that take me back to listening to the radio or playing it on my show wherever that has been.
Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne - 'Rather Be'.
Another great tune. This time it’s those strings that had me. According to Wikipedia:
'The song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart. It became the fasting-selling single of 2014, selling 163,000 copies in its first week. January is usually a month of low single sales. However, ‘Rather Be’ bucked that trend, recording the biggest weekly sale for a January number one since Babylon Zoo's ‘Spaceman’, which was released in January 1996.'
Could have easily been: Pharrell Williams – 'Happy', John Legend – 'All Of Me', Idina Menzel – 'Let It Go', Sam Smith – 'Stay With Me', Sia – 'Chandelier', or Taylor Swift – 'Shake It Off'.
That’s almost it from 2014 so big love to Lauren, Jodie, Rachel and Charlie for working for me at the Loft. A huge thanks to all medical teams everywhere and to Dad/God for keeping our Lucas safe.
I’d also like to thank the team at Atlantica Café Bar on Market Street for sponsoring this series of blogs. She’s back, every Wednesday… Top Totty has your midweek singalong from 10pm.
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