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How to Make TV Themes Work in a Set

Mastermix DJ Pete Sherriff talks about which theme tunes he uses in his sets to create those ‘ooh’ moments…

I thought I would put a short blog together about using TV Themes. This isn’t something to be sniffed at so much as embraced – everyone watches TV! From the “duff duff” on Eastenders to the “Now this is a story…” of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, everyone loves a theme tune and they are becoming more popular to use at gigs and events.


In The Line Of Duty…

Mastermix Producer Jules Little chats to fellow DJs about the times when they’ve been injured in the line of duty, but had to carry on regardless!

I’ve just been looking through old photographs of gigs that I have done with Absolute 80’s, and one stood out to me. Two years ago we had Tony Hadley performing, and as he pulled the microphone back it swiped against his nose, cutting the skin & causing him to start bleeding. He finished the song, wiped himself down with a towel, then got a plaster from somebody in the crowd and placed it over the bridge of his nose leaving him looking more like Adam Ant rather than the former lead singer of Spandau Ballet. Ever the “True” professional, he carried on with his amazing set, pure “Gold“. (How many more Spandau titles can I squeeze in this paragraph? I’m certainly not going “to cut a long story short”… quick, someone throw me a “Lifeline” (groan!)

OK back to the point… this got me thinking about my experiences as a DJ, have I been injured in the line of duty and still carried on regardless? I have played whilst having a broken toe (not funny if you are standing up for a 4 hour set), I have played whilst on crutches when I was recovering from a car accident & shouldn’t use my left leg at all, yes, I’ve been a true warrior of the wheels of steel (as it was back then). So who else? I needed to find out. So I asked the question of a few of our mobile friends. I figured that as they have equipment to set up & break back down again, they would be a rich source of stories. 

These legends are true warriors (of a MacBook Pro & Denon controller?)

  • Ade Sands

While leaving the house one night to a gig, I went over on my ankle coming down stairs in the house.

It hurt a bit, and so hobbled on to gig, was late and absolutely no chance I could have got cover. Carried speakers and gear down stairs, and set up gear – ankle and foot starting to swell, to a point where I had to take my shoe off. Did gig, left gear there for collection the next day, and drove to A&E afterwards. The doc checking my ankle out was not amused, told me off for not going when it happened, and then treated my ‘very badly sprained’ ankle..

  • Andrzej Biliński

I had a DJ booth with a shelf made of 2 metal sides that you join together and tighten up with locks… Well I hadn’t tightened them up correctly and part A slid down onto part B with my finger between them… I cut out a huge chunk of skin and a little bit of juicy meat from the finger. Ouch!

  • Alistair Gillies

I use a “dancing on clouds” effect and at one wedding I had forgotten to bring my knife that I use to cut the dry ice box open. I asked the venue if I could borrow anything to do this and they gave me a pair of scissors. As I proceeded to run one of the open scissors across the seal it slid and not realising how sharp they were I almost sliced off the top of my finger! There was blood everywhere and we had to delay the first dance until the blood stopped and I got bandaged up. As the saying goes “The show must go on” & it did! I went to A& E next day and ended up with a few stitches. I still have the scar to this day!

  • Stephen Brown

I was at a wedding of a friend and provided the DJ services as a gift to them. Long story short, I had to head to the car to grab batteries for my radio mic and when I went out the door of the venue slammed shut on my hand resulting in a broken finger! Excruciating pain! My hand was swollen and completely black but as they say the show must go on. I was in agony throughout the night and it completely restricted my hitting of the sync button!

  • Daren Deakin

I had a similar injury to Tony Hadley as described above, I was doing a 16th birthday party in a school on the stage with a polished wood floor. I had completed setup when I noticed my fog machine on the overhead bar was pointing too far up. So instead of the sensible option – getting my small ladder back out of the van (I’m not the tallest person BTW) I used a school chair. This slipped from under me and I went down full force vertically, and hit the floor, full force! I lay there stunned for a few seconds and saw stars. To my horror my nose was split open so I  put a big plaster on, and carried on albeit with massive headache, and the Adam Ant look! 

  • Liam Smith

You could say I’ve got form here. A poorly assembled folding stage collapsed during my set up resulting in 3 broken ribs. Twisted my kneecap unloading the van at a venue. Slammed my hand in the van door breaking 2 fingers on my right hand. On all 3 occasions I did the gigs.

  • Adam Chapman

Just got resident spot at a hotel and first wedding and I torn the MCL in my left leg. Hobbled on but was off for 2 weeks after that. Had to do a Cartman…. MUUUMMM and got a roadie. Everywhere I went I was called happy feet after that!

  • David A. Thatcher

Came out of hospital had a tube in me to help me pass water for a week while in there. Had a friends party booked, I didn’t want to let them down. I arrived and partially wet myself in the booth. No one knew, until now…….

  • Ashley Duncan

And finally this EPIC tale….

On my way to a gig in a club in Dunfermline during the January storms of 1989. Driving to the gig I hit over a foot of water on a road passing Knockhill. My van skidded off the road and nosedived into a ditch and I did three nose over tail somersaults at 70 Mph. In the process I went through a dry stone wall, knocked down two railway sleepers and the van ended up on its back doors pointing up into the sky! I still made my gig at Lourenzo Marques that night. The next day it was a trip to hospital as I couldn’t walk.

Have you got a story to tell the DJ community like this? Then get in touch with us here at Mastermix, we’d love to hear from you. 

In the meantime, can we suggest playing songs from the Crash Test Dummies & Men Without Hats ‘Safety Dance’?


10 Mobile DJ 80s Floorfillers

Do you need a burst of inspiration for a few 80s floorfillers to drop into tonight’s set? Here’s some suggestions from Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee

Wham! – I’m Your Man

This 1985 UK number one is a guaranteed floorfiller. It’s a brilliant pop track that appeals to everyone! An almost perfect pop track from start to finish!

Erasure – A Little Respect

When an act has such a large & impressive back catalogue it’s often difficult to pick one track but this one stands out head & shoulders and is always well-received when played.

Spandau Ballet – Gold

This 1983 gem is a perfect Main Party or End Of Night track and is always accompanied by a sing-a-long among the audience. The steady intro builds before kicking in to the upbeat section and complete audience euphoria.

Madness – It Must Be Love

So many great tracks to choose from but it is this 1981 classic that is included in our Top 10. A unique band who’s appeal has spanned over 40 years and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon!

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax

The essential 80s song! If one track defined the decade it’s this one! It is simply perfect in every way!

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Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

From the opening guitar riff, through the verse to the chorus…it has everything! Stick it on and let the audience do the rest!

Bryan Adams – Summer Of 69

Turn the volume up a little higher to maximize on the intro to this pop rock classic that failed to hit the UK Top 40 but has become one of the decades most loved tracks!

Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

The best selling record of 1982 has, unfairly, been tagged as a novelty track by many DJs but this one is a must-play for any 80s set. Unique, innovative and that chorus…not to mention the slow section that builds back up to the crescendo…boom!

Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam

Often overlooked as an 80s track but this 1989 classic always hits the spot and allows other 80s dance hits to follow including ‘Ride On Time’ & ‘The Only Way Is Up’.

Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)

That one song that ensures a full dancefloor…usually dancing around a large pile of handbags! It’s the ultimate 80s pop floorfiller!

More inspiration of floorfillers can be found in our Top Tens of classic 90s Dance and Soul and Motown tracks!