Blog 3 – Valentine’s Day

I haven’t got any plans for an extraordinary Valentine’s Day this year. I haven’t tried to go the extra mile for a few years. I’ve made that mistake before.

A couple of years ago, I thought it’d be a brilliant idea to take my girlfriend to Dans Le Noir for dinner on Valentine’s day.

“Bloody excellent.” I said to myself as I confirmed the booking. And that was the last time I had anything positive to say about that Valentine’s day.

The idea is that you eat completely in the dark. Not even a crack under a doorway gives a slither of light into the dining room.  The result being the sense of taste is heightened with the lack of visual stimulation.

You pick either a meat, fish or vegetarian menu. You’re then led into the dining room by a waiter. The waiters are apparently blind, I say apparently because, I spent a long time debating whether or not it was appropriate to ask someone if they were ACTUALLY blind, or if that was just a rumour. Part of the food theatre even?

Anyway, never let the truth get in the way of the good story and all that.

So we’re in complete darkness. Now, I like the dark. It’s not scary. I’m not reduced to a quivering wreck at the thought of the unknown that potentially lingers.  The problem is I like darkness when it’s peaceful. This was not that sort of darkness. This was bloody noisy. Conversations crossing the room all caught by my ears. High pitched cackles, low pitched thuds. NOISE.

Turns out the sense of hearing is also heightened in the darkness. I think I’ve been close to a breakdown, but never actually had one. But I can honestly say the noise in that room and the voices stuck in my head were awful. I thought I was going mental.

While I tried to play it cool, my girlfriend told me she wasn’t doing well.

“I’m freaking out. I don’t like this.” She said that as she tried to spoon something off the starter into her mouth. “Bugger. I’VE DROPPED IT AGAIN.”

At this point I’ve been jamming a fork in my cheek for 5 minutes with not even a bean, managing to land in my mouth.

“I hate this.” I said, almost defeated.

“I need the toilet.” Shouted my girlfriend. This was quickly followed by sobbing, and I’d imagine tears. I don’t know, I couldn’t see them. “I’m REALLY hating this.”

At that point, I knew we’d both been beaten by the dark. It was time to leave.

You can’t just leave though. There’s the exit strategy the restaurant have in place for health and safety. And of course, the big reveal.


I wanted to say something like…

“To be honest most of the food ended up on the floor, as you can probably tell from the stab marks in my cheeks.”

Instead, I went for a grip and grin and something like….

“Ahhhh duck! Incredible. Thank you so much.”

Blog 2 – Getting Your Music Heard

3 bands in as many weeks have asked me if I’d like a free download? Yes bloody please. I love free stuff. Everybody loves free stuff. The try before you buy mechanic is a firm favourite with some of the biggest brands in the world. So why wouldn’t it work for bands?

Well, it does. But only if there isn’t a barrier between us(the potential audience) and the band or artist.

Here’s the barrier as I see it. The 3 bands all asked me to “like” them on social media BEFORE I got to sample them.

Essentially, we all have to endorse them, without knowing what they sound like.

I went for dinner last night with my girlfriend. The chef didn’t ask me how the meal was before I’d eaten. He came out after the plates had been scraped clean and worked the dining room.

I understand you’re on a numbers driver. But the fact is, I clicked on 20-30 links this weekend. Bands/Producers/Artists all asking me to check out their music. That’s a privilege, a perk of my job that I love. Some of them were downloads, but most were links. I listened to them all. It wasn’t that many granted. But the point is, I’ve heard all of them. I haven’t listened to the 3 bands that wanted me to like them before I got the track. I don’t think I’m any different to anyone else sat at home looking for new music.

The world is changing. People are savvy to the fact that you can buy social media. In fact, there’s got to be 500 words in the fella who emailed me the other day to say I needed 10K followers on Twitter to look popular. He could sort that for $100.

I’ve had a crisis of confidence at this point. I’m worried this comes across as patronising. Bugger. I’m writing this with love, surely that counts for something?

I’ve got a friend who always says, “…now I’m telling you this because I love you”, just before they ask me to do something differently. That’s basically what’s happened here.

Blog 1- A New XFM Show

I’ve just had to look up the meaning of honour, just to make sure it’s the right word I want to use. It is. I have the honour of taking on XFM drivetime from today. Shaw and Camfield, to Bacon, Berry and Ball – just some of the names along the way that I’ve listened to on that show.  Bacon, Berry and Ball would be a great name for an estate agents in Harlow. Anyway, I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m all the things you should be.

Radio is all I’ve ever known. I decided at the age of 9 it’s what I wanted to do and I changed schools at 16, to get work experience in it. 15 years later I still think it’s the best job in the world and that’s why it’s an honour to be in this position.

I’ll need your help for features, I’ll ask you to be part of the show. You and me from 4pm, weekdays on XFM drivetime from the greatest city on earth.

Converse Represent

Converse are putting on a series of shows at the legendary 100 club during the Olympics. Plan B, Nas, SBTRKT and Paul Weller are some of the headliners across the 9 nights.

Dan will be presenting the mini-shows/podcasts from every night of Represent. His interviews with all the acts will be on-line nearer the time.

Full details here:

Dan confirmed to play at Coca Cola Olympic Parties

Coca Cola have asked Dan to host and dj their winners parties on the Southbank during the Olympic Opening and Closing ceremonies. Some huge bands and artists will play live across the two day and Dan’s providing the soundtrack. To get an idea of what Dan plays in his DJ sets, click on the DJ button for his soundcloud.

Friday Night Kiss

Dan’s going to be covering some shows on Kiss over the next few months. One of those shows is Friday Night Kiss, which was one of the first show’s he ever worked on as an assistant. Friday Night Kiss and Saturday Night Kiss will give him a chance to play some big new tunes for Summer 2012, from EDM and DnB to UKG.

He’ll also be doing the evening show and weekend breakfast through the summer. If you miss the shows, you can listen again on the Kiss Cube!

Celebrity Juice on ITV2

Keith and the gang return this Thursday and Dan will be hosting the live continuity.

Over the past 12 months, ITV have been pushing the idea of second screen interaction with the viewer, which has led to the return of live continuity.

Viewers are encouraged to interact live with the show on Facebook and Twitter. And it’s Dan’s job to reflect that on-air.

Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby return as team captains for the brand new series. Celebrity Juice regulary attracts around 2,000,000 viewers.