We all love a diva and this year there’s more than ever playing live in London. To coincide with these big live gigs, DJ David Robson and the team at The Duke of Wellington present a series of parties called Diva Dates including Spice Girls, Pink, Celine Dion, Cher, Ariana Grande and more. Dave Cross managed to coax the shy and retiring David to tell us more.
Hi David, so what’s the idea for your Diva Dates at The Welly?
Hi Dave, Well it came about when the Pet Shop Boys played the Opera House last July on their Inner-Sanctum tour. I thought it’d be a good idea to host an after party at the Welly in the hope the Pets would pop in… Sadly Neil and Chris didn’t pop in for a G&T but a lot of people who attended the gig did. I played a solid 90 minutes set full of hits and fan faves which blew the roof of the place. I’ve been to many gigs where the after party is basically just playing a ‘best of’ CD which really brings the buzz of the gig crashing down. So I thought, let’s do this more often.
You did Mariah Carey a couple of week’s ago, how did that go?
Those Lambs… they know what they want. There were two guys who saw our Tweet after her gig at the Albert Hall and basically were like the Pied Pipers of Mariah. They brought everyone they found on the tube on the way to us. You’ve not lived until you’ve lip-synched Without You with a room full of hardened Mariah fans. Great fun.
Can you give us the list of divas and dates?
I can indeed Dave. We have coming up:
Saturday 15 June–Spice Girls
Saturday 29 June–Pink
Friday 5 July–Celine Dion
Saturday 17 August–Ariana Grande
Saturday 19 October–Cher
Saturday 23 November–Tina Turner… She’s not in town gigging, unfortunately, but it is her 80th Birthday!
Oh and Christina Aguilera is around in November. Shit! Do we add her? I’m not sold…
What actually happens on the nights, is it just their music or a mix?
It’s not all just their music. We tend to build up to it for when the gig goers arrive. It would be rather dull for those who have just nipped in for a casual pint to be blasted out with some screeching diva. Until then I play a blend of new wave, electro pop anthems, old and new, mixed up with some disco, it’s always an eclectic evening. If it’s a themed artist I will work my set around that. The next one will be Spice Girls, so there will be a lot more 90s and 00s pop than usual. With Pink we’ll be more rock like. It’s fun to mix it up and keeps the night fresh.
Do you encourage people to come dressed up?
I encourage them to bring me tour merchandise if that’s what you mean?
There seems to be a lot of big name female stars in London this year… are there anymore you’d like to do as and when they tour next?
There really is and it would be great to have more. I would LOVE Annie Lennox to tour again. For me she is the Queen of the Brits (Sorry Adele and Kate). I was lucky to see her last year at the Sadlers Wells for An Evening of Music and Conversation and it was incredible. Annie is very Welly too. Her music always goes down a treat. On top of that of course we’d love to have Queen B back on the road and Rihanna is due a comeback isn’t she? But she was possibly the worst person I have seen live. We need Janet back here too!
And can we expect a Madonna night next February?
Well she’s there for how many dates, 15? I think I should also announce an in house residency at The Welly to match her. Maybe she’ll pop in for a Vodka and slim line tonic after. She’s only round the corner. It could happen … Cha, Cha CHA.