The XXL DJ constantly buys music, claims Morrissey saved his life, fancies a trip to Brutalist Basildon and he plays his 500th set at XXL this Saturday in the Fur Lounge.
Where are you from originally?
I was brought here as a baby on an ocean liner from Cooma, New South Wales, Australia. My family stopped off at many ports including India, Fiji and New York, so it’s ironic that now the idea of travel and meeting new people fills me with absolute dread.
And where do you live now?
Since 1986 I have lived in a quiet ex-council maisonette in Deptford Bridge. I feed a partially abandoned binge-eating cat who wanders the balconies, lost and unloved. There is a partially abandoned flatmate too.
What do you love about London?
Favourite club/bar/venue in London and why?
A disco in Blackfriars called XXL. They play all sorts in there.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
I was extremely moved by The Bucks Fizz story at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, as told by The LipSinkers. It was haunting and stayed with me for days.
What is your guilty pleasure and why?
Channel 5. Those three-hour list marathons. ‘Most shocking this’, ‘most shocking that’. They are self induced comas in televisual form.
Music. I buy new songs almost everyday. It’s lovely that you can buy music now without having to deal with actual people. I was returning a misguided T-shirt purchase last month and accidentally found myself in Soho on Record Store Day. It was not for me. Someone was playing the bongos and people were eating street food and I felt disturbed by the mixture of revelry and consumerism.
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
An XXL regular invited me to the dress rehearsal for the Kate Bush concerts in 2014. That was a truly incredible gift.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
Nearly 10 years and 500 Saturdays at XXL is my career highlight. I love it. I’ve only ever taken three Saturdays off in all the time I’ve been there.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
I’d set the controls to 1969 and visit the BBC archive library to suggest they rethink their space-saving policy of wiping tapes of TV shows. And if they were looking for more storage space, maybe they could move that camper van Jimmy Savile kept parked outside Television Centre?
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
I’m not a party person. I can’t do small talk or eating while standing up. I am only ever truly comfortable alone and inside a DJ booth. Please don’t make me step outside for too long.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Have a listen to this new single by a group called The Smiths.
Who is your LGBT hero and why?
No one has ever written words more powerfully than Morrissey. I don’t agree with everything he says but his songs saved my life and no one could ever call him bland.
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on Twitter and why?
I would love to be strong enough to walk away from social media, but I’m not. I have tried, but the siren calls me back. Facebook can seem like a party in a prison. I understand all the benefits social media brings us, but I also see all the darkness therein. It gives but it takes away. The promise of validation and approval so many of us crave is constantly present, but somehow just out of reach. But I’ve heard Twitter is an absolute ball.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
The shopping centre at Elephant & Castle.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
I have a keen interest in 1960s Brutalist architecture, so I’d like to visit Basildon one day. I think there is a direct bus from Victoria coach station.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
Good behaviour can be punished, bad behaviour can be rewarded.