Robin B - Autobiography

[ if you are looking for the Highland Wildlife Hospital Trust page, click here ]

First, a few vital, but not dance related facts about me - I'll try not to bore you!

I'm 21, my birthday is the 28th of October, and I come from the Highlands of Scotland in a small coastal town called Ullapool. My parents run a guest house and the Highland Wildlife Hospital Trust - the website for which may be updated in the near future. I'm actually Scottish, but am also English, Welsh, Dutch (hmm trance anyone?), Irish, Polish and Russian. And people ask me why I don't have a Scottish accent? ;-)

I founded the #Radio1 Chatroom and Website early in 1998, to cater for dance music discussion, and a general chill out of the Internet variety, during Dave Pearces' Dance Anthems Show on Radio1. I've been a listener to the show since mid '97, and although I'd always been into dance music (mostly old skool / rave or jungle - terms which I would not have even know the meaning of but I liked the tunes!) - Dance Anthems really got me into it in a big way. I would listen to the show, and scribble down the names of the tunes - proper transpotter style, and gradually increase my knowledge of exactly what was out there - and get myself accustomed to what dance music, in a sense, was all about.

Since I couldn't go clubbing at the age of 17 (well not legally) - I had yet to experience the true energy within the music - for that you simply have to be in a club, nothing beats it. I went to the Dance Anthems 1st Birthday Party at the Cafe De Paris in London, July '98, and you can read all about my first weekend clubbing (in Ealing) along with the full report with pictures from the Dance Anthems Party here That really initiated me to the club scene, and I was most definitely hooked.

The Chatroom and website developed, and you can read the history of that here. I made the conscious decision to start buying my dance tunes on vinyl, as opposed to CD in March '98, and by the time I went to University (The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen - studying Computer Science for - erk - 5 years), I had bought around 35 tunes on 12". It seemed quite a lot at the time...

I soon discovered the joys, and financial pitfalls of living 5 minutes walk from HMV, Virgin and the excellent Fopp record store - and since September '98 have probably bought around 450 tunes on vinyl. This represented a large proportion of what I was living on, and hence I developed a great taste for ready made lasagne (by the way, I can cook spaghetti bolognaise, beef and baked bean pie, fish pie, a wicked curry, an equally wicked cooked breakfast, butterfly cakes, and the most illegally tasty chocolate mousse with rich belgian ice cream, amongst other things. . .why didn't I make it then? Ummmm needed time to study. Yeah.) I also decided upon the idea of saving (yes, saving!) for a set of decks and a mixer.

Dave Pearce invited me to the New Year Dance Party in Glasgow's High Street car park, in December '98 - I was able to make my way down for it (and some of you may know a highly amusing story of what I got up to on my last day at Uni, which involved a great deal of tiredness, and even more . . . well, you can e-mail if you want the story!) - and it was an absolutely wicked night - the pictures of which are still waiting to be put up on here - so check back for details, or better, get on the mailing list! Ruff Driverz and Blockster were in attendance, and the best moment had to be standing on stage with Dave, as he played Binary Finary "1998", and I stood there in front of 25,000 people! The party continued at the Tunnel club, where a girl accidentally threw a bottle of water over the decks during Dave's set - I know she's apologised but it's hard to forget! It was a sweaty one to say the least.

Christmas 1998 actually saw this website move to, and gain sponsorship from XCalibre Communications. I finally got my decks and mixer in March '99 - the exact specifications of which are : -

2x Technics SL 1210 Mk II's, with Ortofon DJ headshell, carts and styli, Pioneer DJM500 5 chan mixer with effects unit (auto-panning, flanger, echo, delay, pitch-shifter, reverb) and a 70 cap. silver aluminium record box, and approx 800 vinyl 12"'s

I bought it all from Sound Division in London (0171 609 3939) who were extremely helpful, and I love it all to bits! I actually dj'd in Soho with Dan the Man and Man like 20p from Dance Anthems at the Gadia club, the details of which are still available on the night's old site here, along with flyers I designed for the club night. Now, this was in the first few weeks of mixing, and I had never touched a mixer in my life beforehand - but Dan had great faith in me (!) and I did the warm up set, along with a 30 minute set between 4:30 and 5 am - dutch trance! It did actually go down very well, and I was asked at the end where I was dj'ing next - of course I didn't have the foggiest - after all I'm a Uni student - well at least by day! My first mix tape was distributed all over the UK, most copies of which were spread all over the midlands by one Emily Cross - so thanks Em! And it's still available if anyone wants it - along with the next four I am currently working on - e-mail me for details.

I finished my Uni course for the first year, and just got the results (amazingly, passed everything - even one exam I was convinced I had failed - which was nice! I did mostly Pascal programming, and Business Environment + Systems, if anyone's wondering! - for more details!)

I went to the Dance Anthems Tour finale, live in Glasgow's George Square at the end of May '99, and the full report can be found on the Dance Anthems Tour Website here.

Since then I have been a very lucky man, in meeting and consequently falling head over heels in love with the aformentioned Emily Cross, who I am now able to call my girlfriend! I'm staying with Em at the present time in sunny (well most of the time) Birmingham, and while Em is busy at her Uni course doing Media and Culture studies (working very hard at her final year I might add), I'm busy working on my placement year of my own University course, Computer Science - of which I am now in the third year.

I enjoyed a hefty bout of glandular fever back in April (2000) but despite the set-backs caused, I am now well on the way to competing in Britain's Strongest Man next year (well, ok not quite).

Right.. update... I am now leaving university with a computer science degree (hopefully!) if the exams go well, and am moving down south ... realise ....

Respect the #Radio1 crew.

Robin B

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