Dave Angel, Isaac Butt, Dublin, 4th March 2000
I can't remember the last time I went to a club and danced all night having ingested nothing more intoxicating than a glass of water. Which is what Dave Angel is all about. This is not the type of guy who shows off his own records to the crowd or plays every remix he's ever made. He DJs for the people in the club; if they don't like it he changes it. He rarely has to though.
Earlier, Joe McGrath and Dave Burke had shown glimpses of imagination by mixing songs like 'Thriller' into the background of a low tempo techno track and by taking Dave Angel's own 'This is Disco' and altering its form to create something strangely different. It was hard to work out whether you liked it or not - the original doesn't exactly make your feet stand still and the layering McGrath gave it wasn't really required.
You could sense the crowd's impatience, though, as the time for Angel's arrival drew near. I get a request to leave the interview until afterwards because he's nervous and feels a bit sick. When he comes on there's a palpable sense of anticipation. Those who had been sitting, awaiting his arrival are instantly on their feet. There's a current of energy generating from the tunnel that is the Isaac Butt's dancefloor. The tempo changes frequently, lifting people to peaks and lowering them gently into troughs, but never gets repetitive; never even gets close to being predictable.
What's more, he's obviously enjoying himself, that grin emerging now and again as the crowd shout their appreciation. When the time runs out as it inevitably does he has to be told to stop. He points at his watch and shrugs his shoulders - "What can I do?" he seems to be saying. The crowd make their disapproval of what feels like a premature termination very clear and Angel is allowed continue. He throws down the needle and it's like he never stopped. Half and hour later though and he's forced to, as the lights come on and bouncers start telling people to go home. A scrum of people moves to the DJ box to shake his hand and shout their appreciation. "Fucking brilliant," is the seemingly unanimous verdict. You're just left wondering why he was ever nervous in the first place.