Dave Haslam in a Birmingham Town Hall
When the opportunity arose to either spend the evening with former Hacienda resident superstar DJ Dave Haslam talking about his new book ‘Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor’, or a night in with Love Island eating my body weight in biscuits, it was a no brainer. Sorry Dave, I’ll catch you next time, I promise.
Clearly I jest. This was an event not to be missed especially as it was being held in the iconic Town Hall in Birmingham, a stunning venue that has welcomed the likes of Plant, Page, Mercury, Bowie and now Haslam. Speaking to an audience of around 80 people – which incidentally was the perfect amount to feel both intimate and impressive- Dave, who originally hails from the city, treated us to snippets from one of his chapters entitled ‘Joy Division in a Mod Club’. Before I go on I must say the chapter names are worth the book price alone, for example ‘Denis Law and the Scene on the Screen’, The Intellectual Humanist Disco’, ‘The Lesbians who Saved my Life’, it reads like the best The Fall album ever.
Ever the raconteur, Dave gave us a brief insight into what I imagine is one of the first questions he is usually asked- how he got into the music scene and ultimately DJ’ing (second only to The Stone Roses fans wanting to know about Spike Island of course). Explaining that he always felt there was more to life than the mainstream offerings forced upon so many of us, he admitted he would often follow weirdly dressed people around, in the hope they would lead him somewhere far more exciting. Finding “his tribe” as he put it.
I think it’s safe to say Dave found exactly what and who he was looking for. Along with interesting and probing questions from both the audience and curator Jez Collins, founder of the Birmingham Music Archive, we were regaled with anecdotes of ‘light-fingered’ members of Dexys Midnight Runners, lesbians in gorilla suits, death threats from drug dealers and Morrissey coming for tea (cauliflower cheese for those that like details). I don’t even reckon Jay from the Inbetweeners could top all of that.
Whilst there is no doubt this book is well written, humorous and full of fantastic encounters, it also appears to be full of emotion, full of rawness whilst sometimes even just discussing day to day mundanities. I don’t know about you but that’s exactly how I want a memoir to be, none of that sugar coating or polished fakeness we see so often that can leave you feeling like you are clearly messing up this adulting lark somehow. Don’t get me wrong I still felt boring as hell after listening to some of the adventures Dave Haslam has had, but it makes you realise no-ones life is truly perfect, not even super star DJ’s.
Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor is available to buy here.