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During the following three years Barry played in many of the Birmingham clubs (Locarno, Barbarellas, Cedar Club, Opposite Lock) and worked with many artistes; including Freda Payne, Edwin Starr, The Detroit Emeralds and The Drifters. He also worked with many of the then top DJs - Emperor Rosko, Dave Lee Travis, Simon Bates, Paul Burnett, Stuart Henry, Mark Wesley and Les Ross. In 1974 Barry left the club scene in order to concentrate on his mobile disco service which has given a constant stream of work ever since.
Rebeccas payment was £5 per night at the time he left. To put this 'large' sum into context, during the last few months at Rebeccas, Dave Lee Travis was charging the club £500 and Emperor Rosko around £350 for their appearances!
Barry's first paid mobile gig was held at the Moores Arms (now called The Appleby Inn), Appleby Magna for the princely sum of £10!
Through the 70s and 80s, residencies included:
Many visitors remember the Friday disco at Amington Bandroom, Barry is unable to put a timeframe on this but thinks it started around 1977 and has lost count of the number of people who continue to remind him of it to this day!
More recent residencies include the Globe and The Tweeddale (90s), The Sandyback, The Queens Head and the Progressive Club.
Barry uses a state-of-the-art computer system for music and karaoke, including a backup PC and 2 External drives for reliability. It took Barry around 4 weeks to transfer his large CD collection into mp3 format but he still carries CDs and CD players for yet another fail-safe backup. Much of Barry's vinyl is still to be converted to mp3. In total Barry has around 35,000 songs available at each and every event. These are all catalogued and tagged using Media Monkey and often played using Winamp or Sax & Dotties.
Audiences may hear music from an immensely diverse range of artistes - from George Formby to Robbie Williams.
Dinner-dances, Presentations, Weddings, Engagements, in fact whatever the occasion you can be assured of an excellent evenings entertainment with Barry who has a music collection spanning 70 years.
Shown above at Drayton Manor's Tower Suite, Barry was using a Peavey Impulse rig, pushing up to 2600 watts sound output. A 12 channel desk is used for PA & Karaoke. Since 2011 Barry uses a variety of amplifiers, digital and analogue, dependent on requirement. Wharfedale Titan speakers now complement the rig.
Lighting is now mostly LED and Laser-based and varies from gig to gig - 4 state-of-the-art multicolour lasers, four PAR56 mulit-colour LED spots, red/green laser starfield, IMPOSSIBLED and 4-port LED spot, glitter ball, hypermoons and wildmoons, DMX Scatscans, UV tubes, fog machine and LASER Crab. A multi-colour moving LED display shows personalised greetings and other messages across to an audience.
Radio and lead microphones ensure versatile PA capability for speech and vocals.
More recently Barry has acquired a EV powered PA with Alto Sub, complemented with an American DJ USB controller utilising Virtual DJ.
DJing has now gone full circle with Barry's latest aquisition of a pair of Technics1210 record decks and Allan and Heath mixer. Vinyl is once again on the agenda, especially with the Northern Soul fraternity.
During the last week of the RSL Barry also presented the drive-time slot each evening; the program handled live telephone dedications, chat, pop music and local weather and traffic updates. The Weekend Wind-down was repeated during the second RSL in July 94, when his guests included Edwin Starr. Barry continued to support Palace FM and took over the Friday drive-time shows for the last 2 RSL's in the winter of '94 and the summer of '95. Palace FM was renamed Centre FM in preparation for a full-time licence bid and Barry once again hosted the Friday drive-time slot in the summer of '96. Centre FM won the broadcast licence for South Staffs in Autumn '97.
Real credit for the station's inception, fledgling growth and perpetuity must rest with a number of individuals; Jules Cadie, Paul & Pam Pearce, Steve Clarke, Keith's Golden Oldies, Ken Clayton, Titch, Ric simon, Roy Junior to name but a few - (sorry but I couldn't remember you all) and of course the many sponsors of shows and advertisers without whose contributions the station would not have been possible.Unfortunately, and not too surprisingly, all local presenters with the Community Radio were eventually dropped by the new, 'commercial' ,Centre FM management. The local involvement therefore was reduced to zero and in Barry's opinion the concept of it being a community station no longer exists. It's true that most of the old presenters may not have been up to the standard demanded by a commercial station but help toward lifting the standard, which was promised by Mike "I'll ring you sometime over the next week" Vitie (lying dickhead asshole)did not transpire. Nevertheless, Barry's gripes not withstanding, the station is apparently enjoying success. In any event Barry personally wishes to thank all of those individuals who made it possible for him to fill a lifelong ambition to be a RADIO DJ, allbeit for just a short while.
Barry currently hosts Karaoke/Open mic every Wednesday at Elford Social Club. The gig is open to the public so you are welcome to pop by and say hello.
Here (28Kb) is a personalised jingle from the famous Paul Burnett, top radio Luxembourg and Radio 1 DJ of the 70s.
This exclusive photo of the Jolly Sailor 'death' steps has been taken for posterity as an eternal reminder of this horrific venue access. This was the route to the Jolly Sailor function room for Barry's whole DJ career although during the last 20 years Barry has accepted no bookings here.Originally made of wood that a steel structure replaced in more recent times, these steps were always slippy, and the opening into the room at the top was awful.
The Jolly Sailor survives no more and these steps will never be climbed again and Barry claims to have been the last person to climb the steps prior to its demolition.