The glamorous Cait Collins is a well known figure around the stomping ground that is Mickeys and Bakers. An ex Yank who took the long road to Limerick, she
happened to mention that amongst many kick ass previous incarnations
that she had been ‘A Dj’ in Philidelphia and New york ‘back in the day’.
Now that phrase is much abused as ‘the day’ to many is about when the first Massive Attack album came out, and hands were raised to ‘Born slippy’. Before that getting down in a crowd to a guy playing records must have been in the twilight era of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and that worldwide franchise has been a staple club image to celebrate and castigate since.
Travoltas Blueprint was in fact the end of the original wave of American DJ culture. This was the scene that was developed by pioneers such as Nicky Siano and Francis Grasso, spinners who transformed soul and funk 7inches into proto disco culture.
And this is the environment Cait worked in. After a career remixing for RCA and playing in the happening Spots in Philly and NY she packed up the classic boogie records and retired.
Of course the hedonistic associated lifestyle of an early 70s DJ involved things like taking your mom to exhibitionist gay clubs of a Saturday night and flying champagne style to Rio on a whim, but these are not the stories that Cait dwells on. Now looking back its all about the music. Long percussion driven epics such as Creative Source's ‘Who is he and what is he to you’ and the timeless ‘Soul Makossa’ were blended together for maximum impact, then setting the pace for some BT Express propelled fun.
After a couple of months hanging around Cheebahs increasingly boogie directed
friday nights it was time for Cait to dust off the note books and armed with a laptop show us how Philly used Rock.
Now, its all about the journey. Respect that and be flexible. After Some Ramsey lewis, long Marvin Gaye covers moved up through German modern jazz. The Fine Young Canibals, some Techno shuffle and some sublime Eddie Kendricks were then rolled out. Download technology and a plugged in laptop simply reanimated this long dormant talent who gave a surprised Monday night crowd a taste of classic US paced mixing.
So after decades of not publicly delivering a deep love of music, this night may herald a regular outing for miss collins the rousing ovation at the end of the night certainly suggests so.