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Lee Burridge DJ Diary

Every month DJ Lee Burridge sends DJmag.com his diary to reveal all the mishaps, shenanigans, and craziness from his '365' world tour. This month: Florence, Italy

Anyone who has read the last three articles has probably come to realise that I love to waffle.

That is, to say things in a more long-winded way than need be.

To go on and on when I should be inserting a full stop.

See, I did it again.

I wanted to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances (well, actually due to the fact that around
Sunglasses are essential when clubbing in Italy
the end of 365 New York it was my birthday and I partied way way too much and didn't go home when I was supposed to) this article is going to be a lot shorter than the others.

I shirked all responsibilities, meetings and the opening and paying of bills that come with a bright red bold heading of 'IMMEDIATE PAYMENT DEMAND' and completely buggered up my plans to be in Florence on the fifth of November.

So I decided to just fly in for the first two Saturdays, then stay in the city
the last two weeks of the tour.

Didn't have time to get into trouble

I shirked all responsibilities


Lee Burridge

Although I still played all four 365 parties, I didn't have much time to get into trouble in this beautiful and charming city.

Florence has history. It's a very creative place in many art forms and although I'm not prepared to stand up
and compare electronic music to Da
Vinci or Brunelleschi, I will say
that the club Tenax is looking to
change the way people experience music.

The club has been around since the early eighties and has hosted acts such as Grace Jones, The Pet Shop Boys, New Order, The Thievery Corporation and, of course, Scumfrog.

It's also had a plethora of the world's best DJs grace its decks.

The current owner is Jacobo and he has made it his mission to not only entertain but also to educate its
super-cool crowd every week.

While we're at it, let's talk about the crowd... old, young, gay, straight, black, white, clothed, naked, Darron.

A whole room chock-full of haircuts that will be hitting your high street soon* (apart from this shaved head).

Drag Queens

It isn't just the crowd that adds such an amazing dimension to the night; the club employs an eclectic mix of male and female dancers and drag artists
from around the world.

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. We've all been dragged along to those terrible nights that feature fat-thighed fashion victims in cages who bust out a cross between Vanilla Ice and a dodgy lap dance.

That is exactly what you won't get at Tenax. Every week there is a different, well-rehearsed performance; it's stylish, weird, sexy and very Italian.

It's a part of the night that sits subtly alongside the music and the overall attitude of the club.

Unlike 365 New York, I was given the opportunity in Florence to play one club on four consecutive Saturdays, and also invite a guest on three of the nights.

This is a part of the project I've been looking forward to and jumped at the chance of playing alongside Booka
Shade, Steve Bug and Alex Neri.

Booka Shade played on the first night of 365, at around one o'clock.

The crowd in Tenax arrives early, around eleven, and there's no music; everybody just hangs out, talks and drinks.

Slowly, as you head towards 1am, the tension and anticipation builds up for the DJ or live act.

This means musically you can start
wherever you want and it has the
largest impact.

Forget all those terrible. banging warm-up sets from fuckwit DJs who never had any intention of making their set a part of the overall night's experience.

Perfect Warm-up: No Music

No music is the perfect warm-up! It's fairly unique and I love it.

But back to Booka Shady. My favorite part of their very energetic show was the electric drum kit they use.

It's soooo Jan Hammer a la "Theme from Miami Vice" and sounded great.

They wobbled onto the dancefloor when they had finished, I closed out the club and proceeded to go to one of the most sensible afterhours parties ever.

We sat in someone's kitchen drinking tea with no music on or heat for that matter.

Florence isn't really big on two-day benders. Oh well....

Alex Neri is the main resident of Tenax and blows my mind every time I hear him. He's one of the few DJs I'd go out to dance to and was also my studio partner for the 365 Florence tracks.

I love the fact that, as a weekly resident, he's always looking for a new sound, something different to last week.

The night we played together the music was really tripped out and lots of people lost their minds a little, my girlfriend included, who decided after much vodka to make her exit twenty minutes before closing.

She stepped out into the icy night, armed with a few Italian words and 20 euros and made the fantastic decision to walk back to the hotel.

In my opinion it is important to know where you are going before embarking on a nocturnal adventure on foot in a foreign country, but alas, I wasn't there.

Roundabout

Fast forward an hour or so to her waking up behind some trees and bushes on a roundabout.

How she got there no one but the vodka fairies will ever know, but now it really was time to get to the hotel.

The garage employee was useless, the police refused to take her but eventually a taxi driver with a better handling of English than she currently possessed brought her back.

Meanwhile, Alex decided we were all going to his studio for more but I felt that I should stop at the hotel first to see if she was okay as she had disappeared so quickly from the club.

When I entered our room, a tiny, drunken, shivering voice uttered "I'm c..c..c..cold to th..th..the bone" from beneath the sheets and by the time I had come back outside two minutes later my Italian afterhours counterparts had abandoned me for the studio.

It was of course, the best afterhours party Italy had ever seen and I missed it!

Thanks Mrs. Cold To The Bone. The only casualties of the night were the roundabout bushes and a lens cap from our camera. And I thought I was rock n' roll.

Play All Night Long

I'm a selfish, self-obsessed DJ


Lee Burridge

I played alone on the third week and as I'm a selfish, self-obsessed DJ this was my favorite night of the four.

Being able to play all night long at one of my favorite clubs in the world to people who actually hear music is unreal.

I'd decided to make a CD to hand out
to everyone during the night, but
some people just did not understand what
it was that I was doing.

I tried so hard to give the CD to this one guy who had been dancing like crazy all night but he kept refusing me again and again.

Eventually I realised the poor Italian thought I was down on my luck and trying to sell it to him.

"Step right up folks... limited edition Lee Burridge mix CD... going cheap.

No, I'm not asking for fifteen Euros... not twelve... not ten... just eight... I have a wife and kids to feed you know!!"

This was also the part of the night when I met a wonderful girl who asked her friend to tell me that she only knew how to say one thing in English and she wanted to tell me.

Now, not being a master of any other languages myself, I am far from criticising anyone, but where and why she learned this sentence is beyond me: "DON'T BREAKA MY BALLS".

She kept pointing at me and saying it over and over again, followed by maniacal laughter from her and her friends.

Romantic Language

Italian is, after all, in my opinion, the most romantic language but I guess its translation is not.

You probably know that Steve Bug has been playing great music for a long time. He's been a regular visitor at Tyrant and was amazing this summer at DC-10, so he was number one on my list to play with at Tenax.

He really tore it up on the closing night of 365 and funnily enough finished off with 'Body Language' by Booka Shade.

Not feeling the neatness of that same track opening and closing these four weeks, we persuaded Steve to play one more, or was it two?

It was a messy night all around and I can't wait to do it again.

Tenax closes during the summer from around mid-May until September.

I strongly recommend you take your boyfriend or girlfriend or just a friend to a beautiful city and to one of the coolest clubs on the planet.

Oh, one more thing. This was something I started to think about while in Italy.

Kissing Cheeks

Does anyone have a definitive guide to the amount of times you kiss people on the cheek in each country?

I always get in a pickle as it seems to be different in every country.

Can't we just standardise this formality? I'm fine with two kisses. One on each cheek seems generous enough or a firm handshake for people you don't find sexy.

It's not easy going in for the second kiss (or third) and being left out there in cheek-kiss limbo.

Here is a short list to help you all avoid making the same social faux pas that I constantly make.

Even superstar DJs steal hotel towels
ITALY...TWO KISSES

FRANCE...TWO KISSES

NETHERLANDS...THREE KISSES

UK...FIRM HANDSHAKE



DON'T BREAKA MY BALLS!

Love, Leeeee

*and possibly some that hit your high street in 1985.

COMPETITION


DJmag.com has the last pair of tickets to give away to Lee Burridge's Winter Music Conference bash in Miami on Saturday 25 March.

The gig has already sold out, so these tickets are in high demand.

To win, simply answer this question:

What is the name of Lee's global tour?

Email your answers and full contact details (incl. mob number) here. Please write 'Lee' in the subject box of your email.

Don't bother entering if you won't be in Miami on 25 March!