Profile: Roger D.G. Knight
Let me take you back in time to 1978. That was when I found myself in a ‘Fun Pub’ in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, doing my first solo DJ gig! I was armed with the top 30 7” singles, along with my personal music collection that featured lots of David Bowie and a few Top of the Pops albums. I’d spent the previous twelve months learning the art of performance as a DJ working as a roadie and warm-up DJ for a man who was ahead of his time when it came to ‘entertaining’ his audiences, Mr Wayne Burman. Wayne insisted that wherever we worked we ‘put on a show’ and this is something that has stayed with me throughout my DJ career.
From then I was hooked and, even though I managed to carve out a working career with ‘normal’ jobs, I always continued with my DJ work in the evenings and at weekends. Over the following 38 years I have been blessed to find myself successful as a DJ/Entertainer playing amazing music and attending some incredible parties. Thanks to the support of some wonderful DJ friends like Wayne, Dave London, Jeff Thomas, Mike James, Alan Thomas, John Dabbs, Derrick Mighten and so many others that I have had the pleasure to work with back home in Wales, I managed to carve out a name for myself in the Welsh ‘Club Scene’ during the 1980s and 90s.
I enjoyed some long-term residencies at great party clubs, pubs and venues like Harpers and Sloanes in Swansea, Paradise in Pontardawe, Astons & Benz in Bridgend, Bentleys in the Mumbles, Neros in Cardiff and the Troubadour in Port Talbot where I worked with a young guy called Rob Brydon (Uncle Bryn from Gavin & Stacey). These were amazing times to be a DJ and I got to play some fantastic tunes in the pop, jazz-funk, soul, RnB and rock genres, all the while making sure that I left the audiences feeling that they had attended ‘an event’ by the end of the night.
Now that I’m older I have fleeting regrets over not taking the opportunities I was offered to travel abroad to DJ, with Julianna’s for instance. But, to be honest, I was having a ball right where I was and so I can’t complain really.
During the mid-to-late eighties I discovered a whole new aspect to my DJ work which came about when I became the ‘front man’ for the Harp Lager Roadshow. This involved working with bands and going out to perform mini tours, Monday to Thursday, around the Midlands and the South. This is where I learnt to step away from the decks and entertain people in a different way. I completed 350 shows over a three-year period and worked with some amazing acts, my favourite being the Band Physique who were also based in Swansea. We had some awesome times culminating in entertaining 4,500 service men and women at Earl’s Court for two years running, what an experience!
As the 80s gave way to the 90s my journey in the late night marketplace continued. I was booked to perform at various pubs and clubs in both Wales and my new home of Somerset where I became resident DJ at The Palace Nightclub in Bridgwater. I then decided to concentrate more on my corporate career for a while. During that time, it made sense to step away from the late night club work and switch back to working as a mobile DJ at the weekends, which proved successful for a while.
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 77, Pages 17 - 22.