A version of this article first appeared in Time Out's Valentine's Issue, 2011.
It's the weekend before Valentine's Day and everybody is doing it. DJing, we mean. You filthy lot. Like rockland, clubland also has its Gwen Stefanis and Gavin Rossdales (minus the love children, we imagine) and many of them are playing at parties this weekend, just like house duo Bearweasel at Fabric on Saturday and this frisky lot below.
As it happens, I'll also be spinning in, erm, the name of love: in the 'kissing booth' at Nauti.Cool at The Book Club on Friday with my better half, where there will also be couples-only sets from the likes of Zara from Peanut Butter Jelly Time and her beau, Tim of the Filthy Dukes.
But is it all just a good excuse for a grope behind the turntables? Or does the relationship dynamic lend itself to skillz outside the sheets? We grilled four couples to find out what makes them tick…
Read the full piece after the jump or on Time Out's website here.
Valentine's DJs: It takes two baby…
Richard Young and Sophie Ellis-Bextor (above) Pop siren Sophie and her husband Richard, from indie band The Feeling, are resident DJs at Love to Love at The Bathhouse in Liverpool Street.
Sophie 'We have a nocturnal lifestyle, as do many of our friends, so we started a club night, Modern Love, and did whatever DJing we could around that. I've collaborated with many DJs on songs over the years and have picked up tips where I can. Richard and I are still learning, but we've come on a lot since the early days, and now we're always at Love to Love. We once did a Guilty Pleasures night: I took the whole thing a bit too literally and played some Daphne and Celeste. I don't think I'll ever revisit that!' Richard 'We have similar tastes, but I'm more into the heavy stuff, whether that's dubstep or Rage Against The Machine and, when it comes down to it, Sophie can be quite typically girly: she'd rather have something fun to dance to over something clever. We get excited about playing new things very loudly and having a bit of a dance - and if one of us wants to have a boogie on the dancefloor or needs a refill, there's always one of us left to play the next song, which is great. But, like a typical boy, sometimes I hog the mixer and Sophie doesn't get a look-in!'
Top Valentine track Candi Staton's 'Young Hearts Run Free'. See them next at Addicted to Love to Love: The Masked Ball at The Bathhouse on Friday February 11.
Sunta Templeton and Liam Young Sunta, an Xfm host, and her DJ boyfriend Liam can usually be found at the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch and at indie parties across the world.
Sunta 'We met at Xfm's New Year's Eve party in 2008, where we were both booked to DJ. It was gone midnight, I was quite drunk and all my mates were getting a New Year's kiss from somebody, so I went to find the cocky but very-good-looking guy, Liam, that I'd met in the dressing-room earlier. He was wasted, but I got my kiss before he threw up and passed out on a couch. Now we DJ everywhere together: promoters will get us two-for-one because neither of us is very good at staying at home. But Mat Horne's Session at the Queen of Hoxton is our monthly residency: we've celebrated two anniversaries behind the decks there!'
Liam 'According to Sunta, I also pretended that Alex Zane had thrown her CDs out of the window that night! Ourtastes are quite similar, but she likes a lot of Britpop and I don't. Apart from that, we'veintroduced each other to a lot of new stuff, which keeps our sets interesting. I'm quite stubborn and if I don't like a song she plays, I sulk. Also, I throw CDs and don't put them back in the right places. But we have an amazing time together; we only need to take one record bag and we're guaranteed a pull at the end of the night!'
Top Valentine track 'Baby I Love You' by The Ramones. See them next at The 25th Hour at the Queen of Hoxton on Friday February 11.
Christian Nockall and Rachel Barton Christian and Rachel DJ from London to Ibiza and run bi-monthly club night Lively at The Nest in Dalston.
Christian 'We play back to back at Lively, although I have been known to leave Rachel to it so I can get pissed. We don't really argue behind the decks, but Rachel usually ends up asking me where all the vodka has gone! We share an appreciation of quality house music: we both love the jackin', boompty, percussive kind. That's why we decided to start Lively, to showcase those kinds of sounds and book DJs we love.'
Rachel 'We've run sold-out parties at Notting Hill Carnival for the last two years, but in 2010 we ran it under the Lively name and thus our joint club night was born. We work together on it really well: it's very democratic and we'll ask each other about the next track to play as we know all of each other's records. It's rare that Christian won't like something I like and vice versa. But Christian is more into house records that build for a long time, whereas I'm a little less patient and like something to happen more quickly!'
Emergency floor-filler Zombie Disco Squad's remix of Black Box's 'Ride on Time'. See them next at Lively at The Nest on Friday February 11. Rachel is also appearing at Annie Mac Presents at Koko on Saturday February 12.
Angie B and Dogtaniaun Funky house DJ Angie and her MC-host husband Michael (aka Dogtaniaun) play all over London and have a weekly show on Rinse FM.
Angie B 'We were doing a radio show together on Deja Vu for eight years, but after two years it progressed into a relationship. He was very persistent! Even when we met, at a night called Freedom at Bagleys, where I was DJing and he was the MC, he was still talking about me on the mic to the audience while I was walking out of the door and another girl was on the decks. She wasn't impressed! Orlando, our four-year-old son, picks up the mic and sings, but he doesn't quite get it at the moment. We take him to the radio show with us and he always wants to get on the mic, but we have to switch him off after a while!'
Dogtaniaun 'Because we weren't in a relationship first, we'd got our set choreographed already and had figured out the way we worked. It's more than a physical attraction with us: she takes the lead, tells me off when she wants to and then we carry on as normal! Sometimes stuff does come out on air, though: two weeks ago, I got two parking tickets in the space of an hour. When I told her about the first one, she took it quite well; but when it came to the second, she lost it a bit.'
Top Valentine track 'Superman' by Black Coffee featuring Bucie. See them next at The Fridge on Sunday February 13 when Angie B DJs at Persona's Valentine's Edition; Angie B and Dogtaniaun are at Sting at Mustard Bar on Saturday February 19; and catch them every Saturday 3-5pm on Rinse FM (www.rinse.fm).