This game, as you were perhaps beginning to guess, was invented of necessity, whilst at The Zodiac for Transformation with tinyjo, Lorna (ex-housemate and home-wrecking harpy) and Duncan (collaborator in the home-wrecking, but also in the moving of shitloads of stuff across Oxford which earns him a certain amount of forgiveness). The first DJ's ongoing theme seemed to be 'Tracks that make last even longer than you thought they did' (epitomised by the extended mix of something by The Stone Roses), or perhaps 'Songs that remind you of the fact that this band has produced far better songs.' Even the VJing didn't kick in until about midnight, so until then their screen was just showing a bird's eye view of the DJ, which wasn't really very interesting. Well, OK, there was one bit where it looked like he was either pulling the CD out of the front of his trousers or perhaps expressing his love for music a little too carnally, but when it became clear that he was just polishing the disc in question on his over-stuffed t-shirt, the novelty wore off.
The VJing, when it started, didn't add much to the excitement, consisting as it did mainly of Bill Plympton(?) shorts, Celebrity Death Match, or the video to the song currently playing, displayed irritatingly out of synch. Couple this with their tendency to have the black area of the screen replaced with sepia live footage of the people nearest the stage jigging about a bit, and the result was an unholy combination of listless music TV surfing and Top Of The Pops crowd shots. Musically things picked up a bit by 12:30, though by that point we were all flagging somewhat. I did get to dance to 'Out Of Space' by The Prodigy though, a track guaranteed to make me go mental. Perhaps we should have spent more time downstairs, rather than being seduced in hanging around upstairs by the nearly-goodness of the tunes. Still, the alternative didn't look too promising either from our brief visit. They had list of a couple of hundred tunes taped to the mixing desk, and you could choose one, filling in a form and have your request passed on to the DJ. You know, like karaoke, only without the participation, or a requests set without the creativity. Actually, thinking about it, it was basically like using people to simulate a loud jukebox.
I suppose it's a sensible way of running a set like that. When I'm DJing I normally hate it when people make requests, especially when they're incoherent, inappropriate, shit, or absolutely bang-on but for a track I don't actually have with me. And they're (almost) always (at least) one of those. I'm not sure why this operation rqeuired three people to administer it, mind you, as with two decks that played mp3s directly from CD you could have run the whole thing without even changing a disc. Maybe they needed to discourage people from offering non-approved suggestions. The selection was reasonable, if a little 'urban' for my urbane tastes, and I had a grave suspicion that they would be reduced to playing 'Crazy In Love' every half hour.
I hear that The Zodiac will soon be open until 4am every Friday and Saturday. We left at about 1. Maybe I'm getting old...