Well here it is, our Fifth and final DJ in our series, the one and only Steve “Doc” Handsley, who as part of our DJ Soul Team of 5 has made a significant contribution to establishing a Soul Scene at The Blue Note for the Over 35’s.
Although the “Doc” is last in our series of 5 “Meet the DJ’s” series, he is a major part of our Soul presentation team. The “Doc” specialises in Soulful House and will be bringing a Grand Slam contribution to our season end finale Soul Gig.
So, here are the 10 questions we have put to each of our DJ team of which offers a brief insight to the person behind the “Mic”, gives you an insight into who these guys are, where they come from and how they come to be working as a DJ.
|1||Who are you||My name is Steve Handsley.|
|2||Where do you come from||I am what’s colloquially called a “Stockie Lad”, having been born at 291 Stockbrook Street, Derby, in 1953. I later moved to Grove Street in Normanton where I spent most of my formative years. (No more local than being a “Stockie” Lad”)
|3||What’s your day job||I’m an Associate Professor in Sociology of Health and also an Academic Governor at De Montfort University in Leicester. A long story short, I spent many years in the transport/haulage industry, before returning to education as a “very” mature student at the age of 42. Following a return to learning 6 week taster course, I then successfully completed an Access Course, then a BA (Hons) in Sociology at Derby University and finally a PhD in Sociology at Warwick University. Having made the leap back into education, I have never looked back since and absolutely love my job and still sometimes have to pinch myself at what I have managed to achieve in such a relativity short space of time. (Nice to know working class lads can make it to the top, well done “Doc”)
|4||How did you get into DJ’ing||I suppose much like Backo and Rev, the story starts in the early stages of my life when I was introduced to music. My first memory is off my elder sister playing (now I’m really showing my age) Elvis Presley, Adam Faith and Cliff Richard on an old gramophone we had at home (I think I was around 3 years old). As I grew older, I began to develop my own taste and style and so playing tunes became second nature. However, again, a bit like Backo, my first proper DJ spot was at “Dale Youth Club” (part of Dale School) when I was 13 years old. Two of the teachers at the school were members of a band which played a mixture of motown, blues & soul and so I would accompany them as the DJ.
|5||Do you have a “Tag Name” and how did you get it??||For a long time, no, I didn’t. However, it was Backo who began lovingly referring to me as “The Doc”, and it seems to have stuck. It originates from me having my doctorate and, therefore, it an abbreviation of my official title (sorry if this sounds a bit pretentious). So, it’s Steve “Doc” Handsley. (Sounds OK to me “DOC” !!!)
|6||Do you have a favourite track||As above, having been exposed to an eclectic array of music for more years than I care to remember, to narrow it down to a 1000 would be difficult, never mind one, since there are so many mammoth tracks, artists and genres to choose from i.e. soul, house, jazz, blues, reggae, Cajun, rock, folk, pop etc. As I am introduced to new tunes almost on a daily basis (I love the stuff Drake is turning out by the way), this makes it even harder to choose one in particular. “Bob, can I not have more than one or is that cheating”? OK, if I have to plump for one, then it has to be the track that never fails to get me on the dance floor at the “drop of a hat” – “She’ll Come Running Back” by Mel Britt. After all these years, I never ever tire of hearing it. However, over the past few years I have become almost obsessed with and absolutely passionate about House music – whether it be soulful, deep, gospel etc. – although, in the words of Kerri Chandler, whatever the splitting of genres, “House is House”. (Well our House is The Blue Note, and you are more than welcome to play your stuff here.)
|7||Whose your favourite band||As per your previous question, far too many to mention here, as there have been hundreds, especially if you break this down into solo artists, throughout my life. Whilst I was brought up on a diet of Rolling Stones, Kinks, Small Faces etc, a major influence on me has been the irrepressible, yet truly original Jimi Hendrix & his Experience – Can I not also sneak in the Jam (Paul Weller)? (Sounds like you had a good education!!! As an aside I went to Dale School as well)
|8||What’s your favourite night clu||I’m afraid I can’t match Backo’s celebratory endorsement (Terry Christen), so I won’t even try, but the club which shaped my future was the Locarno in Babington Lane. Like many of my generation, I first started out at the “Saturday morning sessions” (listening to such sounds as The Kinks – “You Really Got Me”, before progressing to the “Grown-ups Tuesday nights”. These nights featured a mixture of Motown, Soul and Live Bands. It was here that I first heard such sounds as “A lot of Love” by Homer Banks – or “She’s About a Mover” by the Sir Douglas Quintet. However, along with the mighty “Rams”, I would have to say that Clouds which, as Backo pointed out, morphed into Cleo’s, was, and still is, in my musical DNA, and so comes a very close second. Much of my misspent youth was heavily influenced by both. (Wow, trips round Derby’s great nightclubs … not sure whether this was a miss-spent youth or a great education!!!)
|9||What’s your greatest music experience||As a member of a three piece band, it has to be my inaugural gig at “Dale Youth Club”, where we played covers of songs by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and the Pretty Things. I was the vocalist and we played to a full house of thousands (well, at least 40 or so). (Say no more.)
|10||Give us a “Pearl” of wisdom.||It’s never easy to make comment on what people may or may not find “Wisdom”, but here goes.
“Be a good person but don’t waste time trying to prove it”. (Excellent Doc, I knew we could rely on you.)
Well that’s it, our five DJ’s have opened their hearts and told you a little about their lives, where they are from and how they grew into the music scene and the DJ’s they are today.
On behalf of the Blue Note I would like to formally thank Paul “Backo” Baxter, Tony “Rev” Palmer, Jon Mills, Paul “Shabba” Shippey and Steve “Doc” Handsley for taking part in our “Meet the DJ” series.
I hope everyone who has taken the time to read these blogs have enjoyed the wit and wisdom of our team and most of all, have managed to get to our gigs and enjoy the music.
Regards to all of our followers,
Team Blue Note.
PS – Follow this link to listen to a wonderful session of Soulful House by The “Doc”. You won’t be disappointed whatever your taste in soul and it’s various forms. The Doc is appearing LIVE at The Blue Note on 9th December 2017 at our season end finale Soul Fuzion Xmas Party.
Buy your tickets now and come along for a great night of Soul Music in all it’s forms. Doors Open 9.00pm till around 2.00am.