Dom Chung

UK celebrity, man about town, DJ, and Ministry of Sound resident Dom Chung is heading for Dubai this week. <em>Time Out</em> finds out more about his trip.

DJ feature

Tell us about the last… thing you thought about The Ampidome.
I thought it was absolutely mad. It looks really good, and it’s the first time one has been used as a club, so it’s great to have the opportunity to open it.

...time you feared for your life.
That was when I was flying out of Spain last summer. We were coming back from the Sonar music festival and the plane hit a bird while we were passing over the water. It’s hard to describe, but being on a flight and suddenly hearing the engine cut out is the worst thing in the world. The engine just went chug-chug-chug and stopped, and obviously everyone lost the plot. My girlfriend was getting really upset, so I spent the whole thing telling her that it was going to be all right, while looking out of the window and thinking, ‘No it’s not.’

…time you saw a celebrity in your audience.
A celebrity in my audience? I don’t think I’ve ever had one of them! My sister Alexa is a TV presenter in the UK, but she never comes to see me. She saw me a few times before she became too famous. Her boyfriend is [Arctic Monkeys vocalist] Alex Turner and sometimes he comes for dinner with our family, so we have to pretend we don’t know he’s famous. He came around and said, ‘Hi, I’m Alex,’ and we were all trying to play it cool while sitting there going, ‘Oooh!’

…time you realised what a great job you have.
Every time I go away. I still see a lot of the friends that I grew up with, and I remember that even though it could be better, it could be a lot worse. They’re doing nine-to-five jobs and that’s just not for me.

…time you played a tiny club.
Ah, you’re testing my memory now! Nah, not really. I’ve got a residency at the East Village Club in London. It’s only 200 capacity, but I actually prefer playing smaller clubs because they have a better atmosphere. It’s nice to play a place that has 3,000 people in it, but it’s no fun when you’re on a stage miles away from everyone. You can really lose the atmosphere unless everything’s absolutely right. In smaller clubs you can play a bit more across the board a bit too.

…DJing disaster.
Last time I played for Ministry, I fell asleep on the bus on the way to the gig and woke up in a completely different part of London. So I arrived half an hour late for a gig that I was supposed to be opening and walked into a club full of people listening to a CD. I had to apologise to everyone and start playing. I obviously didn’t tell them I fell asleep on the bus, though. I just said there’d been trouble on the London Underground.

…time you thought about the future.
I do think about this quite a lot. I’m not sure I’m happy with what I’m doing at the moment actually. I’ve still got to work it out for myself. I want to get some music out there, get on some record labels.

…time out thought about giving it all up.
I’ve never thought about that, but I have thought that I don’t want to be one of those 40- or 50-year-old men who come around sleazing on young girls. So I think I’ll retire gracefully rather than cling to the dream. But I’ve got a good few years in me yet – I’m only 26. After that I’ll go live on a tropical island with my beautiful wife and do nothing. Well, I’ve got to find a wife first but hopefully by then I’ll have one.

Dom Chung plays The Ampidome on August 7.

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