The Glimmers

Belgian DJs waffle about their headline slot at Alpha as <em>Time Out</em> braces itself for their eclectic much-anticipated set at the Garhoud staple.

DJ feature

From hip hop to indie to breaks to house; The Glimmers can play for any audience. But as David Fouquaert, one half of the duo, explains to James Wilkinson, all they really want is to be booed.

You guys are from Ghent, the same Belgian city as SoulWax. Do they put something in the water there?
It’s just that not that many Belgian DJs go international – just us and the guys from SoulWax – so we both get quite a lot of press. It’s nothing special, though we know them quite well.

Does it annoy you that they are better known abroad?
No, it’s a different story – they were a band and they were with a record label that had big promotional tools, whereas we’ve achieved success without all those resources. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved without being linked to a big label.

What made you stand out way back when you started?
In the ’90s you had house music, drum ’n’ bass or hip hop, and every DJ or producer stuck to one style. But we were mixing it up from day one – we would play Simple Minds next to a hip hop record next to some house records. It’s far more interesting to us like this – it’s boring to be too linear.

That must make you an uneasy fit in most places.
We always try to make the best of it. If we know that it is an indie club or the previous DJ was playing indie, we will adapt ourselves with the tools that we have, so we won’t play Armin Van Buuren there. There is a lot of good music in every genre, but the audience decides where we go.

Does it matter that much what the last guy was playing?
Yes – people pay for a good night, not a good two hours, so we try to take in what the warm-up DJ is doing and continue in that vein, and then hand it over.

Do you ever get boos from the crowd for playing something unexpected?
If we get boos from the crowd then it is because we create them. Like, we do something that we know they won’t like just to get their attention. For example, we’ll put the volume down and down until they think something has gone wrong with the audio. It would be great to get boos, though.

Really?
Yes, it must be great to see that happen. Well not great, but we do this so often that after two or three records we know what the audience wants. And if we’re wrong we can always find something they will like. So it would be a change.

OK, how’s about this: give us a song that you’ll play on the night, and when Time Out readers hear it, they can boo you.
It will have to be one they don’t like.

What about ‘The Birdy Song’?
‘The Birdy Song!’ I know we have that in our collection somewhere, but I can’t find it. We could do ‘The Square Dance’… I forget who did that one. Or we could do ‘Living Doll’ by Cliff Richard! Yes, let’s pick that one!

Right then. Play ‘Living Doll’ on the night and we’ll encourage our readers to boo you.
OK. Cool!

The Glimmers play See You Next Thursday at Alpha on October 23.

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