96, Issue 55
Best of Arts
of Arts & Leisure
of the Rest
being named after a drunken, wife-beating cartoon character, Andy Hicks
(aka DJ Andycapp) actually comes off as a pretty nice guy. He saves his
aggression for his turntables, which he's been spinning for nearly a decade,
and reveals that his love affair with vinyl began when he was about 14-years-old.
"When I was younger, the only way to get certain music was on vinyl,
so I had no other options and [eventually I] built up a huge collection
and then I got my first gig when I was 19," he says. An enduring
presence on London's fledging club scene, Hicks mixes everything from
R&B to funk to trip-hop every Friday night at the Bacchus Lounge.
He places emphasis on music he deems "soulful," but is hesitant
to define this term. "It could be anything. It could be rock. Classical
is [soulful], country is too. It's just [whatever's] meaningful to you,"
he explains. Hicks co-owns and co-manages Soul Choice, an urban clothing
and record store downtown, and plays frequent club gigs at parties and
fashion shows around London, while maintaining his Friday night residency
called DOWN! at the Bacchus. Although he has earned quite a following
as a DJ in London over the years, Hicks is quick to suggest the DJ scene
is suffering in The Forest City. "It's pretty bad right now,"
he says, "Partly due to a lack of venues and also [because] the DJ
thing has kind of played itself out a bit." He also points out that
London has many overall drawbacks and limitations as a city. "It's
really white and conservative and people do what they're told," he
exclaims with great chagrin. Then why is he still here instead of moving
to a larger metropolis? "If I went to Toronto, I would have to start
all over again," he admits. "[In London], I'm
surrounded by whatever the underground is, so that's why I feel comfortable
- I surround myself with it." With his obvious intelligence and slick
skills behind the turntables, DJ Andycapp is a beacon of hope that suggests
London's conservative spirit can still be turned on its head after all.
© 2002 THE GAZETTE