‘Music helps us get out of our minds,’
Sharing and receiving music for me is one of life’s great pleasures, to see the reaction a certain track played at the right time and place has on people, is a beautiful thing. When I first started street trading, we’d find a disused piece of land in East London, plot up alongside our ‘informal trader community’; in a circle around a fire, built by a HOT tree surgeon (!), equipped with a chain saw and lumberjack shirt (ooh err!), a makeshift bar made from scaffolding and a sound system. We’d put messages out on socials and the people would flock in. In no time the place was heaving with full, happy smiley people dancing under the stars…… LIBERATING!!
See this TED TALK by Petra Barren, founder of KERB (and top bird!) explaining how our beloved street food revolution started here in the UK and featuring Healthy Yummies.
Such beautiful connections are made with people whom you’ve never met before, opening up over some ‘honest’ food and good music. THESE COMBINED create a safe place for people to let go and feel comfortable. It’s a simple thing really, but so effective and FUN for both our staff and customers. It’s part of HY DNA.
When we made the transition from street food to location catering, building sounds systems into our kitchen trucks was unquestionable! The mixes and playlists carefully selected for our locations and timing, so we might play some Nils Frahm, Darkside, Martin Roth, Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt when the sun is rising on a beautiful country estate over breakfast…. paying homage to the dramatic landscapes that we are so lucky to experience in this crazy but wonderful world of film and TV. Likewise, half way through a tough job at a film studio, when sleep deprivation has kicked in and stress levels high, we’ll play some old soulful bangers at breakfast that’ll lift spirits for all ages, even if just for a few moments before going on set, it resets the mood for the rest of the day.
I used to play a lot of AOR Disco tracks and playlists, they always went down a storm. We feed people of all ages, so the re-edits of old ‘West Coast’ tracks would tick a lot of boxes! The older set would remember the original and the younger ones would be getting into the re-birth of them with their slick productions bringing them into here and now. I’d be chopping away in the truck, having a little boogie and look out of the hatch to see a sea of hands trying to shazam the music! MAGIC!
I remember when we were on the first or second season of The Voice, it was a glorious summers day. Our truck ‘Theo’ was parked next door to the marquee where we fed everyone, we had the music pumping. If I remember rightly, the first over was Paloma Faith, then followed by Will I Am, Holly Willoughby and Tom Jones! They all came up the stairs at the front of the truck and started throwing shapes to the music!! Within no time a good 200 strong crew were in front of the truck dancing their socks off and whoop whooping.
In my 20’s and 30’s I promoted clubs all over London, then started work on a new project with best friend Keith Reilly, to provide a platform for new and un-heard music, on the best sound system in the world. The night club was Fabric, which opened in 1999 and remarkably, still going today!
Fast forward to today, I’ve been working with Nancy Noise and a collective of DJ’s and producers to create continuous, new and fresh DJ mixes (on Mixcloud) and playlists (on Spotify) for the enjoyment of our staff and crews. We cover all kinds of music from different parts of the world, for every mood and location, but with one proviso….
IT HAS TO BE GOOD!
Toodle pip, Nichola x