Top DJ Mr Scruff set to perform in Clitheroe tonight

Mr Scruff set to perform in Clitheroe tonight
Mr Scruff set to perform in Clitheroe tonight

Mr Scruff has helped shape the foundations of Manchester music, but when we chat on the phone from Scruff HQ he says he is just pottering before rolling up his sleeves for a marathon, five hour DJ set at The Grand, Clitheroe tonight.

“I’ve got serious cabin fever, so I can’t wait to get to Clitheroe because I’ve been locked in at home,” he groaned.
“I fell off my bike a few weeks ago and broke my leg. It doesn’t hurt too much, though. I’ve been doing some good quality hobbling, though.
“But I’m ready to hit the road again and play some big tunes.”
So do not fear, Scruff will be spinning the platters tomorrow on his continuing global journey through the world of jazz, soul, hip hop, disco, deep house, punk, afro beat and plenty of goodies that don’t fit into any pigeon hole.
But there is something bothering Mr Scruffiness, who recently stuck a message on his website asking people not to play with their mobile phones on the dance-floor.
For some tech addicts that might be construed as a threat to their human rights, but Scruff insists the dance-floor is sacred – and a lot of his loyal followers have turned on, tuned in and switched off.
“I’m not the phone police on patrol and I know one or two might get upset, but we want the dance floor to be a place where everyone can be in the moment, because it is a place where people can let go of every day life and dream,” he said.
“If you’re tweeting, texting, bidding for a pair of socks on eBay or taking a picture of your friends, you’re not only out of the moment, you also might be making it hard for someone else to be in the moment.
“Mobile telephones have become an extra appendage and they’ve created a barrier, I think, between people on the dance floor and in general life.
“Great memories are made on the dance floor and the mad, motley crew who go there are far more important than the DJ.
“People just want to be let loose, relax and enjoy the vibe.”
Not only has he released several critically acclaimed albums, including the hard edged Electronica celebration of Friendly Bacteria, this is a DJ who can sell out shows armed only with his records, some turntables and a few spare packets of tea bags.
When Mr Scruffs range of speciality teas – including Tippy Earl Grey and Detox Hangover Cure - were launched they quickly became a best selling grocery product.
He even has his own tea shop in Manchester, where he mixes some of the finest brews – and tunes – in the north.
“When you do a gig, and you’ve the entire recorded history of music at your disposal, plus an incredible audience, magical things can happen,” he said.
“But music is a bit like tea isn’t it? In the morning you might want something really strong to get the gears going; in the evening, you might go for something a bit mellower, or something nourishing that you can feel is good for you. It all depends on you.”
Scruff is a mix master always pushing the boundaries and recalls listening to a floor rattling eighties track by Detroit electro act Cybertron, adding: “I was 11 years old and it blew my mind because that tune changed everything.
“After that, I want to be startled every day by shambolic, diverse music. You have to force yourself out of the comfort zone all the time. Djing is like you are welcoming every single person into your home – and that’s how I see it.”
Mr Scruff, The Grand Theatre, Clitheroe, tonight, 01200 421599.