Dear Reader: Nightmare at the vinyl decks!

NADV110729 Gered Mankowitz @ Red House. Gered Mankowitz and Graham Chalmers. (110729AM2)
NADV110729 Gered Mankowitz @ Red House. Gered Mankowitz and Graham Chalmers. (110729AM2)

Weekly column by Graham Chalmers

You may, or may not, have noticed but it was ‘Democracy Day’ in the UK earlier this week.

Either way, there was little danger of voters rushing to the streets in a demonstration of enthusiasm for the state of politics today.

It’s easy to blame such apathy on public contempt for MPs after the expenses scandal and a lengthy list of other embarrassing shenanigans.

But, perhaps, there is a deeper faultline, one which runs from top to bottom - the absence of straight talking.

In terms of our district, the current battlegrounds of housing developments and council cuts come wrapped in confusion.

Who’s to blame? Who said what and what does it really mean?

Traffic calming measures at Bogs Lane in Harrogate were required, we were told, before families could move into new housing. Now it seems they’re not.

Major cuts to libraries aren’t bad news at all but ‘opportunities’ for the community to get involved.

Nowadays a spade can be called anything - a shovel or a wheelbarrow or a pink elephant - just not a spade.

l How hard could it be? DJ-ing at a vinyl records night in the pleasantly bohemian surroundings of Ten Devonshire Place.

Pretty soon I realised I was changing 7in singles like a teenager changes gear on his first driving lesson.

I just about got away with playing a little-known Cliff Richard rock n roll track originally released before I was born but Steinski & Mass Media’s even more obscure The Motorcade Sped On led to a few baffled looks in this popular Harrogate bar.

At one point, the night’s MC, the vastly more experienced DJ Trev, even gave me a telling off for texting during my own set.

I’m not saying Fatboy Slim should be quaking in his booth but I’ve always believed the tune itself is more important than whoever happens to play it.