No-one throws a dj party like Scratchy. The renown dj who toured with the legendary Clash, Scratchy still has his finger on the rockin’ dance pulse, bringing together an irresistible blend of rock’n’roll, reggae and roma, a true mestizo mix of the greatest music on the planet, from and for all times.
At a time when everyone claims to be a dj, Scratchy stands out as a genuine, independent and free-thinking phenomenon.
It was a consciousness and love of rockin’n’rollin roots music, a formidable reputation from his ongoing club and concert work at major venues and events in London, from Dingwalls to the Roundhouse and the Lyceum plus an initial couple of tours with Dr.Feelgood, that led to two years as the on-the-road tour dj with his favourite band the Clash. He accompanied them throughout the UK and was an essential feature of their first three US campaigns. Meanwhile, between tours, he continued to play London concerts with stellar acts like Iggy Pop, Blondie, the Ramones, the Cramps and Black Uhuru.
Excited by how the punk sensibility had spread across the globe, combining with different local musical traditions to bring about fresh musical forms, in the new millennium he hooked up again with Joe Strummer, himself a great adherent of the new global music. This provided Scratchy with the perfect arena to further develop his own fascination with both roots music and the contemporary and, thus, take ‘The Rock and The Roll of The World’ back onto a larger stage.
Scratchy had bypassed so-called ‘DJ culture’ and remains to this day relatively and refreshingly beats-free. He is an unrepentant rock’n’roller. It is that spirit which he still seeks today, in the music of the wider world.
Now, it is not unusual to hear Selecta Scratchy segue from the honking horns of the Skatalites into the pumping brass of Fanfare Ciocarlia. The frantic sounds of New Orleans’ Zydepunks might give way to some classic Cajun, whilst the loping bass and accordion stabs of a Colombian cumbia may hand over to Mano Negra’s jumped-up mestizo-punk. One thing is for sure, his mixes are unique. They are neither predictable nor are they one-dimensional. No two sets are alike. In pushing his audience, Scratchy is always pushing himself. Scratchy passionately believes that whilst being there to entertain, his role can also be to open minds whilst, of course, having fun.
He continues to look forward whilst also delving into the past and plays to wild and enthusiastic crowds in clubs and at major festivals from Sziget to Glastonbury, across Europe and beyond. Since being back on the road with Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros, Scratchy has also teamed up with the Pogues, played at home and abroad with the Dead Brothers, covered Europe with Groundation and, throughout 2006 & 2007, he toured extensively with Gogol Bordello.
In 2004, he compiled the highly praised ‘Scratchy Sounds: Ska, Dub, Roots and Reggae Nuggets’ on Trojan and was also invited by Piranha Records in 2007 to select the tracks for one of their downloadable Jubilee releases, ‘Rockin’ the Barricades’.
Ever with a sharp eye and a highly-tuned ear for emerging talent, he often works in conjunction with the popular London combo, The Urban Voodoo Machine. Along with Paul-Ronney Angel, front man of the band, Scratchy, as resident dj, set up London’s hot monthly club night, the Gypsy Hotel, which entered its fifth successful year in October 2010. In March 2011 they released 'Gypsy Hotel: Bourbon-Soaked Snake-Charmin' Rock'n'Roll Cabaret, Volume 1', a compilation of some of the-best-of-the-best bands they've featured.
Always seeking fresh outlets and audiences that are ready to party and be amazed, Scratchy's long list of triumphs have encompassed the shaking of clubs from the Sonar in Siena to the Scala in London. He has rattled festival tents and stages from Rock for People, Colours and Trutnov in the Czech Republic to the Wig-On Casino at the UK’s Endorse-It and he has rolled ships from Le Bateau Geneve in Switzerland to la Dame de Canton in Paris. Amongst recent successes, Scratchy debuted in Athens, Tirana and Kiev, performed in an ancient castle perched on a hilltop in Calabria and he returned to Ukraine for the Stare Misto Festival in Lviv. Already lined up for 2011 are dates in Italy, France, Hungary, Finland and Scratchy will perform for the first time in Estonia at the World Day Festival in the capital, Tallinn.
Scratchy has been described by one of his listeners as a Music Shaman. Whether on his weekly internet ‘Scratchy Sounds’ radio show, on wirelessfm, or in the flesh, Scratchy’s legendary and vibrant selections will delight, make you want to dance to some of the greatest music on the planet and take you places where others fear to tread.