The lamp could well be one of the most overlooked objects in the modern world. It’s fair to say that most, if not all, of us have had a run in with a lamp – be it the struggle to reach from cosy blankets and bypass cups or whatever other breakables that inhabit a bedside locker to switch it off before bed, or lethargic-ly reaching behind couches and chairs in the sitting room for the plug while your mind is still half way in the sleep dimension after dozing off in front of the TV.
The lamp has been overlooked for its role in many different forms of media. In films, the lamp is always hastily turned on whenever the protagonist’s home is broken into and it has often witnessed some of the most iconic domestic action scenes we have come to watch in the cinema or on the TV. It has helped 100s if not 1000s of writers get through the small hours of the night and helped even more readers read the words that the lamp illuminated when they were first written. In fact, as far as things with one solitary use go, a lamp can go a long way as regards lighting up situations, that need that bit more of a solitary setting.
So what business does a lamp have in a nightclub? 100s or 1000s (Depending on the venue) of people all packed into one place in order to let go of their external lives and express themselves and have a good time
With the lights off.
So who dragged the humble lamp into this club setting? Wasn’t the lamp there to bring light to creative and educated spaces of learning and expression? In short, yes. There are no lamps in nightclubs – for the use of, or directed at, the club goers.
This lamp in the club can be found in the DJ booth, lighting up the tools at the hands of the DJ who’s role in the club is arguably the most important out of everyone there. Of course, with that being said too, not every club has a lamp for their DJ, but for those that do, the lamp probably hasn’t been changed for quite a while, meaning that if it had a conscious memory, that lamp will have seen it all.
This exploration into the lamp’s eye would be one that would depend on the venue, given that it centers on the music being played, but if there were a ‘Lamps Association’ with a mainframe of clubbing and DJ memories taken from the Lamps front row view, it’d be a special one.
From hearing a residents’ set repeatedly once a week, with only a mild peppering of new songs each fortnight, to shedding light on the arsenal of empty bottles after a washed up EuroTrance star’s drink rider has been drank, the lamp has the seats the person banging onto the booth with the flash glaring on their phones has always wanted. It has seen the most masterful of mixes; transitions from genres and songs that, side by side, would seem alien to the naked ear, and has been there for all the sloppy inebriated mistakes, not to mention highlighting all the unnecessary extra feet in the booth – eager friends on the guestlist, managers/agents, overanxious club staff or that one ‘unbelievable’ DJ in the crowd that has managed to barge up there in an attempt to go back to back with one of Ibiza’s highest paid act. For something as monotonous as a lamp, in the monotonous settings of a DJ booth, it brings light to the moments of magic and chaos that everyone else in the club don’t have a clue about.
DJing technology is advancing quite quickly and while most decks and controllers have their on lights on board, the lamp is still a necessary tool in those dingy and dark venues all over the globe. It has to play second fiddle to the phone flashlight when a cable has come loose or when someone’s USB has gone AWOL, the lamp is still always there. Imagine all of the back to backs, unreleased and never released tracks being played by the top dogs in the industry, or the lads that never had the courage to go for it themselves.
In recent times, it has been accompanied on stage by a GoPro, however not every club has the finances or motivation to record their disc jockey’s set. Visually, the GoPro’s role in the booth is one that will allow many club fans to relive, or see for the first time, some historical moments in time to come, however it only shines a light on the glamorous side of the club and the DJ landscape.
The funny thing about clubs is that no matter the amount of add ons and extra lights and speakers, GoPros and *insert fancy technology here*s they can get their hands on, the essence is all the same. Someone with a good knowledge of music playing songs to please the crowd, the decks to play the songs on and a lamp so the DJ can see what they’re doing on the decks themselves. They’re the basic necessary tools and anything on top of that is up to the selector themselves or the club if they feel like they, or the DJ, are outgrowing their current surroundings.
There are clubs with no desire to promote their DJs however, no want to improve their experience, where in truth, the only assistance the DJ has in furthering their brand and sound is that single solitary lamp that’s letting them see what everyone else is hearing.