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Cally Gage interview in advance of Frantic and Frenzy - Part 1

12th of April 2007 - interview copyright of Frenzy

Cally Gage is one of the new breed of hard house DJs and has recently won the best newcomer accolade at the Hard Dance Awards. She is also resident for Frantic, and is currently very much in demand all over the UK. Here she tells us about her lack of having a dog, and also manages to give our transsexual residents a fashion makeover.

1. Hi Cally, first off as way of introduction could you please give us a quick rundown of the following: your location, star sign, and favourite TV program?

Right then, my current location is sitting at the pc in our office type/deck room in the lovely city of Peterborough!  My star sign is Aries - the leader of all star signs apparently and my favourite TV programme has to be Hollyoaks, although that is closely followed by Jeremy Kyle. He is a legend!!

Cally Gage, DJ, Aries, dog lover, and fan of Hollyoaks
Cally Gage, DJ, Aries, dog lover, and fan of Hollyoaks

2. Jeremy Kyle seems to crop up quite a lot at Frenzy, but more about that in a bit. Back in January Andy Whitby told us that he'd got you a dog for Christmas... do you still have it or did you end up driving out of town and leaving him in a car-park somewhere (the dog, not Andy)? Remember a dog's for life, not just for Christmas. Come on, spill the beans... we won't tell... honest.

Actually, the truth is that I don’t have Henry yet so I have left Andy in a car-park until I get him, hehe (only joking)!!  I haven’t actually been looking properly for him either to be honest, but have definitely stepped up my search a bit, now that I am at home a lot more during the week.  He will arrive shortly, I promise you and as soon as we have him, I’ll make sure to send you a photo if you like?

3. Er yeh, that would be quite cool. Cheers. One of the Frenzy clubbers was wondering that if you and Andy Whitby did get married, who would you book to DJ at the reception and why?

Wow, I haven’t been asked this before and have never actually thought about it either. God, this is hard!  I’m not sure if we would even have hard house playing at our wedding reception, as I’m not sure the older clientele would enjoy it that much!  I think it is tradition to have the old annoying mobile disco man with his microphone there, playing all the oldies that people can dance and sing along too.  Although we could have hard house maybe for the last hour – then me and Andy could play b2b?  I couldn’t guarantee that I’d be totally sober by that point though, so not sure if it would be such a good idea!

Cally Gage, best newcomer at the 2006 Hard Dance Awards
Cally Gage, best newcomer at the 2006 Hard Dance Awards

4. Recently you were the proud winner of ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Hard Dance Awards, which isn't a bad accolade... but in our opinion you're one of the names that's been on the lips of clubbers for a couple of years, since at least 2004, so surely it was quite a surprise to win that award?

It isn’t a bad accolade though is it?!  The award looks just beautiful up on the windowsill in our hallway!

I have been playing out since I won the competition in 2004, but have been working my way up since then playing quite a number of smaller gigs, which have really only been centred around London.  Over the last year though, I have been playing more gigs outside of London, travelling up and down the country each weekend – this has definately helped push my name out there to so many more clubbers, that may have not seen me play before.  Because of this, I think that people may have taken a lot more notice of me recently and since the voting started late last year.

To win the award was such an amazing feeling and to know that the clubbers were the ones that voted for me, makes it even more special.  So thank you so much to each and everyone of you that voted for me, I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year brings for me – it’s all so exciting!

5. Still on the subject of the Hard Dance Awards, we noticed that there was an award for Lifetime Achievement. What would you like to achieve in your lifetime within the music scene and are there certain ambitions that you've currently got and are looking to hit?

God, I’m not really sure that I know what I’d like to achieve in my lifetime within the music scene – hopefully I’ve still got a long time left, so it gives me enough time to get to the top, which is where I want to get to eventually!  Whatever I get to do along the way though, will be an achievement for me, just as everything that I’ve already done has been.  I have achieved so much in my short career already, like winning the Tidy Summer Camp competition, becoming a Frantic resident, being signed to UDJs, mixing the latest Frantic compilation as well as being awarded with the Best Newcomer award at this year's Hard Dance Awards. 

Obviously I set myself goals just like everyone else and I don’t give up until I achieve them, then I quickly move on and start looking at the next thing to do.  Whatever I look to do this year to further my career, I’ll make sure to achieve them at some point – I’m just stubborn you see and don’t like to give up!!!

Cally likes to meditate before a gig
Cally likes to meditate before a gig

6. A common question we've been asking of our DJs recently is who is the most famous person they've ever met (or would like to meet)? Chris C went to an after party at Elton John's house (don't ask), Ed Real's girlfriend is friends with James Blunt (tenuous link to say the least), and Charlie Birch is good mates with morning TV agony uncle Jeremy Kyle (our favourite!)... can you go one better (or worse!) than any of those?

I am so jealous that Charlotte knows Jeremy Kyle, how cool is that?!

I haven’t really met anyone that famous at all I don’t think, how boring!  I once met Wayne Sleep and danced with him actually – although most of you probably don’t know who he is!  I was really into my dancing from the age of 4 up until about 22, so Wayne Sleep was quite a big deal to me back then.  I had a dance lesson with him and he was amazing, I just couldn’t believe how short he was!

Other than that, I have also met Pat Sharpe (from the Fun House) – but that’s another story altogether!

Cally Gage, standing outside what looks suspiciously like Ed Real's lock-up
Cally Gage, standing outside what looks suspiciously like Ed Real's lock-up

7. Another question we always ask which helps us to figure the DJ out a little more is what are your top 5 tracks of all time (and they don't have to be dance music)?

My top 5 tracks of all time would have to be hard house tracks, as that is the only style of music that I listen to really!  Only picking 5 is a bit difficult though, ummmmmm...

  1. Tony De Vit – I Don’t Care
  2. Lee Pasch – Hybridize
  3. Marcel Woods – Cherry Blossom
  4. Bliss Inc – Faith (Andy Whitby remix)
  5. Stimulant DJs – Hoover Time

8. We reckon you're a stylish chick and obviously have quite an eye for fashion. A few of our resident DJs have been known from time to time to dress up in women's clothes. Having seen the evidence (see below), do you have any Cally Gage fashion-tips you could pass on so the boys don't embarrass themselves at the upcoming Frenzy and Frantic gig? If you could critique each individually with perhaps one or two tips that would be great.

Aww thank you very much – you’re making me blush now!  I would love to give the boys some advice, right let me have a look!

The Frenzy boys get the Cally Gage makeover
The Frenzy boys get the Cally Gage makeover

Cally on Big Al: To be honest, I’m not really sure that the print on the dress is really working with the hairstyle – it’s a bit too busy, know what I mean?!  I’d suggest maybe toning it down a little and only wearing plain items of clothing.  I think he has the colour right though, it compliments the darkness of his hair.

Cally on Cheeky Scott: Wow, I’m loving the scarf, necktie, cardigan thing and the lovely tinge of pink he has in his hair!  I quite like the whole look actually – the length of the hair really frames his face quite well, although I’d definitely lose the glasses, they don’t do anything for him at all!  If he does choose not to wear the glasses, make sure he wears some sort of eye make up – black would look good as he has black on the top and this would compliment the lightness of his hair!

Cally on DJ Wilma: Well, what can I say – not much really I don’t think!  What is that dress made of – paper?  Overall, I don’t think it’s a bad effort – but if that dress is as see through as it looks, he should definitely be wearing white pants, which are a little tighter as well maybe?  The pearls definately add to the effect as well as the red headband, it gives the whole look a bit of colour!

9. Excellent advice, and I'm sure our DJs will take it on board. Speaking of which everyone seems to be a DJ nowadays so there’s obviously a lot of competition. With that in mind, can you give any tips to aspiring DJs who might want to get their sound heard and perhaps give us an insight into how you managed to get to where you are in 2007?

Everyone does seem to have a pair of decks nowadays don’t they, that’s very true!  When I first got my decks, it was all still quite a novelty – especially for a girl!  As soon as I bought my first pair of turntables, that was it – practice, practice, practice!  Honestly, that is all that I would do and I would record everything I mixed as well – just to listen back at myself, to see what worked and what didn’t etc. 

After managing to learn how to beat match, I decided to get a demo cd together which took me absolutely ages – probably about 4 months to be honest.  Once I had this together and was happy with it, I posted it up on every message board and sent it to every competition going (with the push from my boyfriend, Andy) – that’s how I got into the Tidy comp you see and the rest, as they say, is history!

Cally Gage, Frantic resident
Cally Gage, Frantic resident

I’m not really sure what advice to give to be honest though, as I feel that my route to where I am now has been a bit different to others DJ’s – I seem to have missed out quite a big chunk, as my first gig was for a national competition.  What I would say though, is that you need to stand out to get noticed, copying other people will just make you blend in and that’s not what you want.  Also, please make your demo’s look as presentable as possible - I get CDs each weekend with a few words written on them with marker pen. 

If you send your demo’s out like this to agencies and promoters, they won’t get picked out alongside the others that have nice graphics and contact details on – again it’s about standing out amongst the other 100 CDs they probably receive each week!  And last but not least, practice all the time – practice definitely makes perfect.

I also believe that if you want something bad enough, you will definately get there in the end – you’ve just got to be prepared to put the effort in along the way and never give up, no matter what!

10. It would be rude to not let you tell us a little bit more about what you're doing at the moment in hard dance, so do you have any news you'd like to share with the Bournemouth massive?

I have plenty of news, well things that I’ve got in the pipeline anyway!  But you’ll just have to see what they are, as I wouldn’t really want to be giving anything away!

Cally Gage during the Frenzy boys' makeover
Cally Gage during the Frenzy boys' makeover

11. Finally, what can the Frenzy and Bournemouth crowd expect from you on the 21st of April? Do you have any surprises in store for us all?

Well you can expect the normal Cally Gage sound along with my usual trend of jumping around like an idiot and singing along to everything that I play!  I can’t help having fun at my gigs, so I hope that everyone will join in with me?!!  With regards to any surprises that I have for you all, well that would be telling wouldn’t it – so you’ll all just have to come along and see for yourselves!!

Check out the second part of the Cally Gage interview here.

Photos courtesy of Paul Underhill and Ben Thomas.