Paul Arnold Interview
We look back, and ahead, with Paul before the final Chew The Fat! at The End.
Endclub.com: Hey Paul, how are you doing?
Paul Arnold: Better than I was this time last year, thank you!
First of all, tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to recently.
I've been loving life to be honest, everything is like a dream at the moment. Loving the autumnal weather, the misty London mornings. You can’t beat living in the capital at this time of year - it has a feeling of adventure, with loads of things going on, always something to do, all somehow preempting the end of the year.
Running the www.tfabookings.com DJ agency gives me a feel of what’s going on around the country all at once. It’s looking good right now, we have some really exciting talent coming through and it’s great seeing all the new nights springing up, wanting the freshest sounds. It’s a good way of being able to keep your finger on the pulse musically. So it runs hand in hand with the label in a funny kind of way. We have a long list of releases and talent coming out right now - too many to single out, but all worth hunting down.
Friday is the last Chew The Fat! at The End – and you’re returning to DJ in the main room. How are you feeling about the final night here?
I'm looking forward to it. I think we will go out with a bang for sure! For me it was almost supposed to happen like this - clubs nights and venues come and go. The End has made a mark in history and will never be forgotten by people who went there, but this is a fresh opportunity for something new. CTF is the busiest it's ever been, and has evolved in The End over the last four or five years - and so has the crowd. The closure means we will make something new, fresh and just as exciting happen next. I think some things do have a time limit, and finishing on a high is a much better and braver decision to make. I take my hats off to The End for this.
The night joined The End hosting the lounge at Steve Lawler’s Harlem Nights party, but quickly outgrew the space and took over the whole club. As resident, how would you say CTF has changed over the years it’s been at The End?
I would say it’s changed several times over. From a small lounge room party, to initially not fulfilling its potential in the main room, to recently smashing all our attendance records with a load of fresh new faces and new DJs and acts. Chew the Fat! has seen genres change and evolve, up and down, down and up musically, and I am glad to say we are leaving The End very much on an up. Last month we had Duke Dumont, the month before was Foamo; these guys and our often overlooked resident Kid Blue have brought new sounds and style to the night - the fun seems to be back in the Fat!
Tell us some of your favourite memories from Chew The Fat’s time at The End…
Memories are never a great strength of mine, many have been left at the bar with the empty shot glasses of Sambuca! Each birthday has always been very special and emotional for me. It’s like your very own baby’s birthday - something you have nurtured over many years -and christ she's nearly a teenager! The 10th was particularly special. I also remember Bushwacka! playing Christmas 2005, it was a late in the day booking but a complete result to have Matthew on the line-up. He didn’t disappoint, smashing all his early fave rave tunes.
Yes the CTF birthdays have always been pretty riotous – Tayo’s played a few, hasn’t he…
Yeah of course, a great friend and even better DJ! Tayo has always managed to work a way of playing at CTF at The End even whilst holding down a residency at Fabric. Which many other DJ's weren’t able to do. I have the up most respect for him for that.
And there was Merka turning up one night in his spaceman helmet… how did he even reach the decks?
Ha ha - you see I forgot about that! That would have to count as one of my top nights! Yeah he did indeed - in a full spaceman outfit to celebrate the launch of his amazing album Beserka. An eccentric producer received the props he deserved that night for making such a wicked album. The atmosphere was amazing and the costume was a work of art. Well, more like a polystyrene bit of fun, but I haven’t seen anyone take to the decks dressed like that before, hats off to him!
DJs each have different relationships with different clubs. What do you think has made the relationship special between yourself and The End?
I always remember the introduction and welcome I received when I first came through the doors. Being welcomed as part of the family was quite a defining moment. Working with Ajay and Layo in the early days was brilliant as a promoter. As a DJ, it would be the soundsystem and how it is so clear around the decks - it sounds weird but it’s almost like it isn’t there! The island DJ booth, with all the sound coming from behind, makes it a unique place to DJ from. Being in the middle of the dancefloor also gives you that connection with the crowd. It's special.
Goodnight and god bless.