10 things you didn’t know about Mr Scruff
Ahead of his rescheduled gig at Canvas on Poole Hill, we delved into our archives to find out more about the enigmatic funkster Mr Scruff
Canvas, June 2
He loves tea…
…so much that he runs a tea shop in Manchester. He also sells his own brand at gigs – when the range of speciality teas were launched they became the fifth best selling grocery product Selfridge’s Food Hall.
He’s also a cartoonist…
His designs, including his trademark wobbly potato character, have been used to launch a range of t-shirts and accessories.
His favourite band growing up was Madness
“The event that first sparked my curiosity about music was in the early 1980s when, as a young 2 Tone fan, I discovered a stack of my father’s original Blue Beat 7s, including several Prince Buster songs that had been covered by my then favourite band, Madness,” he said. “I suddenly realised that the new music I had been listening to had roots that reached far back, and this knowledge inspired me to explore the wider musical world which had just been revealed to me.”
He loved John Peel.
The late 1980s saw dance music boom and he listened to the radio to broaden he taste. “At the time that was a blanket term to cover anything from electro and hip hop to soul, reggae and early house music. Back then there were far fewer records being released; DJs had to be versatile and play across the board. Some of the radio DJs who I listened to regularly were John Peel (of course), Robbie Vincent, Richard Searling, Stu Allan, Lee Brown, Rankin Miss P, Scotty, Tony the Greek, Steve Barker, Gary Hickson, Sam Brown & Waxmaster.”
He used to work in Kwik Save
In 1988, he worked part time in the now defunct supermarket to save money for more vinyl.
He also worked for Virgin Trains
Radio shows were the logical next step for Scruff. “I joined forces with Treva Whateva to present the ‘Hot Pot’ show. The show then progressed to the national Student Broadcast Network for a few years, and then onto Manchester’s Key 103 in 2002 for an 18-month run, as well as a year long stint on the Virgin Trains onboard radio channel,” said Scruff.
His first gig was in a dry bar
“My first break came in 1994, when I met Barney Doodlebug, a DJ/Doodler who was originally from Bristol, and who now runs the international Doodlebug events. He gave me my first Manchester gig, in Dry bar on a Sunday night, and he also passed a demo tape of mine to local label Rob’s Records, which resulted in them releasing my first 12″ single.”
He oversees every aspect of his gig
He has complete control over sound, visuals and lighting.
His show at Canvas will cover almost every genre you can think of
Over the course of a night the music can include blues, jazz, soul, funk, 60’s R&B, disco, boogie, deep house, reggae, ska, rocksteady, dancehall, electronica, electro, hip hop, african, latin, drum & bass, breakbeat, and any combination of the above. The only real criteria is that the music has to have soul!
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