The UK has been on official lockdown for over five weeks now due to the global coronavirus pandemic, and it feels as if life has completely changed.
Many of us are missing trips to the pub, Saturday nights dancing our socks off, or simply just socialising with friends and family – but some people are keeping the good times going, and one of those people is Max Jones.
Max, who lives in High Wycombe, first started the aptly-named ‘Clubboard Sessions’ back in March with the help of his DJ dad John, and it’s certainly been a success.
Like his dad, Max is a big music fan, and together they decided that every Friday they would spread the joy – and some great tunes – to lift people’s spirits as they prepare for another weekend at home.
When asked how he and Max came up with the idea for Clubboard Sessions, John, 42, told Uspire: “We were actually listening to a live-stream which House DJ’s Erick Morillo and Jamie Jones were broadcasting. Max said to me he didn’t realise that you could DJ via a live-stream and that it was a really cool idea.
“In the last year, he has made a couple of his own mix CDs for friends and family, so we thought it would be a nice thing for us to connect with everybody that we are missing. It’s also a really cool way for us both to connect together through our mutual love of music.”
John began his career as a professional DJ for Hedkandi and Ministry of Sound almost 20 years ago, but he started buying records when he was Max’s age.
Speaking about his son’s love for music, John said: “It’s amazing that he’s just had a natural affinity to do the same and shares the same passion as me for so many genres of music which is quite uncommon I think aged eight.
“He really does have an impressive range of music that he loves reaching, from Pink Floyd through to Oasis, David Bowie, and more recently Ed Sheeran and Imagine Dragons.”
With their knowledge and love of music so broad, John admitted there’s quite a bit of preparation that goes into planning their Friday sessions.
“We do lots of prep in the week leading towards the show. I had no previous experience of live-streaming via social networks, so each week I have been learning and trying to add to the quality of our broadcast,” John explained.
“YouTube has been an essential resource through tutorials in allowing me to produce a show that not only sounds great through quality of the audio, but also looks professional for viewing. Each week we are adding a little more in terms of what people who are tuning in are viewing.”
The father-son duo have a dedicated folder on Spotify and like to drop tracks in there throughout the week, so that come Friday they are fully prepared.
And it seems all of that hard work and dedication has paid off, as people are loving the sessions. “The response has been great. We’ve had nothing but positivity from everyone tuning in and if we can put a smile on people’s faces then that’s the reward on its own,” John said. “Each week, the number of people tuning in seems to be growing, so it’s nice that it’s being recognised as an event in the week that people are looking forward to.
“We love the fact that everyone’s interacting through the chat function during the show and developing a sense of community even though we are being advised to not leave the house. It’s also pretty cool that those who have never had a chance to see what I do in a club can tune in and experience what all the fuss is about!”
John and Max decided to do their set on Fridays at 4-6pm so it would be nice for people to tune in to as they were finishing work, with Max affectionately dubbing it “a weekend starter”.
“After all the stress being put on everyone due to the current circumstances with most having to work from home, and usually with children to look after too, we thought it was an uplifting way to project our passion onto people’s screens and give them a lift,” John added.
But when lockdown is over and life goes back to some sort of normality, will Clubboard Sessions still continue? “I think the world will have changed in many ways after we come out of isolation and the way that people communicate and make use of social network platforms to showcase their talents will be an even bigger big factor,” John replied.
“We have both enjoyed doing this so much that there’s no reason why we shouldn’t carry on, as long as people want to keep on tuning in. Obviously work and touring commitments may not make this viable on a weekly basis, but it’s definitely something we can look at doing possibly bi-weekly or monthly. I can see live-streaming only becoming more relevant as an entertainment source which can only be a positive thing.
“We are having a great time and hope that it can be infectious to everyone tuning in too!”