The Doctor’s Orders reigns supreme as London’s No.1 Hip Hop extravaganza. So with its triumphant fourth birthday party on the horizon it was only right to catch up with head honcho Spin Doctor. As an added bonus we also caught up with two members of his heavy weight line up – Detroit man of the moment Guilty Simpson and rising UK star Paul White.
I recognise you from Reckless Records back in the day. What made you make the transition from selling wax and DJing to promoting parties?
Spin Doctor: It may not be as big a jump as you think. I was starting to promote parties while @ Reckless and it was a good way of spreading the word to people who were clearly into music. I was DJing then and doing parties that I figured were not all that for slack promoters so figured why just bitch about it when I was in a position to do something about it myself.
The Doctor’s Orders is undoubtedly the premier Hip Hop night in London in terms of the calibre of performers, quality of the venues and the attitude of the crowds. How long did it take to get the momentum going?
Spin Doctor: It picked up pretty quickly. We started with strong guests straight off the bat with Cash Money doing the launch and have been pretty steady since. We work hard at it though. You can never rest on your laurels.
What’s been the best The Doctor’s Order’s event so far?
Spin Doctor: Wow that’s a tough one. There are a bunch of highlights. The BBE Records parties we threw at Canvas were incredible in terms of the quality and diversity of line ups and the turn outs. The last was attended by around 3500 people. On a more personal basis, the J-Dilla tribute nights we do are always incredible. The first year blew me away as I did not know what to expect or how many people felt like I did about Dilla and then we were at capacity an hour after opening on a Sunday evening. The atmosphere is always incredible, we make money for charity and I get to hear Dilla beats all night – Happy Days!
What’s been the worst?
Spin Doctor: Haha that would be telling! There was one mid week event @ Cargo I did with Bacardi and a big Latino DJ from New York that bombed! It was the same night as a big England footy match which may have had something to do with it. To be honest about it I wish I had been in the pub watching footy too.
The Dilla tribute nights have gone down very well. Can you see them running in 5 years time?
Spin Doctor: 5. 10. 15 I have no plans to stop doing them.
Do you get out to other nights to check out the competition? Any nights apart from your own you’d give props to?
Spin Doctor: I don't go out a whole bunch to be honest. It ends up being a bit of a bus man's holiday as I am always thinking with my work head on about the DJs, sound system etc. That is until I have a few drinks anyhow. There are a few little underground nights that seem to be doing ok in London right now which is all good for the scene but I feel some of them are more about being there to seem cool and part of scene than really about the music and vibe etc. That is why I always make such an effort to ensure the line ups and atmosphere @ The Doctor's Orders are untouchable.
They say ‘never meet your heroes’. You must have met practically all your Hip Hop heroes by now. Do you have any memorable experiences?
Spin Doctor: Yeah a bunch! It has got to a stage now where people I have the upmost respect for are reaching out to me looking for shows which is very humbling. I have also been lucky enough to make good friends of some of the people I have booked which has lead to some dope situations. Bobbito took me sneaker shopping in Harlem last time I was in NYC which was dope! DJing for Talib Kweli a couple of weeks back was pretty cool too.
Most DJ’s try their hand at production at some stage. Ever dabbled?
Spin Doctor: Yeah but not for years and it was nothing to write home about. I keep thinking about getting back into it but am almost too busy already.
What new music is exciting Spin Doctor?
Spin Doctor: There is an artist called Dynas coming out on BBE who is dope! I love what Black Milk is doing and loads of stuff that is coming out of Detroit as you can probably tell from the line ups we have been booking. I am also pretty into the whole Flying Lotus leftfield sound. I also get a good buzz from proper DJ's mixtapes, people like Neil Armstrong, J-Rocc etc.
What are your thoughts on the UK scene?
Spin Doctor: I think we are looking at good times again. There are few MC's that have been on the scene a minute now that are really starting to shine like Micall Parkinsun, Kyza & Jack Flash. People like Paul White are pushing the boundaries on the beats but I still long for some proper UK party bangers!
How big is your record collection?
Spin Doctor: Bigger than yours!
With the advent of Serato and such like, do you see a future for record collecting?
Spin Doctor: I use Serato so maybe have stopped buying as much new vinyl but still dig for original Soul, Jazz, Disco etc as much as I can. I think now that I do not have to go and buy every new banger that gets released has made that easier for me. Don't worry I do not download them, I get sent them!
Do you have any advice to up and coming promoters?
Spin Doctor: Do you! Don't try to copy other parties. It is a very competitive market so be prepared to put in the hours and loose money!
By: Max Weldon
The Doctor’s Orders Fourth Birthday (In association with King Apparel)
9 pm – 3pm Friday 3rd July 2009
Herbal, 10 -14 Kingsland Rd, E1
Performing on the night:
Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat and Big Tone Live