Today we caught up with the legendary Wolverhampton DJ Pilgrim to have a brief chat ahead of his OOS radio show that’s coming soon. Paul (DJ Pilgrim) started dj’ing back in 1987 as a hip hop scratch DJ who later incorporated these skills into his rave sets. Paul played at pretty much every event throughout the UK in the 90’s with residencies at Quest, Pandemonium & Flashback to huge events like Fantazia, Universe & Obsession. This veteran DJ from Wolverhampton still continues to make a name for himself in the Jungle/Drum & Bass scene theses days, playing more of the Jungle rollers & can be heard performing at venues up & down the country.
Paul I want to thank you for taking the time to answer a few question’s for Only Old Skool Radio crew.
OOSWhat influenced you to get involved in the scene in the early days?
Pilgrim I’ve always liked my music to be more upbeat which stems back to when I used to listen to Hip Hop back in the late 80’s as I always loved the faster sounds like Hijack, Hard Noise & Blade but when Hip Hop took a turn with all the slower beats coming through like Snoops music I noticed the Rave scene growing as a club I used to go to a blurb called ‘The Raglan’ which played a varied mix of Hip Hop & Rave so I became more exposed to the faster music played there & my journey in the Rave scene was about to start.
OOS So when and how did you get your big break?
Pilgrim For the next few years I plugged away as a bedroom dj making mix tape sets & trying to perform at venues around the Wolverhampton area, Wolverhampton not being the biggest of places I quickly managed to get a bit of a name for myself locally which early in 1991 led to the promoters (Gez & Carl) of Quest getting in touch with me to say that they were in the process of putting on an event & wanted me to play at it which was the infamous 1st ever Quest night, Saturday 14th September 1991 where I played alongside dj Rap, & Top Buzz & led to Quest becoming a regular club night for many years which I became their resident dj & as the clubs status grew to become one of the best clubs in the country voted by Mixmag, this also launched myself to perform at similar events all over the country.
OOS What other genres of music do you like?
Pilgrim I do also listen to a bit of grime which is all down to my son but otherwise I’ll listen to the likes of Radio 1xtra whilst at home as they showcase some great up & coming talent.
OOS Whats your opinion on mc’s?
Pilgrim Ahhhh it’s like marmite, you either love them or hate them. There are some real good mc’s out there on the scene & its weird to see how these days some events are all about the mc’s rather than the dj’s but I take my hat off to any good mc out there that has to think on their feet & have the confidence to stand up on stage & have an audience on edge with what they say whereas me, I just stand at the back of the stage & play other people’s music that they’ve made.
OOS Who’s your favourite DJ?
Pilgrim My son as he is now dabbling a bit in putting together some mix’s as he has now got a Numark controller, otherwise I do download quite a few other dj sets to listen to whilst on my travels which I pick at random so I don’t really have any favourites as such.
OOS I notice you have a passion for graffiti art so can you tell us more about your involvment in that?
Pilgrim My passion for graffiti goes way back to the mid 80’s when growing up, I was into breakdancing so watching films like Wild Style & Beat Street I started sketching myself & got into tagging & painting which I lived for back then however unfortunately in 1987 I got caught tagging up a bus which led to all my pens & spray cans being confiscated however this allowed me to turn my focus to dj’ing. I never lost my passion for graffiti as I’d always take pics of pieces I’d see on my travels or try to figure out what tags would say & in 2009 I started painting again, painting personalised canvas’s, commercial work & getting lots of legal paint spots set up around the Wolverhampton area.
OOS What’s the best rave you ever played at?
Pilgrim Over all the years I have played at a lot of great events but the main ones that stick out for me have got to be, as a club night, Quest because although that was a weekly club, the promoters made an effort to have huge dj/mc line ups, lasers, backdrops & live PA’s that even big all night events could not top. And as an event, best Rave had got to be the original Fantazia at Castle Donnington in 1992 that apparently had over 40,000 people attend even though it was originally intended for 24,000. I played the midnight set on main stage & when the drawbridge set on stage was lowered & I looked out to see a huge mass of people in front of me I can honestly say no other event will ever top that.
OOS Where do you see the scene in 5 years time?
Pilgrim We will all have micro chips implanted in our heads & everything will be live streamed to you. I know there will still be a need for dance music of some format but how the club scene itself will be is a concern as the last few years have seen a downturn in club numbers & lots of big events not pulling in the numbers they used to so I do see events going back to being small intimate events again which I personally do think have much better atmospheres.
OOS Do you mainly use cdjs these days or do you still play vinyl?
Pilgrim All my sets are now done using cdj’ as I find you can get to mix the next track a lot quicker than if you are rooting around your record box’s looking for the next track to play plus back in the day I used to carry 2 record bags & a box as I took a big selection to choose from as you could never predict what to play at a club so with usb’s being smaller & lighter to carry, this gives my back a well earned rest.
Catch this legend on the 24th August 2018 on Only Old Skool Radio