In honour of Pete Tong's 20 year anniversary at the station, Radio 1 are celebrating his two decades on the air with a 12-hour takeover on Friday April 8th. As well as a countdown of Radio 1 listeners' Top 20 Dance Tracks and Tong's first Essential Mix since 1995, there will be the airing of a 3-hour tribute from a number of artists he has helped champion over the years.
Recorded last night at the Maida Vale Studios, there was a worthy eclectic mix of artists, each very appreciative to be given a slot on Tong's anniversary show. Chase & Status used the occasion to promote their new single 'Time' featuring Deliah; their set laden with heavy baselines including the Nero Remix of 'Crush on You' and their own monster hit 'Blind Faith.' Charlie XX joined Alex Metric and Kele Okereke joined the woeful Martin Solveig (he mixed electro into dubstep into pop before singing) for performances of new singles before Chilly Gonzales set the place alight with his skills on the piano, albeit strangely wearing a dressing gown and promising to "hold a grudge like a rabbit holds its crotch."
As the beers flowed for the 100 or so crowd of competition winners, artists and hangers-on, Guy Gerber took to his Mac and delivered a 25-minute set of uplifting but relentless techno including his track with Ryan Crosson 'Time For A Change.' The Israeli DJ had flown in especially for his brief set, highlighting the respect held for Tong in the industry. Groove Armada closed by smashing through a b2b mini-mix of classics from the last 20 years including 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl', '3 Drives' and Ettiene de Crecy's 'Prix Choc.'
Tong was compere for the evening and looked as happy as he ever has done in his role as ringmaster; his love for what began as a "passionate hobby" showing no signs of dwindling. His knowledge of the scene and credibility within the industry continues to make his show an essential Friday night listen. Friday week should prove a fitting tribute to the DJ; just make sure you're not in the bath when Solveig comes on as the urge to nibble on the toaster may be too strong.