ADVERTISING BY DAY, DANCE PARTY BY NIGHT
When we came to London last June, we didn't know quite what to expect. We'd heard the creative scene was thriving but we didn't realize how vibrant it was until we met Customs. WNW Members #5256 Guy Bingley and #5429 Nick Bastian, along with Tom Crookston and Brendan Marriott, make up this groovy DJ trio. They brought the funk to Dancing Not Dancing, our Jaguar Shoes party and the line down the block is a testament to their talent.
They're spinning again, this time at Joyeux Bordel, where we've teamed up with Mount Gay Rum to bring you the WNW Festive Party on December 15th. Given that they all have day jobs (Guy is an Art Director and Nick Bastian is a Copywriter), we spoke to the Custom boys to find out the story behind the turntables.
How did Customs start?
We'd all been DJ'ing together for quite a few years, doing residencies in London, parties and playing for fun. But for some reason we'd never got round to doing our own night. A club got in touch on Soundcloud and suggested the idea to us. It was really a case of "why did we never think of that!?"
How did you come up with the name?
The idea of travel came up a lot when we were talking about names. Tom lived in Martinique in the Caribbean for a while, Brendan had some time living in Bologna and Guy's back and forth to Tokyo regularly. We're always picking up records wherever we go, and we joked about the trials and tribulations of getting them home. The word "customs" came up, thinking of airports, but it stuck because of that other meaning - more like 'local customs'. And we liked the way the word sounds.
There’s a lot of you in the group. How do you divide and conquer?
We've played together for so long, and know each other's styles so well, that it's pretty easy to do things as a trio, just two of us, or solo too, depending on who's around. We like the energy of playing back-to-back though, whenever we can.
What do you do when you're not making sweet, sweet music?
Drink bubble tea. Drink negroni. Drink rum and ginger beer. It's important to stay hydrated.
Ever want to make this into a full-time gig?
What’s a typical “Customs” party?
Most of our parties now are at LIFE on Old Street. It's a basement bar beneath a Japanese restaurant, intimate vibe, surprisingly good sound system. Lots of nice people dancing gently to warm, soulful sounds, from the "feels familiar" to the downright odd and exotic. We'd be sad if you didn't leave with a smile on your face.
How would you describe your own music?
This is not something we've got good at yet! But here goes: genre-wise, we cover a pretty broad range that takes in a lot of soul and disco from all over the world, plenty of house music, and a definite influence from what you’d call the ‘balearic’ sound. But I’d say what ties it all together above all is that we try to play music that feels warm, inviting and uplifting out on the dancefloor.
Songs on repeat?
It's not exactly a dancefloor-filler, but this record always gets dusted off as Christmas comes around.