Poplock Paul asks Dj Les Dickens 'What’s your favourite thing about music or career choice?'
Bognor’s Music Scene.
Once again I reiterate I am not originally from Bognor and basically I joined the Royal Navy from school (I grew up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire). Having served 23 years, travelled around the world and had some excellent appointments her there and everywhere I finally retired in 2007 as a Chief Petty Officer and became a full time Entertainer.
I have always had a love of music and entertaining throughout my childhood and Naval career, so progressing that into full time was a very natural decision for me, if not somewhat frightening. For 23 years I had known what time I needed to be somewhere and what to wear and more importantly most of the time what to expect. Now it was all down to me and that concept was quite daunting at times. Slowly I built up my business. I had always done a bit of Karaoke work for my friend and neighbour Woody of Freaky Lees Karaoke show so that was initially my first venture to set myself up with and this I did.
The Happy Medium in Chichester called out for me and I had my first gig. It went down an absolute storm and I was booked again for the following week. They had become very unhappy with their previous entertainer but where overwhelmed with all that I brought to the evening with professional standards, equipment and lighting. The following week, bless them, I had i think it was 6 Landlords from the surrounding area and boom my diary exploded with bookings.
I was quickly catapulted in as the man to have. Yes I had made a good choice to become this entertainer. The following 18 months my diary was fully booked several nights a week and in a variety of different Venues around the Chichester areas.
A private party was to become the turning point as that couple loved what I did and then ultimately got themselves their own pub and boom into the Bognor limelight I was thrust. 2 karaoke nights and 2 DJ nights, 2009 and 2010 were fully booked for me and I began my journey into DJing along side Karaoke. These were crazy busy nights and I met a lot of the DJ friends I know now through this, even my Wife so again a very good decision to do this entertaining job.
The previous greed I mentioned in my previous answer was kicking in around the town now and well one thing led to another and my two friends greed over professionalism left the venue and subsequent lease on a new venue in tatters and like so many venues at the time their lack of vision turned one of the most successful venues in Bognor into a shell of its former self.
What was this entertainer to do?
Luckily I had made contacts in a variety of groups and my reputation had been quickly established as a good all round professional entertainer. Was I the best DJ around, hell no, I had only just started in that but my love, passion and flair for music and wanting to entertain pulled me through these bleak times and into a new genre of entertaining. Weddings.
I had joined up with some great DJs from Hampshire and they welcomed me and soon was filling in for a few of them at Weddings they could not do. Feedback followed and I soon realised how wonderful a wedding could be with the right entertainment. I also learned quickly that every wedding was different so complacency had no place. I began to personalise every wedding making them more memorable than just a man playing music in the corner for the evening and once again my reputation grew and once again my diary became full.
Recommended by other DJs is one hell of a great accomplishment within this business and Ive loved the bond between the DJs of Bognor and those in Hampshire and for many years I embraced the wedding culture and bookings making many memorable days and nights for lovely couples, growing my business and upping my game at every stride.
Had I made the right career choice? A desire to entertain and be entertained has always been my stand point, to bring joy and smiles and memories through music and entertaining. That has always been my baseline. I have always wanted everyone to enjoy whatever type of night I put on. No I am not a one trick pony I do class myself as a full on entertainer, along with my almost secret passion of magic, I have also brought my magician skills along as an added bonus which has entertained more and more and given a going that extra mile accolade to my performances. Yes I love my career choice and to sum up the initial question, even now with my quiz nights, entertaining is my passion, along with music and more importantly the right music you can create memories that last a very longtime. The smiles for me are what make my night, the ability for someone to feel relaxed enough to let themselves go wherever they may be. Atmosphere through music and entertainment is why I love what I do and I believe why others love what I do too. Yes I love with a passion what I do.