Name: MICHAEL RACK
Mission: TO HOLD THE WORLD RECORD FOR MOST AMOUNT OF JAFFA CAKES EATEN IN A MINUTE
I first met Michael at a party in Reading. I ended up meeting a lot of lovely folk from the area at a festival and spent a few months popping down there every now and again. A lot of the Reading folk I knew now live in Bristol and we’ve reconnected recently which has been really lovely.
Michael is a circus performer who grew up as a traveller “Since the age of 11 I’ve only known performing. I failed school, did choreography and dance at college and did the 1st year of a street arts degree at uni. I DJ’d for shits and giggles never expecting it to be a career, and then when I started Dutty Moonshine with Alex Furley doing this ‘vintage remix’ thing, people went mad for it. I dropped out of the course because Dutty Moonshine was going so well and couldn’t do both.”
The story of how Michael met Alex is pretty interesting! “I met Furley when I travelled back in time with a banana (it was actually in Bar Iguana in Reading, we both worked there) and I met Danny (newest member) at a brothel. We awkwardly made eye contact across the room (it was actually when I needed a guest DJ for a residency we had in Oxford)!”
Dutty Moonshine has continued to grow and evolve. “The live big band project we do now is an accumulation of artists we know through various reasons and we’ve invited them to come work on a live version of our music for 2015’s festival season.”
When Dutty Moonshine were asked to be the main support act for a really big gig Michael was “a bit nervous of what to say on the mic when we went on stage, my mind being normally full of stuff was blank. The compère did the dreaded thing, he said “Who’s heard of Dutty Moonshine?” This is tricky because if say 5 people cheer you look like a massive tosser, but the whole crowd erupted and my mind exploded! I knew what to do and it was that huge cheer that was my proudest moment. It was a big crowd and they knew without a doubt who we were.”
As for so many people working in creative jobs money has been one of Michael’s biggest issues.”Performing in whatever format is never a good money earner to start with. I loved performing at a young age and still do, but it would be nice if I had some options. Say a degree in…well bloody anything! To keep doing what you love until you finally make money out of it, is for me, one of the hardest things I’ve had to overcome. I would like people to refer to the philosopher Alan Watts’ short monologue about what you want to do in life. It’ll be hard but life will work itself around you!”
Accompanying the physical love Michael’s passion for it “is the psychology of performing (circus or DJing), I probably could have been amazing at marketing if performing wasn’t my calling. I love the way you can make people cheer, go crazy, feel happy, moody, whatever. I shit you not I can convince a random member of an audience to take their clothes off on stage in front of hundreds of people using techniques to do with crowd control. There’s something of a fantasy, a smoke and mirrors illusion that is created with someone being on stage. Great magicians have made their fortunes around this, “What? A DJ is comparing himself to a magician?!” Watch how we can create an audience out of an empty dancefloor and walk off with a full audience. It’s not just phat tunes…that is important though!”
In the future Michael hopes “To have a voice loud enough masses will hear and hopefully provide honest insights into the music industry. I admire artists who get big but never forget their roots and always have time for the little guy. I have a few friends ready with sticks to slap me if I ever became the opposite.” Michael’s also picked up many other skills along the way and hopes later in life to go into managing acts and being an agent.
Event wise Dutty Moonshine are really busy this summer. “Our facebook has a 2015 summer festival date list of cool stuff and we’ll upload some more for the autumn and winter soon. I think the big band end of tour party (date not listed yet) will be the most fun because all 12 of us can just have fun, get mega drunk together, and party!”