Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Interview: From Cello Chick to Dance DJ; It Took Just Four Weeks for Classical Musician Sian Evans to Reinvent Herself as a Club Jock. with Spectaclar Results, Says James Delingpole

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Interview: From Cello Chick to Dance DJ; It Took Just Four Weeks for Classical Musician Sian Evans to Reinvent Herself as a Club Jock. with Spectaclar Results, Says James Delingpole

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES DELINGPOLE

THERE'S a great moment in tonight's Faking It, a compulsively watchable documentary in which straitlaced classical cellist Sian Evans is given just four weeks to reinvent herself as a credible dance DJ, when she first walks into the London flat of her two girl DJ mentors and they ask her about her musical preferences.

"What are your thoughts on house music?" asks one. Sian, 22, looks blank.

"Do you know anything about house?" persists the DJ, mildly horrified. Sian racks her brain, then ventures: "It's quite loud, isn't it?"

At this point you realise that, despite 15 years in which rave culture has come close to saturation point, we remain a nation divided: between those so steeped in breaks, beats, clubs and pills that they could scarcely imagine a world without them; and that diminishing band of relicts from a more innocent, civilised age who still believe musicianship is a skill you spend a lifetime mastering and that "bangin' house" is something one's builder might do with his hammer.

Yes, Sian really was that ignorant about dance music at the beginning: "I thought it was rubbish," she recalls of her first taste of happy hardcore.

"Too simple, too basic, too loud." And yes, she did go on a month later to fool at least one member of an expert panel into thinking she was a talented, practised DJ.

Anne Savage, who with fellow DJ Lottie helped tutor her in the ways of the turntable, admits to being torn between pride at her student's achievements and jealousy that she mastered the art so quickly. "When I first learned to beat match [ie, mix one record seamlessly into another] it took me two weeks, staying up every night. Sian managed it in a couple of days, which was quite devastating, really."

Sian in turn had a rude awakening.

"Because of my classical training, I thought at first: 'I'm sorry. But it's just not that hard.' But then when I watched Annie and Lottie playing in a club in front of this huge, scary computerised thing with all these knobs controlling gain, booth monitor volume, cross-fading, levels and so on, I thought: 'Ah. …

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