Swimmers Club

Originally from Misfits Mag, 2016


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Municipal Pool

Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.


Who: Ailsa McLaggan
Where: Manchester, UK
What: DJ, one half of Living Room Dance Club

So, who are you?

Ailsa McLaggan of Living Room Dance Club! LRDC is a monthly vinyl night with Anna Budrys at Strangebrew, and around Manchester. We also broadcast on Reform Radio & Raydio radio

Where are you from?

I'm from Inverness originally but have been in Manchester for about 10 years. So possibly Invermancunian.

What time is it where you are?

It's about 11.30pm at night, generally my most productive sort of time. I'm such a bad snoozer in the morn

What do you do?

I play records, work for a record shop, and dress people sometimes too.

Who or what are you influenced by?

I'm influenced by all sorts of things that seem insignificant at the time, but then I can't shake. I don't take my keys out of my pocket too close to my front door because Jack Nicholson hated that his wife did that in About Schmidt. I didn't even like the film that much but I've been doing it for about 12 years.

I think the singer Merry Clayton is pretty inspiring. She lost both her legs in a car accident recently and apparently when she came round from the operation she said to the doctors, "I may not have my legs but I STILL HAVE THIS VOICE!". She's incredible.

Are you one of those people who like really loves technology?

Yessssss...... and no. I play all vinyl when I DJ but I use Shazam a lot. I use Indesign like a granny....I will never understand what megabytes and gigabytes are

Do you still listen to music? If so, what's been the best stuff you've heard all year?

I listen to music pretty much every second of the day I'm awake. It takes me forever to do things because the music I'm listening to has to be right, even for washing up. I'm very lucky to be able to sit out of sight at Vinyl Exchange and do eight hours of listening for radio shows or in preparation for DJing somewhere.

If I had to pick one release from the last 12 months, I'd say the reissue of Gloria Ann Taylor's 'Love is a Hurting Thing' was a pretty pant wetting experience. Also, 'Baby Please Don't Go' by Rose Mitchell, 'I'm on My Way' by Barbara Dane and 'I'm Gonna Try' by Carol Fran are my favourite 45s this year, so far. I'm enjoying Matthew Halsall, Dorothy Ashby, Khruangbin, Ellen Mcllwaine and Unknown Mortal Orchestra a lot this month.

Do you read? Tell us about good books you read this year?

Discovering Patricia Highsmith has been a revelation, I can't get enough. I think I'm borderline ruining by reading them all too fast and one after another. I'm also a sucker for a good title or cover - I'm on Tender Is the Night by Scott Fitzgerald right now. I don't really like it so it's taking me an embarrassingly long time to read - I exclusively read that book 24 minutes a day on the tram, it's killing me.

What are you currently working on

Styling wise, I just finished on a music video as well as a couple of adverts with Team GB, which were fun. I'm currently working on a new music video and fashion film with my friend and director, Amy Watson, and putting together an editorial with Layla Sailor, who I'm looking forward to working with for the first time. There are a lot of cats involved, it's going to be cray-zee.

The radio shows are ongoing which always take a bit of work but are a lot like therapy for me. Then we've got the usual LRDC stuff going on, it varies how often and where we're playing - I'm very pleased to be involved with some projects for The Pilcrow Pub, and this year we've been at Common, Mary & Archies, The Beagle, Strangebrew and continuing our residency with Manchester Craft.

Who's ever written a great work about the immense effort required in order not to create?

Sounds like a good opportunity to mention a writer who was well known for pioneering procrastinating characters....But I don't think Patricia Highsmith did... her characters just got the job done when it came to bumping folk off. So I'm not sure about that one.

So do you fancy yourself as some kind of artist or what?

No. More of an appreciator of artists, than an artist., for sure.

'Quit... quit... you should quit... YOU should quit... you should... you should...'. Should you quit?

I would sure like to quit reading Tender Is the Night. But yeah, quit if you think it's right! And if you don't, keep at it. Take a break and come back to it, sometimes you just have to admit that thing is not going to get done that day.

Are you just in it for the money?

Hahahahaha. Hahaha

Can you give us the names of two other interesting people who you think we may not have heard of but should have heard of?

Illustrationist Rob Bailey, and director extraordinaire Amy Watson


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