Smiths drummer DJs Chorlton night

By Ross Wittenham

The Smiths drummer Mike Joyce swapped drumsticks for turntables yesterday in order to get parents partying in Chorlton.

The event called Bop Local at the Irish Association Social Club attracts mature punters boasting that ‘Bop music is wasted on the young.’

It was founded as a way for older clubbers to have a good time without resorting to retro bars.

The organisers reason that simply having kids  should not stop someone from going out.

This ethos is reflected by their website, which advises punters to book baby-sitters before they step out.

Club promoter Tom O’Toole started Bop Local with the concept that club nights should host acts relevant to his own age group.

“Isn’t it a wonderful sight to see white men over thirty dancing?” Mr O’Toole asked.

One of the revellers later introduced himself as Phil Trohear, the assistant headmaster at a Chorlton Primary School.  

“Word about tonight has spread through the teachers at my school like wildfire,” he said.

Mr Trohear then proceeded to point out doctors, lawyers and teachers all dancing along.

Bop Local certainly seems to be a very popular with Manchester’s middle-aged, and by 10 PM the club was already full to bursting.

When asked what the capacity of the Chorlton Irish Club was, Mr O’Toole said: “I have no idea, we’ll keep selling tickets until we can’t fit anyone else in.”

Mike’s headline set was very popular, with the club packed out by people who remember him from his glory days with The Smiths.

Mike is now something of a global phenomenon, with large-scale tours of Europe and the United States to his name.

He is currently working as a DJ for New York-based radio station East Village Radio.

However, he cares too much about his home town to leave, and records his shows in Manchester before emailing them over.

Mike said: “There is nothing like coming home, I am really happy to be here.”

Since The Smiths split up in 1987 Mike has turned his hand to several different projects.

His first set was over five years ago, at TV21, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

When asked how he made the transition from drummer to disk jockey, Mike said: “It was a really easy transition actually. I love music, and if I’m not playing it I want to… play it.”

Since that first gig, Mike has gone from strength to strength, with tours and radio shows across the world.

At 96.2FM ‘The Revolution’ he met Mr O’Toole and formed the strong friendship that allowed Mr O’Toole to book Mike to play.

With five events under their belt, and with talent like Mike Joyce to call upon, Bop Local will remain a feature of the Chorlton calendar for a long time.

Bop Local takes place once a month. Follow for more details.

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