Juan Vesuvius: I am Your Deejay
- Arusa Qureshi
- 15 August 2017
This article is from 2017
A gleefully surreal spoof DJ who touches on some serious issues
Juan Vesuvius is an enigma. To truly understand him and what he does, you have to think of his show as part music lesson and part club night, with added physical and prop-based comedy and a hint of full-frontal nudity. The creation of New Zealand actor / comedian Barnie Duncan, Vesuvius is a Venezuelan DJ legend with a penchant for banging tunes, maracas and the over-use of a smoke machine.
This time round, he delves into his record collection and bank of epic dance moves to relay the stories of Frankie Knuckles and The Warehouse, and the ecstasy-fuelled Hacienda. Acknowledging that house music may not resonate with everyone, he humorously explains his theory of 'The Guetta Effect', in which tracks are played both pre and post-Guetta to highlight his damning influence.
I am Your Deejay is not all quips and sexy dancing though, with Duncan adding moments of pathos in his discussion of music's place in the Stonewall Riots and in black culture. His inclusion of this history adds an interesting and touching depth to the show, further reinforced by his comments on electronic music's erasure of people of colour and the LGBT community. This is an educational hour for sure, but it's also one that's hugely enjoyable and gleefully surreal in equal measure.
Assembly George Square Theatre, until 27 Aug, 11pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).