Andy Proctor first started DJing when he was a teenager in Manchester. It was a good time, and place to start, influenced by the success of legendary clubs and nights, The Hacienda, Cream, Back to Basics. The combination of House music and the type of people it attracted made sense to him. “I like the way that everyone feels free and there’s no trouble”. With some friend he started running a night called “Development” in Manchester which soon gained its own following and became successful. “After parties” at his house after the night had finished soon gained their own popularity and name, “The Stretford Dogs Club” named because of Andy’s collection of mutts. All of this meant that he started to gain a fan base in other parts of the world. “I’d been putting my mixes online and they were getting picked up by people in Mexico and Majorca!” Combining these connections with a desire to move away from the UK meant that Andy was soon looking at moving to Majorca permanently. He was already familiar with the island having visited before, “I already knew how peaceful it is, and how beautiful” and made the decision to move a couple of years ago. Now he plays at Garito in Palma every month DJing his popular “Stretford Dogs Club” night as well as working with Sentados en el Techo who appear at a variety of different venues. You might see, or more likely hear, him playing at the Ponderosa in the Playa del Muro, it’s one of his favourite places and is a beautiful place to spend a summer day, relaxing with a drink and watching the glistening turquoise sea. He’s a well-travelled guy having roamed around the globe, working, playing, and visiting. I’ve known of Andy for a few years now, but not had the opportunity to meet him. We’re friends on Facebook which is where last December I started to see him posting some amazing photographs of a trip that he was on in Africa. Right then, I think, time to find out more about Andy Proctor. We meet in Santa Catalina, and over a rather unusual dinner (Creole, jury’s out) I grill him about his solo safari trip through Namibia and South Africa.
VM: What possessed you to travel through those places on your own? Surely it’s really dangerous?
AP: (Grins, laughs). I travelled adhoc really; I researched where I wanted to go beforehand so I had a kind of plan. A lot of people think that going on safari is expensive but you can just drive yourself
VM: How did you get around? Surely you need to know where you’re going?
AP: Firstly I went to Etosha, which is the national park of Namibia; just the park is the size of Wales. You have to travel in a 4 x 4, there’s no way with those roads that you can travel in a normal car. I had one that you pitch the tent on top of the roof. I’d be sleeping out there on top of the 4 x 4 listening and watching all kinds of animals: leopards, cheetahs, oryx. I´d just go to waterholes and park up and wait. I saw lions, buffalo, elephants, zebra, ostriches, rhinos. It’s all run by the conservation project in Namibia. I wanted to do something special on Christmas Day so I spent it with an African tribe, it blew my mind. But to be honest every day was amazing.
VM: Are there any similarities between our island and Africa?
AP: Majorca looks like South Africa, it has the same elements: the beaches, the mountains, the only thing missing are the animals.
AP: I did travel through some very deserted areas though; you can drive for hours without seeing another person. I went to the Skeleton Coast which is extremely remote in the north-west of Namibia, formerly known as the Kaokoveld. It’s incredibly dramatic, valleys, very rough terrain and dunes. It’s also an amazing place to see more wildlife. That’s where I lost my car keys.
VM: Really?! Whoops!
AP: I had a blowout on the top of a mountain on my last day of travelling. So I had to unpack the jeep and find the tyre, figure out how to change the tyre and then get it all back into the jeep. It took me hours to do it, in the blazing sunshine. I was running out of water, on my own in the middle of nowhere. And in the middle of it all I lost my car keys.
VM: So you were on your own in one of the most remote parts of the world, and you’d lost your car keys. Ooh, I might have started to panic a little.
AP:I’d been reading a lot of mindfulness books so I kept telling myself not to panic and to let things be and they would turn up. I was applying this technique whilst searching frantically for my keys, I slammed the boot door of the 4 x 4 closed and they were in the lock! The next day was New Year’s Eve and I was booked to DJ a party in Pretoria so I had to get moving quickly.
VM: How does a South African audience differ to a Mallorcan audience?
AP: The project, called House 22 that I was at is just full of local people. It was a fantastic night; the people love soulful, deep, authentic music, and that’s the most important part of DJing: that you go with the vibe of the people. So that night I played a lot of house and disco, bringing in a lot of Chicago and Detroit influences as well. It was a great way to end my trip, say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015.
VM: And what does 2015 hold for you?
AP: Well I’m living in a new place on the island so I’m enjoying that. Whenever my friends come to visit me in Majorca I try to take them somewhere they haven’t been before, they call me ProcTours! I’m always going out of my way to find new places. But I would love to go back to Africa again. Maybe one day I will move there and have a B & B.
VM: Book me in! (Although I’m holding on to the car keys).
You can find Andy at www.facebook.com/Ilikestretforddogsclub
By Vicki McLeod