Tall (but true) tales: DJ Tall Paul spins yarns (and tunes)

tallpaulBritish DJ Tall Paul—literally. At 6 feet, 6 inches, Paul towers over the turntables as he delivers his own brand of “hard-edged house” to the worldwide club circuit. Despite hailing from the U.K., Paul was voted one of America’s “most favorite” DJs last year by readers of BPM magazine.

Throughout his 20 years in the music industry as a DJ and top-ranked producer, one aspect of Tall Paul’s career appears evident: It’s all about engaging the crowd. Paul’s return to Las Vegas should be no exception.

“For all the times I’ve played in Vegas, I like to present some new music … the best of the best that’s out there at the moment, and hopefully throw some stuff in there that will get the crowd jumping and just get everyone up and having a good time,” Paul says. “That’s what I like to do, and I find it always works when I’m in town.”

When Tall Paul tours, he’s usually about 60 percent certain what music he would like to play. But he also tries to “read the crowd and see how it’s going” when deciding what to spin. “For instance, if it’s an early set, then the people are still coming in, and they’re still getting settled and getting into the sort of mood, so you’ve got a bit more of a captive audience.” In contrast, he says, “toward the end, you want to leave the people having a great night and saying how much they enjoyed it and want to come back and leave them on a high, so you would sort of play your better tunes towards the end. As a DJ you want to be looking out for the crowd and seeing everyone having moments.”

As far as any notable differences between the U.S. and the U.K., Paul believes a major factor depends on how late the clubs are open. His recent appearance at Turnmills of London was scheduled until 7 in the morning; some U.S. clubs close early in comparison. “I know that some places in the States do have sort of afterhours, if you like, so it really depends. Some are a bit more dressy, some are a bit more in for the sort of long haul of the night.”

Paul acknowledges playing clubs in Sin City is a bit different from the rest of America. Still, he believes many attendees for Godskitchen Wednesdays at Body English will come out for the whole experience. “The guys that I’m playing for on that night—I know they have high values of production and music and atmosphere,” Paul says. His goal for the evening is to “get everyone together and on the same vibe and jumping around,” and he hopes to play for tourists and locals alike.

Paul also incorporates his own music in his live DJ sets, along with some of his current projects. Club-goers at Body English may be treated to a few of his recent remixes, such as The Bravery’s “Time Won’t Let Me Go,” or “When You Were Young” by The Killers. “Sometimes I’ll throw them in there if I think they’re going to go down well; if it’s called for.”

Like many other noted DJs, Tall Paul had made the switch from vinyl. “I’m completely CDs now, so three CDJ-1000s and a decent mixer and I’m off and running!”

What does the future hold for Tall Paul? “I’ve got a couple ideas, one in particular that really needs to be finished, just trying to find the time and get my engineer out of the Apple store and back into the studio,” jokes Paul. “But I think we’re going to figure something out early-to-mid-January.”

As for his live set at the Hard Rock on December 5: “We, as a collective, including the DJ, including the promoter, including the club and the venue, we’ll be trying to put on the highest quality night, giving the crowd some quality music and just make it a good night. Everyone’s going to be trying as hard as they can—including me—just to make it a top night for everyone. Watch out! We’re coming over, and can’t wait to get there.”

(Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly and at LasVegasWeekly.com.)

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