Welcome to the latest edition of Six Questions With..., a regular short and sharp interview with a live music figure. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take part or recommend someone for inclusion.
This week's Q&A is with DJ and producer Jon Craig of Courthouse Studio, who works on brands such as Cream Classical and Gatecrasher Classical.
What was your first job in music/music related events?
My first job in music was as a house DJ, starting out DJ’ing in my local bars in Stockport in Manchester. I was quite fortunate that there have always been a lot of top quality DJ’s from Stockport who play around the UK and abroad, so there was no shortage of cool bars to learn my craft in!
How long have you been in your current role?
I have now moved more in to the studio side of the business as a record producer and mix engineer at Courthouse Studio in Manchester. Since 2015 I have been the music producer and studio mix engineer for the Cream Classical shows. Being involved in them since day one has been amazing, to watch it grow like it has been incredible. From summer 2017 I have also taken on the same roles for both Gatecrasher Classical and Colours Classical as well.
What is your favourite thing about working in the live music industry?
I would have to say seeing my work being played on stage to thousands of people at a time! I always go the dance classical shows I work on and recreate all the dance tracks for, so witnessing the crowd reaction with my own eyes is the best feeling in the world.
What is the one thing you would like to change about the business?
I would like to see the city councils working a little more closely with club owners to come up with solutions to keep clubs open, and not closing them down at a whim. Nightclubs have been a huge part of my life/career since my late teens, and I believe that there has to be some kind of middle ground that works for both the councils and club owners to prevent closures.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
That’s a tough one! There have been so many amazing moments but, if I had to pick one, it would have to have the very first Cream Classical in April 2016. When the show opened and the songs I recreated started to play, then a few seconds later a 50 (or so) piece orchestra started playing, it was mind blowing, pure goosebumps! I think, in the lead-up, everyone involved knew it was going to be special, I’m just not sure we all realised quite how special it was really going be. I think anyone who has seen the shows would totally agree.
What's the best gig you’ve ever been to?
The best gig I’ve ever been to including my own work would be Cream Classical Steelyard in November 2017 on Liverpool docks. The venue, the crowd, the atmosphere, it was spectacular. The best gig I’ve been to watch would have to be Oasis at Manchester City stadium on June 30, 2005. That was the first stadium show I’d been to and, growing up in Manchester, Oasis were a big part of my musical heritage, so seeing them live at a gig of that size was amazing.