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Refuge Residents: Darryl Marsden

In the second in our series with our ‘Refuge Residents’, we catch up with DJ Darryl Marsden.

Give us a little introduction…

My name’s Darryl, I’m from a fair old city in the Midlands they call Lincoln – moved over to Manchester for uni and fell in love with the city I now call home (and think I always will!)

When did you start DJing – and what or who were your early passions and influences?

I started spinning fairly late on to be honest, a year after I moved to Manchester. I came here in late 2010 for university and being exposed to dance music totally changed my life. I always loved a variety of music and playing in bands when growing up in Lincoln, but was generally into indie, rock ‘n’ roll, punk etc. even dabbling in metal bands in my early teens! I remember watching Derrick Carter at WHP in 2011 and said to myself after that’s what I want to do – teach me! So I got myself some CDJ’s with some 21st birthday money and never looked back.

How do you prepare for a set?

Obviously that depends on the venue, but I always like to have a wide variety of tunes at my disposal on both CD and vinyl (USB a little, but there’s something I don’t quite like about it..). Also the length of the set – for bar gigs just bring a tonne of tunes and go with the flow; for a club set, look at who you are playing for and loosely base around them, but give the sound your own stamp without question.

Three words that describe The Refuge:

Sleek, sexy, debonair.

What do you enjoy most about playing here?

It’s great to be able to play music in such beautiful surroundings and also the open music policy that I’m given when playing here gives you such freedom. I love to mix it up when playing so to be told just do your thing is amazing. Of course you throw in classics and well-oiled favourites, but doing that all night can be tedious; here you can play tracks that everyone loves and also curveballs. The bar suits a jazzy, soul vibe so well that it would be criminal not to play some stuff like that in here.

What track always gets the party started during your set at The Refuge?

Roy Ayers – Running Away. Little drum intro followed by that bassline – always a winner!

What’s your favourite food and drink item at The Refuge?

Have to be honest and say I’ve only ever eaten there once and was feeling the Lamb Shawarma. Had plenty of bevvies though and the Volta Pale Ale or Beavertown Gamma Ray are the ones for me.

Name a track that changed your life

You know I really couldn’t name one, as much as that sounds like a cop out. I think you come across tracks that change your life pretty often. Learning about new tracks every week is such a blessing that we are able to do – everyone should do that as much as they can; a bassline, a little melody in a verse, a drum hit that you feel in your heart – they can all change your life!

Keep up with everything Darryl Marsden on social:


Darryl Marsden