Wedding fairs winter and spring

We’re out and about over the next couple of months at a few exceptional wedding fairs some, no doubt, will be near you.

If your looking for inspiration for your wedding and want to talk through all your entertainment needs then come down to one of the following events.

First off this weekend Annabel and I (Matt) are splitting up (not literally) to go to two amazing events on the 16th February. Annabel will be at the Discover Vintage National Wedding Fair which is at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate and I’ll be at the White Memoirs vintage wedding fair in Manchester at Rosylee Tea Rooms accompanied by the legendary Dr. Sid to DJ the day away

The next weekend on the 23rd February Annabel and I will be another great White Memoirs event this time in Cheshire at Alderley Edge Festival Hall Not forgetting our southern friends we’re also in Chiswick, London at the Discover Vintage Fair on the 23rd February where the incomparable Thelonious Trunk will be spinning the Shellac and able to talk you though your entertainment for your big day.

On the 2nd March Annabel and I will be in Worcester at this extremely well run event at the Guildhall run by the Vintage Wedding Fayre  and on the 23rd of March we’ll be back in Manchester at the Secret Vintage Wedding Fair which will be at.. Well that’s a secret for the mo as it’s such a great venue so you’ll have to register to find out!

Moving into April on the 23rd we’ll be back among good Yorkshire folk at the Something Old Wedding Fair in Sheffield

There will be a few more that are not confirmed yet so please check back or contact us directly via email or just call Matt on 07971805134 anytime.

Hope to see some of you very soon.


Uncle Norm’s Record Box

Secret Discs at The Whiskey Jar

Bootlegger white grain spirit and Vintage 78DJs have hooked up with the ‘pre-bloc’ wing of famed vinyl emporium, EasternBloc Records, to create Uncle Norm’s Record Box, a night of rare vintage tunes, never heard before in public.

The monthly event at The Whiskey Jar, featuring It’s a Wind Up! Vintage 78DJs, starts on December 11th and will see your own Vintage DJs Matt and Annabel delve deep into a magnificent private collection of original 78rpm shellac recordings from around the world.

Vintage Gramophone DJs

Vintage Gramophone DJs

Uncle Norm’s Record Box will open up a very special pre-vinyl assembly of American blues and early R&B.

From the Americas to Africa, European tradition to the Latin revolution, this is an extraordinary look into EasternBloc’s special musical collection of the first half of the 20th Century, augmented by Vintage78DJs’ huge personal stash of over 25,000 shellac discs, which span the 1920s through to the 1950s.

Legendary figure on the Manchester music scene, this is Matt Nickson’s first promotional night in Manchester since leaving Matt & Phred’s.

Matt says:

“This night will be great – it’s the only event of its type outside London – a unique opportunity to hear rare original 78rpm recordings that wouldn’t normally be heard in public, low down and dirty tunes DJs only usually play in the privacy of their own home.”

A Manchester collector’s library, some of the tunes are yet to be digitised and are not available on any other format.

Matt continues: “The Whiskey Jar, ‘Downstairs at the Still’, is the perfect place for the event and we’re so grateful to EasternBloc for collaborating with us. With like-minded partners this is set to be one of the best vintage DJ nights in the UK.”

Vintage Gramophone DJs

Vintage Gramophone DJs

To complete the night, the Whiskey Jar will be creating a cocktail list and the Vintage 78DJs will be providing vintage parlour games from their collection, including bar billiards, shove ha’penny and bagatelle.


This opening night is at 8pm on December 11th.

Bootlegging Gramophone DJs

We’ve hooked up with Bootlegger White Grain Spirit for a few outings to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the abolition of prohibition in the USA and we recently played at the London launch at Blue Tit Salon where we had the opportunity to bring a selection of our vintage games and also our Vintage Guestbook table which we set up as a 1920’s style newsroom for people to sit and type messages about the evening.

We had loads of fun with all the guest having a go at the parlour games. The Vintage News team came along and made a fabulous film reel of the event which you can see here.

We managed to bring more of the Gramophone DJs with us including Thelonious Trunk who you can see on the film spinning the disks and Dr. Sid who you can see having a little dance with guests.

More exciting news is that we’ve managed to acquire an amazing collection of rare and wonderful 78rpm Shellac records including some stunning original blues records and will be playing them at a new night we will be starting this autumn. More details will follow soon about this but in the mean time. have a listen to this incredible song by the wonderful Big Bill Broonzy which we now have on shellac.

Vintage 78 DJs gettin’ about in 2013

We’ve been crazy busy here at Wind Up Towers! and not had much time to update the old blog thingumme so here’s a update on a few things we’re involved in over the next few weeks and months.

First off you can listen while you read to a very recent radio show we did for the Kipper the Cat Show at Cambridge 105 radio station.

Again this year with the Shellac Collective we’ll be at Bestival and Camp Bestival over the summer with a full line up of all the best UK 78rpm DJs and some amazing bands.


We’ve been invited to some new and exciting events this year including Cartmel Races where we’ll be playing and dancing all day for their vintage race night. We’ll be there from 2pm through till after the first race at 6pm and on till the evening frivolities so if you in the Lakes make a trip to come to a unique event in the racing calender.

We’ve also been invited to play in Morecambe at the Kite festival on the 30th June which will an incredible day and You’ll be able to find us outside the wonderful Midland Hotel.

As usual we’re playing at a few amazing weddings this year and we’ll be at a couple of wedding fairs in your area so please come and check us out.

Some even better news on the DJ front is that we now have a permanent base in London with Thelonius Trunk as our southern representative. He’s packed and ready to travel so get in touch.

Other news in is after our amazing wedding last September we we’re asked by many to hire out our games and guestbook so here’s two sites to have a look at.

Vintage Guestbook


It’s Fun and Games 

So there you go. It’s all happening but as ever please get in touch with any ideas you for events, parties, wedding or anything else you can think of.

Lastly we did an amazing gig last week for a very special friend of ours where we provided all the music, entertainment, the guestbook table and the games which you can have a look at here.



Love my dress book launch


Vintage 78 DJs review of 2012

Our travels this year have taken us all over the UK to some amazing venues, we’ve met some wonderful people with the added bonus of being able to travel round this fair isle.

We’ve worked with some great exhibitors this year for wedding fairs including Discover Vintage who also produce the Festival of Vintage in York where we’ll be at again this April plus we’ll be at their Chiswick wedding fair in February. This years festival of vintage was wet, very wet, but the crowds came out in their thousands and we had a great weekend DJing and selling of some of our vintage home and gramophone/record player collection. We we’re at the White Memoirs wedding fair and also The something old vintage wedding fair both of which we’re run fantastically well.

Our year has been punctuated by some huge gigs for us. We’ve played at Bestival and Camp Bestival with our great friends the Shellac Collective which were brilliant and we ended up sharing the stage with both Neil Innes and Three Bonzos and a piano.

In addition we had our pre-wedding shoot with James Melia a couple of the pictures you can see below.

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Other great events we played at this year included Mintfest the aptly named festival in Kendal run by a great organisation called Streets Ahead. Matt also played Mintfest with the band Calaita so just chesk out this:

Once every Preston Guild is a North West saying meaning not very often as it only comes around once every 20 years and this year Wayne Hemingway was hired to curate the vintage Preston Guild including a spectacular look into the past recreating a 1922 dance which we played at and the spirit of 42 ball where we also entertained the splendidly attired guests. The 1942 ball never happened in actuality but this event was massive and what a joy to be playing all those great tunes from that time on our gramophones to over 1000 people.

This year we were asked to at the The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival for a vintage event with Naomi Thomson And we also made our yearly pilgrimage down to River Cottage where finally the rain got the better of the events. On the Friday they just manged to put the show on but by Saturday the floods had got hold of Devon and there were no way to get to the venue as most if the roads had been washed out. We had a great time on the Friday and got to eat some of the best food all year.

Hugh and Annabel and a lovely bloke form Scotland.

Hugh and Annabel and a lovely bloke form Scotland.

We have played at some amazing weddings this year so thank you to all who booked us and thanks for the thanks via all the cards you’ve sent us.

In September we finally found the time and the venue to get ourselves married and you can read all about it here via the splendiferous  Love My Dress blog

Matt and Annabel get married


It was an amazing day with loads of music and lots of our good friends sharing the day with us.

So there’s a short snip-it of what we’ve been up to there we’re many other gigs and we also play in Manchester once a month at The Oast House which is a crackin family freindly boozer with good ale and great food.

We’re really looking forward to 2013 and have already got some great bookings but we’re still available so please do get in touch to discuss any ideas you have for events or weddings.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Matt and Annabel xxx

Winners of “Best Vintage DJs” in the Vintage Manchester Awards!

Yes folks it’s official we’re the best vintage DJs in town voted for by you guys, so a big thank you to all who voted for us.

This has been an amazing year with some memorable and amazing events including playing at the Wayne Hemingway vintage Preston Guild in both the 1922 event and the Spirit of 42 stunning big top show. We also played at both Bestival and Camp Bestival, Mintfest in Kendal, our yearly pilgrimage to “River Cottage” to play at Hugh’s summer bash, some lovely weddings and to top it all we got married and then three weeks later won this award. So hurrah for us! and we’re now looking forward to 2013 in a vintage style to take the music to more places and share with all you lovely folk.

Manchester’s vintage scene has been growing rapidly and Old Fashioned Susie took it on herself to highlight all the great things that are happening around town by running this competition. The response was stunning with thousands voting for their favorite vintage business and vintage folk.

The winners of each category are:

Best Vintage Fair– Vintage Village Stockport

Best Vintage Inspired Designer– Kalandra Jane Designs

Best Vintage Clothes Shop J’adore Vintage Clothing

Best Vintage Furniture/Home Shop– Rose & Lee Vintage Living

Best Vintage Venue– Sugar Junction

Best Vintage DJ– Matt & Annabel: Vintage 78DJ’s

Best Vintage Night Out– The Whim Wham Club

Best Vintage Beauty/Hair– Bethany Jane Davies: The Vintage Beauty Parlour

Best Vintage Photographer– Simon Hunt: Alt Studio

Best Vintage Event Supplier– For The Love of Vintage

Best Vintage Blog–

Best Vintage Newcomer– Vintage Twists

Every award needs a red carpet awards ceremony and Vintage Manchester really pushed the boat out by holding a wonderful evening of entertainment and vintage cocktails. The location was Matt and Phred’s Jazz Club a place close to heart of your very own DJs Matt and Annabel as it’s the place where we met. Matt being Matt of Matt and Phred’s the club he started in 1999 and ran til very recently. It was great to be back a the old homestead and standing on a stage Matt had played on in his guise of saxophonist over 1000 times.

Back on stage.

Back on stage.

With Susie out front

With fellow vintage dj Dr Sid

With fellow vintage dj Dr Sid

And the winners are..

And the winners are..

Other people involved in making this a great event we’re  The Social Butterfly– PR and events organiser, the charismatic and amazing voiced compeer Kiki DiVille, the multi talented Anthony from JazzSwingDance and the uncanny voiced Suzie Sequin as Marilyn Monroe. Not forgetting the sponsors- Old J RumPinUp’s in Pinnies and Donald & Miss June Vintage

We had a ball.

Still here?

Still here?

Vintage 78 gramophone DJs are getting married!

Yes folks we’re getting married in just a little while and with the help of all our friends we’re going to have a great day.

Matt and Annabel

Our venue is amazing and is the Victoria Baths in Manchester our chef is Manchester’s famous Robert Owen Brown and our photographer is the fantastic James Melia.

You can have a look here to see James and we’ll post more photos very soon

Now we’re of to Bestival on Thursday so anyone going come and see us at Pig’s Big Ballroom

Vintage 78 DJs Take a break!

After a long winter we recently decided to take a break to the magnificent North East coastal port of Staithes situated just North of Whitby and just South of the strange purpose built Victorian holiday resort of  Saltburn-by-the-sea.

It’s a magnificent village and we were lucky enough to stay in a fantastic artists cottage just behind the Gallery.

We’d packed loads of crafting gear determined to learn to knit, make marmalade and most importantly hand print our “save the date cards” for our wedding in September. It was snowing when we set off with all our good intentions and by the time we got to Staithes even the sea had stated to freeze.

Dropping our gear off at the cottage the first thing was to take the car just out of the village at the top of the hill. This has one advantage – the Whitby Seafish wholesale store is just at one end of the car park.

This was the first massive bonus of the trip as this place is famous for it’s award winning oak smoked salmon made on the premises and the freshest fish.

Staithes doesn’t have a lots of shops and but whats there is of quality the butchers which is open most mornings sells local meet and again ticks all the boxes for fresh locally sourced amazing produce. The boozers are alright but could do with a bit more imagination put in, but there’s a great cafe near the beach which is worth a visit. We didn’t go to the bistro which looks nice but with all of Yorkshires finest produce knocking about you just gotta get cooking!

Next day it was full steam ahead on the crafting! That’s until over breakfast we noticed that the temperature had risen by ten degrees and so we decided to go vintage shopping. We’d had a tip off from Annabel at Love My Dress wedding blog (for all brides to be out there check this site out it’s the best) about a great vintage shop in Saltburn-by-the-sea Northern Lights Interior so off we went and – what a find; not only that but the street it’s on has some great charity shops where we got lots of vintage embroidered linen old music books and a small stash of 78s (rare charity find these days)

The other amazing, and best, vintage find in this part of the country was that same afternoon in Whitby where we met the marvelous Trudie at Dotty About Vintage 

A great shop which had only been open for a few days and well worth the trip. So good in fact we went back twice more as her stock was moving so fast you just want ot go everyday Trudie who lives in Staithes promised to help us in our knitting quest to “cast on”…. later in the pub like!

The rest of our trip was spent eating great food cooked by us, making stuff including Matt’s famous marmalade

And we did those save the date cards.

We also went to both pubs for the two pub quizzes, and spent hours hoovering beaches of driftwood and other assorted flotsam and jetsam.

We also had a great meal at the Star Inn at Harome we’ll be back here as this was an amazing meal but next time we’re going to stay in there too.

 The best Prawn Cocktail!

Staithes is an amazing place and with Whitby near and the beautiful coast line we’ll be back. Special mention must be made hear  to Staithes Gallery which is has some great works and we bought two fantastic screen prints by the Artist Ian Burke.