I'm guessing from the time it's on that it's more of a social than a club. Do you have a mate with a good collection of music on his/her laptop that might do it for beer? If the pub has a decent music system you could plug it in to that and save yourself some money. Plus people could bring their iPods and have anything they want played. I imagine a dj would cost around £50/hour and may have a minimum.
let me know what kind of event it is, i know a dj who may be suitable, I'll check out his rates.
Fifty pounds an hour? Cripes, and there's me DJing in Islington every Saturday night for the fun of it. Indieish though, R&B would have me walking straight out of the pub! Not as bad as the ubiquitous 'funky house' though.
You said it...you get the 'fun' or satisfaction out of it. Doing the weddings etc circuit is bloody hard work and is more of a job for a dj, plus they usually have to lug equipment around with them and put up with a constant stream of 'do you have this?' or my favorite hate 'Play something we can dance to' usually said when the floor is full and said by someone who has less rhythm than a sack of pick-axes. How many times can you play Kylie's 'Can't get you ...' and get excited :-) ?
Happily no, I do it somewhere that has the kit already set up. Though sometimes I wish I had my own, then I could buy some that worked!
"Do you have this" is non-stop, I often get "Can you play something by x" when I already am, just not a song that particular muppet actually knows, just familiar enough that it's set off a mental trigger in their heads about that band. Well, too bad, not for another dozen songs I can't.
And yeah, "Play something we can dance to" - all the time! I have a policy of not playing anything anyone can dance to in our club until at least pub chucking out time. In my view if you arrive before that it's because you want to listen to some music, not get tanked up and bounce around.
If it doesn't stop I'm going to move to the Camden Purple Turtle. At least the DJ there has a crow's nest away from the crowd.
Yeah it's difficult - SE1 is the scene of self-consciously trendy superclubs as far as I can tell, the vaults under London Bridge, the Ministry of Sound, and so on.
Short of some dodgy places near Elephant and Castle, I'm not sure what good venues exist for a small-ish night (say 100-150 people). There's probably something on Borough High Street.
I do want to try putting on a good old fashioned indie disco sometime this year, probably monthly Fridays for a few months and see how it went. The Roxy would be great but I doubt they'd give me it at peak boozing hours!