DJ Tintin is a veteran of the Manchester music scene after more than 20 years behind the wheels of steel. Known mostly for manning the decks at The Boardwalk, The Venue, The Hacienda and the Stone Love nights, he also became the tour DJ for New Order, played all over Europe in his own right, and had the headline DJ slot at all three Manchester Versus Cancer events at the MEN arena.
City Life magazine once called him a 'Manchester institution' - although 'mental institution''' is probably a more accurate description, as he was as well known for his antics behind the decks as his prowess on them. Not only
was it normal to see him dancing away in the DJ booth, but it was not uncommon to see him put on a record, dive out of the DJ box to dance with the punters on the dancefloor, and then hurtle back behind the decks just in time to change the tune.
Legendary Venue DJ Leo B Stanley gave the 17-year-old Marc Smith the nickname Tintin back in 1987 due to his hairstyle, which resembled the cartoon character. It was a nickname he would never shake - even though Tintin went completely bald five years later.
His career started at The Venue in 1987 with an 'indie' night on Thursdays, playing the usual mix of student-loving guitar music, with a heavy emphasis on Manchester bands. But in 1988, the advent of acid house and the emergence
of the ecstasy culture helped Tintin change musical direction and incorporate more of the new 'house' music into his sets. Around 1988/89 Tintin played some of the original 'warehouse parties' in and around Manchester. Before the word 'rave' was coined, these illegal out-of-hours
illegal warehouse parties drew thousands of people, but they were invariably closed down by the police after only a few hours.
Fusing acid house music and 'indie' music was a novel combination and Tintin helped create the new Indie/Dance genre, as did Dave Haslam, who had the same idea with his Temperance Club night on Thursdays at The Hacienda.
By late 1989, Tintin had been poached by Devilles, where he played to packed crowds every Friday and Saturday. He also regularly manned the decks week-nights at Polars Bar on Swan Street, ran by Hacienda regular Lee Pickering and a daily hangout of Manchester bands such as Happy Mondays and Stone Roses.
Tintin and Dave Haslam joined forces in 1990 for a new night at the revamped Boardwalk on Little Peter Street. Haslam called the night Freedom - a reference to his delight at finally leaving The Hacienda, which he felt had
started to lose its way. Freedom was sold out every Saturday and style magazine The Face named it the most important club night in the country. Live acts played once a fortnight and Tintin gave local band Sub Sub their
first gig. During 1991 and 1992 Tintin also played warm-up sets for all the larger acts to play at the International One club and toured with various Manchester bands.
There were also monthly visits to Newquay for club nights run by Manchester-based promoters Hypnosis. He shared the bill with Manchester counterparts Sasha, Mike Pickering and the Jam MCs.
When Haslam returned to his Thursday night at the Hacienda in 1991, renaming it 'Beautiful 2000', Tintin was drafted in to help out. He also played regular warm-up sets for the bands who played at The Hac mid-week.
After a self-imposed four-year hiatus, Tintin teamed up with Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig Gill, who dj'ed the Stone Love night at The Hacienda.
Stone Love had taken up the mantle of Manchester's number one Indie/Dance night after the demise of The Temperance Club and Beautiful 2000. When the
Hacienda closed down, Stone Love upped sticks to The Pheonix, where Tintin and Gilly played to enthusiastic crowds every Thursday for a year, before Stone Love eventually moved to Mutz Nutz on Princess Street, where Tintin and Gilly were joined by regular DJ guests Andy Rourke and Mani. The night ran for three years, before Gilly sold off the 'Stone Love' name after receiving a lucrative offer that was too good to turn down.
By 1999, the nationwide vodka bar Revolution had made Tintin their star-turn on the decks. As well as a four-year Saturday night residency at their new flagship Deansgate Locks venue, Revolution sent Tintin on tour round their
larger venues and monthly residencies were set up in Derby, Nottingham, Leeds, Harrogate and Reading.
In 2000 Jet-set Tintin flew over to various European clubs and festivals including those in Paris, Ibiza and Dubrovnik in Croatia, at the same time setting up the Bassbum breakbeat nights with Jane Funk Boutique and TNT's
Terry. In the mould of the original '88 warehouse parties, the much-loved Bassbum was moved from venue to venue during a nomadic three-year run in Manchester. Bassbum nights were put on at The Roadhouse, The Zoo, The Tube
and Zumbar before finally making it's home at The Music Box.
Tintin was then drafted in to DJ for Manchester legends New Order - and he played with them on the Get Ready and Waiting For The Sirens Call tours.
His reputation as a 'stadium' DJ was sealed when he was given the headline DJ spot at the legendary Manchester Versus Cancer gig at the MEN arena in 2005 - and was invited back as the headline DJ at the VersusCancer MEN arena events in both 2006 and 2007.
Tintin is currently 'taking a break' from DJing to concentrate on family life and a career in journalism, and when recently asked if he would consider another comeback, he said: "22 years is quite enough - in fact you'd get a lesser sentence for murder. I'm not planning on getting behind the decks again any time soon."
I wouldn't bet against it, though.
(Submitted 07.12.08 by Kellie Shaw)