There are so many interesting people involved at Radio Blue Mountains both behind the mic and behind the scenes, that we thought we’d share their stories here on the RBM website.

Meet Dins and Kev, the men behind The Parke Street Social.

Dins (L) and Kev – The Parke Street Social

Q: Hi Dins and Kevlar, thanks very much for taking the time out to speak with us.

Dins: Always a pleasure mate.

Kev: No problem, glad to be here!

Q: We’ll start directly with your RBM gig. You’re co-hosts of The Parke Street Social on Sunday nights on RBM. Tell us about the show.

Dins: We have a Sunday evening show from 6pm, focusing on good vibe House music, Disco and Funk. Our shows can consist of a 2 hour mix session, where we can either delve deep into our crates, or hit you up with the latest releases from our favourite record labels.

Occasionally, we also host exclusive guests from all stages of their DJ career – As long as they hit the standard, I don’t care how famous or non-famous they are (big shout out to DJ’s George from Sydney and Dave Lynch from the UK – Their sets are always top shelf). We broadcast our first show 2019 and since then, we’ve had some memorable times on air.

Kev: Yeah, as Dins said there, we’ve been on air since November 2019, in fact the first show was the night the 2019/2020 bushfires started, so pretty memorable!! Our main vibe is house, Funk and Disco, with a mix of brand new releases and older tracks. As well as new tracks, we have local guest DJ’s as well as internationals, who play varying styles, which hopefully provides our listeners with a good mix of genres, in House funk and Disco.

Q: How did you meet and when did you two first start making beautiful music together?

Dins: We met through a mutual friend from the UK who was hired to do a photo shoot in Australia, where Kev’s partner was organising the shoot. I happened to be sitting down next to them at the dinner after the work was completed, and we have become good friends – More like extended family.

Kev: My Wife Helen is a producer on Ad campaigns, and was working on a big car campaign with a photographer who’d come out from England, he was actually from Leeds, but we didn’t hold that against him!. When we were on set, he mentioned he had a mate who lived out here somewhere about 2 hours from Sydney, and that mate happened to be Dins. After the shoot we went out for a wrap dinner and Dins turned up and the rest is history as they say. Helen and I became really good friends with Dins and his wife, Jane.

Q: How and when did you both end up in the Blue Mountains?

Dins: Jane and I were wanting to settle in Australia, but in all honesty, the prices were just too expensive down in Sydney. Both of us lived relatively close to some beautiful countryside in the UK, so we were after something similar. The Blue Mountains offers the space, fresh air and a quirky culture we love and enjoy.

Kev: After becoming friends with Dins and Jane, we would often come and visit them and always loved how the seasons felt like England. After 16 or so years in the city and a young son, we decided it was time to move away and get more space. We looked up here, we looked at the Central Coast as well as the South Coast. But we always compared other places to the Blue Mountains, things like good restaurants, a good arts scene, gallery’s, music venues, you know a bit of culture. Ultimately no other places ticked all the boxes, so we ended up buying some land just in town and ended up building a home and moving here at the end of 2018.

Q: Am I right in saying that you’ve both graced DJ booth’s all over the globe?

Dins: Wellll,,, not quite haha.. I’ve played around the UK in the heyday of the 90’s, plus a stint in Tokyo when I was travelling over there in ’97/98. A long hiatus when we got to Australia, however a few years ago I picked it up again and here we are.

Kev: Haha no! like Dins, I played a bit in the mid 90’s whilst working in Greece, for a couple of summer seasons, but that was it. For me it was more just messing around on decks at friends houses, or at house parties.

Q: Did you get together and “DJ” together as a social thing? Is that what DJ’s do in their down time? More DJ-ing?

Dins: Not quite, it was the radio show that started us off, then we have built from there. The radio show offers us time to get together to get our weekly fix of good vibe music. We have pretty busy lives outside of mixing, however I’m putting ideas and mixes together as much as I can on my laptop while I commute to work through the week (if I’m not studying).

Kev: From memory we’re having drinks at our place on New Years Eve, as we’d just moved in, and Dins bought his gear up and we just kind of started there really. Once the radio show started we started to do free Sunday afternoon community gigs at the OCB beer garden. We had good attendances and from there, branched out to play the other venues in Katoomba.

Q: And when did the idea of bringing your skills to RBM first come about?

Dins: We had discussed doing “something” here, but never really took an active approach. Then Kev noticed the RBM barbecue advertising for people who fancied their chances broadcasting shows. Kev gave me a call, we were both excited about the prospect, so Kev contacted Ron Green and we were lucky enough to get a Sunday evening slot.

Kev: I think the idea of a radio show came about over a few beers, as they do!. We’re passionate about the music we like and play, and wanted to share that passion in our local community and we knew there was nothing like this locally. So one day I was at Woolies and noticed the RBM BBQ happening, and after the chat we’d had, I thought, well, I’ll just ask. So I approached one of the people at the BBQ, who happened to be Ron Green and said ‘how do we get a radio show?’ Ron’s response was ‘just ask’ so i did! :). From there we had a few conversations, what times and days were available, the music we played, any experience etc and Ron was great. He trained both Dins and I on how to use the desk in the Studio, and came to our first show to make sure it all went smoothly. So that was a great introduction in to being a radio host on RBM.

Q: How did you find the process of contacting RBM and becoming a member and getting on air?

Dins: As above

Kev: Easy, funny and great!

Q: So Parke Street Social began on RBM in 2019. Since then you have built up a strong, loyal listenership. DJ Brenz of the Drum N Bass show talked about your show in such glowing terms, and about what an honour it was to guest with you.

What is it do you think that makes Parke Street Social so unique?

Dins: I think RBM are a wonderful bunch of people, offering to share knowledge of their interests (whether it be music, meditation, current affairs, gardening, mental health and many other areas). The Station offers a wide range of shows, and presents an alternative to some of the repetitive, mundane bilge that more corporate radio stations offer.

Kev: As Dins said there RBM offers an array of musical styles and programs, so I feel we are a good fit in the programs that RBM offers its listeners, throughout the week.

Q: Great stuff. Alright so now we’re going to dive a bit deeper into where you come from and what makes you tick. You’re both originally from the UK. When did you first arrive in Australia and tell us about those first 10 – 15 years.

Dins: Jane and I arrived here 21 years ago from travelling through India and South East Asia for 8 months. We started out in Melbourne for the first year, however the intention was to head East to New Zealand, spend a year there, then head further East to South America, then Europe, then back home to face reality. We never made it further East than Sydney ! From there we enjoyed our time in the Inner West for a few years, but the desire to put firmer roots down came a priority. After a shortlist of places to try out, we chose the Blueies in 2010. We have been here ever since.

Kev: I arrived in Australia, in January 2002 and lived in Sydney for the best part of 16 years around the Inner West.

Q: You are both obviously creative guys. Do you both work in creative industries, outside of your radio and DJ stuff?

Dins: Hahaha… Only if you find investing people’s money under extremely stringent rules creative. On the contrary, there are many sides I love about my role.

Kev: Nope, I’m a National Fleet Manager for a company that Manufactures water tanks! I come from a Logistics background, so there’s some creativity in there!

Q: So The Parke Street Social is your way of cutting loose, a bit? 

Dins: Absolutely.
Kev: Yes for sure!

Q: Was RBM your first radio gig?

Dins: I had a few weeks doing a show on our local radio station on the 90’s (LSR 93.1– Short for Leeds Student Radio), however the 2am slot didn’t last long for obvious reasons !

Kev: Yes.

Q: And when did you then move PSS into the Baroque Room in Katoomba and real live gigs?

Dins: Only last year, although we hosted some previous parties at The Station Bar (which we are continuing throughout 2024). The main reason for organising these events is so we can offer a good vibe, inclusive and safe space for party people of the Mountains to let their hair down, have a boogie and be themselves.

I’ve organised events before in the UK, so had an idea of the formula and the amount of work needed to get it started, although promoting has certainly changed in the 20 years or so since the gigs in the UK ! Back then it was more reliance on word of mouth, so a lot of work needed on that part. Fast forward to now, so much reliance is about plugging the event on social media. Even more so post-Covid.

Kev: Yes, that started in March 2023, although as Dins said we’d played at the Station Bar and done the Sunday afternoon gigs at the OCB as i mentioned earlier. The Baroque is good fun, you know the people are coming to listen and ave a good dance,

Q: Have you an idea, or a plan, of where you’d like to take these live PSS nights? Like, are you happy enough to play The Baroque Room once every 6 months or so, or are you thinking “First the Baroque, next The Horden Pavilion, then the World!”

Dins: For me, it is (and always has been) about putting on parties where the most important aspects are the quality of the music, the energy of the night and the inclusivity of the crowd. The party people we attract to our events certainly provide this – Best crowd in the Mountains !
Personally, I think an event loses a certain closeness the larger it becomes. Therefore on those ideals, I’m 100% comfortable with what we have at the moment. On the contrary, I absolutely love hitting well-organised, larger events every now and again.

Kev: I’m very happy, the parties we put on are always well attended, and the crowd that turns up are always up for a fun night, without them, it’s nothing. In terms of expanding, there’s not many other places that would be suitable for what we do, and some of those that could be, require you to jump through hoops to get the go ahead. Watch this space i guess!

We have our next party on at The Station Bar on May 4,2024 from 9pm

Q: Moving back to you – What was your favourite Saturday afternoon activity as a teen in Leeds and Manchester?  Were you out playing sport or were you trawling record stores?

Dins: Without doubt, crate digging for new music in record shops around Leeds – However, I’d occasionally go to Leeds Utd football matches if they were playing at home.

Kev: I grew up just north of Manchester, in a place called Helmshore, a small village in the Rossendale Valley. Green hills and farmers fields. My Saturday mornings were spent playing football and in the afternoons, if United were at home, I’d be in the K stand at Old Trafford with my Dad, who was fortunate enough to have season tickets. As i got older yeah i was in record stores, searching for vinyl, or shopping for new trainers, or traveling to away games watching United.

Q: Can you remember the first record you bought?

Dins: Oh God… yes I do. I’m cringing as I type this, but it was an album by a pseudo- rockabilly solo artist from the early 80’s called Shakin’ Stevens. I can’t remember the name of the album, but it cost me 1 pound and 65 pence, and I had to temporarily borrow my sister’s record player to play it. She wasn’t too happy about it, which I though was quite contradictory as she was the one who suggested that I part with my hard earned pocket money at the time !

Kev: I do, it was Ghost Town by The Specials. I was 9 years old and England was in a mess and this song just captured the time perfectly. It’s a timeless song.

Q: What did you do for your 21st?

Dins: I didn’t do that much, in all honesty, as my big birthday celebration was my 18th. Plus, I was saving for my first travel experience to Japan, so preferred to save than spend at the time.

Kev: Pretty sure I went to a club called Carlos 2 in Colne, near Burnley.

Q: Where were you that Saturday in 1985 when Live Aid was on? (If you say in primary school we’ll really feel our age).

Dins: I was only 9 years old at the time, so I don’t remember (or appreciate) the event well enough to comment. I do remember watching the TV somewhere – I think it was at my Dad’s house, and I remember Queen and Status Quo in the UK, then the live feed shooting over to Philadelphia for Phil Collins. That’s about it I think..

Kev: Blimey! I was 13 at the time, so I was probably hanging out with my mates. I remember not watching it.

Q: Assuming you’re a fan of his work, which Quentin Tarantino film is your favourite of his?

Dins: Oooh, that’s a tough one.. Has to either Jackie Brown or Reservoir Dogs I reckon… But there are so many big hitters on this list. Hmmm, I’ll go for Jackie Brown; very slick movie.

Kev: Hmmm!! well he’s a great writer and producer and he’s done so many good films. Obviously Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were brilliant films, as was Jackie Brown, and Django Unchained, but I’m gonna go with Pulp Fiction. The writing in that movie is brilliant.

I love how all the characters are woven together, the dry humour and really strong characters of Samual L Jackson and John Travolota, makes it my favourite.

Q: And an even harder question: Which LP would you run back into a burning building to save? Actually let’s make it which 3 albums?

Dins: Not Shakin’ Stevens ! I would go for Public Enemy’s “It takes a nation of millions to hold us back”, Everything But The Girl’s “Walking Wounded”, and Cinematic Orchestra’s “Every Day”.

Kev: WOW!! This is hard! I think it would be “Substance” by New Order, “Dr Boondigga and the Big W” by Fat Freddy’s Drop and my Stone Roses Box Set. Although i’d grab as much as I could.

Now, like all of our interviews lads it’s time for some rapid fire questions. Ready?

Dins: Of course.

Kev: Oh yes!

Q: UK Fish ’n’ Chips or Aussie Pie and Sauce?

Dins: No question. Fish n Chips.

Kev: I’m vegetarian now, but it’s have to be Fish n Chips any day of the week 

Q: Top of the Pops or Countdown?

Dins: When I was younger, TOTP – I assume you’re meaning the Aussie version of Countdown? It would be a little more difficult to answer if you meant the UK version.

Kev: Top of the Pops, never seen Countdown, apart from 8 out of 10 cats does Countdown

Yeah, sorry lads, I was presuming that you’d be familiar with the Australian 80’s music show Countdown, hosted by Molly Meldrum and often repeated on Rage on the ABC. Let’s move on!

Q: Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin?

Dins: Homer – I’m turning into him.

Kev: Homer, although Peter Griffin is funny!

Q: Apple or Android?

Dins: Android

Kev: Apple

Pioneer or Allen and Heath Mixers? 

Dins: Allen & Heath, hands down. 

Kev: Allen & Heath

Q: Christmas Day Roast, or Christmas Day Barbie and salads?

Dins: Roast.

Kev: I’d have to say veggie roast, however my favourite is a Xmas day Curry!!

Q: Fat Boy Slim or DJ Shadow?

Dins: Don’t do this to me! Can’t answer.

Kev: DJ Shadow

Q: WSW or Sydney FC?

Dins: WSW, I guess?

Kev: WSW

Q: Favourite night out today?

Dins: Any Parke Street Social night ! But if it’s not on, a meal with Jane and friends at any half-decent restaurant.

Kev: Yes as Dins said a Parke Street Social night, or out for a meal with Helen and good friends.

Q: Favourite Night In?

Dins A: A takeaway from Basil Nut in Katoomba, and chilling on the sofa with Jane and Annie (our dog), watching a good movie.

Kev: Home made curry, hanging with Helen and our lad Arthur, watching a movie

Q: Last gig you were at?

Dins: 19-Twenty at the Baroque in January, organised by Fusion Boutique

Kev: Happy Mondays Enmore Theatre

Q: Last Theatre Night Out?

Dins: Ed Byrne at The Factory Theatre in Newtown last year – Absolutely hilarious!

Kev: Can’t remember

Q: Favourite restaurant food?

Dins: Indian curry – More specifically, the “Jerry Special” from Anki’s in Katoomba

Kev: Indian Curry from Harris Park

Q: Favourite Drink?

Dins: A decent malt whiskey (alcoholic), Mango Lassi (non-alcoholic)

Kev: A nice cold beer on a hot day or a fruity cold tea

Q: Favourite holiday destination?

Dins: Thailand

Kev: Koh Yao Yai, Thailand

Finally, complete this sentence “If I won a million bucks tomorrow I would . . . . “

Dins: Have a pint.

Kev: Go on holiday

Thanks very much for giving us your time. Keep up the good times!