Hideous Mink's Grassroots Spotlight: Laura Pegler (Peggy)
Words By Ursa Gregson
Laura Pegler - aka Peggy aka DJ Peggy aka Peggy From Earth - is a broadcaster, music journalist and DJ based in London. Her Boogaloo Radio show, 'Peggy's Daylight Rockery', broadcast every Friday 6-8pm from the hallowed Boogaloo Pub in Highgate is a stalwart of the grassroots music scene in the capital and, for many new artists, bridges the gap between total obscurity and their first acclaim. Her broadcasting style is a deft melding of levity and loyalty to a DIY scene that nourishes itself with these kinds of shows. Head to a local gig, fundraiser, record fair, opening, closing, barbecue most anywhere in this city and chances are you'll find Peggy beaming behind the decks, spinning a bit of what you need all night long. She's a trusty house DJ at the Old Blue Last, Signature Brew and, of course, The Boogaloo. When she wakes up in the morning (or afternoon depending on the show) she'll write about the night before or review a band's latest single for So Young Magazine or tinker away behind the scenes for Dice, the ticketing company. Did we mention she also fronts her band, UK Painthorse? We managed to blackmail 2.4 seconds of her valuable time to ask her the things worth asking.
1) Where do we go when we die?
A question I feel I’m not qualified to answer. My head says the cold, hard ground. My heart says singing ditties with Johnny Cash & Ian Curtis in the clouds above. Either way, enjoy it while it lasts and hope to gawd you’re not destined for the fiery pits of hell.
2) Do you find that the busier you are, the more you want to do? Or are you secretly driven into the hard and bitter ground?
A healthy mixture of the two. In my case, self-worth often stems from making ideas come into fruition and the thrill of discovering a new band, having a packed out DJ set or seeing your words in print really spurs me on. On the flip side of this, when you’ve worked a 55hr week in some cases, time to press pause and smell the roses is just what the doctor ordered.
3) What do the ideas of grassroots 'scenes' and communities mean to you? Is a DIY, underground approach a foundational aspect for you and your work?
I owe so much to the grassroots scene! In London especially, the underground indie and alternative communities are a hive of creativity. You’ll find it’s a ‘let’s rise together’ as opposed to ‘dog eat dog’ mentality, which I find the music industry is so often falsely labelled. Whatever your creative occupation, I would suggest that a DIY mentality is essential when you’re just starting out. There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to working for yourself or working for larger conglomerates, but you need to have the drive to make your work happen by yourself in the first place, in order to excel to the next level.
4) Are music and broadcasting still highly charged - dare I say magical - areas for you? Is their giddy appeal eternal or do they become just work over time? What, for you, is the catalyst for eternal passion?
I love this. Big terms only. I'd say presenting and chatting endlessly about music is where my heart ultimately lies. The dream of dreams would be to have a 6 music show, but as the saying goes 'Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was a career in music broadcasting' - so essentially this ideal and mantra combined, keeps me chipping away at the long and winding road.
5) Tell us a little more about how your writing career began.
Lockdown! My dear friend Ned of QM Records (who initially encouraged me to pursue music journalism as a career), suggested I write a 'Peggy chats with...' column for their online blog. With gigs off the menu and DJ sets non-existent, this allowed me the time research and hone my writing skills which I probably hadn't used since high school. From there, the amazing people at Hard Of Hearing Music and Permanent Creeps helped me to progress at their publications before I was lucky enough to be asked to write for the lovely folk at So Young Magazine. Essentially, if you want to do something and have no idea how, say yes to everything, be open to critique and learn on the job.
6) Are there more Peggy musical projects upcoming, UK Painthorse or otherwise? Your empire seems ever-expanding!
Yes! I've pressed pause on the bandy for the time being but I'm launching a new DJ night at Signature Brewery called 'Peggy & Pals'. The outstanding humans that are John Myrtle and Egyptian Elbows will be joining me on the decks at the first one on 3rd June. Also, I recently sang on a forthcoming track for The Ringards - hope I have not murdered it but you can be the judges of that.
7) Please invent, describe and name a cocktail that completely encapsulates everything & everyone you've ever been and ever will be.
'You can't live with it, but you can't live without it.'
- A lethal concoction of sweet and sickly goodness. Once the high dies down, have a shot of apple juice and chill the fuck out.
Wray & Nephew Rum Cream
A garnish of flames
Apple juice shot on the side
More from Peggy
Keep up to date with Hideous Mink Records