The deejay and presenter Andy Cooper aka DJ Coopoid.

Andy Coopoid
Andy Coopoid

27-year-old deejay-cum-radio-presenter Andy Cooper has been the driving force behind a weekly-sanctified dance show on UCB Europe, and then UCB Cross Rhythms, for the last four years. However, DJ Coopoid (as he is known on the radio) hasn't always been consumed by a passion for dance music. "I became a Christian when I was 12 years old and have always been into music, but I used to only listen to music played by real people: none of this boring computer drum machine rubbish! I guess that's because I was a musician myself, playing drums, oboe, saxophone and guitar.

"My views changed suddenly in 1992 when a friend at university played Scott Blackwell's 'Walk On The Wild Side' album to me, including the 'My King' classic. I had been a fan of Christian music for a while and recognised the value of decent worship material. And now Scott Blackwell's lyrical content was so strong, the programming was interesting and the worshipful vibe just lifted the music and caught my attention."

Andy went on to run a few alternative worship services with his Christian Union mates at Keele University and then started work at UCB as a sound 'engineer in 1994. While there, he realised that none of this new sanctified dance music was getting played on the radio, and there was no one around who took any interest in starting a show, so after some prayer and planning, Andy convinced the programme manager to allow him to present a weekly show in the spring of 1995. "It was just 45 minutes to begin with," recalls Andy, "and I'm sure it was terrible to listen to: there was no proper mixing as I could only use CDs and there were no vari-speed players, and I was nervous as a dog at the vets! No matter, the music was being played and there were listeners who wanted to hear it." The show was first called Dancity with the slogan "Dance with dignity before the Deity". Now, as the Sanctified Dance Club, it is two and a half hours long every Friday at 6.30pm and includes as many styles of dance music as you can name!

"I like variety and I like to inform listeners about all that's going on in the scene," Andy retorts. "It's difficult to keep up with everything these days, so much is going on, but I try. I play a lot of N-Soul CDs, all the obvious Christian stuff in the UK and as much gospel garage vinyl as I can get my hands on. I also get the occasional exclusive unreleased track or pre-releases, which is nice."

Coopoid also broadcasts mixes from guest DJs, including Scott Blackwell, Tribal Expression, Johnny Caswell and the Vinyl Preacher. Guest interviews have included Cameron Dante, dba, Trip, AJ Mora, Psalmistry and Scott Blackwell. So if you want to keep up to date with the latest sounds of the scene, there's no better place than UCB Cross Rhythms on a Friday evening!

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.