Steppin’ Out at The Portland Arms, Cambridge

It was an insanely catchy drum and bass remix by Fred Astaire I go out with my baby That first put Bristol-based swing and bass DJ and producer Mista Trick (aka Richard Hale) on my radar a few years ago – and now he and his big group are coming to Cambridge.

Mista Trek Group.  Photo: Sin Hart
Mista Trek Group. Photo: Sin Hart

Various members of said group will be filling the stage at The Portland Arms next week as they bring their old school vibe, mixed with visibly dirty drum and bass, to town.

Mista Trek notices the band playing Steppin’ out in their live show. “It seems to blast off really well,” he says, “I think it’s partly because the brass line is really clear—I love the brass on the drums on that song. The song is really old—old in the sense of the original and my remix—and it still works.”

A style of music known as electro swing, which includes classic tunes from a bygone era that are given the electronic dance treatment, seemed to be very popular for a while — and it’s still very much around.

“For me, electro swing was definitely peaking—I wasn’t really part of that scene,” says Mista Trek, who already has a background in musical theater.

“I was just doing my own little thing; it wasn’t European-style electro house, it was always a little bit more British, a little bit more drum and bass.”

Early in his career, Mista Trick was invited on stage by Elle and the Pocket Belles, purveyors of classic swing alongside modern pop, and subsequently went on tour with them.

“The fourth show we did was Glade’s play, Glastonbury,” he recalled, “and I was like, ‘What?! They were like, ‘Can you do more? Can you do an hour set?’ And I think by then I had only done two songs — Get off tonight And Swingin’ together – so I had to quickly do lots and lots of remixes of the Andrews sisters and similar songs.

“Then we did the Glade stage, four shows for about 3,000 people, and I couldn’t stand still. I couldn’t just stand behind the decks. I was jumping around, cheering everyone up, and it was electric. It was a huge and life-changing moment for me.”

He adds, “We played after Cassette Boy, who does a set there every year, so half the audience was already there. Then by the time we finished it, he was shocked. Then we went and did a European tour and I said, ‘Okay, that’s me now.'”

Mista trick group: tour dates
Mista trick group: tour dates

On what a Cambridge audience can expect, Mista Trek says: “I think we’re doing an hour-and-a-half show, we’ve got support from Release The Chimps, who I know are a local act. They’re like a funk-hop act doing some covers and a little bit of originals, Which is quite similar to how we show it.

We perform tracks from the new album. Youand we’ll do a few, like I said, my own remixes, like Steppin’ outAnd River shouted at mesome of the songs that have done well on my Soundcloud, as well as some that have been released on Spearhead Records, are in the red.

“We do that too smilingone of my biggest hits with over three million plays on YouTube, and we’re ready to officially release it in four weeks with Lottie Jones on vocals in place of Lily Allen obviously!

“I think Cambridge will be good, I have a good feeling about it. The tickets are doing well, so I can’t complain.”

Mista Trek Group.  Photo: Sin Hart
Mista Trek Group. Photo: Sin Hart
Mista Trek Group.  Photo: Sin Hart
Mista Trek Group. Photo: Sin Hart

The Mista Trek Collective – a seven piece high energy band – will be performing at The Portland Arms on Friday, March 17th. Ticket price £10.80 (early), £16.20 (in advance) and £20 (door). visiting

To learn more about Mista Trick, go to Or find Mista Trick on Facebook.

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