A SOLDIER who spins the music tracks in a Skipton club has been tracking the ‘enemy’ in the jungles of Belize.

Lance Corporal Connor Holliday, 24, of the Coldstream Guards, put his love of DJ-ing on pause for two months’ training with the Belize Defence Force (BDF) as part of Exercise Mayan Warrior.

Some 392 troops of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, which recruits from the North East and South West, have been dodging venomous snakes, battling through heavy rains and blazing sun during October and November. They have been training with around 100 of their counterparts in the BDF.

But when Lance Cpl Holliday’s not in combat or guarding one of the Royal palaces – part of the Coldstreamers' ceremonial role – he’s at the frontline of delivering house and techno to revellers at The Venue in Skipton, and he’s looking for a bigger break.

He said: “I’ve been DJ-ing for about two years now and hope to get into Newcastle soon. I really like DJ Richie Hawtin and artists Jamie Jones, Dubfire and Loco Dice. I’ve just started producing, making my own music, I made four tracks. I only started doing that three weeks before I came out here.

“I started DJ-ing before I joined the Army. Joining the Army halted the process. I never used my decks so I ended up selling them when I passed out of training. I’ve just bought a set of decks and got back into it.

“I love music and miss it here [in Belize]. I make my music on a Macbook but I didn’t want to bring it here and break it, it cost £1,500. Music is my hobby and the Army is work. My dream would be to get signed.”

The Gateshead lad from Winlaton said he got kicked out of Year 10 at his school Hookergate in High Spen and did an electrician’s apprenticeship at Gateshead College. But it wasn’t for him and a trip to the Army careers office became the start of his nearly seven years as a Coldstreamer.

He has been on two deployments to Afghanistan and is part of the anti-tank support company but on this exercise his role is tracking.

“Out here we are the platoon trackers. We will track the ‘enemy’ using various methods, track the quarry to where they are and once we get close enough then the Rifle companies will get launched,” he said.

“It’s quite hard at first, getting to know what to look for straight away. You would think it’s a footprint but you’re looking for what might be a bit of scraping on a log.

“It’s challenging, tabbing around in the heat, clammy.”

Lance Cpl Holliday added how impressed he was with his BDF colleagues – “They see things you can’t see like tracks with minimal sign, and the way they can live off the jungle. Our bergens [Army rucksacks] are dead heavy but they have the bare minimum and they build all their own shelters, like Bear Grylls.”

You can find Lance Cpl Holliday on Soundcloud as ‘Connor Walton’.

* Normally based in Victoria Barracks, Windsor, Berkshire, the Coldstream Guards combine their ceremonial duty at Buckingham and St James’s Palaces, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle, with their combat task as a Light Role Infantry Battalion. They are due to return to Belize in 2017.