Archive for October 2010
Having literally recovered from one hectic weekend, a very special one as it turned out, we absorbing everything that the breathtaking Berlin had to throw up on us, we find ourselves hurtling straight into another, this time back in blighty & London to be precise. And being Halloween, it seems that the world & his wife in the capital are getting in on the act, with a myriad of parties on offer in all corners of the city. So, to try & do some justice to the choices out there, we pick out our Best Bites giving some extra detail of what you can expect in Soho, Vauxhall & elsewhere this weekend, these being our picks of where to be & be seen.
So, without further ado let’s get on & look what Soho is serving up, Profile & Lo-Profile heading our list with their “Final Destination” weekend, Friday (tonight) seeing Jamie Head & Tony English serve up the sounds downstairs, while Phil Marriot belts out the club nation beats upstairs in profile, kicking off your evening from 7 p.m. & broadcasting his set live on Gaydar Radio. Then Saturday (30th Oct) see’s Lo-Profile entertain Latino’s Gonzalo Rivas & Alessandro Londra on the decks, adding their own spooky sounds to speed you into the day itself, while Craig Daniel’s hints to Halloween with plenty of house hits to get you in the mood. More info on both venues can be found at http://profilesoho.com & http://loprofile.com.
Turning to The Shadow Lounge, and without doubt it’s feature party is on Halloween itself, when they present the fabulous “Nightmare On Brewer Street” party, with a line-up on the decks that includes Pier Morrocco, Mis-White, Lee Harris & Phil Hewson, very much repeating the dream team that made promoter Les Johnson’s Cowboy private party so special last month. Whilst we are told there is no real dresscode, you are welcome to come dressed to impress, although the team have “…sexy & well as scary is the order of the day…”, Shadow Lounge suitably decked out for the occasion, support coming from sponsors Rio beach & Aware. Tickets are on sale at http://clubtickets.com as well as at outlets Prowler, Clone Zone, DV8 & (of Course) Rio Beach in Covent Garden, with special £10 entry discounts to Shadow Lounge members. Further info on other events at Shadow Lounge across the weekend, plus details of VIP table bookings can be found at http://theshadowlounge.co.uk.
Now, just before we head to Vauxhall, a quick mention to Ku Bar, who have a full-on Halloween weekend of fun at both the Frith St & Lisle St, with the talents of Lady Lloyd, Tasty Tim & Dusty O on display, with plenty of wicked yet wonderful offers across all three days, further details available at http://ku-bar.com, while Rupert Street throw everything into 31st October with their Halloween special “The Haunted Night”, the place suitably decked out to dazzle & resident D.J. Alessandro Londra serving up the spine chilling tunes. More info on the venue can be found at http://rupertstreet.com.
O.K., to Vauxhall we go and what a weekend The Orange Group have lined up, it having stared already with Gravity’s “Ghostbusters’s” party, with tonight (Fri 29th) seeing the turn of Onyx, who hold their “Apocalypse” party, with special PA guest Abigail Bailey & D.J. residents including Phil Marriot, JC Christopher, lee Harris, Tasty Tim, Lisa German, Ariel & more, then giving way to A:M “Asylum” with a three mausoleums of music including D.J.’s Pier Morrocco, D’Johnny, Fat Tony, Gonzalo Rivas, Alessandro Londra & special guest Andrei Stan. On Saturday, it’s their headline event “Vauxhall Chainsaw Massacre” which has already got our full focus at http://discomattweekend.blogspot.com/2010/10/penn-pumpkin-party-vauxhall-chainsaw, which is followed by Beyond “Hell” with the dream team of main room residents, Steve Pitron, Mikey D & Alan K, joined by the likes of Hifi Sean, D’Johnny & David Jimenez, plus special guest Lisa German & the return of resident Gonzalo Rivas, Plus with a P.A. from Eliotte Williams (of “Touch me” & “Get Busy” fame) the brilliant Beyond party will easily glide into then Later’s “Horrorfair” which will feature a giant haunted house & a murder motel (we love it), the spooky sounds coming from residents The Oli, Paul Martin & terry Bryan, joined by guests Gonzalo Rivas & D’Johnny. But the Halloween happenings are far from over, as Booster will be back with a special “Demon’s Ball”, D.J’s included being Miss Crazy D, La Gosse & Dan K, this followed at Area with a special Orange “Omen” party, featuring three rooms of red hot action, D.J.’; s including special guest Paul Heron who will join the 6-6-6 strong resident team of jocks. Now, each party has a specific event page on social networking site Facebook, plus further info can be found via the following sites, http://evolvedevents.co.uk & http://gayguestlists.com, plus via the respective pages at http://clubtickets.com where you can get tickets for all Orange group events.
Orange Group aside, The Eagle are pulling out the Halloween stops, with three absolute hooters, tonight (Fri 29th) seeing Tonker hold their “OKtoBear Fest”, welcoming special guest D.J. and ex Erasure member, Andy Bell, to the decks, while centre stage goes to Carpet Burn on Saturday, with their “Halloween Scream” event welcoming Dave Kendrick & Paul Burston to the decks, plus the team have their “Carpet Madness Sale” with entry at just £2.99 until midnight & a whole load of drinks offers too. Then, on Sunday Jim Stanton, James Hillard & co roll out another gymkana-tastic Horse Meat Disco, seeing you right into Monday morning in style, with full details of all the Halloween happenings at the Eagle, plus plenty more, available at their website http://eaglelodon.com.
Two quick Vauxhall mentions also go to Suzi Krueger’s (what a perfect name for Halloween) Hard On! which is back for its monthly fetish frolic at Hidden this Sat (30th Oct), with a special guest appearance by hunky American porn star, Samuel Colt, plus drinks offers to boot (no pun intended) and also 100 free Beyond tickets up for grabs. More details on this members meet can be found at http://hardonclub.co.uk. Then, on Sunday, all pumpkins point to The RVT who are holding their own homage to Halloween, with plenty of witches & warlocks promised (and that’s just Simon le Vans & The D.E. Experience!) more details of this & other RVT events, including the fabulous “Queer Question Time”, which takes place tonight & his hosted by Stewart Whoo, can be found at http://rvt.org.uk.
Right, moving on swiftly and our alternative antics are down to two main protagonists, first & foremost the great Gutterslut, which is back with a bang for a special Halloween party on Saturday (30th Oct), choosing the fabulous East Bloc (host to Disco Fag Bar) as the venue and this looks like being a hum dinger of a happening, as the team are flying in super sexy guest D.J. Miss Dilemma straight from Sweden, who will join residents Per QX, Elliot J Brown & Nic Fischer, while the “Discoslut” second room will have the usual reprobates in charge of the tunes. Plus with Miss MC Crystal doing her stuff & all the Halloween hosting coming from Ingenue St John & A Man To Pet, this whacky & wonderful event is likely to be yet another sell-out, especially after the huge success of last month’s “Gutterball” event, more details available by mailing email@example.com. But it doesn’t stop there, as the team are hosting room 2 at Trade’s 20th Birthday, special guest Mikki Most (of Trailer Trash) joining Per, Nic & Elliot who will be keeping the Gutterslutery going deep into Sunday daytime, yippee.
But if all that is a bit too much, then you can always head for The Dalston Superstore, who have a whole weekend of wonderment, kicking off tonight (Fri 29th) with “Techno In My Fridge – Fright Night!”, featuring the talents of Hannah Holland, Mikki Most, Alexander parade & inbound Gutterslut guest, Sweden’s Miss Dilemma, with upstairs action from Eka & Scott Webster. Then, on Saturday, “Hot Boy Dancing Spot” returns for their own Halloween Ball, starring The Lovely Jonjo, Matthew Stone, Hello Mozart & Dean Mayo’s gang, while on Halloween itself, “Tootie Frutti” is back after the venue hosts Jonny Woo’s Gay Bingo, Jeffrey Hinton joining resident D.J. Squeaky for a fun filled yet freaky end to your weekend. Now, the boys, Matt Tucker, Dan Beaumont & Rook Deejay do most of their promotions through Facebook, so it’s worth joining the Dalston Superstore group there, although you can always follow the boys on twitter at http://twitter.com/dsuperstore, or get further information by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Right, we are nearly there, save for three shouts to Black Rabbit Circus & New, two that have the Guy Williams stamp all over them & the third looking like an extra special event not to be missed. First up is Black Rabbit, who celebrate their 4th birthday with their “Halloween Thang” bash out at The Masons Arms, featuring special guest D.J. Matthew Bushwacka, joining Guy, Bones, Severino & Sophie Lloyd on the decks, more details available via the ticket link https://ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=gb_london&query=detail&event=412004, while on Sunday new club, New, have their own hint to Halloween, featuring live band the Little Nigh Terrors & a special D.J. set from guest Rachael Starr. But Sunday is looking special back in central London, as Jodie Harsh’s Circus rolls back into town on the 31st floor of Paramount, with special guest D.J. Tom Stephan & other special attendees to this “Nightmare In New York” themed event, being Amanda Lepore & Ruby Goe.
So, that’s our picks for this special Halloween weekend but if there is nothing that quite tickles your fancy here, you could always wade through the pages of the popular press or the events listings on social networking site Facebook. Then, there is clubbing website SeenQueen, which has their own homage to Halloween, which you can find (dare we quote the link) at http://seenqueen.com.
As for our weekend, well having fought off a 24 hour bug, we are heading into town for a Profile rendezvous with Phil Marriot, then will take a short respite before A;M’s “Asylum”. On Saturday, we start the birthday celebrations with Guy Williams’ Black Rabbit, then it’s the big two zero, as we head to Arcadia for Trade. Sunday sees us continue the partying at Lee Freeman’s DTPM “Eastbenders” event & energy permitting we hope to 666 it at Orange’s “Omen” outing. So, if you see you out come say hi, but whatever you do, have a fantastic Halloween weekend that is full of treats not treats, don’t forget that the clocks go back an hour on Sunday morning & finally, as we always say….Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
With the Halloween weekend virtually on us, it seems that everyone seems to be pulling out the stops for what looks like being one of the most hectic since Easter, a veritable feast of parties going on around the capital from tonight (Friday 29th) right through until Monday morning. Naturally, we will be giving you a last minute rundown of choices, although such is the magnitude of this particular offering, we simply had to give it some extra special attention. So, through the wave of events, The Orange Group’s (appropriate colour) “Vauxhall Chainsaw Massacre” party headlines their weekend of non-stop activity, which started last night (and is probably just winding up) at Gravity’s “Ghostbusters’s” party & finishes with Orange’s “Omen” Halloween Special, taking you deep into Monday.
But, with Colosseum the host venue for the groups headline event, the big news on “Massacre” is that the team have a big headlining D.J. to match the might of the party itself, although more on that in a minute. As for the party itself, well the team, which is headed up by Evolved Events’ own Oliver M & pulls in the B2B crew, promise plenty of spook-tastic surprises, Colosseum being completely transformed into a Halloween haven, mixing in the theme of chainsaw massacre with plenty of other chilling & scary scenes, the sexed up go-go dancers dressed in appropriate costumes to dazzle & wow, under the spectacular lighting installations for which Colosseum has become renowned. Plus, having invested a considerable amount into the venue of late, not only are the facilities much improved on the old, but the main room set-up is now something special, very much re-capturing those amazing days when Beyond ruled supreme there, so if anything, this is a great reason to make it down to Colosseum this Saturday, tomorrow night in fact.
But we guess the best reason to do so, is for that headline D.J. act, the team proud to present the world renowned music producer & D.J., David Penn, who has been at the top of his game for a good 15 or so years now, have started out back in 1992 in the techno & house production game from his base in Spain. However, having signed with the Arcadia Music Group, it wasn’t long before David broke into the mainstream, his release of “The Nighttrain” proving to be a worldwide hit, this record issued under the first of many alias’s, “Kadoc”, further Penn incarnations including “Montilla” (taken from his full name, Jose David Penin Montilla), which David produced the equally massive “From The Stars”, as well as “Deux” recording the huge hit “Sun Rising Up” with Rebeka Brown on vocals. Collaborations with DJ Chus litter Mr Penn’s career and, as a remixer, he has worked with artists that include Junior Jack, Michael Gray, The Shapeshifters, Milk & Sugar & The Scissor Sisters to name just a few. His discography is impressive with well over 30 single releases & plenty more albums besides and his appeal is truly global, not a single continent in the world that has either heard one of his records or seen him perform.
So, landing David Penn is a bit of a coup for the “Massacre” team and naturally he will take his headline place in Colosseum’s main room, so is surely an act not to be missed, especially as London performances are rare indeed, especially in a predominantly gay event. Supporting Mr Penn will be a truck load of talent including two other international guest D.J.’s Andrei Stan from Brussels, who plays regularly for the massive La Demence party and Berlin based Eduardo de La Torre who featured large at last weekend’s Salvation party which we were lucky to be present at & review, Edu having been very busy in the studio of late (too busy to host us it seems) having just announced news that his co-produced single “I Will Stand” has been put forward to represent Switzerland in next year’s Eurovision song contest. So, a considerable trio of international artists to join London based D.J.’s Gonzalo Rivas, Brent Nicholls, Alessandro Londra & Lee Harris, spread across two rooms of magical music that this superb set of stars are sure to deliver.
With the “Massacre” music & production pretty much signed sealed & delivered, it’s just down to that all important detail now, as this exceptional Halloween happening takes place this coming Saturday (30th October) at super club Colosseum in Vauxhall, the “Massacre” night kicking off at an early(ish) 10 p.m. but running through until 7 a.m. Naturally, due to David Penn’s appeal, all early bird tickets sold out a while ago, although the standard advance £12 ones are still available either in person at the usual Soho outlets Prowler, Clone Zone & DV8 or online at http://clubtickets.com/gb/2010-10/30/the-vauxhall-chainsaw-massacre where you can also grab joint £20 tickets for the “official” afterparty, Beyond “Hell”. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for Tom & his Beyond street team, who will be out in force across the weekend, offering up plenty of promotions for this & other Orange group events.
Sadly, we have already committed to another party across town, but this “Vauxhall Chainsaw Massacre” event gets our full recommendation, not least as in David Penn, it won’t be a case of “trick”, rather much more of a “treat” this Halloween. (DISCO MATT)
Having just reflected on the massive club brand Trade, which celebrates its 20th birthday this weekend, if there is another club that sits in a similar bracket to Laurence Malice’s creation, then it is D.T.P.M., the Sunday afternoon event that started life back in the 1990’s at the fabulous Villa Stefano’s in Holborn (who can forget those infamous buffets), very much being the next clubbing port of call after frolicking in Farringdon. Indeed D.T.P.M. itself made it round to this mid-town area, having seen moves to Shaftesbury Ave & The End, before resting its laurels on massive venue Fabric, which saw some of its most successful times, shifting the timing from afternoon to evening & eventually running deep into Monday morning. But, unlike Trade, DT (as many affectionately call it) called it a day a couple of years ago, stopping at the height of its success but leaving a serious gap in the Sunday clubbing market.
But, as they say, you can’t keep a good thing down and DTPM was back with a bang last October, taking to the dizzy heights of Paramount for a re-launch that went like a dream, the team following it up with a NYD bash over at The Roof gardens in Kensington, clearly the lofty intentions of the club very much the pattern. But coming back down to earth with nearly as much of a bang on Valentine’s Day, saw this superb Sunday smash land on the posh Jalouse in Mayfair, much of the ingredients that made the previous parties so successful present, but something slightly lacking. However, after a well deserved break during the spring, it was summer were hope sprung eternal for DT, as not only did they take Brighton by storm, but followed that up with a return to Paramount, where “The Bitch Is Back” had made such an impact just a few months before.
So, with Halloween on out doorsteps & D.T.P.M. very much back in the frame, the team couldn’t have timed their latest party any better, as with Trade celebrating their 20th birthday & swinging into action on Sunday 31st October, DT promoter lee Freeman is very much looking to re-capture some of that original magic that made Sunday’s so special, D.T.P.M. “Eastbender” kicking off at the Sunday afternoon timing of 1 p.m., yes a couple of hours earlier than the original at Villa Stefano’s, but a Sunday afternoon nevertheless. And, to add to the excitement, the team have chosen host venue Cargo on Rivington Street in Shoreditch, a place that should suitably impress, as not only does it offer two rooms of dance & the feel of decadence yet with all the 21st century technology to deliver that delectable experience, but there is even a heated terrace area too. Further details of the venue can be found at http://cargo-london.com/.
As for “Eastebender itself, well Lee & his team have secured the services of some of their best resident D.J.’s as not only will Miguel Pellitero be making a welcome return, but Guy Williams will be back too, these two having made a considerable impact at Paramount last October., as will the one & only Fat Tony, But it doesn’t stop there as both Nick Tcherniak & Steve Thomas will be performing a special back-to-back set which will no doubt include their latest hits “My People” & “Deep Water”, both which have charted straight to number one on Juno’s download chart, as well as their brand new release “The Answer” which has the incredible vocals of Miss Lizzie France & will have had a first playing at Trade’s birthday, in advance of its official release this coming Monday (1st Nov). Then there will be the superb D.J. talents of Boy George to add into the mix, along with now regulars the House Husbands, the duo of Salvo & Mike getting their own EP say too, their “All Aboard” release receiving favour & heading up the Beatport charts, the guys giving us access to the link, which is well worth a look at https://www.beatport.com/en-US/html/content/track/catalog?contextEntityId=124591&contextName=Househusbands&contextType=artists&pageNumber=1&resultsPerPage=13#app=a40&a486-index=0 (wow, that’s a long link!). Add in further additions in the form of Dave Kendrick, who has been rocking the East End scene for quite a while now, especially at Guy Williams’ “Paradise 45” & other Dalston Superstore outings, as well as the massive “Macho City”, so will be a welcome addition adding the east into the bender that will be surely a beat-tastic DT party in the hands of all these gem D.J.’s.
Now to the all important detail and, not surprisingly, all the £13 early bird tickets sold out a while ago and we won’t even mention the “Hot Tickets” which were supported by sponsor, Manhunt, which were gone within hours of release. So, that kind of gives an indication of just how popular this party is likely to be, so best you get your skates on, or at least your browser burning and snap up an advance ticket at £15, which you can do via to direct link http://ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=gb_london&query=detail&event=413549&interface, or failing that, run into Soho & grab yours by hand at either Prowler on Brewer St, or The Edge on Soho Square, or if you are close to the venue (Cargo), The Store Rooms on Pitfield St also have some on sale. As for tickets on the door, well yes there will be some available, but if you are leaving it to chance, don’t leave it till late, as we are sure there will be huge converges on Cargo from Trade. And those doors will be open from 1 p.m., DTPM’s “Eastbender” event running through until a respectable 10.30 p.m. close, Cargo found at 83 Rivington Street in Shoreditch (directions on their website).
So, with D.T.P.M. back where it belongs, looks like this Sunday afternoon affair is going to be a biggie, meaning that it’s time to ditch the Eastenders omnibus and rather head to Cargo for a full on “Eastbender” of an event, leaving us simply to say….Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
Having not long returned from Berlin where we sampled a true clubbing legend in the form of Berghain, the byword for techno in this most dazzling of cities, it seems appropriate that we take a preview look at another clubbing legend, which may not have the purist techno base in its music like Berghain, but is definitely on the tougher side of the house music fence. And this coming Sunday marks a special celebration, as one very special clubbing brand turns 20 and looks like partying in true decadent style, like it did all those years ago when it launched itself on an unsuspecting public at Turnmills in Farringdon, going on to become one of the biggest phenomena’s of our time, transfixing everyone & anyone that graced its doors, meaning there is only one club we could be talking about here.
Trade certainly has made a huge impact on the global clubbing scene, yes global, this afterhours audacious event that started as an experiment in 1990 by Laurence Malice & his small team, soon grew into a brand that extended right across the world, regular tours of countries including Australia & South Africa and continents including Europe & Asia, meaning that there is hardly any corner of this wonderful world that this brilliant brand hasn’t touched in some form or other. Plus, Trade when mentioned to any ardent clubber, evokes everything that is exceptional about afterhours clubbing, the foundations of this legend in our lifetime, very much cemented in Sunday mornings, but often extending deep in Sunday afternoon, not quite the 18 hours of Berghain, but plenty long enough to make it one of the longest running afterhours, not just in time but in years.
Those years, 20 of them to be exact, have thrown up a veritable feast of D.J. talents & scene faces that have become inextricably linked with Trade, Laurence Malice without question being top of the pile, this larger than life character always the lynch pin in the success of the brand, both in London & overseas. In the halcyon days of the club at Turnmills, not a week would go by without Miss malice wafting around the club & even quite often diving onto the microphone come midday or 1 a.m., sometimes extending the party deep into Sunday afternoon, meaning that trade is never the same with Laurence in attendance. Other huge character’s in the clubs history include Trade Mark, the man responsible for all that iconic, Andy Warhol inspired art, that was very much the stamp on Trade as a club, the Trade baby probably THE most notable piece of his work, but scores of other creations making the walls of Turnmills at each event, the flyers for the club & the adverts in the press. But if you want to look to one man (apart from Laurence of course) to tell you everything you want to know about Trade, then Tom Fuller is your man, for many THE face of Trade, or at least the first face you would see on entering the club. To say that he has the most memories & the most memorabilia on the club is an understatement and our reflection pales in comparison to what this man could tell you about Trade.
Laurence, Trade Mark & Tom aside, the list of others is endless, but no look back or preview (as this is) of Trade would be complete without listing some of the legendary D.J. talents that were very much Trade in those amazing years from 1990 through 2000, those incredible first ten years, for us meaning names such as Malcolm Duffy, Alan Thompson, Steve (Janet) Thomas, Rachel Auburn, Ian M, Tall Paul, Pete Wardman, Gonzalo & not forgetting the truly legendary Tony De Vit. Yes, plenty of other names have been linked with Trade, both in the latter part of the first 10 years, some more predominate in the second half of the clubs 20 year history, we including The Sharp Boys, Guy Williams, Fat Tony, Nick Tcherniak, Gabriele Cutrano, Lady Bianca, Lisa German & Pagano, to mention a few, but it will always be that original line up in those simply superlative days at Turnmills that will always be Trade.
Plus, in terms of D.J.’s no one can deny that. Like Laurence being the face of Trade, the D.J. most recognisable with the club will always be the late great Tony de Vit, a talent & individual who, without doubt, had the biggest following of any and commanded the most respect from his peers. Tony’s talents were simply incredible and not a week would go by without his sets being the pinnacle of perfection & peaking the club at its brilliant best. Whilst the whole concept on the music was to be a gradual build in pace, from the relative sedate style of Malcolm Duffy through the more rousing & raucous beats of Alan Thompson & Steve Thomas, to the ultimate end of Pete Wardman or Tall Paul, Tony’s music was right in the middle of the jubilant journey of sound that always had the biggest following & the best reaction. So, his untimely death in 1998 was a huge loss to the brand, although the magic of the divine Mr De Vit survives in the myriad of mixes he recorded for both Trade & for his own individual releases, “Global Underground” our most favourite & among the six separate Trade CD compilations he is featured on, represents the greatest memories of this magnificent man’s music.
So, those are some of the clubs legendary people, but what about Trade itself over the years? Well, it has transcended both the gay & straight markets, has attracted mega stars & celebrities through its doors, notable musical figureheads including Grace Jones, Madonna, U2, Boy George, & George Michael, while it has also be featured in a number of T.V. programmes, even a special documentary have been recorded back in 1996, recording for posterity both Trade back in the U.K. and its tour of South Africa with our own legendary Trade team of D.J.’s Malcolm Duffy, Steve Thomas, Alan Thompson, Tony De Vit & Pete Wardman. Moreover the club has featured in all the top music magazines, has been listed in both the gay & straight media as THE afterhours clubbing choice and was always an intrinsic part of the yearly Pride park parties in London, also featuring large on radio stations including Kiss FM and (of course) Radio One. Beyond that, Trade has been featured on virtually every single piece of merchandising you can think of, we even have our very own “Trade” bomber jacket which we continue to wear with pride.
But of anything which connects with Trade the most is Turnmills, a venue has featured large in the clubs history and remains its ancestral home, although with its demise as a clubbing hotspot in 2002, Trade has since found occasional homes at Ministry of Sound, The Arches, Fire & Colosseum & Laurence’s own club The Egg, and whilst weekly parties have given away to more infrequent gatherings, dates such as Christmas Day, Easter &, naturally, their birthday, continue to keep the Trade phenomenon alive. Now nearly 20 years old, the passion for Trade, particularly with those that were around in the early, dare we again call them, halcyon days, these people aptly called “Trade Babies”, remains as strong as ever and whilst they would all say, Trade is never quite Trade unless it is in Turnmills, nevertheless will be making the homage to this awesome afterhours event come Sunday 31st October.
And, of all the parties in recent years, their 18th anniversary at The Arches is probably the most notable, hence the team deciding upon a return for this landmark big two zero turn, the myriad of rooms as close to Turnmills as you could get, recent updates to this Southwark base (now called Arcadia) heightening the appeal and closing the deal as being the place to celebrate Trade turning 20. With the D.J. line up finalised & all other details confirmed, our preview of this brilliant brand is complete, so keeps your eyes peeled for our weekend post coming up, honing in on that all important info on Trade’s 20th Birthday, but make sure 31/10/10 is a date & Trade is the place as if, like us, your clubbing history is steeped in Trade, you simply cannot miss this euphoric event. (DISCO MATT)
Having mentioned to a number of people that we would be partying in Germany’s capital, the original plan simply to savour Salvation, but then also realising that Hustlaball was a homage we would hook onto, although, before leaving London, virtually everyone we spoke to about our latest clubbing expedition into Europe, said, “…if you are going to Berlin you have to go to Berghain…”, explaining that we would be blown away by the venue, the music & the people that populate the place, some even going as far to say that this colossal club was one of THE best in Europe and maybe even the world. So, with such a prolific picture having been painted, regardless of just how huge Hustlaball turned out to be & how superb Salvation was, our weekend of decadent dancing delrium would not be complete without at worst, a look in on this iconic industrial style institution, we thinking there would be at least one person truly disgusted if we returned to London having missed out. So, what was so special about this Sunday morning? And what made Berghain so brilliant?
Well, despite so many people having been so forthright in their views about this Berlin beast of a club, much of the devil in the detail was left out, the only clue as to what we could expect being in the music, which we kind of knew would be planted firmly in the techno bracket, the general trend in Germany (particularly Berlin) being to this much tougher end of tech. But having done little or no research on the club, we were totally unprepared to for sheer size of the place & the divine decadence that Berghain would bring, our only thoughts that it would be the Berlin equivalent of Beyond, but we were to be shocked & surprised by the scale of our underestimation of just what this East Berlin bounty would bring. Indeed, to compare it with London’s audacious afterhours, as we were in our heads, is like saying hot is cold, on is off, & black is white, the only similarity being that they both begin with B but that’s exactly where the comparisons begin & end.
But before we go on, it is worth highlighting a little history of the club, the name being derived from the two quarters of the city it straddles, Kruezberg to the north & Friedrichshain to the south, hence the club being called Berghain, the venue a former power plant standing tall on the landscape just east of Berlin’s fourth largest railway station Ostkreuz, itself the inspiration for the legendary club Ostgut, of which Berghain is a re-incarnation. But the foundations of Berghain go deeper, having emerged out of fetish men only nightclub, Snax, an event that still takes place yearly, although echoes of it remain within Berghain each & every week, the extensive basement a massive darkroom where trance & techno are traded for sex & seduction, although the main emphasis of the club is the main floor where the 18 metre high dancefloor dominates the design & a further upward trip leads to the Panorama bar which has equally huge proportions but a slightly more laid back feel to the music & vibe.
So, with the history lesson over & a pinch of a picture painted, our Berghain experience started with a trip from across town, Salvation in Shoneberg to be exact, in the fabulous company of D.J. Nick Tcherniak & singer P.A. Valerie, our trip fantastic to Berlin’s best in the hands of a taxi driver who fortunately knew exactly where to head, such is the magnitude of the clubs standing & familiarity in the German capital. And as we disembarked from the taxi, whilst we had a vision in our minds of what to expect, nothing could have prepared us for the sight before our eyes, the gigantic ex power plant raising skywards like a Berlin version of Tate Modern, although we could hardly take in the sheer scale of it all quite yet, as the hilarious conversation with which we had engaged with both Nick & Valerie in the cab, continued virtually to the door. With a healthy queue assembled, we thought we would chance our luck with a fast track entrance, Valerie bowling up to the rather scary looking brute on the door to test a little of the German her sister had religiously taught her, although the straight forward English approach from Nick seemed to be getting a better reception, yet, despite our pleas for accelerated entry, our request eventually fell on deaf ears, we finding our place in the queue, to patiently wait on the start of our Berghain bash.
Now, we promised we wouldn’t quote, but such was the continued hilarity the three of us were indulging while waiting, was not going unnoticed, Valerie coming out with one laughable line after the next, Nick stoking her fire & even our little anecdotes causing a stir around us, the waiting crowd nothing like any queue for a club we had seen before, well with the possible exception of Trade in its heyday, each & every person waiting their turn to enter this mecca of techno clubbing in Berlin clearly music fans rather than posing queens, even the cross between Lady Gaga & Lena Zavaroni, this wasn’t a case of being glamorous rather being passionate. And when our turn arrived, the guy that had the look as though he had just chewed a wasp & Valerie’s tough northerner gave us a smile & waved us through without incident, the incredibly tough door policy entrance now negotiated and our towering techno trip to Berghain now well & truly on its way.
With yet another incredibly efficient coatcheck process complete, Nick needed to spend a penny, so went in search of what looked like the toilets, disappearing into this dark space, but coming back as quickly he went, exclaiming “…I just want to confirm that that is NOT the toilet…” need we say more, the poor innocent Mr Tcherniak having walked straight into the infamous darkroom. So, with the laughter back, we all started ascending this incredible space, a truly industrial setting like we have never seen of like of in a club, the continual references to Tate Modern without the art & paintwork flooding through our minds eyes, the backdrop of pure Techno beginning to pump through our bodies. Having made it to the main floor, our breath was simply taken away by the dimensions of the space, the place teaming with party heads that were clearly well into the incredible tough sounding beats that were bouncing off the metal surfaces & the discreet yet inviting lighting illuminating just enough to retain that drench of decadence that we hadn’t seen in a club in close on 20 years.
Nick had now found the proper facilities, returning suitably relieved to gather us up and take us round through the labyrinth of corridors and then up yet further metal stairs to the Panorama bar, a second space in this incredible clubbing cathedral that made for Berghain’s host venue, the might, the mass & the magnificence of the place now really beginning to dawn on us. And like the huge room now below us, this Panorama bar was filled with ardent clubbers, locals rather than travellers, Berliners that were mixed in their makeup but liberal with their attitude, such a refreshing change from the g queen pushing & shoving that happens all too often back home, just a cavorting crowd intent on escaping into the trance house grooves that set this space aside from its bigger techno triumph downstairs. But, looking around, whilst the dimesions of this space weren’t quite as vast as before, they were no less awe inspiring, huge pieces of art spread across the far wall (hence our continual refrence to Tate Modern) & just a handful of spot lighting to add to the already awesome ambiance.
So, with yet more refreshments in our hands, we headed for a neat spot in the corner, where we had a superb view of East Berlin outside (albeit a peak through the substantial metal blinds), as well as resident D.J. Cassy who was selecting some superlative sounds & from vinyl no less, this together with the whole atmosphere, somehow transporting us back in time to our early days of clubbing, mixing in with a most eclectic crowd of people that simply just wanted to party. So, with Nick & Valerie in close call, we very much joined in on this pulsating Panorama party, throwing ourselves into the deep grooves, trading moves with our twosome dancing partners as well as others around us, only momentarily pausing to record this tremendous time for posterity on our phone, yet more hilarity occurring as a virtual synchronistic Facebook broadcast was in motion, neatly followed by Valerie’s make-up moment (you had to be there), we ourselves exclaiming to the world “…here we are at Berghain with Nick Tcherniak & Valerie post Salvation & couldn’t be in better company in this amazing club…”, our morning getter better by the minute, our enjoyment levels rising as quickly as the sun outside & the inescapable feeling that we were experiencing something very special indeed.
Having all agreed that after the splendour of Salvation before, our braving of Berghain would be just a short pop in to say, “…we have done it…”, so good was this club & so incredible was the venue, that an hour extended to two and then into a third, Cass’s music hitting every single sweet spot in our body and our company enriching the whole experience more than words can say. But as the D.J. switch came & then music took on a more electro feel, the call of time on our towering techno trip was coming close, both Nick & Valerie conscious of their impending flight back to London & our need to re-charge our batteries for our final forays around this wonderful city we had found ourselves within. So, squeezing our way past the party people packing out the Panorama bar, we meandered back through the myriad of corridors still strewn with clubbers taking respite from the two rooms of musical madness, down the metal stairs to collect our belongings & then out into the East Berlin morning sunshine to make our way back west, conversing lyrically with Nick & Valerie on what was, without question THE most amazing outing we have enjoyed in years.
To say that Berghain is breathtaking only tells a minuscule amount of the full story, every single element of this colossal club adding up to make it the best event we have witnessed in Europe, ever. Yes, the music is firmly planted in purist techno in the towering main space, and the draconian darkroom downstairs would be a shock for some, but there is always the Panorama bar for the slightly more feint hearted, yet the whole Berghain offering is quite unique and one that we would never really believe we would say “…you have to go…” until we did. For us, the club captures everything that is so decadent yet so splendid about the city within which it stands, Berlin, and by golly do the Berliners know how to party, our simple three hour snippet of a showing a mere drop in the ocean compared with the eighteen or so of hedonistic hours that the club’s doors are open, from dark to dawn to dusk, the decadence doesn’t stop. So, while Beyond is undoubtedly brilliant, Berghain is the best and by a long shot, meaning we will be back for sure. (DISCO MATT)
When we look back over the years, there have been only a small number of club brands that have survived the test of time, more often than not, their lasting appeal down to the fact that they have a following both internationally as well as here in London. And there is no doubt that Salvation’s success, particularly of late, has been as a result of its global rather than domestic standing, the foundations that were originally built in London, now firmly planted in Europe, allowing promoter Steve Elliot & his team to springboard the concept into South America, Australia & South Africa, but also to include destinations like Paris, Stockholm, Ibiza & Mykonos in their year round calendar packed schedule, Berlin having been added to the stable of favourite forays a couple of years ago. So, when we decided to also stretch our own legs into Europe, Salvation simply had to be on our schedule too, a trip to the German capital etched in our dairy a good three months ago and our excitement & anticipation rising relentlessly as the big weekend arrived. So, why all this enthusiasm and were our expectations fulfilled?
Having just about re-charged our batteries from Hustlaball the previous evening, we made a rendezvous with D.J. pals Eduardo De La Torre & Danny Verde, Edu having forgone a Friday meet up due to work commitments & Danny having just arrived from Milan, a late lunch then followed by a sneak preview of Salvations host venue. Having checked out the literature beforehand, we were expecting the place to be pretty close to where we were staying in Shoneburg, although knowing Berlin as we do now, this district of the German capital is pretty large, our trip with Edu, Mrs De la Torre & Danny in the car taking us right into the sticks. However, the trip proved invaluable, as we managed to landmark our directions for later, having decided to be adventurous & t6ake the train, rather than a cab, even bumping into a fellow Londoner on route who had done the same. Mind you, has it not been for our i-phone map application, we may not have made it to the industrial Malzfabrik at all, our arrival instead being as smooth as silk.
Having decided on an early arrival, we were at Salvation’s doors at just turned 11.30 p.m., virtually immediately bumping into a busy looking Steve Elliot, one familiar face in amongst many others, although, to our surprise the cute looking guy managing the entrance also recognised us (what happened to anonymity in this city?!?!), we being waved through in a trice and our belongings efficiently packed away in the adjacent coatcheck. With that small formality over, our sashaying in Schoneburg was about to begin, the main room literally opening out in front of us, this massive warehouse having previously been the home of the infamous sex parties held by the Kitkat club, the raw feel of the warehouse style of the place broken by sophisticated lighting & the massive LED D.J. booth which was making a colourful splash & statement.
And this was our first port of call, bounding up to say hello to Edu, who was warming up this Salvation showing with some seriously tech infused sounds which were booming out from the massive speakers banging down from the ceiling which was a good 50 foot above. With our greetings over, we retreated to the bar to seek refreshments, this time opting for the energy boosting choice rather than the beer of Hustlaball before, we also being conscious that some serious pacing was going to be required , should we also make the essential trip to Berghain as so many people had said we should do. Relaxing into a spot by the bar, it was clear we had arrived early, as it took quite some time for the crowd to develop, however, like many Saturday night gatherings in London, one minute the place seemed rather empty & the next it was packed full, the collective crowd very much more the club type we were used to, a myriad of muscled men, plenty of glamorous girls & even familiar club kids, one guy in particular noticing us from our times at Fire in Vauxhall (isn’t the world small sometimes), while a number of other faces were familiar, obviously the trip to Berlin this weekend being a popular choice & Salvation a definite draw.
But, we were now very expectant of the arrival of not just Danny Verde, but also an inbound Nick Tcherniak, whom we had seen just a week or so previously back in London, both of us very much looking forward to partying together outside of our usual haunts, rather internationally for the first time. And arrive they both did, Danny spotting us as he made his way to take over from Edu in Malzfabrik’s main room, while Nick assumed the decks up in the second room upstairs, the entry to which was up a most industrial & well worn set of stairs, the whole ambience both on the ascension & the arrival in the room, much more draconian than we were used to, although Nick’s music was anything but, we finding our steps to his sounds in an instant, the space soon filling out with plenty of party people, very much into the more intimate atmosphere of this separate space. And with a tremendously warm welcome from the man himself, we couldn’t have felt more at home, this feeling made even more fulsome by the second familiar face of fellow D.J. Paul Coals, who had been warming up the space & was later to take position in the main room.
Now we were very much in Salvation mood, trading this lofty space with devotions to Danny downstairs, each visit back & forth timed to perfection as both Nick & our Milano mate picked tunes that tripped off our musical memories, Nick’s “My People” track yet again a highlight, having already played a prolific part in our weekend, Danny’s “Let Me See Your Underwear”, “Pushin To The Top” & even his bootleg of Madonna’s “Vogue” getting airplay. However, the music in the main room was only part of the scintillating story, as not only were we treated to a pulsating P.A. performance by London based Valerie, but a succession of dancers were intermixed by fire eating displays & a most explosive angle grinding show, played out virtually in front of our eyes on the expansive podium to (yes you guessed it) the left of the D.J. booth, our favoured spot in any club.
Henceforth, we simply couldn’t separate the delectable deliveries from the deck maestro’s performing in our midst, darts back & forth intermixed with plenty of camera clicking of Raul Gonzalez’s drop dead gorgeous go-go’s both males & females impressing immensely, the crowd showing their appreciation with every move they made on the podiums, Danny’s brilliant beats even ensuring that on the few occasions the elevated areas were absent, they were quickly filled with bare tops beauties from the cavorting crowd, the laser lighting & ticker tape drops from the ceiling above adding to the amazing atmosphere in this truly voluptuous venue. Even Nick was having his say upstairs, true devotees to his terrific tech honed house music there by choice, we even bumping into yet more faces from back in London who were as pleased to see us as we them, the sweat from their furied frolicking evidence of just how good our fabulous friend was entertaining enthrallingly.
With Danny virtually done with his set, the second impromptu back-to-back set of the weekend was about to take place, the duo of Nick Tcherniak & Paul Coals taking over the main room music, both upping the tempo from the second room before, Paul especially impressing with his diversity compared with his guest spots & residencies back in London, Nick sliding easily into the change of pace & playing to the crowd like the seasoned pro he is. And, the crowd were incredibly receptive of their performance, not the thinning out that you all too often get back in London, when the call of a certain afterhours drags people away prematurely, these Salvation sophisticates seeing out most of the remainder of this exceptional event close to the 7 a.m. finish, even the performers, Danny, Edu & Valerie partying around us right till the end, everyone thoroughly enjoying the whole experience so much they, like us, didn’t want it to end. But, with the last tune played out by Nick, the time had come to move on, we choosing a relatively swift exit with Mr Tcherniak & Valerie, to make that essential must visit to Berlin’s Berghain club to continue what had been a simply sensational Saturday come Sunday soaked in Salvation splendour.
In Salvation as a club brand we have enjoyed some truly prolific parties, most if not all in London’s Cafe de Paris, very much on the glamorous end of the clubbing venue market. Having said that, the Hippodrome made for a truly awe inspiring setting, as have the couple of occasions we have sampled it in the brilliance of Barcelona, although to see it acted out in the Industrial & bohemian setting that was Malzfabrik in Berlin was an experience we will remember for a long time to come, as not only did it show Salvation in a new light, but it made for an altogether fresh & fulfilling time in what has fast become one of our favourite city destinations. Yes, the venue was a little bit out in the sticks but that made Salvation much more of an adventure & given the numbers through the doors, there is still clearly a penchant for this long established brand, not just in Berlin but across Europe & even the further reaches across the globe, meaning that sashaying in Shoneberg was certainly scintillating & we salute you, superb Salvation, bring on the next party, we can’t wait. (DISCO MATT)
When it comes to combining horny action with disco dancing, it doesn’t come much better than Hustlaball, the club brand that has its origins in New York, but has very much spread its word across in Europe, first touching our lives just over two years ago when it landed on London for the time, taking our breath away at Renaissance rooms, the combination of superbly saucy stage shows & heaps of horny horseplay, very much giving us an appetite for more of the same. Having repeated the affair back in May, even meeting up with the Hustlaball top brass, the club was firmly on our radar, so when a trip to Berlin was planned, it came as no surprise that a second macho meet up, this time in the city’s Mitte district at the new Kitkat club no less, simply had to be on the cards. But, how did our third liaison with this erotic event turn out? Was it bonking in Berlin? or simply monotony in Mitte?
We like to think of ourselves as pretty organised, although for some reason, whenever we travel abroad, however much planning we do, certain elements never turn out as they should expect, our trip to Berlin & Hustlaball being a perfect example. Yes, we knew that it would be on the cards and yes, we had come prepared, packing our leather chaps, boots & accompaniments, although no, we had not done much research as to where & when the main event would take place, an update on our favourite social networking site seemingly indicating the party being scheduled for the Sunday, our minds fixing on this when deciding to devote the whole of Friday to touring around the beauty of Berlin’s superb sights, rather than concentrating on clubbing cavorting. However, fate was to lend us a helping hand as not only did we bump into the familiar face of D.J. & club entrepreneur Fabio White within hours of landing in Germany’s capital, but a well timed text deluded to the fact that we had got our dates seriously wrong & had just three hours to get our act together & head for the Kitkat club in Mitte.
So, with all our leather paraphernalia sorted & us looking very much dressed to impress, we made the relatively straight forward trip across to Kopenicker Street, arriving at Hustlball’s host venue doors at not long turned 10.30 p.m., quite early by Berlin & our own standards, although with news that the party was a sell-out, we didn’t want to be disappointed with missing out in any way. Finding an already healthy queue of people waiting to enter, it wasn’t long before we found ourselves within the Kitkat club, leaving our belongings with the well organised & speedy coatcheck and then sinking ourselves straight into the action, the multi layered & cavernous club opening out in front of us, immediately drawing comparisons in our minds with Turnmills back in London, the Kitkat club a much bigger version, yet with that same decadent & delightful feel that has made Trade’s ancestral home so special.
Indeed, as we wandered around the myriad of rooms, each one having their own character & feel, yet all connected with an air of mystery & intrigue, there was no doubt in our mind that Hustlaball had found the perfect place for pitching their porno party, from the generous outside terrace, to the calm chill-out room with plunge pool, & from the magnificent main room through to the compact yet charming underground bar, the club had it all, save for a sling or two, well at least what we thought, although we were kindly informed the following evening that there were plenty & much activity in them too, damn & blast!! Mind you, such was the labyrinth of nooks, crannies, rooms & passage ways; it wasn’t surprising that we failed to find them, our thoughts more on the main room action, rather than the play areas.
So, finding a spot, surprisingly just left of the D.J. booth (sounds familiar), we watched as the space filled pretty rapidly, Sorry Shoes head poncho, Mike Kelly, in charge of the tunes, pumping out a mix of electro tech & uplifting beats to a crowd that was as nearly eclectic as his record choices, men sporting leather harnesses & the like, dancing right next to guys in sports gear with much in between, but all intent on soaking up the building atmosphere. And it wasn’t long before a bevy of beauties ascended the podiums & bar top not far from where we were standing, adding their own element of saucy sexual intrigue in advance of the main show which was about to come, the arrival of both incumbent D.J., Fabio White & show host Chi Ch La Rue almost simultaneous, all eyes moving towards the stage & Miss La Rue’s gaggle of gorgeous go go’s, while ours were pointed more towards the booth where Mr White was gearing up for his own prolific performance.
With Chi Chi’s rousing of the crowd over & the go-go’s intermixing their displays with the odd porn star here & there, most of the attention swung towards the dancing and no surprise really, as Fabio White certainly took up the mantle marvellously, the height of Mr Kelly’s set, a superb rendition of the Tcherniak & Thomas hit, “My People”, been reached & surpassed with virtually every record choice, Fabio hitting the mark & sending the crowd wild with a glorious mix of funky & chunky tunes to match the raunchy & rocking feel of this Hustlaball Berlin main space, laser lighting at full tilt & the podiums swarming with party heads intent on dancing till dawn & beyond. Indeed, such was the amazing atmosphere, the room continuing to pack out with people, even our relative anonymity smashed by the arrival of Svetlana Queen, whom we had bumped into upon our arrival in Berlin two days previously & were now partying hard once again, even Lovechild’s Dee Crooks popping across to say hello, yet another unexpected yet lovely liaison.
Now we were well into our stride, the familiar spot by the D.J. booth helping us feel at home & an ever attentive barman making our time all the more pleasurable, although it was the magnificent music that Fabio White was serving up that was the epitome of our enjoyment, one track after the next having us dancing in a dervish, in between clicking shots of the action in front of our eyes with our phone camera, even catching the man himself in action, Fabio clearly revelling in the rapturous reception he was receiving. But, as good as the main room was, we had to take a few moments to explore the other spaces, first stopping off to say our hello’s to Chris Bekker in the second space & then made a dart across to the outside area, where we bumped into Mr Hustlaball himself, Jeffrey David, he very much content with his lot and quite rightly so, as reports had come in of a 3000 plus turnout, we not at all surprised as it seemed virtually every square inch was buzzing with party heads.
But it was back to the main room where Fabio was polishing off his prolific performance before handing over to yet another Italian, this time the good yet menacing looking Phil Romano who had not long arrived with fellow D.J. & pal Steven Redant, both deciding that an impromptu back-to-back session was the order of the day, Mr White relinquishing the decks and then disappearing into the madding crowd for a bit of post disc spinning saucery. And, with Messrs Romano & Redant doing their full on tech & progressive stuff, we were soon taken on a much tougher journey of sound, although by now we were completely carefree, such had been the euphoric extent of Fabio’s set, even the uncharacteristic amount of beverages we had consumed not dampening our spirits. However, having pretty much danced our socks off but not having taken anything off (if you know what we mean!), a final investigation around the club was required, before we decided to call it a morning, well it was by now, waving farewell to the Kitkat club, to return to our weekend base to re-charge our batteries (phone & all) for the next instalment in our Berlin bonanza break.
Walking away from this Hustlaball party with a smile as big as a Cheshire cat, pretty much summed up our experience at the Kitkat club, the smile very much representative of our amazement at the venue and the magnificent music, not least from Fabio White who served up a truly stellar set. We have to say that the crowd was not quite the handsome looking lot we have seen at events in London and the mix of sports gear & leather was an interesting combination, but you cannot deny that the whole party had a much more raunchy, intimate & sexy feel than the two Hustlball’s we have witnessed back home which made this Berlin outing all the more enjoyable. Plus, in answering those questions we raised earlier, to say that Hustalball Berlin was simply mundane in Mitte would be a judgement way past the mark, yet whilst, for us it wasn’t quite bonking in Berlin, it could have been had we found those illusive slings (then our cousin Crisco Matt would definitely have been out), but we had a good enough time as it was, meaning that come 2011, we will certainly be considering a re-visit. (DISCO MATT)
You have probably realised that hardly a month goes by now without us making a homage to the club that saw promoter Alex Erfan re-emerge as one of the big players on the scene in London, this brand certainly seeing no signs of succumbing to the toils & troubles of a floundering economy. However, with our European tour of duties getting the start it needed in Paris at the end of September, we missed out on the last outing, a marriage with French outfit Delice and all those drop dead gorgeous boys that come with it, reports coming in that they certainly wowed their captive audience as they always seem to do. But, with the prospect of a more manly & beefed up affair this time round, we were certainly not going to miss a trip down to Fire to savour the delights of Lovechild at its testosterone best, the male body also being projected as the art form it is in this memento to all things muscular. So, what was “Hot Muscle” meet all about, were we inspired by all the man meat around & did we come away satisfied with our lot?
Having been plagued with one piece of bad news after the next just over a week before, very much putting paid to most of what was looking like a hectic weekend, with matters somewhat more settled in our world, we were in much more of a fun filled frame of mind as we made our way down to Vauxhall for this muscle-bound man fest, marking our first trip to Fire in nearly four weeks (a rarity these days), the last being the wonderful The Week event which set us up beautifully for our trip to Paris. But eyes were very much on Lovechild this time round, as we arrived at the re-organised rear entrance to the club, the ever smiling Andrew Jones on hand to welcome us, although it was a mere moment before the radiant Roni Inan arrived, his trademark fur coat number on (it was a pretty cold night) to usher us in. Mind you, with duties pulling him away before you could say brass monkey’s, we joined a long & slow moving coatcheck in the outdoors, waiting patiently for our turn, only relinquishing our coat at the last minute due to the cold.
Inside and we immediately headed for the bar, Booster Romain Lopez spotting us and doing the honours while catching up on news of the previous weekend, but with drinks in hand we were keen to investigate this hot lovechild muscle meet, advancing into the main room where new resident & good looker to boot, Doug Ui’im was in charge of the decks, pumping out a glorious mix of funky & chunky euro style beats with an uplifting twist that was certainly warming the already considerable crowd into this latest love-in with Alex Erfan’s brilliant brand. Looking around the room, it was evident that the planned artwork from Anthony Chia-Bradley was being displayed all around the room, interesting canvases swinging in amongst the banks of laser lighting that were bombarding the walls & ceilings of this evolving main space in Fire. Indeed, on in advancing right down to the end, it was clear that nine bells were still being knocked out of the room, a planned new bar area & mezzanine VIP lounge in the making.
With the main room gaining momentum & the massive new light installation at full tilt, we headed into the lounge to catch up with regular D.J. resident, Gabrielle Cutrano, who was mixing up a delicious cocktail of tech infused yet laid back tunes that had a select crowd moving & grooving around the central pole-dancing podium, two excitable individuals swinging around like spinning tops in a child’s playground. There we caught a moment with incumbent D.J. Hugh Stevenson, who was due to play a back-to-back set with other former Beyond Colosseum icon disc spinner, Alan X, we very much looking forward to their performance, probably more than any other on the line-up, although our attention was soon grabbed first by Danny Shubert and then by an off duty Phil Hewson who had special guest New Yorker Justin Ryan in his midst, the main floor bound man having flown in especially for this Lovechild event from a tour of duty in Brazil, we catching a mere moment of his time before heading back into the action next door.
Back in the main space & Leroy Tayler was now selecting the sounds, the crowd being further delighted by the arrival of a collection of muscle-bound go-go’s, very much on the man end of the scale compared with previous events, the foursome very much cutting a considerable stride on the generous dance stage wrapping around the D.J. booth, their tight torso’s & pumping pecs exciting the crowd in front of them, although merely paving the way for bigger things to come as the main event body builders from head muscle man Lucas Alexander’s stable were yet to show their hand. However two people that did were Industri pal Stephen & fellow friend Stefan, both bounding up to say hello & then Stefan, without warning, jumped onto the podium in front of us, now vacated by the dancers, and gave us his own impromptu performance, soon being joined by the larger than life yet magnificent Chrissy Darling, dressed in yet another unique & striking costume, the duo attracting much attention from the wave of camera’s pointed in their direction.
However, by now the duo of Alan X & Hugh Stevenson where firing up the mirrorarch which some truly terrific tunes, we choosing this room over the two others for our lion’s share of devotions for the rest of the evening, many more also making the same choice, such was the extent & enjoyment from the heavenly house hits this dynamic duo were delivering. Indeed, we would have stayed put for the rest of their set, had it not been for a roll call from Alex, his request pulling us back into the main room where the bevy of body builders had gathered on the stage for a rip roaring pose down, each & every one of them seemingly enjoying showing off their assets to the goggle eyed admirers in front of them, the music pace first slowing as the muscle men posed & then gathered considerable pace as Mr Alexander had a go on the decks, pulling out the track that never fails to get a reaction, “Release Me” short of blowing the roof off Fire, the posers replaced by prancers revelling in the brilliant beats, guest D.J. Justin Ryan then taking over & moving the music up a further gear or two with a distinct New York style hard edge to it that had the room pulsating.
However, both Alan & Hugh were drawing us back, so we headed through to the mirrorarch once more, being stopped in our tracks by Paul Heron, whom we had not seen for such a long time, but who was very much looking forward to setting his designated room alight, this second room spot right up his street, he hardly failing to hit the mark with tonnes of terrific tunes. And with the dynamic duo bowing out, it was Paul’s turn to show the crowd what he was made of, the room soon swelling to capacity as he set about laying down some scintillating sounds, tech & progressive based but rip roaring in their delivery that had the room rampant. Then to add to the incredible atmosphere, first the muscled body builders returned to delight and then the room’s sponsor, Regulation, placed a small collection of dildo’s on one of the podiums next to us, although while the collection may have been small the dildo’s were far from, one absolutely huge, wider than our arm in fact. So, the inevitable happened and with Chris Jepson in situ, first one dildo was pushed against our lips, then another, this time by the ever present Roni Inan, a few more people getting in on the act with Chris snapping away merrily, this very much setting the tone for the remainder of our evening in the hands of a prolific performance by Paul & in the delightful company of Roni, Danny, Stefan & Stephen, seeing out our testosterone & muscle inspired walk on the Lovechild side close to the 7 a.m. finish before heading to pastures Beyond.
Having been part of our regular monthly calendar for close on a year now, it would be fair to say that in Lovechild we sometimes take things a little too much for granted and it is only sitting back a few days after an event these days that we truly realise just how good the parties actually are. And in “Hot Muscle” this was very much the case, the experience at the time not feeling anything too special, yet looking back, it actually was. With a choice of three rooms serving up significantly different styles of music from a wealth of talent in both resident & guest D.J.’s, there is no question that Lovechild deserves its spot in our devotions and whilst the formula may be pretty much the same, Alex & his team always keep the theme fresh & inviting, meaning there is always something new to inspire & delight. As for this time, well our delight were those dildo’s & the inspiration was the incredible music, so keep it coming Lovechild and we can’t wait for the next party in November. (DISCO MATT)
It seems such a long time since we devoted a review to a bar, but then to be honest, following a guiding light back in May, we have severely cut down our alcohol intake, not that we need to consume this kind of liquid to be in & around bars, although the culture in the capital seems to lend itself to that. Mind you, we still partake of the odd shandy here & there, generally as a quick refreshing boost after a long day burning up London’s roads, more often on a Friday, although the days of wobbling home are long gone, meaning if we make a night of a bar trip or hop, our rule of thumb is home first James & then back out on two feet rather than two wheels. But you know what they say about rules and by golly did we break ours last Friday, Profile being the host for our night of naughtiness, all in the best possible taste though.
Now, without question, the bar that has ruled the roost in our times knocking around the Soho scene has been Rupert Street, our devotions to this stylish sophisticate having been consistent since it opened over 12 years ago, although the recent re-location of relative new kid, Profile Bar, to Wardour Street has made it much more accessible & indeed with bigger sister Lo-Profile now just downstairs, makes for a superb combined destination night out. Mind you, come Friday’s there is only one place for us to be and that is upstairs, whether it be a trip back for one of the many pre-parties the bar hosts, or if a mere drop in after work before making the journey home. However, this last Friday ended up being something much more extended and a great deal of fun to boot.
So, having initially planned merely to pop into our usual stop off at Rupert Street, a voice in the back of our mind was also saying to zoom round to Profile bar to say a quick hello to Friday resident D.J. Phil Marriot, who always gets the evening started in superb style, this Gaydar Radio jock also transmitting his set live on the stations clubnation show. So, the music he selects is always incredibly accessible, uplifting yet club like, making for an altogether sumptuous set of sounds to start the weekend in style. So, having made our way up & into this Wardour Street watering hole, we headed straight for the D.J. corner to makes our presence felt by the man behind the decks, Phil beaming out at us in his usual fashion while clearly in the zone with his mixing. Leaving him to his devices, we headed to the bar to grab refreshments, catching our favourite barman’s attention, the usual “black sambuca” joke (long story) raising smiles from both of us.
Back in our position by the booth we caught up on news with Phil, at this stage our visit planned as just a brief one before heading home after a long day toiling around London’s roads, but with the expected arrival of New York glamour drag queen, Peppermint, we were keen to make a liaison, our glass soon emptying and a refill sought at the now very busy bar, Profile a heavenly haven for some very good looking men & luxuriant ladies, a real buzz in the air & a mix between drinkers & diners making for an altogether enchanting experience. But we were intent on making a little mayhem in our corner, Phil also in a naughty mood ahead of the arrival of his partner, Russell (we won’t use his nickname) who was expected any minute. And arrive he did, bounding up to Phil and engaging in an endearing embrace before turning to us to say hello, remarking that it had been a while, back in June in fact at Onyx in Vauxhall, on that occasion it being a momentary meet.
Now it was clear that our evening at Profile was going to be much more prolonged than we had expected, although very much in a good way of course, as it became clear that we had much more in common with Russell than we had thought, he too having firm roots in South Africa, his accent in our more fulsome conversation coming out much more clearly than before. So it wasn’t long before we started reminiscing about our homeland, talk of braai’s borevoors & biltong intermixed with all sorts of other splendid South African specialities that had us transfixed & transcending into magical memory moments minute after minute. Such was the extent of our enjoyment, all thought of our homeward journey was long gone, even Russell deciding to stay in the grip of Profile rather than head for a planned meet with work colleagues, the time flowing by effortlessly as was the conversation, we even being treated to snippets of our second tongue, Afrikaans, from the expert in our midst.
With the truly superb night unfolding, it wasn’t long before we were tempted into consuming sambuca shots & jaeger bombs (lethal), Phil joining in on the frivolity, as was a number of people that had arrived, choosing our corner of calamity & cavorting, dancing friend Andrea making an appearance which, in itself, signalled a yet further terrific treat to our evening. Through all this activity around him, Phil was doing a sterling job concentrating on his job in hand, he delivering track after track that kept grabbing our attention in amongst our reminiscing with Russell, one particular favourite of ours & the song of the moment for us, “Happiness” getting an airing, although yet another version to the ones we had heard both recently & when the track broke our world. And the fabulous music kept coming, making any intended departure all the more difficult, although we were far from ready to throw in the towel, rather carry on with the chat & calamity, the dancing & the drinking that was making this very much impromptu evening something rather special.
Profile was now a sea of people all intent of fulfilling their Friday, some starting their night here before venturing to pastures new, but many more others ready to party deep into Saturday morning down in sister venue Lo-Profile below, where D.J. delights Jamie Head & Paul Heron were ready to entertain, posters plastered around Profile’s walls to advertise the fact. And before we knew it, the jovial Jamie was in our midst, weaving through the crowd & coming up to say his usual warm hello before descending to get things going downstairs. This was virtually immediately followed by the arrival of Peppermint, this New York glamour puss preparing for a showing at Shadow Lounge, but putting time aside to come & meet up with Mr Marriot, an introduction coming our way before she disappeared into the night nearly as quickly as she had come out of it.
By now we were feeling a little worse for wear, the sambuca & the jaeger bombs having taken effect, although it was not curbing our enthusiasm for this truly enigmatic evening we were experiencing, conversation with Russell still at full tilt & Phil looking over virtually constantly trying to grab a piece of the action in between choosing tunes. However, with 11 p.m. approached & gone in a flash, time was close to calling a halt to what had been one of the best Friday’s we could remember for a long time, although an energetic Andrea was determined for our night to continue down in Lo-Profile, we very close to be tempted save for the need to collect our belongings that had been safely stored away in Rupert Street, our first call for the evening. So, with this march of time, we waved our farewells to Phil, to Russell and to the collective crowd that had touched our evening, departing to wend our way home & reflect on a most fantastic Friday of full on Profile fun & giving thanks to everyone that touched our time there, especially Phil & Russell, we are privileged to know you.
Having been around for both the launch and the first birthday, Profile in its new location on Wardour Street has certainly become a firm favourite of ours. Not only does it provide a haven from the sometimes hectic surroundings it finds itself within in Soho, but with an extensive food menu, all prepared fresh (and we mean fresh) on the premises to American style booth tables & even snacks to the bar area, the whole experience is one of complete satisfaction. Furthermore, the previous issues with slow drinks service has been significantly improved, the engaging & friendly bar team going that extra mile to make your visit one to remember rather than forget, meaning we cannot express our recommendation highly enough apart from saying as we always say, Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
With life over the last few weeks being topsy turvy to say the least, while we have been holding our own with both reviews & preview (weekendrts have taken a back step. But with there being a relentless amount of new music out there, we thought we would get back into gear with not one, but two D.M. Does The News posts, this one concentrating on European based talents and their latest compilations & tracks or simply just news on forthcoming gigs. So, sit back as we run through a select choice of D.J.’s & their work, giving the all important links to spectacular new sounds.
Right, let’s get going with this mini tour around Europe and what better place to start than in Italy, well Milan to be precise, the home town base for the now global D.J. star that is Danny Verde. Having tracked his career from as far back as 2007, we cannot stress enough how pleased we are that, in this short time, he has gained the following & reputation he has, hardly a week going by when he is not jetting off somewhere to play. However, the foundations for Danny’s popularity are planted firmly in the recording studio and with tracks like “Pushin To the Top”, “Express Yourself” & “Let Me See Your Underwear” just three out of a whole host of smash hits that regularly make D.J. sets across the world.
And, when he is home, hardly a day goes by without something coming out of the now famed Holab studio, latest work in progress productions including a remix of Pagano & Parmour’s “The Reflex” as well as 2010 remixes of “Pushin To the Top”. However, two tracks hot off the press are available now, first Katy Perry’s new single “Peacock” which Danny has remixed with Hector Fonseca, out at http://soundcloud.com/hector-fonseca-music/peacock-hector-fonseca-danny-verde-remix while Mr Verde’s own re-work of Blake Lewis’s “Wait Till Dawn” looks set to be huge this winter, versions of which you can grab now at http://itunes.apple.com/it/album/till-we-see-the-sun-remixes-ep/id388254732. But we are perhaps nearly most excited about his new podcast “Escape From Paradise” which is an absolute corker & in our view, his best yet. So, as Danny aptly puts it, “…are you ready to escape?, if so download it here…” here being http://dannyverde.podomatic.com/. So, being “nearly” most excited surely means something else is coming & yes it is, as we will be with the man himself at Salvation in Berlin in just 6 days, so simply cannot wait.
Right, talking of Berlin, our next shout goes to a talent that has been basing himself there for a while now, although he still manages to pop back to London every now & then, recent trips including gigs at Beyond & more latterly at As One for the August Bank Holiday. Eduardo De La Torre never fails to impress his audiences when he is here & had the Mirrorarch well & truly rocking within minutes of starting his set back on 29th August and marked the occasion by laying down a specially commissioned mix for the occasion. We covered this in our review of the party but cannot resist sharing the link with you again, which is http://soundcloud.com/dj-edu-de-la-torre/as-one-london-bank-holliday-especial-mixed-by-dj-edu-de-la-torre and a mix well worth adding to your collection.
Back in Berlin and life is extremely hectic for Edu, his weekly residency at the Connection club going extremely well, as is his new radio show which goes out every Monday at 8 p.m. local time, the show an on-line based broadcast, which you can tune into via http://embededexposureteam.webs.com/, while studio works continue un-abated with a number of projects in the pipeline which we can’t wait to spill the beans on. However, we can let you know now about an amazing new track called “I Will Stand”, evoking Edu’s incredibly uplifting yet electro/progressive tendencies, which is destined for greatness we are sure. So, check it out now via direct link http://soundcloud.com/dj-edu-de-la-torre/i-will-stand-for-the-nation-balearic-mix-dj-edu-de-la-torre-no_scene-dj-sai-aka-simongad and if you are in Berlin this weekend, come down to Salvation where Mr De La Torre will be playing alongside Danny & Nick Tcherniak (we can’t wait).
Just quickly while still on the German theme, a D.J. talent that seems to jet back & forth to London more than we have hot dinners is super Swede D’Johnny who is, as we speak, recovering from the massive R.A.W. 4th birthday party at Orange, when he performed a special 3 hour back-to-back set with R.A.W. original David Jimenez. Mind you, it seems that this hugely talented young man is set to become part of the furniture at R.A.W., but also is very much an afterhours expert here in the capital, playing regularly for A:M, Later &, of course, Beyond. But, if, like us, you missed him at R.A.W. this morning, then why not grab a slice of D’Johnny in action through his latest “live” podcast (all cleverly captured straight from his Mac) at http://djohnny.podomatic.com/entry/2010-09-29T12_08_22-07_00 or even his more recent Beyond main room set & his back-to-back performance with David Jimenez in The Chapel room, at http://djohnny.podomatic.com/ which you should grab now while you can.
Right our Euro whizz now switches to Belgium, where the cute & cuddly Andrei Stan is based, but like both Edu & Johnny is making it across to London with increasing regularity of late. Now, we first got to hear this talent play back in March for new club launch Matador & since then he has been firmly on our radar. However, with trips to Beyond’s “Super Size” party in August, when he nailed it in The Chapel Room and then at A;M’s re-launch just three weeks ago, when he stole the main room show, it is clear the young Mr Stan is finding fabulous favour with the notoriously fussy yet musically informed London crowd. So, the good news is that he will be back at the end of the month, featuring large in A:M’s Halloween special “Asylum”, followed by a slot next to the mighty David Penn at the event “Vauxhall Chainsaw Massacre” at Colosseum (we preferred the title “Nightmare at Nine Elms St).
Back home & Andrei plays regularly for massive club La Demence, who will be celebrating their anniversary this coming weekend, Andrei thick in the action, while he also has gigs right across Brussels to keep his life very hectic. However, he does also dive into the studio every now & then, laying down recordings for his own use, but occasionally for wider release, whenever he can putting out a full compilation for each month. So, if you haven’t heard this young man play yet, then you can do no wrong by checking out his full length mixes available at http://djandrei1.net/mixes and see exactly why he has gained so much popularity here in London as well as back in Belgium.
Now, before we hop over the border into France, we just wanted to mention rising star Ruben Winters, who, like Andrei, has been on our radar for a while. With a recent lack of regular posts, the planned focus on Ruben has escaped us, although he will be getting our full attention when our beloved focus posts return. However, just as a little taster, why not check out his latest recording from his set at Antwerp club “Red & Blue, where he plays regularly, which you can check out at http://soundcloud.com/d-jayme/red-n-blue-october-02 & don’t get all confused about the name, as all will become clear in our focus.
Right to France and to Parisian Leomeo Carandang whom we sadly missed when we made it across in September, although will be diarising another visit very soon. Currently, this enchanting Frenchman is on a semi worldwide tour, having taken in New York for just under two weeks & is now in Montreal, this being followed by a return trip to his beloved Thailand, where he spent a few years much earlier in his career & life. But it is fair to say, there his hardly anywhere in the world where Leo has not laid his musical hat, we always being thrilled when he makes it to London, recent visits including for Alex Erfan’s massive LGDF gathering & then Lovechild’s “Hot Tropicana”. But trips to Italy, Germany & Spain litter his exhausting schedule, although we can’t wait to see him back in the capital in December for another pre Christmas meet at Lovechild.
So, with all this touring on his plate, we would forgive him for not getting into the recording studio that often, but nothing of it, as his list of compilations & track releases is nearly as frenzied as his globetrotting, his appearance at Cafe Ole in Spain creating a magnificent mix which is out at direct link http://soundcloud.com/djleomeo/cafe-ole-space-ibiza-by-dj-leomeo while a subsequent track of his called “Give me Love”, featuring vocals from Diva Avari has been given the remix treatment by artists including Javier Medina, Pagano & Aurel Devil, although the original is our favourite, which has Leomeo’s style written all over it which you can check out at http://soundcloud.com/djleomeo/leomeo-feat-diva-avari-give-me-love-original-mix. Then there is his own remixing talents displayed with a remix of DJ Rony’s record “Colour Of Love”, not to mention a full on compilation very much hot off the press & compiled in reflection of Leo’s time in New York, which, along with over four pages of stunning sounds, you can add to your collection via http://soundcloud.com/djleomeo.
Now, a further hop across a European border from France finds us in Spain & Barcelona, which is undoubtedly our favourite city (after Cape Town of course), even beating London & now Paris to the accolade. And, being a hotbed of clubs, music & particularly D.J.’s, there are many we could focus on. However, the choice is a simple one for us as Javier Medina continues to rise to the top of the pile, his career gaining momentum by the month, residencies in his home town including D-Boy, Devotion (his favourite) & WE, while involvement in the recent Circuit Festival was a given, Javier also popping across into France & Germany for gigs, X-treme in Cologne. Plus a recent networking visit to Paris allowed us to catch up with this charismatic Catalonian back at the end of September & we are looking forward to a further rendezvous in November here in London & then when we re-connect with Barcelona at the beginning of December.
Gigs aside, Javier has been very busy in the recording studio and has some exciting new projects in the pipeline, although like Edu’s, we have been sworn to secrecy so can’t say much more at the moment. However, what we can mention is his superb remix of Groove Armada’s “I Won’t Kneel” out via http://soundcloud.com/javier-medina/iwontkneelremix as well as a re-work of fellow Barca D.J. Ivan Gomez’s track “Sex” which was released just last week, but is already making waves, Javier’s version out at http://soundcloud.com/javier-medina/ivan-gomez-sex-javier-medina-afterauers-remix. But, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to releases, so we will keep you posted on news as soon as we can spill, not to mention exciting prospects on the club brand front. However, in the meantime, you should also check out his incredible compilation “Barcelona To London”, which has already made out top five for the year and is a must for your collection, the direct link being http://soundcloud.com/javier-medina/frombarcelonatolondon.
Well, we have well & truly run out of space in this, our second DM Does The News post, so mentions for Ivan Gomez, Nacho Chapado & Guarbear Recordings will have to wait. But we must just round off by saying that a new(ish) record looks like replacing “Release Me” as our anthem for the year and was brought to our attention when researching Brazilian club, The Week, but has since made it to the dancefloors of Fire & Area. “Happiness” had particular poignancy when Steve Pitron played it at Beyond “Tokyo” and with Mikey D featuring it on his compilation “Lose Control” & Phil Marriot lauding it on Gaydar Radio, the track is surely destined for massive exposure. With a number of remix versions already out, we guess our favourite is Dave Aude’s version at http://youtube.com/watch?v=JyfoKPzLJc0, although the one on Mikey’s mix is pretty good too, so we are keeping our eyes & ears peeled for more.
O.K., enough is enough, time is well & truly up, leaving us to simply say “sit back, turn up the volume, select those sounds & let them play, as music is the answer”. (DISCO MATT)