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)