Archive for December 2010
Well, it hardly seems a year since we were sitting right here and reporting on what turned out to be a very difficult trading year for bars, clubs & promoters, although as 2009 will definitely go down as the year in which the biggest recession in nearly eight years hit the capital with a clang, 2010 in terms of economic turmoil wasn’t that much better, although, for some reason, we all seemed to cope with the ravages reaped by bankers & politicians on our prolific partying. And despite the challenges facing the country during the year, 2010 was actually one of the most prolific we have seen in a long time, much for good reason, some not quite so, although the year marked our busiest yet, reviewing close on 90 events & compiling over 150 other reports, meaning we have much to reflect on. So, sit back as we dispense with further fancy introductions and run down January through December, a far from comprehensive inclusion of every event, rather a reflection on our year, concluding with our own nominees for best clubs 2010.
The dawn of the New Year saw probably the biggest launch of a club we have seen, plus the biggest news to hit our scene, as Spanish superclub Matinee moved to re-align its London operation, although, while this was certainly the talk of the dancefloor on the first day of the new decade, nothing was going to steal the limelight from new club brand As One, which launched to amazing accolade at Fire in Vauxhall. The brainchild of the man behind another child, Lovechild to be exact, As One combined the brands of Beyond, Lo-Profile, Megawoof, Trannyshack & (you guessed it) Lovechild, under one roof, joining forces with the might of The Orange Group & Logan Presents’ team, producing, without question, the most magnificent marriage of minds the scene had seen in a long time. And the party proved a success from the minute the doors were opened, As One going on to be the talk of the town & definitely the place to have been on January 1st. Mind you, in the afterparty that was Onyx, the partying continued and the momentous day in Area marked our first meet with Phil Marriott, with who we were to form a special friendship during the year, although it also marked the demise of promoter Steven Geller, who, following the event, was short of shunted out of office in the second of two shocking shifts in the first month of the new year.
So, that news of Matinee wasn’t going away and as the dust settled on it all, we reported, in our usual style on the events leading up to the top brass decision to hand the London franchise to Logan Schmitz, a move that shocked some, as this was the man at the helm of SuperMartXe in the capital, Matinee’s main competitor, yet politics aside, on the face of it, the club couldn’t have been in better hands. Finding ourselves in the middle of this muddle, lots of diversion of minds was required and what better way than to throw ourselves into our favourite devotion, D.J.’s, fitting in a special night including a dozen of them, between Covent Garden, Soho & Vauxhall, The Box Lo-Profile & Barcode, swerving the big clubs for their protagonists, yet sampling some of the biggest names in the business. Then, with the Matinee news still reeling, our month ended with another newbie like the start, as Italian club Pervert hit town, taking Fire by storm and making an impression that would see it return for a further outing in March, hooking up with afterhours monster Beyond, although one we would miss out on.
February started with promise and gave us the opportunity to focus on Profile in Soho, a venue which had launched on Wardour Street just seven months before, but was establishing a solid reputation as well as a great feeder for Lo-Profile below. Then it was the first of many birthday bashes as afterhours club A:M, celebrated nine years in business, with a prolific party down at Fire, very much re-capturing the passion for this audacious afterhours club, nine years in, although the same weekend would see the first matinee party by the new production team of Logan Presents, this first stint of Mr Schmitz’s labelled, “Under Construction”, hinted to a new life & a new direction for the brand. And, despite probably one of the longest waits in a coatcheck queue we had experienced in the year, Logan & his team managed to succeed where others had failed, in filling host venue the Fridge, although nowhere near as much as SuperMartXe would in The Coronet for its “Samurai” party later that month. Other February highlights included a Valentine double courtesy of DTPM, who got all loved au at Jalouise in Mayfair, while we made it down to Orange for their own “Citric Seduction” event, guest D.J. Paul Heron & then Gonzalo Rivas rocking the raw room to its foundations, although our minds were diverted as we had lost someone very dear to our hearts, but celebrated his life with a close friend, Abbaword not perhaps representing a scene exploit, but an important event nevertheless.
March set off in storming pace with our third birthday celebration of the year, as Gay City Rollers, the roller disco party at The Renaissance Rooms marked its first anniversary, we entering into the spirit with gusto ala Olivia Newton John style but walking away with plenty of scrapes & bruises following a nasty fall. Mind you, in the process we cemented some new friendships, not least with singer Tonnic who was amazing through the whole evening, although as good Alex Erfan’s event was, it was to be the last GCR of the year. The month however saw a new launch and what was at the time billed as a new style Matinee, as Matador launched at Barcode Vauxhall to amazing fanfare, although for us, failed it live up to its billing, rather being just another themed night in a club bar, this reaction causing one of our biggest review controversy’s to date and placing both our future & a close friendship in jeopardy, such had been the vicious reaction to our comments. But we ploughed on with visits to Matinee’s “Circuit” party which had slightly more muted success at The Fridge but still packed them in, while our trip to Later proved a fruitful one, showing that this longstanding affair was re-gathering momentum & catching the mood for Sunday afternoon clubbing. But our Matador controversy was now never far away, meaning our March ended quietly with our own reflective look at the club & the people that had meant so much to us, the social soiree Industri.
While March had ended on an incredible low, April couldn’t have started any better, with a full focus exposure on the online site GaydarNation, and with Easter landing early, despite the rumblings of Matador continuing, we hit the streets & the clubs taking in Beyond in the second of many review reporting’s in 2010 and then honing in on what would turn out to be yet another hugely successful As One event. With a slightly tweaked line-up which now included the might of Orange, the place was once again packed and the collaboration of so many minds made it yet another well deserved success story as well as placing us back firmly in our driving seat. And that driving eat was to carry us into one of the best afterparty’s of the year, as Steven React Sharp’s Orange laid on a pulsating & prolific “Easter Garden Of Eden” event at Area which surpassed any we had witnessed there before and was to set the standard for the rest, this outing even matching the might of Beyond & its brilliance. Feeling the need to make amends, we spent the next weekend focussing on Barcode, both in Soho & Vauxhall, April also seeing one of the biggest & best Lovechild’s yet, as Alex Erfan & his brave team went all “Wet” on us, installing showers & spectacular shimmering shows in host venue Fire, special Aussie guest D.J. Johan Khoury making more than an impression on us, although Alan K Certainly flew the home flag, we witnessing him for the second time this year, ignite the main room like nothing we had seen before.
May arrived with alarming speed and a month with two Bank Holiday’s would prove to be our busiest, taking in Hustlaball at The Renaissance Rooms, which seemed more to be about Hard On!, although sported an incredibly strong D.J. line up across all four rooms, while Orange pulled another great afterparty out of the bag, this time at Fire, each room and each D.J. playing their part in making this yet another event to remember. However with so much more looming, the first of two big May events hit our shores, as “The Love Weekend” swung into action, but having taken in virtually every instalment, from Onyx through A:M, Lovechild & Beyond as well as riding the crest of the love wave into Later, it was Lovechild & Beyond that got our full review attention, the others combined into one special round-up as eyes were now very much pointing towards the biggie of the year, The London Global Dance Festival (LGDF), but not before taking in Guy Williams’ metrosexual mash-up 31 floor high at Paramount in Central London, as “Reverse Sunrise” lived up to its name, we witnessing the rise of the sun over the London landscape below which simply blew us away, as did the whole event. May also marked a milestone in our lives as the realisation that we needed to curb a certain habit would see us become a virtual tea total, this one of many indications of a strong friendship bond that would prove the single most important one to us in 2010.
Now it was LGDF taking the limelight and having ploughed so much research & effort into this massive undertaking, which included well over 10 international club brands & three times the amount of international & London based D.J.’s/artists, this would be a May Bank Holiday like no other before, the whole LGDF weekend sandwiching SuperMartXe’s (SMX) stunning “Hot Wheels” party at The Coronet, which, for us, was the best SMX yet, we quoting it as having “the best music, the best P.A, the best stage set-up & the best atmosphere and proved to be Logan both at his best & at his pinnacle. But even SMX wouldn’t take away what an amazing weekend we had in the hands of LGDF, the string of seven events delivering in every respect, the real highlight being the main party at Fire when the Muccassassina room really showed the international pedigree that London had attracted, sparkling performances from Leomeo, Phil Romano, Danny Verde & Pagano shining bright. But we covered the incredible party at Onyx with Dikky Vendetta, the amazing A:M event with D.J Luque, and even witnessing the busiest Beyond of 2010 so far, as Steve Pitron, the Chris Bekker & finally Alan K left us breathless in the main room, the whole weekend rounded off in Area by Orange, who, for the third time this year delivered a truly awesome afterparty, Ivan Gomez one of a whole string of highlights of yet another outstanding Orange orotation.
June proved to be quiet in comparison, having racked up an 10 reviews & attended nearly 20 events throughout the previous month, it was the return of Beyond to Colosseum with the new “Back To Back” branding that got our first full attention, yet while the first segment at Beyond’s original home didn’t quite deliver to the expectations of old, seeing the original residents at work & the infamous VIP room in action, one of our most favourite clubbing spots around, was an enjoyable experience. However, it was Beyond at Area that once again delivered in bucket loads, chalking up yet another exceptional exhibition of just why it remained at the top of its game & the best of the bunch. Mind you another club cutting a stride was Lovechild, as it hinted towards summer with its latest outing & our love affair with Fire’s lounge space blossomed, not least in the hands of Brent Nicholls who was the highlight of another superb showing by Alex Erfan’s loveable brand. Then with another birthday celebration looming, Barcode Vauxhall’s 4th to be exact, all eyes turned to the Clapham Street party and it seemed most of London turned out too, the sunny weather transforming Clapham into a gay mecca & seeing the party way over subscribed, queues stretching up the high street deep into the evening. So, we chose Vauxhall to end our June devotions, first landing on the birthday bash to witness a terrific turn by Terry Vietheer, then made it across to Fire for another Alex Erfan invention, this time, LookBetterNaked, the stunningly drop dead gorgeous Bel Ami boys more than making up for the disappointment of Clapham before.
The feverish pitch of May was repeated in July and with the weather holding through the early part of the month, London’s Gay Pride weekend proved to be a corker, Leicester Sq and the Orange Group dance stage a major highlight for us, Beyond then going on to prove itself as a sell-out success and nearly as packed as the LGDF affair. But SuperMartXe was to have its say too, when the Logan presents team tipped the scales with their “Wizard Of Oz” event filling out The Cornet again, while we rounded of our weekend with a fun filled Later “Garden Party” the helter skelter ride & other attractions making for yet another dynamic design twist & variety package that was very much the byword of 2010. Mind you, nothing could have prepared us for the magnificence of Matinee at Ministry of Sound, the promotions team having switched venues & days, from a Saturday to a Sunday with exceptional effect, we being well & truly blown away by this “Open Air” event, styled on an Ibiza terrace party that ticked every single box. July was also to see Logan hit our sweet spot with an invitation to his private party Up, at Dex in Brixton, and whilst the weather had turned the atmosphere hadn’t, Up proving to be every bit as good as Matinee in its own way. Other July highlights included Profile’s 1st birthday and not one, but two Lovechild events, first “Makin Hay” and then “Hot Tropicana”, the latter showing guest D.J. Leomeo at his tribal best, while the former left us spinning from a scintillating set from The Oli. Plus, we managed to fit in our first ever visit to Jodie Harsh’s Circus, making a return to the 31st floor at paramount and loving the metrosexual mix of this magnificent madcap happening.
August saw our focus switch from London, amidst all the controversy surrounding Brighton pride, we heading for the south coast on the first weekend of the month and taking in all the alternative happenings than the Dance Weekend had to offer, full reviews of first Dance Nation at Tru & then Beyond at The Honey Club taking the plaudits. Indeed Dance Nation proved a delightful & refreshing change to clubbing in the capital, although with Lovechild stars Leroy Tayler & Tony English on cue, as well as a sparkling performance from Steve Pitron, it felt like London by the sea for sure, while Beyond, as packed as it was, wasn’t quite a match for the audaciousness of Area. With the summer season having bitten London in the bum, it was the end of August that saw a resurgence in our activity, first giving Onyx full review attention, Pagano’s five hour set spectacular getting our full focus as “Digital” well and truly hit the mark and then came the huge happening that was Hype, Logan Schmitz’s home grown brand that had raised a critical eye or two with its first outing just over a year ago, although this latest attempt did prove much more credible. However, with the tide beginning to turn on Logan’s year, his afterparty concept, M.O.S.T., failed to attract sufficient support, Beyond once again proving its dominance in the Sunday afterhours market, their “Super Size” party being just that and probably their biggest ever.
However, not for the first time this year, we were faced with controversy and were found to be “piggy in the middle” of an emerging feud between club promoters/owners that once again placed in jeopardy a friendship that had meant so much to us, this time another D.J., Danny Verde, although bridges would be mended later in 2010 during our tour of Berlin. So, rather than being seen to take sides, we posted an overview report on the conflicting afterhours brands, although this in itself caused a nuclear style reaction which required tempering, our August ending more abruptly than expected with the third As One event, which starred yet more international guest D.J.’s that had impacted on our lives in 2010, first Eduardo De La Torre & then Javier Medina, both playing out in the Lovechild room to varying effect. Mind you, being a Sunday afternoon, the whole event felt more like Later than A One and while Brent Nicholls once again proved his worth in the Lo-Profile lounge and both Paul Heron & then Alessandro blew the roof off the Lovechild room, our mind was on our Italian Danny and nothing was going to shake our emotions. This meant we missed out on the magnificence of the Orange/Trade collaboration at Colosseum, along with Kris Di Angelis’s, Pooldisco party, both reporting amazing turnouts and even more awesome atmospheres.
September was to see our first international expedition, but not before taking in a plethora of parties, many firsts, as we made it down to Hola at The Shadow Lounge for some Hed Kandi style house heaven from Terry Vietheer & special Aussie guest Alex Taylor, we hit Guy Williams’ Paradise 45 club night at the truly decadent yet delightful Dalston Superstore, savoured a superb back to back set by Nick Tcherniak & Hifi Sean at record launch in “Deep Water” at Barcode Vauxhall, connecting with vocalist Lizzie France, who was to be a lynch pin in our captivating Christmas, while we also got hot under the collar at Suzie Krueger’s sports fetish club “Sweat”. But it was first Matinee’s second “Open Air Summer Party” that attempted to steal our September, neatly followed by Brazilian import, The Week, which pretty much did all the stealing necessary for so much reasons, not least as it reunited Brent Nicholls, Steve Pitron & Mikey D under one roof, giving the event a Crash like feel, but The Week delivered like no other party in Fire had done in a long time, leaving us in no doubt that this would become a force to be reckoned with. But September proved to be all about pool party frolicking, Paris style in this case, as we hit the high roads and hot footed it to the French capital for Michel Mau’s “Supersized Pool Party” event at Aquaboulevard, the whole weekend proving to be a brilliant yet emotional one as we connected with lots of new faces and cemented our friendship with Barca boy Javier Medina.
October began with lots of promise, another new kid on the block making its mark and after one of the biggest build ups in club history it seemed. Billy Richard’s T.T.D. definitely had made an impression on many people’s minds and with it heralding a new dawn in Sunday afternoon clubbing, there was much promise ahead of the launch party. But with tube strikes & unseasonably cold weather plaguing the event a luke warm turnout got the T.T.D. party going, as did our new found Czech crowd posse & a beat-tastic Brent Nicholls, the party eventually turning out to be a superb start for Billy & his team. October was also to behold the most brilliant Beyond of our year, as their “Tokyo” event hit the mark magnificently leaving us breathless in admiration for this awesome afterhours that had hardly put a foot wrong throughout the whole of 2010, save for a few unsavoury elements that had slipped through the tight security net, affecting our euphoric experiences at the hands of this colossal club. With bar brand Profile really capturing the imagination following its 1st birthday bash three months before, we once again gave it the floor, the place also responsible for the special bond we developed with resident D.J Phil Marriot, while Lovechild continued on its creative course, with its “Hot Muscle” event that sported one of our most hilarious dance floor moments of 2010, involving Chris Jepson a giant dildo & a hunky muscled dancer, enough said.
However, October was to prove to be a very special month, not just due to our best Beyond experience of the year, but with a captivating concert at the O2 courtesy of the legend in our lifetime, Jean Michel Jarre, the pinnacle of our moth perhaps being a tour of breataking Berlin, which proved to be a one of the magical moments in our life and this, our yardstick year. With Hustlaball taking centre stage on the Friday, then Salvation on the Saturday, Sunday was all about Berghain and what an experience it was, Nick Tcherniak & Valerie Maxfield making the journey to this towering techno triumph one we will never forget. That said, Hustlaball at Kitkat club was an incredible outing, not least due to superb sets from Mike Kelly, Phil Romano & especially Fabio White, while Salvation was a superb spectacle too and particularly special one, as it gave us the opportunity to rekindle our friendship with Danny Verde, but in Berlin we also finding a city of such diverse yet dynamic beauty and one that we will be returning to for sure. Yet from the highs of Berlin, we hit the lows of London with yet more controversy involving a certain club promoter, our reflective experiences of A:M and then the Halloween special that was “The Vauxhall Chainsaw Massacre” far from finding favour, rather consigning a working friendship to the history books and one that would mar the rest of our year.
So, to November and it kicked off with yet another birthday bash, but this was a biggie, as Trade celebrated 20 glorious years in existence with a return to the venue that had, just two years previously, hosted one of its most prolific party’s since the days of Turnmills. And, despite the stifling heat, the party went off with a bang and the newly formed working partnership between Trade & Logan presents seemed to be a match made in heaven in terms of turnout and popularity of the party. And, unlike the last party two years ago, the main room caught much of our attention, Nick Tcherniak & Steve Thomas sending us strospheric with scintlating sets, while PA Lizzie France made her mark with a prolific performance, Fat Tony & Tonnic rounding off a great party in the lite lounge. DTPM neatly followed with its “Eastbenders” event at the fabulous Cargo in Shoreditch, although it seemed that Later was to steal some of its thunder, while for us, the calamitous cavorting between Steve Thomas & Guy Williams made DT a special splash indeed. But upset & controversy was never far away, so much so that we shelved the rest of the month, only breaking our review silence for Lovechild’s “Anniversary” event, when Javier Medina returned to rock the Mirrorarch (acting as the main room) at Fire, while we also made it to our sixth clubbing birthday of the year, this time Lo-Profile’s which would prove to be the making of this venue, new lighting and new energy propelling it in our estimations as well as those of many others.
And so we came to our own birthday month, December dawning with plenty of optimism, not least with the launch of our new look website as well as the spreading craze that would become “Doing The Disco Matt”. As for our clubbing following, well the month kicked off in style with the launch of new(ish) Spanish brand WE Party in London, taking over at The Coronet where SuperMartXe had left off, but with plenty of rumblings still going on following SMX’s party the previous week which had been plagued with queues, rude security & cold feeder rooms. WE nevertheless, made an impressive impact, the more uplifting style of music going down well, but the enormous neon & LED lighting effects being the real wow, as were prolific performances from Steve Pitron & Carlos Gallardo. Beyond was to play its part in our birthday month, not once, twice, but three times, this amazing afterhours sandwiching our penultimate Lovechild of the month, as Leomeo made a triumphant return to the newly refurbished Fire main room, very much stealing our show, while Bruno Knight & his gorgeous men made their mark at Profile & Lo-Profile, the “Doing The Disco Matt” dance spreading across the place, thanks to a playful Steve Pitron. But this man was to play a significant part in our birthday bash too, having chosen Beyond as the place & the club to celebrate our special day, Mr Pitron gifting us the best present we could have wished for, an invite up into the main room D.J. booth where he demanded our “Doing The Disco Matt” dance moves to the delight of our pals below.
December also marked the moving of Industri from Vauxhall to Soho, we reporting on both the closing & opening events, Hard On! kicking of the festive season with their XXXmas party, while it was Christmas that was to steal the limelight of our year, as we were left amorous with the amazement of Antwerp. It would be fair to say that we did not know what to expect from what turned out to be a tremendous trip, but with company that included Alex Erfan, D.J. Alessandro, Lizzie France & Chrissy Darling, not only was our welcome in Antwerp on Christmas Eve something really special, but the Lovechild “Christmas Ball” at Red & Blue was even more so, as like so many events throughout 2010, we cemented existing friendships and forged new ones, one in particular leaving our heads in the clouds for days to come, these final few days of December giving us the opportunity to reflect on a year that ended as it started, on an incredible high, but with despairing lows in the background, a year of ecstatic emotions, many good but some bad, but Antwerp very much being our cake icing on a yardstick year.
So there we have it, our somewhat personal yet rapturous reflection on a year that had its fill of excitement & drama, winners & losers, successes & failures and ups & downs. There were some truly stand-out events, both home and abroad, there were clubs that went from strength to strength, while others waxed & waned with the continuing calamities of a tumultuous economic & political climate gripping the world. But while 2010 will go down as a pretty awful year for some, it will also go down as a pretty exceptional year for others and whilst we have been faced with plenty of challenges throughout 2010, it has certainly been a yardstick year for us, highlights being As One as a new brand, Orange as an afterparty success, LGDF as an exceptional event, Matinee as the biggest rise & fall, Berlin & Berghain as a special time in our year, but Beyond & Antwerp equally as majestic jewels in our crown. So, all that is left to say is, we wave farewell to 2010 with mixed emotions & welcome in 2011 with renewed enthusiasm & drive. Here’s to a magnificent year of clubbing ahead. (DISCO MATT)
While this is certainly not an attempt to poll opinion, it does reflect our own views on what bars, clubs & events did it for us in 2010. However, if you want to express your own opinions on your favourites, then go vote at http://seenqueen.com/web/2010/yourdisconeedsyou2010/ .
However, here are our winners of the year
Best Club Brand Beyond
Best Club Brand Newcomer As One
Best Intl. Club Newcomer The Week
Best Club Weekly Beyond
Best Club Monthly Lovechild
Best Club Afterparty Orange
Best Club Afterhours Beyond
Best Bar Profile
Best Bar/Club Lo-Profile
Best Individual Event Matinee “Open Air”
Best Collective Event London Global Dance Festival
Best International Club Berghain
Best International Event Lovechild “Christmas Ball” in Antwerp
Best Club Promoter Alex Erfan
Special Commendation Steven React Sharp
Other special mentions in this our bar/club/event round-up of 2010 go to (in no particular order) Craig Elder, Jonny Marsh, Logan Schmitz, Mauricio Ortiz, Lee Freeman, Steve Elliot, Billy Richard, Guy Williams, Jeffrey Davids, Michel Mau, Suzie Kruegar, Paul Beardshaw, Tom Fuller, The Elder Brothers, Dave Cross, Romain Lopez, Andrew Jones, Chrissy Darling, Hrh Minty, Naomi Ruiz, Tonnic, & Lizzie Jane France.
And before you say it, you D.J.’s will get your mention in our music review of the year coming up.
Ever since we first dipped our toe into the international clubbing arena, toe being the optimum word, as it was the Supersized Pool Party in Paris where we did our first bit of international dipping, we have been yearning to fill our clubbing calendar with trips away from London to pastures new. Indeed, brilliant Berlin was to prove one of our most enchanting experiences of the year, capturing not just Hustlaball & Salvation, brands that we have been used to back here in the capital, but also jumped at the opportunity to take in a slice of the breathtaking Berghain. However, as good as both excursions to the German & the French capitals were, it was our Christmas cavorting with the Lovechild crew that was to top our year of outings, Antwerp proving to be the jewel in our crown of clubbing trips abroad. But hang on, this is sounding more like a yearly round up rather than a reflection of our latest trip, one that we had been so looking forward to since the date was announced back in September and a journey that was to prove both emotionally enthralling & enlightening.
Now, there is no surprise that Lovechild has been very much one of the biggest success stories of 2010, as not only has it survived the struggling Saturday market back in blighty, but is has well & truly thrived internationally, a whole string of superb showings at destinations that have included Amsterdam, Cologne, Istanbul, Paris, Rome and even Johannesburg & Sydney. However, probably its biggest bash & success was when it joined forces with the might of La Demence on their anniversary weekend, touching down on Antwerp’s Red & Blue club, presenting a special “Gods & Monsters” event which was a sell-out smash, reports coming in after the event that coach loads of people were still arriving at 4 a.m., a staggering five hours after the club had opened, to get a slice of this outrageously extravagant outing. So, with such as success on their hands, it was no surprise that the team from Red & Blue wanted Alex Erfan & his loveable team back for more, choosing Christmas Day as the next event in the emerging affair between Lovechild & Antwerp.
It is fair to say that Christmas now rarely gets us excited, we much preferring New Year as the time to act like we are still a child (well that’s stretching it a little), maybe more like a teenager (even that’s pushing it!) although this year was going to be oh so different as the day arrived with alarming speed and we found our early wakeup call speeding us across (under in fact) the channel to a snow swept Belgium and our rendezvous with Red & Blue, in the captivating company Lovechild’s head poncho Alex Efan and a supporting cast of D.J. Alessandro, host Chrissy Darling, P.A. Lizzie France & stage showsters Bruno Knight & Ben Brown. And with our best Christmas in recent memory already signed sealed & delivered by amazing Antwerp, not least by a welcome in our hotel that surpassed any we had experienced, we found ourselves at Red & Blue’s doors with our Lovechild lot, all ready to prepare for what we later discovered was the clubs first ever Christmas Day event, expectations suitably muted and being echoed by the chilly climate & sporadic snow showers outside, although nothing was going to dampen our spirits on Schipperskapelstraat.
Arriving early as we did, allowed us to take a look around the venue, a very smart and clean affair compared to compatriot clubs back in London, the bare brick wails giving the place a sophisticated feel, as were the modern industrial touches against the luminous lighting & traditional furnishings, all making for one of the most impressive interiors we had seen for a long time, the addition seasonal touches including a three massive Christmas trees suitably positioned for maximum effect, while the already luminous lighting was made even more breathtaking by a dangling display of neon blue lit streamers that made an sparkling statement. And with our first impressions box filled with a massive tick (a trademark of this whole weekend), resident D.J. Ruben Winters arrived to whisk us away for a chat & catch up, leaving the Lovechild lot to prepare for this very special Christmas cracker, while we took the chance to delve deeper on Ruben’s D.J.’ing in the comfortable surroundings of a local bar, before heading back to the lure of Lovechild. Despite expectations of a tepid turnout, the club had actually filled considerably by the early hour of midnight, we finding position at the top bar with Mr. Winters, having dropped our bits & bobs off in the dressing room & catching a moment with Alex, Chrissy & co. From our vantage point with Ruben, we could survey the territory in front of us, the dancefloor already pulsating with party heads, some even up on the stage & podiums, relishing the renditions of heavenly house music from resident D.J. Elof De Neve, we even getting to meet the man in motion behind the decks, Alex giving us an introduction to this charming chap & his crew.
Now we were keen to make the most of this Lovechild affair with Antwerp at Red & Blue, testing out a few spots on the dancefloor before settling on one that fitted the best, although on this occasion to the right rather than spookily was just shy of the D.J. booth on the right as opposed to our usual left, this position giving us a perfect view of the stage & the superb Red & Blue sign that dominated the space, as well as the bank of screens around, spotted by a simple swivel of the head. And it was here where we took in the full extent of not one, two or three, but five sparkling showings by the Lovechild cast of performers, first the delectable go-go dancers, centre-pieced by Bruno & Ben, both dressed to the high pins in suits that would later be stripped off to the delight of the amorous audience, then by host Chrissy Darling, sporting her colossal costume headpiece that has so become her trademark and finally by D.J. Alessandro assuming centre stage behind a smart set of decks balanced atop two massive modelled hands that made a superb statement of their own, the icing on the Lovechild “Christmas Party” cake being the arrival of prolific P.A. Lizzie French, who immediately captivated the crowd with her presence, pounding out a succession of dance tune smashes, including her very own “The Answer” EP release.
With the party in full swing and we having very much found our stride with the magnificent music from by Elof & Ale, mixes of euro-style and tech house beats blended in with uplifting & espaniol vocal master-pieces had us spinning in a dancing dervish just as though we were back in Beyond, the glances from fellow Red & Blue frolickers testament to some of the attention we were attracting with our audacious antics. But our night was only going to go from strength to strength with more introductions to folk from both Alex & Bruno, then, as we headed to the bar for refreshments, being caught by surprise by the small but perfectly formed & beaming Lesley, who had made our welcome in Antwerp so wonderful just a day before, was our cake icing. So, with a gracious return to his hospitality in hand, we spent some special moments with our angelic aide before duty called with a return to our spot to soak up the stream of shows & mesmeric music, which included Mr Knight’s angle grinding display, Lesley even joining us in our escapades for a short while, before retreating to the comfort of his own preferred spot (see we all have them!). Mind you he missed out in the continual plumes of snow & ticker tape that added to the amazing atmosphere, ice cannon blasts keeping the heat down but the party pace up, Chrissy adding her own cannon catapults from the stage to the delight of the dancefloor dudes below.
Such was the extent of our enjoyment, we were now firmly in clubbing overdrive, having very much over indulged in lots of ways, although we really wanted to savour all that Ruben Winters could deliver from his set, we doing our best to hold station for his showing, following the final curtain call from the Lovechild lot, who all assumed the stage for their spectacular serenade by Lizzie France. However, with this curtain call done, so were we, the extent our devotions turned to another, as we attempted to rally the troupes to join us in some magical minutes with Mr Middleton, we trying to grab Ruben’s attention before withdrawing from our spot to be by Lesley’s side. With Alex joining us for a moment, the others were obviously exhausted from their own outrageous escapades, not least Chrissy who had made a connection of her own with the cute cameraman which certainly climaxed her evening exceptionally, as had ours been for reasons & company of our own. So, with this Red & Blue affair coming to a close, we waved goodbye to the splendours of Schipperskapelstraat to wend our way back to our hotel, still floating in the clouds of complete captivation for the amazement of Antwerp Lovechild style.
It isn’t often that the place & the people exceed those of the music & motion in a clubbing event which we visit, whether home or abroad, although with the resounding brilliance of Red & Blue as a venue along with the cosmically captivating company we held throughout the night, they pretty much did & certainly spoke for our volumes. Yes we were immensely impressed with the performances of resident D.J.’s Elof De Neve & Ruben Winters, indeed they would certainly find favour even with the pickiest of party people in London, the contrasting styles of the two working extremely well with the progressive style of the club and Alessandro sandwiching the two like butter to bread. However, as good as they were, as good were the spectacular showings by Bruno & his boys, as well as Chrissy’s cavorting, it was the crowd, the venue and the company that tipped our scales, a more obliging, a more mixed and a more welcoming bunch of beauties we couldn’t have asked for. And whilst the club was never packed, considering it was their first Christmas Day outing & that the weather clearly had taken its toll, both Lovechild and Red & Blue should be well pleased with the outcome, as we know we were. Plus to leave the club & the city with our heads dreamily in the clouds and, five days later, still struggling to pull our feet back to the ground, is an incredible indication of the impression made on us during our amorous amazement in Antwerp, meaning we will be back for more for sure. (DISCO MATT)
We wanted to take this opportunity of thanking the following people, without whom our Christmas in Antwerp would not have been the splendidly special time it was, each and every person making it a Christmas to remember for a very long time to come. The list is in no particular order but cannot be complete without one, who has made an indelible impression us. So to Alex Erfan, Alessandro Londra, Ben Brown, Bruno Knight, Chrissy London Darling, Elof De Neve, J.d. Cerronez, Lesley Middleton, Lizzie Jane France, Patrik Danser, & Ruben Winters, thank you one & all.
Plus, why not get a slice of Lovechild at Red & Blue through the specially commissioned mix by Alessandro London, available to download at http://djalessandrolondra.podomatic.com/ as well as Ruben Winter’s recording of his set live at this “Christmas Ball” event which is out now at http://soundcloud.com/d-jayme/red-n-blue-december-02
When, on a typical June Saturday evening we made tracks to Vauxhall, post the “Purple In The Park” festival to continue our clubbing, little would we know that a certain named club beginning with B would transform our lives and become such a driving force in our clubbing exploits, although from the day it lunched onto an unsuspecting public, this amazing afterhours quickly became an institution for not just us, but whole hoards of hedonists that saw Sunday morning as the new Saturday night, a trend which has pretty much continued to this day. And whist our beloved afterhours took a short breather in 2006, amidst much inter promoter wrangling, we couldn’t have been happier when it returned to the clubbing calendar with the sort of clout that has rarely been seen in all the years we have been cavorting around the capital, the re-launch very much like its birth creating the kind of buzz that has rarely been seen since.
Whilst Trade was definitely the talk of the nineties, Beyond was brainwave of the noughties, pretty much eclipsing the former throughout its five year tenure at Colosseum in Vauxhall, hardly a week going by without us making a homage to this most amazing afterhours and as much as we missed Beyond while it was gone, we certainly re-adjusted to its return rapidly, acclimatising ourselves to new home Area with ease, since when both the club venue and the club brand has become, without doubt our favourite of all time, even overhauling Trade & even Crash in our top of the clubbing pops. So, when it came to deciding where & when to celebrate our birthday, the choice was clear, not least as it fell just a day short of our actual birthday, meaning that our bash at beyond was born, although we did somewhat resign ourselves to the fact that, given the time of year, most eyes would be on Christmas, so were not expecting a terrific turnout to mark our special day.
So with cousin Crisco’s Hard On! duties over, we were raring to go so set our course for Vauxhall and a rendezvous with Industri & close pal Stephen, who had put himself up in a local hostellery in advance of our arrival (well Barcode & Chariots to be precise), we finding our friend at the entrance to Area just short of 6 a.m. Having caught up on news with the terrific Tom who was, once again, masterminding everyone’s smooth entrance to Beyond, it was clear he had his hands full, plenty people trying to jump the queue but being firmly put in the place by the fervent Mr Fuller, so we left him to his devises, making our way through the embankment bar entrance, although nit before connecting with the colourful character that is Chrissy Darling, suitably attired in her trademark & fetching costume with “Beyond” lettering atop her tall crown.
Now we were inside and having dropped our belongings off in the coatcheck, were back in a pretty freezing embankment bar, waiting for expected guests to our birthday bash, while Hifi Sean was stirring up a storm of stupendous sounds back down in the Chapel room. And whilst we were very tempted to sink into Sean’s set, we were determined to stand our ground to greet our guests, although it was soon apparent that the cold weather & other excuses were going to keep many away, our hopes raised & heartened a little by first D’Johnny making his attendance known, soon followed by friends Graham & Hassan, like us, keen to get the party started. But with the crowds still flowing through the embankment entrance, making the terrace bar feel more like a freezer, we succumbed to the sounds of Sean & hit the Chapel room with pal Stephen, diving deep into dance delight, especially when, for two weeks in a row, Hifi heaped his heavenly house mix of the great “Get Busy” on us, sending us into a splendid spin on our spot in serenade to his selection.
With our birthday bash definitely gaining a head of steam, our mood was further boosted by the arrival of Andrea & her (so called) Czech crew, who were chomping at the bit for the main room to open, Beyond golden boy Steve Pitron expected to assume the decks for the 7 a.m. start., the hour came & went without a sign of the room being ready, the previous party having taken longer than expected to clear out. So, as people continued to stream in through the embankment entrance but couldn’t stand the chilly climate in the terrace room, crowded into the Chapel making the whole space & experience dreadfully uncomfortable, the extrovert Andrea voicing her unabated opinion on the subject with usual exuberance. But our exasperation with the delay was instantly turned to excitement as the space swung open and we flooded into the room, Andrea heading the stampede, we attracting Mr Pitron’s attention as we passed the D.J. booth, he pointing towards our spot signalling the direction we were heading.
Now our morning of celebration could really get under way, Mr Pitron immediately sending us into dancing delirium with a scintillating selection of terrific tunes, many heralding choices from his recent pitch perfect podcast, other pure Beyond beats that had the main room packed to the rafters within minutes, revellers up on the podiums and the stage towards the back, the amazing Area lighting & visuals at full tilt we savouring every second of Steve’s stunning set. And with friends Andrea & Stephen at hand, a veritable feast of familiar faces either passed us or joined us to celebrate in style, including Lee’s Harris & Yeomans passing by, Clington Forbes breaking into dance in front of us, Nick Evans careering up to us and exaggerating our age by just a few years (how rude!), even South African Graham Mellors trying out his dextrous dance steps on us, all adding to the awesome atmosphere that was developing. But when Industri’s finest & scene hostess with the mostest Minty arrived, surprising us in our spot, our morning could only get better, as it did, with Minty moving & grooving with us, then the gorgeous dancer Mark passing us by & giving the kind of smile that would melt a thousand icebergs.
Then is if all that wasn’t great enough, the best was yet to come as our brilliant Beyond resident pulled our signature tune out of his bag, the tremendous TV Rocks remix of Zoe Baldwin’s “Release Me” running into the original to send the whole place wild, not least us, our “Doing The Disco Matt” moves that we had been warming up from the start of Steve’s set, now working overtime to the prolific pace of Pitron’s precision perfect pick. However, even we could not have expected the surprise to come, as a hand waved us in the direction of the D.J. booth door and Steve led us up the stairs and behind the decks, immediately demand that we do the Disco Matt in that very position, onlookers below aghast at our antics, especially Stephen & Andrea who had crowded into our spot to survey our shenanigans. And we were well & truly lapping up our moment in the main room, a better birthday present we could never have asked for, Steve insisting we stay up in our privileged place for a while longer, although our moment in the limelight made us a tad over excited as well as overheated, so we graciously returned to our usual spot to soak up the remainder of his set.
With the morning going absolutely swimmingly, the arrival of further friends called us away from the main room madness, although not before catching incumbent D.J. Alan K who would round off our birthday in superb style with a stonking set. However, it was another Alex who was grabbing our attention, Alex Erfan waiting on the terrace to wish us birthday greetings and with Tom & Chrissy Darling in close attendance, we headed back for the bar & a very welcome bottle of champagne to toast our special day, we being incredibly touched by Mr Lovechild’s gesture & indeed his presence, Alex having made the effort whereas a number of people had disappointingly not. Mind you, after the magical moment in the main room D.J. booth & the captivating company we held throughout the morning, we walked away from Beyond at just turned midday, very happy with our lot and with a further private party to go to later that day, when we would catch up with a score or two of other friendly faces, all imparting birthday wishes, we couldn’t have asked for much more.
As much as we love a bit of variety in our life, what do they say? “…variety is the spice of life…”, we also tend to be quite regimented with our existence, so some constants in our week are an essential part of our existence. And in Beyond, that is exactly what we have, a constant that acts like a clubbing rock, somewhere that we can retreat to when all else fails or when we are riding the crest of the clubbing wave & want to stay standing on our board until the last shimmers of the wave have died down. So, in choosing Beyond as the place for our birthday bash was a foregone conclusion and, despite some initial hiccups, it once again delivered in bucket loads. It was so heartening to see so many faces come & celebrate with us too, in a time when focus is much more on Christmas than birthday’s and whilst some important people in our lives were missing, the crowd that turned up more than re-addressed the balance. And as for our defining birthday moment?, well it had to be Mr Pitron & our “Disco Matting” antics in the main room D.J. booth, something we will remember for a long time to come, indeed probably never forget, or want to. (DISCO MATT)
We want to take this opportunity to futher thank the following poeple for making our birthday celebration so special. The list is in no particular order but includes Aaron Elder, Alan K, Alex Erfan, Andrea Drudikova, Chrissy London Darling, Clington Forbes, Daniel Elder, Gonzalo Rivas, Hassan Hatoum, Hifi Sean Dickson, Johnny D’Johnny Cermann, Minty, Nick Evans, Phillip Giovanni Chiarella, Stephen Davies, Steve Pitron, Tom Fuller & evryone else that came up to say hi & happy birthday. For those of you that were mssing, you definately missed out.
Around this time of year our life begins to fill with traditions, Christmas Eve for example signalling roast gammon, mashed potato & plenty of red wine over the classic film “Oliver”, while no Christmas morning can ever now be complete without the compulsory champagne & smoked salmon, while sinking into the magic that is “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. And whist at this time of year we find ourselves headlong into disco, there has been a developing trend in recent times for us also to delve into the darker side of our clubbing, no not quite in the Star Wars vein (no sign of Darth Vader here!), more in the x-rated one, a particular venue & club playing host to our saucy shenanigans & making sure we get our fair share of seasonal stuffing. So whilst Fagan & Bill Sykes engrossed us on Christmas Eve & Caratacus Potts catapulted us through Christmas Day, it was far less Chitty Chitty, more Bang Bang come Boxing day last year when we relived another tradition and paid a visit to Suzie Krueger’s sex fuelled happening at Hidden
However this year, like two years ago when our latest tradition began, Hard On! moved back to its former slot of the last Saturday before Christmas, meaning that our birthday had to come early again, well two days early to be precise, although our birthday bonk was somewhat put on hold by a nasty stomach complaint which had laid us low for a while now, we taking the wise choice not to subject our delicate innards to the delights of the darkroom, rather allowing our cousin Crisco Matt to step into our shoes & make his Hard On! & review debut in full on debaucherous fashion. So, it was a case of us having to hand over the reins, but run down a few essentials to our cousin, the club having held sway in the capital for well over eight years & still going strong, we filling Crisco in on the finer elements of Suzie’s raunchy romp, especially recalling life as far back as the days of Fist as well as the terrific time we had just last year in the horny hands of Hard On!
So, it was now definitely a case of Move Over Disco It’s Time For Crisco, the leather chaps zipped up, the hair adjusted & the camp changed for the butch as, we , Crisco took charge, making our way down to Hidden for not long before midnight and a warm welcome from the door & core Hard On! team that were holding fort for Ms Kruegar, who was taking a well earned rest & relaxation break in her beloved Goa. With a feeling in our loins that was far less Goa and much more goer, we headed into in club proper, having been waved through by the ever engaging Pieers, finding our way up to the cloakroom to strip ourselves of unwanted clothing, although nowhere near as much as some around us, who were down to jocks boots are barely much more, bare very much being the name of the game, inhibitions having been left at the door while intentions were definitely not.
With our rather conservative dress down done, we re-entered the cruise bar, which was filling nicely with an a-typical Hard On! bunch of brain & brawn types, with much in between, a more mixed bag you couldn’t have asked for, from guys dressed in NYC Police uniforms, to others trussed in harnesses of all shapes & sizes, from the part clothed to the fully naked, they were all there, even one guy sporting a Santa hat if you please while others wrapped up in rubber outfits vied for attention. So, with plenty to gaze our eyes on, we found a spot at the corner of the bar, grabbing some energy boosting refreshments to set us up for this sex fest of a pre Chrimbo canter, we skilfully surveying our territory, but definitely watching our P’s & Q’s while faces familiar made their advances, including a scantily dressed Toby & an equally so Jamie, both making the understandable mistake of recognising Crisco as Disco, although our more dead pan demur doing its best to deceive otherwise.
With our initiation pretty much up, it was time to delve into that dark side, the infamous playroom to be précise, we immediately finding ourselves at home with the video visuals being displayed on the big screen, an oiled up individual penetrating another in a way that we Crisco lovers know best, while there was plenty of other moaning & groaning going on in other parts of this darkened delight of a den. Advancing in further and allowing our inhibitions to run away with ourselves, we came very close to succumbing to the sling in front of us, although with Disco’s dilemma in mind, we held back a bit, rather finding a spot by the side to view proceedings, more as a voyeur rather than a voyager, our pulse nevertheless pumping as plenty around us were doing the humping, this fetish frolic clearly in full swing.
Now we were hot under the collar and raring to dive deeper into the delights of Hard On!, racing back to the cloakroom to discard more of our clothing & apparel accessories, our shorn shirt style making us feel much more at home in this horny happening and much more at ease with our lot. So, it was back into the cruise bar we went, soaking up the sordid sounds of resident D.J. Dmak, who was certainly capturing the crowd and the mood with his masterful music, although we had more than an eye of the main room, which was due to sport other incumbent, Brent Nicholls, our glance towards the door catching the glaze of a very butch muscleman, his stripped & rippling torso tingling our taste buds sufficiently so to cause lateral leverage in our loins. With our excitable e zones suitably energised and with the main room madness about to commence, we took our leave of the cruise area, diving quickly back into the darkroom for some more skulduggery spotting, before deciding on the dancefloor as the direction of our devotions for a while.
Finding a spot just left of the D.J. booth (why does that sound familiar – Disco would have been proud of us) we had a perfect vantage point of the dance space below, our elevated position allowing us to express our enjoyment of this fetish frolic with dextrous dance moves to the macho music the man in charge was churning out. And it was in our select spot that we found man of the moment, Brent Nicholls in full flight, his assault of full on funky & humped up house raising the roof of the red room with rapturous reception, the whole space spinning to his sounds & the podiums full horny hunks, baring their assets for all to see. Indeed, with plenty of x-rated action going on right in front of our noses, two men engaged in intercourse & not of the conversation kind, the heat of the play area had nothing on this main space, our energy levels elevated enough for us to enact our own version of Disco Matting (it’s a new verb you know!), a slightly more sedate slant on our cousins overt antics, very much the butch end of camp.
By now we were totally engrossed in our Hard On! experience, trading the red room for the playroom & back again, the dancing delighting just as much as the fornicating was thrilling, our insatiable desire to get down & dirty in the dark every bit as strong as the need to display our dancing dervishness, our nonstop activity only momentarily interrupted by mercy missions for refreshments. And our attention to the main room madness would be rewarded with not one but two showings by horny hunks on the podiums, Bruno Knight & his partner in fetish filth falling just short of all out orgasmic intent, although there was plenty of that going on next door to more than make up. Yet with the choice between dance or play becoming increasingly difficult, such was the draw of both, that eventually our minds were cast towards to next instalment in our evening, at least a rendezvous with Disco for his birthday bash at Beyond, the 6 a.m. start not that long away. So, with reluctance yet with the knowledge that we had enjoyed our lot, we picked up our bits & bobs, waved bye to Brent and headed out from Hidden and home to harness our thoughts on this latest Hard On! happening, handing the party reins back to Disco for his morning of birthday bashing at Beyond.
Comparing notes with previous Hard On! visits, it was clear on this occasion that numbers were a little down, although with the freak weather that had plunged the capital into snow covered splendour, the freezing conditions may have been partly to blame for the tacit turnout. However, the people that pushed aside the plummeting temperatures outside, certainly turned up the heat inside, the playroom as busy as always and more than enough dancing devotees around to ensure the main room atmosphere remained sufficiently stoked, while clearly there were many more next door that were being poked. And given this latest experience of Suzie’s fetish frolic, there is no doubt in our mind that there is enough fervent following to ensure its survival in what are pretty tough trading times, the team just need to keep doing what they do and the crowds will keep coming, most likely in more ways than one. As for us?, well we certainly had a terrific time, so having gotten the taste for all this, we will definitely be filling Disco Matt’s boots next time round, and hopefully someone else’s too. (CRISCO MATT)
Never has any club ever felt quite so close to our hearts (well with the possible exception of Beyond) as it was this club that signalled our birth come creation and one that forged a number of close friendships that mean so much to us. Both as a social soiree & a weekly clubbing event, it has been a staple part of our lives for the whole of its existence, having been launched as more of an experiment back in January 2008, although quickly establishing itself as a household name on the social & clubbing calendar. And in its home, Barcode Vauxhall, this club night has sported some truly enthralling events, from birthdays to bank holiday’s, pre-parties to post celebrations, not to mention having witnessed much mixed fortune in a scene where many have failed to survive, while it has continued relatively unscathed.
Industri very much captured our imagination on that momentous January just under three years ago, and whilst we have seen many changes throughout its relatively short history, many constants have remained, not least the friends & faces that make this club so special Yes, there have been some unfortunate developments, the halting of the back-to-back D.J.’s sessions by the dynamic duo of Paul Heron & Brent Nicholls, their duties being split into alternate weeks, the removal of the original weekly go-go dancers, two of a few moves that met with disapproval by the faithful, although at least in Barcode Vauxhall, Industri had secured a rightful home and a place where it could really associate its identity, attracting all those supporters that make this club the special social soiree that it is. However, when the shocking news hit that Industri was possibly to be no more, much rallying was required and a rescue package secured, seeing our treasured weekly wonder survive, but on a new day and at a new destination, meaning we simply had to be there as it closed one door & opened another in its heavenly history.
So, the final fling of Industri as we know it (or as we now knew it) was to be the first Thursday in December, the capital in the grip of some pretty freezing weather, although nothing that was going to keep us away from making our final homage to our favourite Thursday nighter, driven on by the prospect that faces both new & old were going to make this a farewell to remember. Plus, with Paul Heron taking charge of the decks, we were sure to be in for a feast of Industri anthems, or at least plenty of superb sounds to serenade this special evening in our lives. Arriving at just on the stroke of 10 p.m., we entered a pretty desolate Barcode, the usual buzz & mix of off duty scene figures, club kids & social butterflies, distinctly absent from this final fling of our favourite club night brand. But within minutes there was a veritable stream of familiar faces flooding in, Industri pals of old Chris, Stephen, Paul & Terry making their impressions on our attention, while the hostess with the mostest, Minty, swished in, immediately lifting the lack lustre atmosphere and bringing a hearty smile to our faces.
Popping our bits & bobs behind the D.J. booth, we found it mysteriously absent of an incumbent Mr Heron, although our planned early arrival had been hampered by rampaging students which had seemingly brought the transport network to a grinding halt, yet it was then mere moments before Paul pounced on us to take his spot and kick start this final Vauxhall based Industri in earnest. And by golly did he get our attention or what, a whole string of classic Hed Kandi style house hits that gave this Minty meet an extra special feel, admittedly not quite what we had been expecting from the musical might of our man behind the decks, but a delightful delectation nevertheless that captured the moment magnificently. Then, it was just as though the music had met a mass of ears outside as Barcode flourished with folk that wanted to join the party, filling out Industri for its final foray on this side of town, the influx including pal Tom Fuller, D.J. & crazy man Craig Daniels, who had his posse in close call, the colossal character that is Frank, the equalling endearing Clington and plenty more besides, all dropping in to wave a fond farewell to this Thursday institution.
Now this eventful evening was in full swing, Paul having picked up the pace of the music, bringing us bang up to date to some barnstorming beats & dancefloor anthems, many of which had been a feature of Industri’s recent history and with the drinks suitably flowing, including the famed “Sassy Bitch” shots, we sunk into the night, savouring each & every final moment of his last Industri outing before its move across the river to Soho, everyone entering onto the spirit of the event with gusto, not least our pal Stephen who was the source of much entertainment & hilarity throughout the night, especially when he precariously balanced himself between the bar top and the floor, feeling slightly sozzled from his indulgence in the spirits. So, with the final moments of a truly enthralling night arriving all too soon, it was time to toast the success that had been Industri & Vauxhall & look forward to the West End debut of Minty & her men the following Wednesday.
And so we jump a week and jump a venue, Industri’s hop skip & jump of a move from Barcode to Barcode finding it situating itself in Soho and with the anticipation of a new dawn & a new life on a new day, the switch from a Thursday to a Wednesday part of the package, along with a launch event heralding the return of the much loved & missed back-to-back D.J. duo format of Brent Nicholls & Paul Heron, which had so much been the magic of the original formula of this splendid social soiree. Plus, with the Soho crew oozing excitement that Industri had made the switch, throwing their wholehearted support behind the brand, there was much hope that the transition would prove a tremendous one and give our favourite foray some fresh new dynamism. And, despite feeling pretty much under the weather with a recurring stomach complaint, wild horses would not have kept us away from this new chapter in Industri’s history.
So, with the prospect of our threesome reunited for this special launch, we arrived in Soho not long after the revised 9 a.m. start, interestingly the original timing when Industri was launched back in 2008, but like a number of unwelcome modifications at the time, was shifted back an hour, moves instigated by the bar’s management team very much changing the complexion of the club somewhat, indeed this move itself, from Vauxhall to Soho & from Thursday to Wednesday, altering Industri’s appeal to its faithful who have supported the brand through thick & thin. But then, we Industri stalwarts are made of sturn stuff, so nothing was going to stop us supporting this switch, indeed as we entered the doors of Barcode on Archer Street, we were pleasantly surprised to see a selection of faces that had made the curtain call the previous week, present again, although were nearly as struck with the absence of the third link in the terrific Industri trio of Minty Brent & Paul, Mr Heron mysteriously missing & no news of his apparent absence.
But with a delivery in hand, the Candyman had arrived, the now traditional supply of strawberry strings & liquorice allsorts raising the usual rapturous response from both Brent & Minty, while we retired to the bar to seek refreshments, catching up with Industri faithful’s Chris & Stephen, two faces that, like us, had been there right from the start back in 2008 and, like us, had seen the fortunes of the club wax & wane, although, like us, have remained wholly supportive of the club brand through good times & bad. But we digress, so back to the action, Barcode Soho buzzing with an eclectic crowd of Soho socialites & transient others, some none the wiser to this Industri event, as, save for Brent & Minty’s presence, there was no real indication anywhere in Barcode that this was a special night. However, this mattered not one wit to us as our attention was firmly on our pals, we entering into the spirit of the evening with Chris, Stephen & a whole collection of people who passed by to mark the occasion of Industri’s arrival in Soho, familiar faces including Polish boys Maruisz & Norbert, the adorable Suzana Quentin and off duty D.J.’s Joe Publik & Stewart Who, all popping by to give Industri the new start it thoroughly deserved.
And with Mr Nicholls on fire behind the booth, selecting a whole string of superb sounds, our captivated corner was alight with action, Chris, the Polish boys & even Stephen trading dance moves with us, very much in the “Doing The Disco Matt” vein that, for a few moments at least, banished all thoughts of our grumbling & quite painful stomach compliant that had been plaguing us, the dancing distracting us sufficiently, not least when he pulled out our favourite tune of now, the truly brilliant & funky re-work of “Now Or Never”, which had our name written all over it, along with plenty of others. But, with the drinks downing & the conversation flowing, the 1 a.m. finish arrived all too quickly, although it being a healthy indication that a good time had been by all, Minty and her mini Industri posse of people deciding to continue the partying over at The Shadow Lounge, while we chose a charge home to reflect on this Industri re-launch with intent & interest.
Now the best way for us to sum this reflection on our most favourite social soiree & clubbing brand (and believe us we care about Industri so much) is to look at it in two parts, the old & the new. So what of the old? Well, as we have already said but need to re-enforce, Industri has been so much a part of our lives and has been responsible for forging such strong friends & friendly relationships, some of which have truly transformed our lives, that we care deeply for this club. The memories it holds in its now former yet original home, will remain with us, perhaps forever and having been established in Vauxhall, it still feels the rightful place for Industri. Yes the nights of late may not have packed out the place, but for us, it filled an important gap in the market and the Thursday slot was found to be so appealing in so many ways, so whilst the club has now moved on, the memories of its time here will live on, through the many pictures & fond recollections that time will never fade.
As for the new?, well it is a new……a new dawn, a new day & a new life for Industri which we sincerely hope the team behind it, but especially the host venue management, embrace with enthusiasm, which we sure they will. Yet, the stark reality is that, despite this being a re-launch, the absence of weekly rag press coverage as well as the distinct lack of any sort of identity to set Industri aside from just another regular night at Barcode, left us feeling that this so called new dawn was more like a false one. And as for the new day, Wednesday’s have never really been associated with being a clubbing night, and as one person aptly put it, it’s now an extra day of work to struggle through, whereas at least with Thursday’s it felt like the start of the weekend. That said, Industri at Barcode Soho is very much in its infancy and maybe time is what the club needs to find its feet, but as time waits for no man, we fear that unless it can strike that very necessary identity, not least through the full weight of publicity & promoting behind it, then it may become just another sad statistic in a string of soiree’s that have sunk without trace. Did we leave this re-launch with spirits high?, well maybe not, but as high spirits have always been part of Industri’s makeup, high spirited people, high spirited music & high spirited entertainment, we will be back, with high spirits, high hope & high expectation that this, our splendid social soiree, will serenade Soho for a long time to come. (DISCO MATT)
In recognition of Industri both past & present, we thought it appropriate to share a special compilation mix from resident D.J. Brent Nicholls, marking the re-launch with a collection of terrific tracks, many of which received airplay during the evening of 15th. With the 72 minutes of magnificent music kicking off with the very apt “Gotta Move On”, this masterpiece also includes the amazing Lizzat & Voltaxx remix of the classic “Now Or Never, as well as a clever re-work of George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex”, to mention just two gems, to get your piece of Industri memorabilia, go his website or to direct link http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2010/12/13/podcast-industri-2010-gotta-move/
Without doubt, the clubbing scene in the capital has taken quite a beating over the last few months, even some of the biggest brands not being impervious to the ravages of the tough trading climate that businesses see themselves within, so attracting the numbers through their doors that used to be a given, is becoming the single most demanding challenge. However, one brand has quietly & consistently performed where others have either failed, its regular monthly outings never breaking the bank, but filling a much needed gap in the Saturday market that, for reasons beyond us, has become one of the most difficult nights of any weekend. And it was this Saturday slot that seemed to be the making of the brand, its promoter, Alex Erfan, quickly switching from the original Sunday tea-dance format early into its history, also very much bucking the trend that, when you move a club from one venue to another, it generally it signals the end or at least the fall-out of favour, this brand, rather than failing, actually going from strength to strength.
Lovechild has very much become one of the sole Saturday survivors in a market that has seen the demise of some massive brands over the last twelve months, Juicy having had the rug pulled from beneath its feet, Matinee, which had suffered in numbers during 2009 following a fateful move of venues, losing its focus & direction further, while even the might of SuperMartXe has encountered problems, although more due to bad organisation rather than a drop in popularity. So, through all this, Lovechild has forged its own path, continuing to keep its offer as fresh as possible, with imaginatively themed events, coupled with the influx of international D.J. talent to attract, thus giving it the longevity it has developed, the brand also successfully touring around the world, from as far as Australia, to as close as Amsterdam, indeed with this weekend looking one of their busiest, parties in the Dutch capital, as well as in Rome & back here in the capital, we can safely say that the Lovechild story is one of success for sure.
So, with a last minute impromptu visit to Italy quashed, wild horses were not going to keep us away from Fire, even though we were feeling distinctly under the weather, our determination to make it to this latest Lovechild party, spurred on by the arrival of French fancy and friend Leomeo, who was due to headline the sparkling D.J. line up across the three rooms. Mind you, we were also keen to see the new look main space of host venue Fire, as well as supported Nhamo Ball & the “official” launch of his new Mirrorballs website, this Lovechild event having further meaning for us, as it signalled the brands continual support for The National AIDS Trust, a cause & concern close to our hearts. Therefore, it was a given we would be at the “Mirrorballs” party, making plans to meet up with pals Stephen & Benoit beforehand, a liaison at local hostillery Barcode, seeing us arrive at Fire’s doors not long after midnight.
Being greeted by Lovechild’s organisational guru, Andrew Jones, we left our pals to their own devices, while Andrew gave us a guided tour of the new main entrance as well as the upstairs VIP room and the new bar space below, we being immediately taken aback by just how much more modern that changes had made the place feel, adding a smart & sophisticated edge to what had always struck us as a bit council house in complexion, the sleek new brick work, the superbly stated lighting the exuberant VIP space, the brilliant new bar & the modernistic feel helped along by banks of flat screens, on this night projecting Lovechild visuals for all to see. And turning to face the D.J. booth down the other end, we immediately acknowledged that this main room at Fire has definitely come of age, a little tweaking still necessary (more speakers by the bar please!), but the whole new look space a vast improvement on the old & unrecognisable from the original space back in 2001.
But we digress and with friends in two & having been surprised by main man Alex Erfan who caught us gazing down the dancefloor, we moved close to the stage to find our spot, Fire’s main room as yet not yielding a favoured position, although just left of the stage & D.J. booth behind seemed the best option. And from our vantage point, we were close enough to the action, yet able to spot the flood of familiar faces passing us by, like us deciding where to lay their hat at this Mirrorball event, our gaze being caught by incumbent D.J’s Nick Wolanski & Sharon O Love, as well as hostess with the mostest, Chrissy Darling, who was certainly cutting a stride & attracting the camera clicking crowd with her cavorting. However, eyes were now on the stage as the first of a series sex fuelled stage shows began, four fulsome fellows strutting their stuff & flexing their massive muscles to the rapturous reception of the now cramped main room space, a flood of people pouring in from the “love” lounge space where Gabriele Cutrano was masterminding the music.
With the party now in full swing and guest Sharon O Love in situ, the music took on a truly uplifting pace to match the elevated atmosphere, momentarily driven in another direction by new all-Male group Elixir Burlesque, who certainly made a statement with their extrovert yet elegant dancing displays, craftily choreographed by industry star Marcos White, the variety show feel to their performance in stark contrast to the all our pornographic displays of Thiago Drewery’s dancers come strippers, yet this very variety giving Lovechild’s latest outing a new and interesting dimension. With a short break for refreshments over, we were back in the main room and standing right next to our French fancy, Leomeo having arrived to take up his duties behind the decks, the amazing act of Miss O Love a tough one to follow, although if there was anyone to take the music on a tribal, tech & funky filled jubilant journey, it was our man Mr Carandang, his string of selections hitting immediate approval with us and the main room revellers that were lapping up every tasty morsel of Leomeo’s magnificent music.
Venturing for a moment of two into the now opened Mirrorarch room, it was clear Nick Wolanski was stirring up a storm with his superb sounds, tough tech & full on euro-style house that was certainly drawing a crowd, although we felt the pull of our Frenchman in the main room, arriving back in our spot in time for one of the sexiest model strippers we had seen anywhere, slowly peeling off his army clothing & taunting the crowd with his alluring moves, all making for one of the most erotic shows we had seen at any Lovechild party we had witnessed to date. But matching this muscular man fest, was Leomeo with his music, working the crowd like the pure professional he is, mixing in plenty of dance anthems with his trademark tribal & tech beats that had the room pumping to his precision perfect performance. And such was the enthralling extent of this fantastic Frenchman’s magnificent music, that, despite feeling very much under the weather with crippling stomach cramps, we still managed to dance in our usual dervishness for the remainder of his scintillating set, banishing all thoughts of our tumble dry like tummy, rather spinning on our spot in recognition of his brilliant beats.
With Leomeo’s love-in at Lovechild over, we joined our French fancy for a breather outside to make plans for a further liaison during his stay in the capital, before waving farewell to him & companion Franc, we returning to the main room action & Lee Harris now in charge, very much gearing up the pace for Beyond afterwards, plenty of euphoric euro-beats intermixed with heavenly house hits that had the place well & truly pumping, even the might of Pagano struggling to hold a crowd in the Mirrorarch, although our Italian stallion was certainly waving his magical wand as we sped in to say hello, a far from empty room lapping up his progressive & tech tunes with gusto. But, such was our stomach rumblings that we had to grace our leave of this latest Lovechild party, saying our farewells to those that we could find, both Simon Patrick & Andrew Jones seeing us safely out of the club & on our journey home to muster some strength to face a foray to Beyond.
Having been regular visitors to Lovechild parties since they were launched in London, we have seen our fair share of successes and despite the Saturday slot being a difficult one of late, Alex Erfan & his team have to be commended for keeping the brand as fresh as possible and offering up alternative entertainment & themes at every turn. Whilst the numbers weren’t quite a buoyant as the best turnouts, there were certainly plenty of people to go around two of the three rooms, although there is a train of thought that errs towards two rather than three as the best format. That said, the stage shows were certainly superb, the strippers going down extremely well, as did the burlesque performance that added suitable variety to the night. But as is usual for us, the music shone the most and Leomeo’s performance did particularly, he crafting his choices to cater for the crowd and hitting our sweet spot with his selections from start to finish, he finding favour, as we did, with the new look main room at Fire, which is a marked improvement on the old. And, with news that our French Fancy will be back for more in March, we will definitely be there for that, although with Antwerp on our doorstep & then more Lovechild lusciousness at As One on NYD, our affair with Alex Erfan’s outing looks set to continue unabated & we love it. (DISCO MATT)
If you happened to miss out on this latest Lovechild with Leomeo, fear not as our Parisian pal has laid down a special compilation to mark his guest slot set, which is a collection crammed full of tech, tribal & funky inspired dance tunes that had us hooked from the off & will you too we are sure. So to grab your copy of this magnificent mix which includes tracks fromDanny Teneglia, David Penn, Shazz & much more, go to http://soundclound.com/djleomeo.
It would be fair to say that, over the years, we have seen our fair share of launches, whether it be new club venues or brands, new bars, new magazines or even the latest innovative product, indeed we have seen a handful of premieres, plenty of new ventures and lots more in between. So, we have, as the saying goes, been there & done that, not least when it comes to porno flicks, we having filled our video cabinet (yes were are talking video age!) with all manner of x rated entertainment from an early age, then in a previous guise, were used to seeing sex on the small screen on a daily basis, so have had more than our fair share of hot, horny humping, in fact we have seen pretty much everything, from good to bad, to indecent and to downright dirty. That said, when the chance comes up to sample something new, we rarely resist, especially if it has musclebound men involved (how shallow of us). So with this very tempting prospect on our doorstep which we were able to combine with a peek at the revised look of one of our favourite Soho sophisticate hangouts, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that we would be hot footing our way down Wardour Street to the delights of Profile Bar and the treats of some drop dead gorgeous bare chested beauts.
Men At Play, as the name suggests, places its business firmly in the male sex porn market, on online business that has developed a considerable following since a full-on launch just over 18 months ago. Indeed with well over 100 models on their books, the Men At Play crew have certainly made a mark on this very competitive industry, having to date produced two glossy books, “Ready To Play” & “”Business Affairs”, on top of scores of movies available online, whether in their “Solo”, “Hardcore”, or “Backstage” categories, as well as two full length features in their “Executive Pleasures” series of DVD’s, both the books & the films showing them to be very much at the business end of the male market, in more ways than one, the suited & booted brigade market very much catered for by their productions. And of those models, with stunners like Alex Marte, Damien Crosse, Max Shutler, Carlos Rivas, & Marco Blaze on their books, as well as close to home hunks Ben Brown & Bruno Knight, there is little or no surprise that suits soon get stripped, ties unknotted and shiny shoes shorn in favour of man on man all out action that would get even the most strong willed well & truly hot under the collar.
So, when news hit our desks that the boys (well men actually) were launching a new DVD, simply entitled “Gentlemen”, choosing Profile Bar in Soho as the venue for this special event, promising a collection of their models suited & booted (well, from the waist down at least!) on hand to promote the new flick, we thought what better way to fire up our Friday than in the hands of the Men At Play crew. But when we also heard that the team behind Profile, had instigated some nip & tuck improvements, it was an absolute must that we hot footed it down to Wardour Street, arriving at Profiles doors at not long after 8 p.m. (yes late again, don’t!) the Men At Play boys having been doing the rounds since 6 p.m., definitely injecting plenty of pump to proceedings, although Phil Marriott was more than making his mark, with some masterful music that had the place swinging as we found our spot by the newly positioned & designed D.J booth.
Now, as much as we were impressed with the changes the team had made to Profile (more of that in a minute), we couldn’t help but notice the drop dead gorgeous hunks wandering around the bar, clip boards in hand & approaching customers with their alluring looks & even more enticing assets, collars & ties traded for the bare chested look that we had been so much looking forward to, indeed when Phil pointed out a rather fetching tall & toned (well more beefcake brawn & heavenly hunk actually) Italiano looking number, who for some reason, kept wandering past but actually not approaching us with his board (damn!) our gaze was pretty much transfixed on him rather than what we should have been looking at, the changes to Profiles layout. So, with refreshments in hand & the night already looking like slipping into one of debauchery & madness with Mr Marriot (we do love our Friday’s at Profile), we took a moment to survey the new look & territory, squeezing past & around the substantial crowd that had developed, the changes apparent to the eye, as a sizeable amount of the booth seating had been removed to make much more standing room, although the biggest improvement was the addition of a permanent D.J. booth, now properly positioned next to the bar, thus giving the D.J. a full view of his audience rather than being tucked away in the corner as before. And Phil was definitely revelling in this new found spot to select his sounds, very much being able to connect with the crowd more, who were also appreciative of the change, many dancing & prancing to Phil’s heavenly house tunes.
But, as much as the night was a celebration of the changes to Profile, it was more about Men At Play & their new DVD “Gentlemen”, excerpts of the film flick being shown on the widescreen for all to see, although our attention kept being grabbed by the hoard of hunks parading around the place and very much adding sex & seduction to the sophistication of this Soho spot. Yet, as much as we wanted the gorgeous Italiano to make his advances, it was Bruno Knight & Ben Brown that made it to us first, thrusting their clipboards in our direction (no not for our autograph silly!) with the temptation of a free “Gentlemen” DVD on offer in a special competition being run for the night, we handing over our details with gay abandon, while Ben & Bruno framed an impromptu camera shot of us for posterity, Mr Knight then hilariously grooming his broad hairy covered chest with a fetching pink comb, both butch & camp colliding calamitously.
With proceedings at full swing and Profile getting busier by the minute, we turned our attention to our pal Phil, who was laying down some serious sounds both for the bar & for Gaydar Radio’s ClubNation show, which broadcasts live from Soho each Friday night. Indeed, Friday’s in this format have become quite an institution of late for us, many an evening extending into a night, generally downstairs in Lo-Profile, which often spots favourites including Brent Nicholls, D’Johnny & the dynamic duo of Steve Pitron & Mikey D, this occasion being no different as both Beyond boys were down to play, making the decision to extend our evening an easy one. But that was all to come, we having planned a liason with Brent Nicholls round the corner in Rupert Street first, although the planned 9 p.m. meet was fast slipping, as we simply couldn’t tear ourselves away from the magnificent music of Mr Marriott and the muscle-bound Men At Play porn parade, no surprise really, as both elements, the music & the men, were too much to resist elevating an already amazing atmosphere even more, we fully engaged & engrossed in this enthralling environment.
However, with a mercy message in from Mr Nicholls, we made a dash to share our devotions for a while, although the draw of the Men At Play movements was to see us back at Profile in plenty of time to take in more of those drop dead gorgeous guys, still suited & booted but definitely shirtless and raring to show more downstairs in Lo-Profile. And with both Phil & us very much in the mood, the shots of Sambuca flowing & the prospect of another night of naughty but nice audacious action ahead, we hot footed it downstairs, descending into delightful debauchery in the hands of Beyond boys Dower & Pitron, Steve in particular in very playful mood, mimicking our “Doing The Disco Matt” dance moves, much to the delight & hilarity of a whole collection of clubbers & familiar faces who joined us in our jovial jaunt, the Men At Play crew adding their own sexual spice with seductive & saucy stage showings to round off what ended up being another fabulous Friday in captivating company.
In Profile Bar we have very much found a venue that seems to deliver all the elements that we have come to enjoy in an evening of entertainment, Friday especially hitting the mark with increasing regularity, not least as the whole atmosphere of the place seems to be pitched perfectly, all helped along by the terrific team both behind the scenes & our front, but moreover in the music from Mr Marriott, whose tremendous talent for selecting the most superb sounds has impressed us immensely, so much so, that Friday’s are never quite the same without some fun with Phil. Then, you add to the mix, the Men At Play crew and there was no wonder that this event will go down as one of our favourites of the year, Bruno Knight & his team of bared chested beaut’s certainly providing plenty of eye candy entertainment throughout the evening, meaning we will definitely be paying a visit to their online site very soon and can’t wait for their next DVD launch event, especially if that attractive tall & toned Italiano is around again. (DISCO MATT)
If like us, you simply can’t wait for the next DVD launch and want to get your hands on some suited & booted seduction, why not go visit the Men At Play website and even become a member, which will gain you access to all those online x-rated films of Alex, Ben, Damien, Marco & many more in action, plus galleries and their online shop, all at the tip of your fingers by going to http://menatplay.com/.
Well, doesn’t it look very festive outside, although, as usual London seems to grind to a halt with the mere whiff of any adverse weather, indeed having been out there today, everything & everyone seems to have slowed to snail’s pace, planes have been grounded, people stranded & roads impassable. However, we are definitely made of stronger stuff, so no amount of snow is going to stop us in our tracks and from celebrating our birthday with our brilliant bash tomorrow morning (Sunday 19th December).
So, the show is most definitely ON, the time being 6 a.m. and the place being Beyond at Area, with our drinks soiree kicking off bright & early at 6 a.m. in the Embankment bar. However, given the D.J. line up, as advised in our post “Strictly Disco Matt Dancing”, we expect be assuming our spot on the main floor at 7 a.m. (ish) to savour the delights of a Steve Pitron set for the last time this year. Mind you, given all the stars playing, we could be in the Chapel for Hifi Sean, the sunrise terrace for D’Johnny & Fat Tony, or back in the main room for Gonzalo Rivas & Alan K (and much more Disco Matt’ing in between), so best you come hunt us down, most likely “Doing The Disco Matt”.
Now, our birthday bash aside, it is actually Beyond’s “Winter Solstice” party, so expect all the fabulous ingredients that make for THE best afterhours party around, the podiums being back in the main room & the delectable & drop dead gorgeous go-go’s on tap all morning, craftily choreographed by Elektra Paris & Shaun Capewell. So, while the snow may be shimmering outside, it will be Beyond’s all-stars that will be shining inside, keeping the heat & pace more akin to summer rather than winter, right till the 1 a.m. finish, with mesmerising music & enthralling entertainment, all hosted by the wonderful Chrissy Darling andwith our man Mr Fuller masterminding the door delightfully.
If you haven’t yet grabbed your ticket for this final fling before Christmas, then best you do by going to http://clubtickets.com which saves you from braving those Soho streets for tickets at Prowler, Clone Zone, or in Rupert St & Profile Bar. Advanced tickets are priced at a mere £12, while more will be available on the door, but for more.
So, as tomorrow is all about Braving Beyond in Birthday Bashing Winter Solstice Style, all this simply leaves us to say, “…sod the snow & join the show..”. Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
D.J. line up is as follows :-
Main Room – Steve Pitron (7 till 9), Gonzalo Rivas (9 till 11), Alan K (11 till Close)
Sunrise Terrace – D’Johnny (6 till 9), Fat Tony (9 till Close)
For those of you that know us very well, we love a bit of a bop, indeed our dancing reputation of late has been elevated somewhat by our whacky video which has certainly caught the imagination, but that is not to say that we love watching the professionals in action, indeed we can firmly place ourselves in the “Strictly Come Dancing/ It Takes Two” (or as we simply call it “Strictly”) category of viewing, rather than that other programme (X who?), and hardly an evening has gone by over the last 12 or so weeks that we haven’t been transfixed by the action & entertainment from Bruce, Tess & Claudia, as well as the host of other characters that fill this superb show.
That said, there is no substitute for the real thing, although when it comes to our dancing dervishness it is far less ballroom, much more bravado, as we strut our stuff in exuberant fashion, week in, week out, at various clubs around the capital, but especially in “our spot”, so called by a resident D.J. of the one club that is every bit as an institution in our weekly life as “Strictly” is each & every October through December. And that weekly institution?, well where else but Beyond & what other club sports our spot like Beyond does? Yes we are known to have a favoured space in Fire & a certain landing point in Lo-Profile, but in Area & Beyond particularly, there is a special place in our dancing heart, this significant spot very much our hallowed turf and one which we feel, with every visit, we are right at home.
So, as “Strictly” comes to an end for another year, Beyond will once again take over our lives (well, after our cousin Crisco takes us to Hard On!) although this one is going to be something a little more special for us, as it is Beyond this coming Sunday (19th Dec) when we celebrate our birthday, and a better place to do it we simply couldn’t imagine. But, birthday aside, this Beyond also signals the last one before Christmas, in what the team have called a “Winter Solstice” party, marking the time of year when the nights are at their longest & the days their shortest, although in reality, for us hardened clubbing hedonists, it’s what happens inside the club that counts and this Beyond looks like delivering in every department, with the best in afterhours D.J.’s & dancers that have made this club the legend that it is.
And the promotions team have certainly delivered a sparkling line up for our birthday bash (well they probably did it for “Solstice” actually) as we are thrilled that the Spanish superstar, Gonzalo Rivas, will be making a triumphant return to the main room, to centre stage Beyond all-stars Alan K and the one & only Steve Pitron, without whom Beyond just is not Beyond. But, it doesn’t stop there, as Paul Christian is back too, along with man of the moment, Hifi Sean, added to by the brilliance of D’Johnny & Fat Tony, while the dancers will yet again be delightful, especially now the infamous podiums are back in the main room, Shaun Capewell & Elektra Paris ensuring enthralling entertainment from start to finish. Now, as promoter Jonny Marsh has kindly shared the full D.J. line up with us, we just had to do the same for you, so here goes
Main Room Chapel Embankment
7-9 Steve Pitron 5.30-8 Hifi Sean 6-9 D’Johnny
9-11 Gonzalo Rivas 8-cl Paul Christian 9-cl Fat Tony
11-cl Alan K
Therefore, given that incredible line up you can pretty much guarantee that, birthday bash or not, we will be in our spot virtually from the off in the main room, although will need to dart around to spread the Disco Matt love across all three spaces, intermixed with as much birthday bashing & bravado as we can fit in. All this means that we will be kicking off our celebrations early, like from the 5.30 a.m. start, so best you get there early if you fancy a slice of birthday cake before a bop, also making sure you add your name to our list of guests by clicking “attend” at http://facebook.com/event.php?eid=181090291907400, meaning you can join a whole host of others who will be helping us celebrate in style, including the lovely Chrissy Darling, who is our hostess extra-ordinairre.
Now for the important Beyond detail and this special “Winter Solstice” party takes place this coming Sunday (19th Dec) at Area in Vauxhall, doors opening at an advertised 6 a.m., with the club running through until 1 p.m. Advance tickets priced at £12 are available both online at http://clubtickets.com & in person at Soho outlets Prowler & Clone Zone, as well as both Rupert St & Profile Bar, although more will be available on the door. Further details of this & other beyond events can be found by going to http://fireclub.co.uk/fire-nightclub-london-gay-parties.php.
So, Christmas is definitely coming but not before our birthday bash at Beyond when all sorts of fun will be had, not to mention plenty of that dancing dervishness including us “Doing The Disco Matt” which is well worth a practice before the event, by checking out our video at http://youtube.com/watch?v=RCOqKp9SpgU and find a space by our spot come Sunday morning. Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
Well it would be fair to say that Industri has pretty much dominated out lives since its launch back in 2008, hardly a week going by (well until recently) when we haven’t made our Thursday homage to Barcode Vauxhall to the delights of hostess Minty and the music machinations of either Brent Nicholls or Paul Heron. Indeed, in the near on three years that Industri has been running, we have forged some incredible friendships, many of which have survived the test of time as well as the changes we have seen in our lives & with that of the scene within which we circulate.
During this time, whilst Industri has survived where many have failed, it has not been impervious to certain changes, both to the much loved D.J. back-to-back format & the halting of the go-go dancers, two moves among a few that have seen its fortunes wax & wane of late. However, not wishing to whither like a burning out candle, the team behind this Thursday foray have decided that a new dawn & a new day is the direction Industri needs to take, thus forging a new path in its history & cutting a new stride in the thick of the action in the capitals original gay village.
So, what’s the deal? Well, Industri now moves from its former home, Barcode Vauxhall, to its smaller sister in Soho, plus has changed its day from a Thursday to a Wednesday, kicking off with its first party tonight (Wed 15th Dec) at Barcode Soho from 9 p.m. Now, whilst it is a new day & a new destination, much of the original formula will be intact, Minty will be your hostess with the mostest of course, plus for the re-launch & new look, both Brent Nicholls & Paul Heron will be performing a special back-to-back set for the full four hours, laying down their killing combo of funked up, pumped up & cutting edge experimental sounds that have become the byword for any Industri night.
Plus with the melting pot that is the Soho social sophisticate mix, as well as an influx from old home Vauxhall on the cards, the night should be one busy affair from start to finish, the slightly more social end of 1 p.m. meaning it’s not a particularly late one for you working girls, although for those that want to play, the temptations of Soho are right on your doorstep. Speaking to Minty the other evening, we know she is very much looking forward to Industri’s new look & direction, commenting that “…the staff & management at Barcode Soho are really excited to welcome us and the more intimate feel of the venue will definately work well…” she adding that “…the revised day & timing will give us fresh appeal & the new location in Soho will bring its benefits on a number of fronts…”. Add to this Industri’s reputation for a place where anything can happen and we highly suspect that it will tonight, so be prepared for some special surprises.
So, the date is Wednesday 15th December, the time is 9 p.m. and the place is Barcode Soho, when Industri makes its West End debut with the stars of the show, Minty, Brent & Paul, taking centre stage & a cast of others no doubt adding to the enthralling entertainment. And to get you into the mood, why not check out Brent Nicholls mix “Industri – Gotta Move” which is out now at http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2010/12/13/podcast-industri-2010-gotta-move/ and make sure you make tonight a date, as, in the words of the Industri crew, RESISTENCE IS FUTILE! We will be there, moovin & groovin and most likely “Doing The Disco Matt”, so come join the party. Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)