Archive for December 22, 2010
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/.