Well, what a truly amazing New Year weekend we had, kicking off with a house party that we will savour for a long time to come, perhaps for more reasons than we would like, but a more brilliant way to see in 2011 we couldn’t have asked for. Then, with an exhaustive schedule that caught up Salvation, As One, Beyond, WE Attacks & Orange we came away extremely satisfied with our lot if but finding ourselves very much in the recovery position and in need of huge doses Benecol to propel us forward into January. So, feeling the need to ease ourselves in, not least as we fend off a nasty bout of flu, we thought we would do the same with our first weekend nod of the year, simply by picking out our choice cuts & best bites in Soho Vauxhall & elsewhere, then hinting towards some tip top events later in the month.
Right to Soho first and top of our pile is the cracking combo of Profile & Lo-Profile on Wardour Street, which whilst clearly topped our own 2010 poll, Profile hitting number one in our Best bar category, while Lo-Profile was recognised as best bar/club venue, it seems you think so too, as Profile has made incredible strides in the SeenQueen 2010 poll, currently running to an amazing 3rd overall so far. And this comes as Profile, since launching 18 months ago, has made considerable strides and now represents one of the best hotspots to kick-start a weekend of madness & mayhem, generally a mere short journey downstairs in Lo-Profile, plus, with recent improvements to the layout of the bar, including a new bespoke D.J. booth, extra standing & dancing space, building on the fantastic food & drink offer, virtually unrivalled by any other competitor, Profile was definitely the mover & shaker of 2010 and looks set to continue that well into 2011. So, Profile & Lo-Profile should definitely be on your radar this weekend, tonight (Fri 8th Jan) seeing the return of resident & Clubnation king Phil Marriott, spinning all the smart & latest dance house tracks from 7 p.m., paving the way for Mikey D & then Brent Nicholls to see you swinging into Saturday with stacks of superb sounds. As for Saturday, well Profile plays host to the mischievous music meister Craig Daniels who looks set to treat you to tons of terrific tunes, while it’s the turn of Jamie Head & Alessandro Londra to tip the musical scales downstairs in Lo-Profile at the “official” Beyond pre-party, more details of both venues being available at both http://profilesoho.com & http://loprofile.com.
Other quick best bite shouts go to The Shadow Lounge which have their own version of the January sales, with half price’s on guest list door entry, table bookings & membership renewals, plus with favourites “Therapy” & “Inferno” back, is well worth a visit this Friday/Saturday. Rupert Street is another hip hop hangout worth a call, as Friday favourite Brent Nicholls returns tonight and then tomorrow (Sat 8th Jan) A:M promoter & D.J. Oliver M gets the party going. Information on events at Shadow Lounge, which is open seven days a week, can be found at http://theshadowlounge.co.uk while Rupert Street also has its own website at http://rupertstreet.com.
Down to Vauxhall and the biggest news is the Megawoof move to Fire, which we covered in our Weekend Focus post “Musclebear Moves” and their “Hardware” event looks set to dominate Saturday, although it is The Orange Group itself that will have the lion’s share of activity across the weekend. And it comes as no surprises as with brands from Gravity of Thursday, Onyx on Friday, A:M on Saturday, Beyond on Sunday & Orange on Monday, but with much more, there is no shortage of parties at either Fire or Area this weekend. So, wading through their choices our best bites have to go first ton Onyx, which holds one of its now infamous “Recovery” parties tonight (Fri 7th Jan) when Italian stallion Pagano storms back to London after a New year weekend jetting around the globe, landing on Vauxhall to perform a special five hour set in the main room, while the superb supporting cast includes Lisa German, Paul Christian, Lee Harris & Tasty Tim, all hosted by the fabulous Chrissy “Onyx” Darling. Plus, as a thank you to Onyx customers over the festive season, the team are offering free entry which you can claim via http://gayguestlits.com/onyx or by arriving armed with a flyer or ad before midnight, the club open from 10 p.m. through till 5 a.m. Then, not surprisingly, Beyond is sure to prove a winner, it certainly riding high in the SeenQueen poll, currently topping everything else at the moment & indeed scooped three awards in our own 2010 poll, achieving best club brand, best weekly club and best afterhours club, beating off some fierce competition. And, in true recovery style, Beyond will be extending its trading to a massive 12 hours, kicking off at midnight this Saturday (8th Jan) and running through till beyond midday on Sunday morning & sporting no less than 12 Beyond all-stars & newcomers, including Steve Pitron, Mikey D, Alan K, Hifi Sean & Jamie Head, as well as The Oli, Jc Christopher & Oliver M. Now, it’s well worth grabbing a ticket in advance, which you can do at http://clubtickets.com or by popping into Prowler, Clone Zone, or even over the counter at Rupert St, all priced at £12, whereas discounted £8 passes are available at the “official” pre-party at Lo-Profile, although entry will be available on the door but for more. As for other events on the Orange Group calendar this weekend, go check out info via http://fireclub.co.uk/fire-nightclub-london-gay-parties.php.
Other best bite shouts go to The Eagle, who have a trio of treats, starting with “Tonker” tonight (Fri 7th Jan), cashing in on the bear-tastic feel to the weekend, while on Saturday “Carpet Burn” rules the roost, welcoming the might of Kym Mazelle who will definitely add her own hi-NRG twist to a night that has 80’s, 90’s & handbag house as its make-up, special guest D.J. Dave Kendrick delving deep into his musical archives to make this a party night to remember. Then what weekend would be complete without a bit of “horsin around”, as Horse Meat Disco comes at ya again this Sunday (9th Jan), Jim Stanton & his crew whipping up some whacky wonderment to catapult you into the new week as well as the new year. For further details of these events as well as opening times etc, go to http://tonker.co.uk, http://eaglelondon.com & http://myspace.com/horsemeatdiscolondon.
Right, so what about elsewhere?, well it simply had to be our big front runner of alternatives in 2010 that would stride ahead again in 2011, welcoming back two firm favourites that have made The Dalston Superstore the popular place it was throughout last year and a venue that impressed us from the minute we stepped in, from the laid back & relaxing atmosphere, to the traditional fabric & furniture that is so welcoming & warming, yet with groundbreaking music & entertainment that have definitely made the place a hot ticket. Plus, with brands like Paradise 45, Trailer Trash, & Gutterslut, making the most of this East London gem, as well as sporting nights like Hott Mess, Tutti Frutti, & Bodytalk among a host of others, there is no shortage of alternative action to amaze. So, this Friday (7th Jan), sees the welcome return of “Do It”, labelled by the team as “…a nonstop party for party people…” and is sure to be just that, with special guest D.J., Stop Making Me (where do these names come from) joining the band of Do It residents downstairs, while Liz & Cathal spearhead the sounds upstairs, Fridays normally see the DSS rammed and given the mood & the popularity of Do It, tonight should be no exception. Then on Sat (8th Jan), Dan Beaumont’s special house night, “Soundstage” takes centre stage in Dalston, Dan & co welcoming a host of special D.J. guests to play out choice house music filled with tunes of now & then, but definitely no mainstream, but much more groundbreaking beats, while Macho City muscles in on the action upstairs to put to mucho into macho with magnificent music. And Sunday sees Tutti Frutti round off another superb DSS weekend, D.J. Squeaky & friends making sure it’s a smooth landing from the highs of Friday & Saturday & a safe entry into Monday, further details of all the shenanigans available by following the boys at http://twittwer.com/dsuperstore or by checking out their regularly updated Facebook group.
Our other & final best bite mention goes to East Bloc on City Road in Shoreditch, the hip hop NYC style venue that sports the brilliant “Disco Fag Bar” on Friday’s, this week seeing a special treat as Wayne Shires hits the decks, alongside Laurent C & Borja Pena, while on Saturday , the hit of 2010, “The Men Who Fell 2 Earth” returns, with gravity defying sounds from across the galaxy of heavenly house to surely pack out the place. More details of these & other events at East Bloc can be found by going to http://eastbloc.co.uk
Right, now taking a brief look forward and grabbing our diaries, here are a couple of dates that should definitely be filling yours this January, as hit monthly happening Lovechild returns with a very special “Snowball” event next Saturday (15th Jan), neatly followed by the first big birthday bash of the year, as Minty celebrates another social soiree splendour of a year with Industri on Wednesday (19th Jan), while Bear Necessity moves from Fire to Area the following Saturday (22nd Jan), the month rounding off with the return of Brazilian carnival style club The Week, which graces The Coronet on Saturday 29th January. We will be bringing you the all important details on these in special focuses/previews, so keeps your eyes peeled but note down the dates, as these will be party’s not to be missed.
So, that’s our first weekend of 2011 pretty much wrapped up and just time to say, whatever you are up to and wherever you are, have a brilliant one. As for us, well having been plagued with a bad flu bug since Tuesday, we will probably be lying low for this one, rather catching up on our NY reviews, although if a certain D.J. has his way, you may find us in our spot, “Doing The Disco Matt”, yes you guessed it, in the Beyond main room on Sunday morning, so if we make it & you see us out, come say hi, but as we always say….Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)