When, with a huge Florinpinas style fanfare in September last year, Brazilians best & most boisterous brand made it across the Atlantic Ocean and landed on London, the air of anticipation of a Rio carnival style clubbing colossus was on the cards, although no one could have imagined just what sort of an impact it would make, host venue Fire proving a perfect partner, at least in our eyes the place packed to the rafters, many Brazilian born boys having chosen the capital as their place of residence, coming out in force to add to the whole enthralling experience. And with D.J. line up made in heaven, local stars Steve Pitron, Mikey D & Brent Nicholls joining new to London Brazilian DouGuim & the import brands resident jock Leandro Bekker, The Week certainly made ours and proved, with festoons of feathers, incredible LED installations, lighting & pyrotechnics, that Sao Paulo can definitely give Spain’s best a run for their money. So, such was the success of its inaugural outing, The Week was set to return, although this time to the theatre style venue that had hosted SuperMartXe in the past & WE party in the present, the January date sadly clashing with a planned trip to Brighton with D.J. & producer Danny Verde, leaving us unclear as to the substance in the switch. But with another date in the diary, how did our second experience of this Sao Paulo export work out? and was it as we said, a samba short of a shake?
Being keen to see how the switch to The Coronet would fare, our eagerness to attend was boosted by the company of clubbing cougar, Stephen, but moreover the call of our Beyond superstar Steve Pitron, who was in a serious social slot, a very rare free weekend from D.J.’ing allowing him to pop into The Week, especially given his partner’s ties with Brazil & all things Brazilian. So, wanting to get into the spirit of it all, we dived into our wardrobe (not literally) and plucked out an aptly branded & coloured t-shirt we had purchased while in South Africa, donned our green & yellow Adidas high risers and headed down to Elephant & Castle very much in carnival mood, the anticipation of something quite spectacular ahead very much in our minds eye. . And, arriving at just shy of midnight, we were greeted on the door by the ever present Tom Fuller, the queue as always running a smooth as a baby’s bottom, especially given the lack of interference with his superb system. Then, after a quick security check, we were in and knighted with a press pass from Booster’s Romain Lopez, the final formality being the coatcheck, also running really smoothly, although with the scant numbers in the club, this came as no real surprise.
Finding Steve & Celso outside we exchanged greetings and then headed inside and to the bar to grab some refreshments, the reveal of the main room dancefloor yet to take place, although the music was being pumped out by DouGuim who had been given the unenviable task of playing to an empty audience, as the curtains were only drawn back two hours into the audacious activity. So, it was clear that this meet was going to be a slow starter, although with the company we were holding, we were suitably distracted, Steve Pitron & Celso Moura the delightful distraction for the perfect prelude to proceedings, Steve especially in very talkative mood, exchanging views on this and that & also allowing us to reveal our other identity (workwise) which caused a fair amount of amusement & banter. With pal Stephen in close quarters and a myriad of familiar faces passing by to say hi, it wasn’t long before the curtains were drawn back and people decided to descend onto the dancefloor, the D.J. booth positioned right in the middle and the stage extended with a catwalk linking the two, certainly a different look to those we had seen before at this colossus Coronet clubbing captive, although with the numbers present, the party did take a while to build, despite the discerning deliveries of dance & house hits from the decks by DouGuim.
Preferring to hang back at the bar with Mr Pitron, we were also graced with the presence of another off duty D.J., this time Micky Galliano, accompanied by Rome’s Gay Village promoter, who was on a flying visit to London, this The Week event being his first experience of the brand outside of Brazil, although like us, he seemed unimpressed, especially with the music machinations of incumbent jock Leandro Kloppel, who seemed to be missing the mark, a comment coming our way that his sounds were a little dated, what did he say “…so last year…”. So it was down to the stage shows to give this latest instalment of Brazil’s best and they certainly created a head of steam, the full-on & flamboyant dancers filling the elevated space & catwalk, beef & brawn brilliantly balanced with colourful costumes, samba dancing intermixed with fire-eating entertainers, acrobats & more, all creating a suitable splash, as were the LED lighting installations together with plumes of pyrotechnics, all meaning there was no shortage of enticing eye candy. Indeed the cavorting crowd were a good looking bunch too, we now deep down into the thick of the action, the main room at last beginning to fill with beautiful bodies, although no were near the kind of numbers & lookers Logan Schmitz & SuperMartXe used to attract here.
So, with the music leaving us a little underwhelmed, we retreated back to the bar for more refreshments, a move that was to bear fabulous fruit when we bumped into visiting pal Andy along with the bountiful Bailey, a liaison (especially Bailey) that was to prove the icing on our copious cake, a quick visit outside for a sneaky ciggie, seeing us all bump into Tom Fuller once again, this time being the brilliant host that the party was clearly missing, looking after guests as we would expect, proving once again just what an important asset he is to The Orange organisation. With passes for the VIP balcony handed out to our pals, (our press pass giving us all areas access), this was where we headed, some of the group’s figureheads already succumbing to the hospitalities of the select spot, A:M’s promoter Oliver M coming across to say hello, while empire builder & Beyond promoter Jonny Marsh was already looking very happy, accompanied by his boyf, soaking up the shows & the spectacle. But, we were intent on enjoying the company of our own pals, Bailey in particular, who was thrilling us with his dextrous dancing and his carefree & easy going attitude, the sequence of hugs & kisses adding to our excitement, plus hitting the mark magnificently.
By now, down below on the dancefloor, proceedings were in the hands of The Week’s Sao Paulo resident jock Renato Cecin, he very much flexing his musical muscles as well as his pumped up physique to carry us along in waves of wonderment from our elevated spot on the VIP balcony, the first part of his set full of tough tech house very much akin to a Malcolm Duffy set, well a observation by the ever present Tom who was certainly doing a far better hosting job than all of the other Orange Group representatives, well apart from Aaron Elder of course who always does a great job. However as Renato’s set went on, his music became more accessible & the crowd that had pitched & yawed before began to settle down, although, as the stage shows continued his set was over before we knew it, London based international playboy D.J. Paul Heron taking over, we having had an opportunity to catch up with him outside before his set.
So now this latest instalment of The Week was entering its final chapter, Mr Heron masterminding a mountain of marvellous music through to the 6 a.m. finish, although for some reason, like Mr Koppel before, he didn’t seem quite on song, the crowd beginning to thin as it appeared news had spread that beyond had opened earlier than planned. Indeed our eyes were being cast in the direction of Vauxhall until a comment from this amazing afterhours promoter somewhat put us off, Jonny Marsh enquiring, “…Will you be going to Beyond?…” yet before we could answer, effectively finishing off out sentence with “…oh no you won’t because Steve Pitron is not there…”. And you know, after that comment our mind was pretty much made up, Tom Fuller close on persuading us otherwise, although when we gracefully left The Week and our pals Stephen, Andy & the better than best Bailey, we ended up pointing ourselves in the way of home to reflect on both The Week and the rather shocking comment regarding Beyond.
So how do we conclude our reflection on this latest instalment of The Week? And did it live up to the elevated expectations we had?, Well, the title of this review does sum up our feelings in a nutshell really, as this event did feel as though it was a samba short of a shake, or in plain English, good but not great. Good, as we were reasonably impressed with the lighting, visuals, pyrotechnics & stage shows, good because Renato Cecin & DouGuim made up for other musical shortfalls and good because of the company we kept, not least Steve Pitron, Celso Moura, Micky Galliano, Miss Cougar Stephen, Andy and, naturally Bailey who had us smiling like a Cheshire cat all the way home. As for the rest, well it is clear that in staging The Week in The Coronet, the sad reality is that comparisons with both WE Party and SuperMartXe will be made, whereas, moving it back to Fire might invigorate the feel of individuality that it lacked, plus we doubt whether there is enough passion & interest for such regular parties, rather making the events less often & more inspiring and in doing so, we will certainly be making a return. (DISCO MATT)