Archive for July 6, 2011
Having just about a week ago lamenting on the wonders of park festivals passed, we find ourselves in the same boat, looking back & then looking forward as one of our favourite festivals from a good ten years makes its welcome return to the summer scene. But pushing back the clock, when Summer Rites was rocking our world, it seemed that park festivals were going from strength to strength, a whole succession of post Pride parties having been held in Brockwell, Victoria, & Finsbury park(s), while Clapham Common had also featured. And it was the Brockwell days that saw Summer Rites rise to ascendency, the first event still living in our memories, not least when we clubbed & cavorted to the Warriors sounds of Wayne G in the Brockwell park lido with close companion of the time, D.J. Chris Reardon., while the likes of Ultra Nate were performing on the main stage, oh the memories!!
Yet, as good as Summer Rites was, a tide change that saw park parties become less & less popular, not least due to a run of years when the famous British summer reared its rainy head, very much dampening festival organisers’ causes, outdoors was swapped for indoors, while Pride itself ditched the park format in favour of the central London square scenario, perhaps on the strength of Soho Pride which had become the darling of the festival scene in the capital. However, with two years of success under its belt, Lovebox has spurned a resurgence in the penchant for a park party and when news hit our desks that Summer Rites was to return, we suddenly looked forward to a season full of alfresco antics, obviously crossing lots of fingers for that famed weather to hold, serving up plenty of sunshine rather than rainy Sunday’s. But whilst we cannot guarantee the weather this coming Sunday (10th July), what we can promise is a party to re-emulate those halcyon Summer Rites days, with a whole host of dance tents, entertainment & everything else that goes with partying in the park.
So, what’s on the Summer Rites “Remixed” table then? Well, for this “…boutique gay clubbing festival…”, quite a lot actually, as the organisers have gathered some of the big name brands to support the host of locally based Shoreditch showstoppers like Gutterslut, Meat, & Pony Step. And there are some pretty big names in the frame too, international mega club Salvation spearheading an impressive line-up of dance & entertainment tents that also includes bear brand XXL, gender bender brilliance “Trannyshack” & the indie trendsetter, Popstarz, not to mention other supporters that include The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, represented by their night “Kimono Krush”, while Shoreditch bar The Joiners Arms, along with gay boozer The George & Dragon lend their support to the refreshment tents & stands, as well as having their own spaces to flaunt their entertainment wares. But the involvement doesn’t stop there as Shoreditch’s finest & most talked about club of the moment, East Bloc, will play an intrinsic part in proceedings, while Century Club’s “Sunday Happy Day” will lend a helping hand, this on top of a special “Bootyliicious” bus that should prove a real draw.
But, before we drill down on some of the detail, here’s a message from our sponsors, or more appropriately the organisers who say about Summer Rites “Remxied”, “…This is a festival orchestrated by the creators of the authentic gay alternative festival, Summer Rites, and the iconic street party, Soho Pride. Both have kept the London gay community grooving & moving for the last two decades & now the gang are digging deeper for a big balsy summer smash…”, the further adding, “…set in Shoreditch between Old Street, Islington & in part of the historic East End of London, where fashion, music & art combine, it will be right at the heart of a place which is recognised as London’s most vibrant district. The festival will feature dance arenas, an open stage, a boogie bus, multiple bars and much more…”, they concluding that “…form the intimacy yet frivolity of Shoreditch park from midday to 10 p.m., the party doesn’t stop as “Encore” the official Summer Rites afterparty will continue from 10 p.m. to late in a nearby warehouse…”.
Now that gives you a flavour of what to expect, but what about the detail between the lines? Well, first & foremost, Salvation will be hosting that main open stage, the club showing how it’s done with the kind of spectacular production for which they have become famous for. And promoter Steve Elliot together with his terrific team, will be drawing on the dance direction of Raul Gonzalez who will turn out a truck load of performers, artists, acrobats & the like, to compliment the delectable D.J. line up that includes stars covering the clubs 13 year history, Luke Hope, Pier Morrocco, Miswhite & Paul Coals, along with Elliot J Brown & Howard Turner. But it doesn’t stop there as, prolific P.A. (in our view, the best in the business) Peyton will be centre staging the performances, while Andromeda & the Twisted Dreams dance troupe will also feature. However, Trannyshack will also get their main stage say, with the best in worldwide drag artists & off-beat/unusual shows, a D.J. line-up to delight that will include gender benders Tasty Tim, Munroe Bergdorf & Lady Lloyd, along with Trannyshack queen, The very Miss Dusty O, who will be performing a rare live show that simply cannot be missed.
Main stage aside, the other highlights for us look like being the East Bloc tent, where the wayout & whacky Gutterslut will feature, along with Tom Stephan’s magnificent monthly meet, Meat, which will no doubt be riding on a wave crest after their party just hours before. With D.J. stars including Per Q.X. Nic Fisher & Miss MC Crystal flying the Gutterslut flag, while Meat main man Tom Stephan will play an exclusive set alongside East Bloc residents James Phillips & Borja Penna, while the likes of A Man To Pet, Miss Krystilina, Amber Swallows & Ma Butcher will beef up the bravado, all meaning this should prove a dynamic draw. But the boogie bus, hosted by Bootylicious, just has to be sampled, while XXL will definitely have their bear say, although we hope not to hear the phrase of last weekend in there, “I Want My Porridge!”, although we are sure there will be no shortage of bears looking for their goldilocks. However, with so much else on offer, the variety & choice couldn’t be better and very much reflects just how vibrant the Shoreditch scene has become, Summer Rites “Remixed” celebrating this scene diversity in the best possible way, meaning there is a place to lay your clubbing hat, whatever persuasion or whatever type of clubber or cavorter you are.
Right, let’s cover off the detail and remind you that Summer Rites “Remixed” takes place this Sunday (10th July) at Shoreditch Park from midday till 10 p.m. This is a ticketed event, with all the £15 early bird tickets having been sold, so only advance ones priced at £20 now only available online by going to the official website. http://summer-rites.com. However, you can also purchase your entry in advance by popping into Prowler in Soho or across at Expectations on Great Eastern St in Shoreditch, while you can also pay entry on the day, but make sure you have the readies & not the plastic, as they can only accept cash payments. Now, as for directions, visiting the website is your best option, although Shoreditch Park in is the heart of Hoxton, so your nearest tube is Old St, while a whole host of busses can take you close. And if you can’t get online, you can always land on your favourite venue or outlet, who have plentiful stocks of the special Summer Rites programme brochure which, like here, tells you pretty much everything you need to know, including a map of the park & the local vicinity to save you scratching around for an A to Z. And, don’t forget “Encore”, the official afterparty, plus a gathering at East Bloc that will take you deep into Monday morning, all these details also available at http://eastbloc.co.uk.
So, with this brilliant boutique gay clubbing festival looking like THE place to be & be seen on the scene this Sunday, we will be there to report on & review it all, so if you spot us then come say hi, but make sure you don’t miss out on what looks like being the sensation of the summer, making sure you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
Having been out of action ourselves for a few weeks, it seems the scene has also been missing one of its favourite brands & promoters, both Lovechild & Alex Erfan having very much dipped under the radar. In fact, searching through our archives it was back in May that this lovable brand showed its hand at Fire on a Saturday, yet despite it also having shown its hand at As One at the last bank Holiday, it has now been well over a month since the scene has savoured this colourful club in the capital. However, while London may have been missing out, Alex & his team have been bevering away across in the continent, parties in Antwerp & Lyon, added to a host of others that have combined record it’s most successful year yet. Then, when we thought all things Alex had gone quiet on the western front, not only will this coming Saturday (9th July) see one of our favourite clubbing brands consume the capital, but the following weekend it heads north of the border to Edinburgh to help celebrate the start of the cities fringe festival.
So, let’s take a look at London first and to the “Super Lovers” event that should surely see Lovechild reclaim its stake on the Saturday scene, its promoter very much playing on the brands strength, the word “Love” no less, he explaining to us that, “…, Lovechild has always been, first and foremost, about the love, love of life, love of self, love of the music, love of mankind…” , quite a substantive claim, but if you have been to any Lovechild event, you will know exactly what Alex means, as no club can claim to have a more friendly crowd, while the club itself gives gives & gives, love oozing out of its pours. Indeed, looking back across the score of events across the last twelve months, the Lovechild team have always pushed the envelope, entertaining us with some of the most prolific P.A.’s, an incredible list of international D.J. guests and a resident list that puts virtually every club in the capital to shame. But come this Saturday, whilst much of the fabulous formula remains the same, Lovechild is certainly taking the club to a higher level, Mr Erfan adding that “…Lovechild returns to Fire, with an incredible international line-up of DJs and performers in celebration of those who take love to the next level, so called the SUPERLOVERS…”
And he isn’t wrong as not one, not two, but three international D.J. stars will be centre staging this “Supper Lovers” come super heroes event as we have been reliably informed that new Lovechild dance director Nik Ripley has drawn on his previous experience working closely with Matinee in London to gather together some of the best looking go-go’s in town, while Alex’s right hand man Nhamo has drawn on the services of Invincible Rubber to create a whole host of super hero costumes that look like putting those sported by Spanish counterpart WE Party this last weekend, very much into the shade. And whilst you may think that this is a case of copy cat (possibly Cat Woman!), Alex informs us that this super heroes theme to his “Super Lovers” party has been in the making for quite a while, probably accounting for Lovechild’s absence from the capitals scene. But, while Nik has some gorgeous go-go’s to pop out our eyes, Mr Erfan will be pulling his drag queen contact strings, a very special star flying in from Tel Aviv that will simply take your breath away, especially when she does her Wonder Woman twirl.
So, with the eye candy entertainment deal sealed, what can we expect from the music? Well, as we hinted, three international D.J.’s for a start, Matinee’s newest resident & a feature among our short(ish) list of firm favourites (are we allowed?…yes), Javier medina making a welcome return to London, having featured both for Lovechild & As One last year, but having really grown into his international status following that matinee appointment in December. Having made a name for himself stateside, with gigs in Miami, New York, Javier’s year has slowly been accelerating, especially in recent weeks as the build up to Barcelona’s Circuit Festival takes him right across Europe & even as far as Canada & South America. And naturally he will feature large in the twelve day festival in his home city in August, so landing him in London in the middle of his heavy schedule is a coup for the Lovechild team & one we cannot wait for. Plus, his current style of deep tech & tribal house will definitely be taking Lovechild to a new level, we reckoning you will dig his superb sounds which we suspect will be very much akin to those of his “Happy Tech House” mix which is well worth a listen at http://soundcloud.com/javier-medina/happytechhouse2011.
As for the other two stars?, well one is really well known to us, having looked after us amazingly during our recent visit to Muccassassina in Rome, Micky Galliano being a resident of the truly awesome club, while his D.J.’ing C.V. reads impeccably, clubs he has played including Ministry Of Sound, Vertigo and Azuli, not to mention Gay Village & SuperMartXe, while bulky brand Bear Necessity is part of his repertoire as it club & record label Deviate, along with London’s Barcode, Queer Nation, Tonker & now Lovechild. And whilst we were hoping he would lay down a compilation marking his inclusion in this “Super Lovers” event, it was Bear Necessity’s Pride event last weekend that benefitted from a Micky mix, one like Javier’s, giving you a good idea of what to expect from Mr Galliano come Saturday, so a listen must by going to http://soundcloud.com/micky-galliano/bear-necessity-london-pride. As for the other international star, what we can tell you is that he comes from Russia, Moscow in fact, although has played as far afield as Greece, Holland & Spain, although it is his home city where he has made his mark, having been at the top of the scene game there since 2006. Representing SuperMartXe in the Russian capital, he has also played for SMX in Amsterdam, while he has recently also swapped ship to play for WE Party internationally. And his name? Well it’s Saeed Ali, not quite the Russian influence you would expect, he having a distinct Mediterranean come Middle Eastern look & charm, his latest claim to fame being the driving force behind new club brand “Alimania”, he having dedicated two compilations to the club, both which are out at http://soundcloud.com/dj-saeed-ali.
With the international trio taking up the main room mantle, Lovechild “Super Lovers” will be extending across two other rooms, Fire’s mirrorarch space, known in Lovechild terms at The Contact Room, will sport resident original Alessandro Londra, with recent entrant Marco Gee, while in the Love Lounge, its Brent Nicholls following on from D.J. Savin, while in terms of the all important detail, this Lovechild “Supper Lovers” party takes place this coming Saturday (9th July) at Fire in Vauxhall, Mr Erfan mentioning that, “…After all the Pride Parties, we know you need to give your wallet a little rest so we are giving you the opportunity to enjoy this incredible party for as little as £5. Yes, you read that right – just £5!…”, the team having released 250 £5 tickets online at http://alexerfan.com as a thank you to faithful Lovechild supporters and fans, meaning its online you go to grab this special offer, tickets also available on the door, which opens at 11 p.m., the club running through until 6 a.m., while free wrist band entries to beyond will be up for grabs for the first 100 through Lovechild’s doors.
Fast forwarding a week & Lovechild makes that move north, teaming up with Edinburgh’s finest Fever at The Liquid Rooms in the Scottish capital, the marriage of minds looking like one made in heaven, plus promising to form an on-going partnership that should spurn regular residencies for Alex & his team over the border (or is that Hadrian’s wall?!). And for this first foray next Saturday (16th July), Mr Efra will be taking the cream of his team with him, Lovechild resident D.J Tony English travelling north, as will by superb P.A. & vocalist Lizzie France, not to mention nee Lovechild dance director Nick Ripley & his troupe of go-go’s. They will be joined by Fever D.J. residents Brian Fisher & Mark Price, across Liquid Rooms hi-tech main space, that sports the latest sound equipment, lighting & visual effects that will dazzle & delight, while there will be a distinct festival feel with lots of magic & miracles from a host of entertainers to top off the dancing & music. With further details available at http://alexerfan.com, advance tickets priced at just £10 are already on sale online at http://clubtickets.com/gb/2011-07/16/fever-meets-lovechild-edinburgh-liquid-room.
Now here’s a bit of details on Fever’s past to give you a feel of just how much of an iconic club it has become in Edinburgh. Fever was launched at Club Ego in March 2004, the night having been created by the people behind the legendary Sunday night clubbing institution, Taste, which ran in Edinburgh for just over 16 years. Fever was very much developed to satisfy the demands of Taste members who could no longer make it to their former favourite on Sunday nighter, this new monthly Saturday night club quickly becoming an immediate success and from day one filling to capacity. The Fever philosophy of open minded and attitude free clubbing coupled with a very tight door policy ensured that only the best of Edinburgh’s party people would be allowed to enter the event which made for one of the friendliest atmospheres of any club in the city .Fever’s D.J. resident team know how to keep their crowd happy and the clubs success was undoubtedly due terrific talents & Edinburgh favourites Brian Fisher & Mark Prince, both famed for playing uplifting & accessible house in the main arena, while Jon Pleased Wimmin and Kaupuss sported an anything goes music policy in the basement. Fever remained an integral part of the Edinburgh club scene until January 2010 when host club Ego was forced to close its doors due to severe fire damage, although such has been the demand for its return, Fever was, in the nature of its name, feverishly organising a return, The Liquid Rooms refurbishment the opening it need & now the joining of forces with Lovechild, the icing on the club nights cake. More info on The Liquid Rooms can be found at http://liquidroom.com.
So, two Lovechild love in’s “From Fire To Fever” to fulfil your clubbing desires and whilst we won’t be heading north, as commitments here in the capital will stop us travelling with the Lovechild team, we will be down at Fire this Saturday, so if you see us out, come say hi, but regardless, make Lovechild “Super Lovers” a date & ensure you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)