In this very cosmopolitan world that we find ourselves within, it seems that all corners of the globe seem to be represented across the gay clubbing scene here in the capital, Eastern Europe, Spain, & Italy three of a whole raft of others playing their part in making our outings the colourful & spice that they are, although in recent months we have seen a significant surge in the numbers of Brazilians making their mark. Indeed we have often remarked & mentioned them in our reviews & report a bunch having befriended us at Beyond & elsewhere, the likes of Bel, Giuseppe, Pablo & Sophie part of the Pitron posse of people that inject so much fun & frivolity into our frolics. And it seems they are having their say within the clubbing infrastructure too, Brazilian import The Week having spurned a new club born out of the influx of its country folk to London & headed up by two guys that themselves have played a prolific part in brands such as Lovechild, Matinee, Onyx & SuperMartXe in the last couple of years and who joined forces to propel this new club into the scene spotlight after a less than auspicious start earlier this year.
Casa Latina was a concept that had its roots planted in the London clubbing scene following the resounding success of The Week here back in September last year, the switch of this Brazilian brand form Fire to The Coronet in April pretty much taking the wind out of the sails of the Casa launch which was inappropriately scheduled for the following Saturday. And whilst we were not there to report on it all, having found ourselves away in Barcelona for the Delice Dream festival, by all accounts it received a luke warm reception, leaving much work to do to make it a viable proposition for further parties. However, with the marriage of minds between dance choreographer Thiago Drewry & ex SuperMartXe operations cog Mauricio Ortiz, plus with the organisational might of The Orange Group behind it, the second Casa Latina outing had much more promise. With the Brazilian theme played to its strengths by the injection of D.J. talents Leandro Kloppel, DouGuim & new boy Junior Moura, as well as packing a punch with scene favourites Jamie Head, Nathan Six & Brent Nicholls, the promise of prolific production, dextrous dancers & superb stage shows making a visit this time round a must, leaving the question, how did this second showing score? and which of all the shining stars shone the brightest?
Arriving a little later than originally planned at midnight, the club having opened a hour earlier and our liege for what turned out as an entirely engrossing evening (well night come morning actually), Steve Pitron, having requested our company from the start, we were a little wary as we entered Fire, having been sent a signal that the “Porridge Woman” was lurking ready to pounce. So, having easily negotiated all the formalities, we made our gingerly way down the main room dancefloor in the direction of the D.J. booth, our attention diverted by the superb stage stetting, a life size model of a 1950’s American roadster which made a superb statement of intent for this “super Carwash” themed event. Then, with Steve waving us across to greet fellow friend Adam, we also popped up behind the D.J. booth to say hello do Celso, aka D.J. Junior Moura, who was already setting about selecting a string of storming sounds, very uplifting in their making & just the captivating curtain raiser Casa was in need of.
With no sign of Alyson (she of “Porridge Woman” fame!), it was down to Steve & Adam to chase us around on our spot, as more & more people began to arrive, Fire’s main room filling to capacity before our very eyes, the lion’s share of capitals Brazilian club scene landing on this Latina love-in, including our bunch of Casa compatriots, Giuseppe & Sophie, both very much in party mood, while Casa cogs Naomi Ruiz & Paul Vlad graced our presence & made us very welcome. And Junior’s prolific performance behind the decks was clearly going down well, the main room alight with action, the effects, pyrotechnics & lasers kicking in, elevating the atmosphere to amazing heights, deliverer of this delight, the delectable Dorin, spotting us and giving us a hearty hug, while our playful pals continued to test our iron lung with their Alyson inspired antics.
By now Casa Latina was bursting at the seams, even the lounge space jam packed as Ariel & his percussionist laid down bags of Brazilian beats to a cavorting crowd, the heat of this happening resorting us to quick dives outside with Steve for some fresh air, the expectation of the third space opening not coming to fruition, rather the sheer volume of people at the party making the choice where to lay out hat a tricky one. But the decision to stick with Junior’s jives in the main room was the right one, as when the stage shows kicked in, we were in for tons of terrific treats, Mauricio & Thiago having pulled out all the stops with a team of drop dead gorgeous guys & girls, who caught the crowd’s attention immediately, using that 1950’s car as their motion machine, creating a simply stunning stage show that went on & on, a whole bank of camera’s flashing furiously, including fab Photographer Chris Jepson & SeenQueen’s own Brent Nicholls, both who had spotted us and pointed their camera’s in our direction, the naughty Mr Jepson even pushing us into his boot while Brent caught this audacious action on film.
With Junior’s superb set over, D’Johnny assumed control of the marvellous music, dipping in & out of tech toned tracks, merging them with progressive beats that for us were not quite casa, but nevertheless seemed to be doing the trick, Fire’s main room showing no signs of slowing down, rather the numbers swelling even further, making this one of the best atmospheres in the club we have witnessed in a long time. However, with Steve & co having melted into the night, we regressed into the lounge where Brent Nicholls had taken over the action from Ariel, we soon finding our favoured spot just by the D.J. booth and sinking into a succession of sounds, his set having much more of a Latin flavour to it to begin with, but he soon sliding in some dancefloor favourites including the DM classic “Release Me”, quickly followed by a remix version of the Pitron/DM anthem “Stronger”, the inclusion of “You’ve Got The Love” pretty much inevitable, our reaction as always filled with tearful emotion. And, it was clear that whilst the main room was very much the mainstay of this magnificent meet, the second space was having its say too, Brent doing his bit brilliantly, while Leandro Kloppel was masterminding the music next door.
With an eye towards our following day frolic across to East London for Lovebox very much playing on our minds now, we sought the solace of a small space at the bottom of the lounge room, where we bumped into Beyond’s best Tom Fuller, he very much lapping up everything about this Latina lauding, not least the shots of Sambuca which a succession of cut boys were buying him. And this seemed to be the place to stand, as a myriad of other familiar faces wandered past, including scene mistress Minty, dextrous dancer Luke & the marvellous Mr Marchant, less his D.J. partner Nick Tcherniak, but clearly enjoying this exceptional event. However with the clock striking 5 a.m., in our minds at least, we headed back to our final resting, well dancing spot by Mr Nicholls, who was close to handing the reigns over to the bold & beautiful Nathan Six, we having had a moment with our iron lung as Brent played what looked like becoming our track of the weekend, “I Rock, I Sweat, I Dance”, before we finally threw in the towel, heading home to reflect on one of the best events in Fire in a long while.
Well, you can probably gather that we thoroughly enjoyed this second Casa Latina outing and whist not being able to compare it with the first, as we weren’t there”, it was clear that the Mauricio Ortiz influence had a major part to play in the success of this exceptional event, the SuperMartXe style stamp in terms of the production, the dancers & all the upfront promotion, especially the video viral that set the “Super Carwash” theme scene superbly. And, that Mauricio magic shone through from start to finish, although the whole team have to be congratulated on what was an outstanding outing. In terms of our highlights, prancing around with the Pitron posse was up there, as was our second session in as many weeks in Fire’s lounge space, spinning on our spot to Brent Nicholls brilliant beats. However, top of the tree for us was Junior Moura, who, given this was only his fifth gig on the scene, his performance was professionally polished, dynamic in its delivery & pitched perfectly and whilst we have to admit that he has been taught by one of the masters at this art, it is clear that he has the talent to turn to this skill. As for Casa, this second outing looks set have secured its place on the capitals clubbing circuit, the irregular gathering format sure to maintain its market position which, after this outing, ranks very high in the popularity stakes. (DISCO MATT)