Just seven days after finding ourselves afloat with its summer boat party, we were once again charmed by the clubbing crew that had helped steer the good ship Fire on its pleasurable cruise up & down the Thames, Sunday afternoons never quite the same without a Later session of song & dance, socialising & debauchery. But this Sunday we were to find ourselves on terra firmer and back in Later’s usual backyard of Fire, the occasion being a summery celebration with what would be, in any other country, a recipe for success, a pool party with pimms cocktails thrown in for good measure, although we were talking British summertime here. Mind you, what a difference a week made, as had this pool party gone ahead as originally planned the sun would have shone on the later righteous pretty much all afternoon, although it was more a case of dodging the showers rather than soaking up the sunshine. But did the weather dampen the clubbers spirits? And what were our afternoon highlights?
Having taken in a large extent of Beyond’s bash with Cafe Ole, a brief respite was required to both refresh & re-fuel ready for an afternoon of audacity down at Fire, we arriving not long after 2 p.m. to find hurried preparations of the outside area underway, although with a whole wave of thundery showers having rained on the Later pool parade, many had decided inside was better than out. So, that’s where we headed, diving into the dark of Fire corridor labyrinths that led to the mirrorarch room, the main playground for this Sunday session smash, D’Johnny elevating the atmosphere with a truck load of terrific tech tracks that had an already packed dancefloor rocking & rolling to every rhythm & beat he blasted out. Diving to the bar for refreshments, it was inevitable we would bump into familiar faces aplenty, many whom had partied & played with us at Beyond, among them Mikey D, kicking back after his spectacular back-to-back set with Steve Pitron, as well as Brazilian babe Bel, who having chased us around Area for most of the morning, was in equally playful mood here, along with Aaron Elder who had earlier challenged our lack of Later attendance, so pleasantly surprised to see us present & correct.
With energy boosting refreshments in hand, we were now intent on soaking up the full extent of this Later Pool party, soaking being the appropriate word as within minutes of stepping outside & into the garden area to admire the mini Olympic size swimming pool, the Pimms cocktails, being served by the jug load & the handful of torso taut tottie that were considering a plunge in the pool, we were all heading for the umbrellas as one mighty thunder cloud dumped its load on Later, the only person left braving this heavy downpour was promoter Jay Sharp, just wandering why this party had been swapped from the previous week, but making the most of this wet & windy situation. Mind you, we were far from concentrating on the weather, rather a sequence of nibble size tweets following a message from a friend which invoked another fit of giggles, this time not just “the porridge incident” and “the rotund woman” but the latest hilarious text moment “bitch lady is watching! 1984” (it’s a long story), which just like in Beyond earlier & A:M the previous day, had us bursting into incontrollable laughter at the drop of a hat.
So, in order to get a grip and not look quite so ridiculous, we headed inside where we bumped into Marco Gee & partner Tim Stedman, both very much in party mood & wanting to dance, Tim particularly full of beans and wanting to share his usual affection, this being the perfect antidote to our uncontrolled hysterics, we soon finding our groove to the magnificent music that was now being served up by scene favourite Jamie Head, the boy on fabulous form have treated us to spectacular showings three days in a row, this on top of his prolific performance on the Later Boat Party the previous Sunday. And by now the dancefloor was teaming with party people intent on dancing the whole afternoon away, thoughts of pool plunges & cocktail chasers far from their minds, rather the scantily dressed go-go dancers with revealing assts through their cute costumes attracting their attention. With Marco & Tim well into their stride, we assumed our usual position close to the D.J. booth, Brazilian babe Bel appearing and immediately invoking another outburst of giggles, the hilarity nothing to do with her but thoughts of “porridge”, “rotund women”, “bitch Ladies” & “1984” becoming too much and sending us senseless with laughter & bent over in pain we laughing so much & so hard, much to the bemusement of all around.
However, Later was carrying on regardless, the outside as busy as the inside and with the sun now shining, a few had braved the rather tepid temperature of the pool water, while the music heat had certainly be turned to full by Jamie Head, Paul Heron then taking over and carrying a massive mirrorarch following through till the 8 p.m. finish and an onward rendezvous with new night Blessed at Area. For us, it was a case of containing our giggling outbursts, Bel, Paul & Jamie looking on in surprise as we simply couldn’t erase the causes of our hilarity from our thoughts. So, we decided that enough was enough, leaving our pals behind and wending our laughing way home to reflect on a Later party that was full of fun & frivolity and all the decadence & debauchery that has made it a firm Sunday favourite of the hardcore clubber.
Yes you were right Aaron, it had been a while since we had graced Later’s doors at Fire, but having been seduced by its charms two weeks in a row, we did wonder why we had left it so long. In the early days of our clubbing there had always been that sense of naughtiness about clubbing on a Sunday morning, the afternoon a mere extension of that, although with the advent of Beyond, the sense that you were rebelling against societies norms have virtually no meaning these days, while what Later serves up does still have that decadent & debaucherous feel to it. As for this latest audacious adventure, well it was a shame that the weather started a bit damp & un-summer like, but it certainly didn’t deter the clubbers from coming and having a brilliant time. Indeed Later really seems to have found its legs again, due in no part to the unstinting loyalty of its promoter Jay Sharp, who has built a great team of D.J.’s around him that deliver some of the best music on the scene right now. Add to that the chill-out feel & that decadence and he seems to have a winning formula at the moment, meaning it won’t be long before we are back for more, less the giggling fits of course. (DISCO MATT)