There can be no disputing the fact that Sunday nights & Monday mornings in clubland London now pretty much belong to just one brand, especially as the likes of DTPM, FF, PSP & Warriors are long gone from our schedules. And whist many of us find ourselves committed to the start of the working week, there are hoards of others that simply don’t need to or don’t know when to stop clubbing, the time being midnight on Sunday & the place being Fire, indicating that it can mean only one thing, an outing with Orange. But while we struggle to find the legs & commitment to devote our attention to regular Sunday night sessions with the clubs promoter Steven Sharp & his collective crew, this coming weekend looks very different, as we will be helping the brand celebrate its birthday, marking a whole thirteen years in operation, a feat rarely achieved these days, the only weekly club coming close being A:M which reaches its 11th year next February.
So how has Orange attained this outstanding achievement?, and what can you expect from this 13th birthday bash? Well, to answer the first question, we first need to take you on a brief journey back to its origins, the club’s life beginning back in 1998 in the depths of south east London when the likes of Melt & DT were the clubs competition, the minnow like Orange outfit often extending to three floors in its former home for specialist parties, not least over the millennium. But it was in 2001, virtually to the week that Orange first opened its doors, that it found new life in the new clubbing civilisation that was Vauxhall, the venue we now know & love as Fire, then known simply as The Viaduct, playing host to the Orange Monday morning mayhem & magnificence, the essence of Orange being fun & decadence that made it so popular when it launched and just as popular thirteen years down its resplendent road. And whilst the home for this captivating club that was affectingly termed at the time of its creation as “…that arch somewhere in Vauxhall…” has seen a score or more of clubs come & go, Orange has stood the test of time tremendously, whether standing on its own tall two feet or joining forces with others, most notably Trade, its status has surely reached equally legendary status as its most worthy clubbing compatriot.
That pretty much paints the picture of this prolific weekly party and why it finds itself celebrating the lucky for some figure of thirteen years in operation, but what of the celebration itself? Well, first & foremost this momentous event has been named “Clockwork Orange”, we highly suspecting the iconic film theme will run a thread through the party production, while the tried & tested formula of the club where fun is central to its existence will clearly have a big part to play in this special celebration. However, no Orange birthday would be complete without a performance here & there, the “Clockwork Orange” theme extending to the team of dancers dressed in the style of the infamous cult 1971 Stanley Kubrick classic. But more than that, Orange promoter Steven Sharp is proud to welcome back the vocal vitality that is Tonnic, this female performance powerhouse very much part of the clubs recent history, having played a part in the last few birthday’s, as well as on a host of other special parties. Adding exciting vocal elements to the main room music, she will be in the thick of the action throughout the event, but particularly during Fat Tony’s set, heralding a performing partnership that has lasted for as long as we can remember.
So that neatly moves on to the music, all the usual Orange residents in place, Paul Martin our first mini focus and a name that has been synonymous with Orange for most of its existence at Fire, his uplifting, accessible yet cutting edge house music style always finding favour with the clubs faithful as well as occasional visitors like us. With experience stretching back to the vinyl years, Paul nevertheless keeps bang up to date with trends, his latest podcast, “August Summer Groove”, testament to that and one that is well worth a listen/download by going to http://web.me.com/northerntzar/PAULMARTIN/Podcast/Entries/2011/8/11_The_sound_of_now. Then
there is The Oli, another Orange veteran who has been gracing the clubs decks for the vast majority of its time in Vauxhall, the club marking his first ever London residency, Oli being noted as saying “…it is one of my favourite clubs to play…” a compilation mix from last year his last dedication to the brand, while we are sure another one will be on its way soon. With a sound style we would describe as magically mixed in genre, Oli has an incredible talent for playing to his audience in a wonderful way that only a few other peers can achieve and with a repertoire of rhythms in his colossal collection, it is no surprise he is a regular feature at other parties including A:M, Beyond & Later, while you can see what we mean by grabbing one of many podcasts available at http://theoli.podomatic.com/.
But that is only part of the picture as other main room birthday beats will be provided by The Sharp Boys along with Fat Tony, all three individuals having worked together for years before Orange was created, they being an intrinsic part of the phenomenon that was the Trade Lite Lounge, while Tony has been part of the Orange furniture from the outset, playing at for the club in the Rotherhithe days, as well as during the infamous Viaduct period, as well a virtually weekly since. And with the man & his music part & parcel of the Orange package, he is joined by The Sharp Boys who are also intrinsic to the Orange was of life, between them sporting over 30 years experience in the industry and having played as a D.J. duo for much of that time. Plus with a discography list of releases that stretch longer than your arm, they are as iconic, nay legendary as Orange is itself, a selection of their “Sharpcast” releases available at http://sharpboys.podomatic.com/ ,while their vitality behind the decks is always a pleasurable sight and one we will look forward to come this Sunday night/Monday morning.
However, that is just one half of the music picture, as the RAW room will be swinging into action, regulars & instigators of this tough tech & deep house honed space, Gonzalo Rivas & David Jimenez, present & correct, Mr Rivas back in the groove after a similar summer siesta to ours, marking his welcome return with a compilation mix entitled “cums deep & penetrating” (ooh err missus!!), the Freudian reference more to the style of music to which his RAW followers have become accustomed, so well worth a listen in advance of Sunday by going to http://soundcloud.com/gonzalo-rivas. And there you will find a remix of the David Jimenez track “Inside My Soul”, the man behind this 2003 creation, like Gonzalo & all the main room residents, a virtual Orange institution, so his set one we certainly won’t be missing on Monday morning, David having entertained us expertly right from the halcyon days of Crash, Beyond & A:M.
But evidence that music is central to this celebration as well as our special devotion to its 13th birthday event, is the inclusion of special guest Paul Heron, a man who is truly at the top of his game at present, our affectionate term of “International Playboy D.J.” hinting very much towards his appearances for a whole variety of clubs & events that take him to all corners of the globe, recent exploits in Brazil, & Ibiza framing his intrinsic involvement in the La Demence cruise, this on top of other gigs across Europe and right here at home in London. And just looking at the capital, Paul has regular residency slots for nearly all the major players in town, A:M, Beyond, Later, Lo-Profile, Lovechild & Room Service featuring large, while a storming performance at new club launch Brava, as well recently for Brighton Pride’s dance tent are just two among a whole host of highlights. But on top of that, a more enthusiastic entertainer when behind the decks, we cannot imagine, Paul’s incredible energy translating into spectacular sets that never fail to hit our heavenly mark. Mind you, given his jetsetting schedule, dives into the studio are nowhere near as often as he would like, but evidence of both that Brava brilliant set & a soulful side to his musical penchant make up his most recent releases, both worthy collectables from http://soundcloud.com/djpaulheron/. As for his RAW set, expect a Heron-tastic tech & deep house peach of a performance not to be missed.
Well, that all kind of neatly leads onto the detail of this “Clockwork Orange” inspired event which takes place this coming Sunday (11th Sept) doors opening at 11 p.m. and the event running through till a superlate but yet unconfirmed time of 9 a.m. Entry on the door is priced at a mere £6 when accompanied with an flyer, ad, or Facebook printed invite, while for others its £12 before midnight and then a special 13th birthday price of, yes you guessed it, £13 thereafter. But the celebratory offers don’t end there, as the ever popular birthday bubbly is back, where the first 13 paying customers through the doors will have a bottle of champagne at their disposal for just £13 (one per customer), this on top of the usual spirit & shots discounts, as well as the very reasonable & bar beating Fire drinks prices. And the icing on the Orange birthday cake will be fabulous door hostess Glendora who will surely make her usual citric splash, no doubt dressed perfectly for the occasion too (we can’t wait to see her outfit), more details on this exceptional event available at http://fireclub.co.uk/gayparties.
Now, as we have hinted, we have cleared our Monday morning schedule to ensure that Orange rather than London’s roads start our week, but will be hot footing it down to Fire long before that, so we can take in the full extent of this birthday bash & reckon you should do, making sure you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)