Archive for October 9, 2011
If we could have predicted just how much one club would have stirred our emotions over the last few months, then we could have at least been a little bit prepared for the series of rollercoaster rides that we have found ourselves on. That said, given the gigantic year that this club has had, its own ride has been more akin to an eagle floating high in the sky on a breeze (there’s a song about that!) a whole succession of prolific parties here in London cementing its position as the capitals number one clubbing choice, while excursions into Europe & South America, as well as a weekly radio station, have spread its wonderful word to all corners of the globe. But back in London, our most favourite club, now of all time, has continued to charm us into seductive submission, no Sunday morning ever feeling quite the same unless we find ourselves spinning on our spot and drawn in by the terrific team of D.J.’s, performers & operational cogs that make this awesome afterhours as amazing as it is, Tom Fuller a shining example of the club at its colossal best, yet so many more people equally deserved of a mention.
Naturally we couldn’t be talking about any other club but Beyond, the brand that captured our imagination and found a special place in our hearts virtually from the day it was launched, a whole series of events in its history marking milestones in ours, a mound of magical memories still fresh in our minds, not least as a result of the music makers that have sported its decks. And having celebrated its 10th birthday just a couple of weeks ago, we once again found ourselves in the grip of its greatness, although that emotional rollercoaster ride wasn’t quite as it should have been, yes the emotions were there, but not for all the right reasons. Plus, while there is no doubt that Beyond has sported some of the capitals most dynamic D.J.’s, many who have very much floated our boat, Alan K, The Sharp Boys, Fat Tony, Paul Heron & Hifi Sean among a lengthy list, within the list of those that fill us with so much joy with their magnificent music, are two that see us over spilling into ecstatic emotions, sending us to tears , one being Mikey D and the other?, well it could only be one person.
Since we first saw him play way back when at Crash and then watch in wonder as he became a staple ingredient in Beyond’s success recipe, we have followed the fabulous footsteps created by Steve Pitron, the undisputed original & longest serving resident of this awesome afterhours, who, like us, was at the very first party back in 2001, although was a noticeable absence from its decade of dance celebration two weeks ago. However, over the years, he has entertained us enthrallingly, a massive mound of magical memories marking some magnificent milestones in our association with the man & the club, although the last nine years cannot quite compare with this latest tenth, a real purple patch period creating what has now become our tearful trademark, that emotional rollercoaster ride that we have so often during 2011 found ourselves on, Beyond, our spot & Steve entirely responsible for these overt reactions. So, it would come as no surprise that with the news of his resplendent return to the decks of this colossal club, even a serious shoulder injury wasn’t going to keep us away from absorbing what would prove to be yet another prolific Pitron performance brimming with brilliant beats.
So, it was Sunday morning and that fantastic feeling that we were once again pushing the boundaries of normality as we made the short journey to Vauxhall and to Area, the heavenly home of the clubbing colossus, the weekend seeing Beyond play host to the official “I Love WE” afterparty, a terrific turnout expected as a result, the actual numbers notched up impressive enough, especially once we found ourselves inside . That said, our later than planned arrival of just shy of 7 a.m. found little or no wait to negotiate the usual considerable queue, the familiar & friendly face of Tom Fuller taking care of door hosting duties in the absence of Naomi & Juliana, his exceptional efficiency accounting for our smooth & swift entry. With just the coatcheck to negotiate, having weaved our way through the Chapel space, Gonzalo Rivas serving up a sermon of stupendous sounds, our mind was rather focussed on Beyond’s main room and its main man who was already well into his stride, very much back where he belonged & in his now favoured first slot, exuding with the energy .
So, deciding to brave it through the masses already gathered, we approached the front of the D.J. booth into the welcoming arms of Steve’s beau Celso, the emotion of it all gripping us as tightly as the hug from our brilliant Brazilian, the beautiful Bel also in close quarters, although the beaming smile of Steve sent us scurrying to our spot, the emotion of the reunion over spilling spontaneously. But with Beyond’s best masterminding the magnificent music, “Pressure” hitting our heavenly mark, a beckon back to the front of the D.J. booth by an excited Mr Pitron was clearly a ploy to trap us in a tearful tumble as he pulled out “Offshore” from his bag of brilliant beats, a sure-fire certainly to get our waterworks in full flow. With Celso’s further reassuring hug helping us reassume a grip on our exaggerated emotions, we returned to our spot to savour what was becoming another brilliant Beyond, the Area lighting amazing, even the much missed pyrotechnic rockets back with a bang, while the towering tunes kept coming, a magnificent mix of classics remixed, notable new ones & all-time anthems that would set us off again, first “Bitch Lady”, then “Live Your Dreams” and “Catch” ramping up the already rip roaring rollercoaster ride we found ourselves on.
Now we were pretty much absorbed by this awesome afterhours, a flock of familiar faces passing us but stopping to say hi, Guy Williams, Aaron Elder, Jonny Marsh, & the marvellous Minty just four in a score or more of party people that were making us feel right at home, although it was the music that was continuing to do the talking, the spectacular “Souk” and them a rapturous remake of the classic “Jumpin” sending us skyward & spinning on our spot. But the best was yet to come, as the occasional glances over the D.J. booth were soon followed by an invitation to join our man behind the Beyond decks, Steve’s smiles saying it all, as were the audiences amazing reactions which we could see all the more clearly from our privileged position, we quickly losing count of the people pitching up in front of the booth to grab a piece of Mr Pitron who was on fantastic form. And with first a re-make of “Fusion” and then the truly terrific track, “Feel The Power (Vibe)” within Steve’s selections, we pretty much lost our breath amidst the enormity of the magical moments we were spending up in the D.J. booth & witnessing a morning’s musical masterclass. However, the tremendous two hours of his scintillating set were fast coming to an end, we feeling well & truly touched to be spending the last magnificent moments of this masterful Steve showing right next to the man in question, his playful pranks extending to a stint out on the dancefloor, Bel’s tweets also combining to pin us in our corner then seek refuge behind Celso & fellow Brazilian boy Giuseppe, he completing the perfect picture of this magnificent morning, our shoulder injury eventually dictating our retirement home to reflect on a short stay that satisfied in all respects.
So how can we sum up this slice of a serving from the brilliance of Beyond? Well, to be honest, walking away from the club we felt completely lost for words, such was the splendour of this sliver we savoured, Steve’s superb sound selections marking yet another pitch perfect Pitron performance to add to the long list we have been so fortunate to witness just this year, let alone all the ones from across Beyond’s history both at Area & Colosseum. And while it was clear that we were not alone in missing our man at the helm for the clubs 10th birthday celebration, this magical morning made up for it in every respect, the reactions from the party people in the packed out main room testament to just what a draw this delectable D.J. is. However, we can also take away from this latest terrific turn, the captivating comradeship that the crowd clearly hold dear in the presence of Mr Pitron, we even feeling the affection from the flock of familiar faces that made a point of saying hello, not least the young man that was so complimentary of our last Beyond review. And while our stay was shorter than we would have hoped, we couldn’t have wished for much more from this magical morning, the club, its crowd and everyone involved in bringing brilliance Beyond within our reach week in week out, proving that it continues to ride that wave crest that we deluded to earlier, although nothing will ever compare to that rollercoaster ride that we once again found ourselves on, a jubilant yet emotional journey that we wouldn’t change for the world, a trip fantastique, Steve style. (DISCO MATT)
Postscript – Monday 10th Oct
Having shared ten tracks from Beyond’s history in our “10th Birthday” review, we thought we would continue the trend, although this time pick on five fabulous features from Steve’s set yesterday morning, some looking like making it onto our 2011 list, while others are likely to be included in a forthcoming Pitron podcast pressing.
So, first up is the uplifting & bouncy “Levels” by Avici, minimal vocals but bags of electronic beats that give it a real afterhours feel and a track that is, for us, very Beyond & Steve Pitron. Now, more hot off the press you couldn’t have as its full release is imminent, the Etta James sample having literally just been signed to Universal (wonder who was responsible for that?!?!), so we can see this track doing big things and one which you can check out via http://youtube.com/watch?v=kVk1HOlkq_o.
Next up is one of our favourites and caught our ear as we walked onto the Beyond main room dancefloor yesterday morning, the wave of emotion we were feeling, cut through fabulously by this Geoff M stormer. Released back in August but only now emerging onto the D.J.’s playlists, “You Better” featuring vocals by Dawn Tallman & given the remix treatment by one David Penn is an absolute corker and one you can grab in full glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=wRPk__KizOg.
Our third pick from a raft of new tunes Mr Pitron played on Sunday (and one that got a mini mention within the main review) is a re-make of a track that was doing it for us on the Beyond dancefloors a few years ago, “Fusion” one of those recognisable tracks that evoke fabulous memories for us and this 2011 version looks like doing the same, especially as we were right by Steve’s side when he selected. With the unmistakable vocals of Kristen Cummings, this Hoxton Whores re-press is sure to have magnificent mileage and one worth checking out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=QWGI2z3nj_0.
Our fourth choice is pretty hot off the press, having been released just over three weeks ago and, given it freshness, pricked up our ears when Steve played it yesterday, a terrific tune that suits the Beyond main room first set superbly, “Don’t Throw It Away” combining vocals, progressive beats & electro intentions exceedingly well, the Bassmonkey’s club mix on this collaborative track with the Dominatorz with vocals from Amanda Wilson out in full glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=HhUTtokkYB4.
Then, saving the best for last, we come to the powerful “Feel The Vibe” a brilliant Beyond anthem that we overlooked when running down our top ten a couple of weeks ago, but came rushing back when Steve selected this absolute masterpiece of a mix by the brilliant Whelan & Di Scala, Axwell’s original given a new thrilling twist by the dynamic duo that were responsible for the towering track “Nimbus” among many others. Again, we were so fortunate to be standing next to Steve when this was played out yesterday morning and the crowd’s reaction was simply spectacular and yes, our eyes were filling with those emotional joyful tears too. This track has already stormed into our top 40 of the year and when you take a listen at http://youtube.com/watch?v=-9bisoNYhmo you will realise why.