Well what a year it has been, the highs the lows, the ups the downs, the rollercoaster rides & the emotional tears of joy, the two main protagonists being the awesome afterhours that is Beyond together with one of its most prolific players. So, it seemed wholly appropriate to deliver our final review rapture of 2011 looking at the last two events from earlier this month, wrapping them into one super size reflection and also capturing plenty of other people & players that made up this brilliant Beyond brace.
We have to be completely honest when we say that we are fast running out of superlatives to describe what has undoubtedly become our favourite clubbing brand of all time, one that this year celebrated its 10th year in operation, while it leaves behind a 2011 that has seen a score or more of majestic meets leave an indelible impression & mark in our minds, mounds of magical memories, a flock of fabulous folks and the most magnificent music making from a myriad of maestro’s that have elevated this awesome afterhours from iconic to legendary status in our clubbing catalogue. And while 2011 has seen the creation of new chapters in the brilliant book, intrepid international expeditions to France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain & South Africa casting our clubbing net much further than ever before, this including barnstorming brands in their own backyard’s, Berghain, Red & Blue, Delice, La Demence, & Muccassassina, in admitting that all these proved dynamic draws, like the strap line that is & forever will be associated the club in question & review here, all roads inevitably led back to just one place. But you could be forgiven that that place may have meant, Lovechild or SuperMartXe, Gigolo or Room Service, Hard On! or Meat, all which played out prolifically in our own backyard, the capital’s clubbing circuit, it could only be that one place we have hinted to that you stand it out from this considerable crowd of clubs and by a country mile at that.
Beyond is, undoubtedly, a club & brand that has re-written our clubbing history books, having knocked the previous pretender to our top dog crown, Trade, right off its powerful pedestal, this so called mothership of clubbing having dominated our first few years circulating the capitals scene on arriving from our home, South Africa all too many years ago, although has pretty much paled in comparison to the contender that has not only wrestled our pinnacle place out of Trade’s hands, but has gripped it tightly for virtually the whole of the ten years it has been wooing & wowing us. And we say with unashamed bravado that Beyond touches our minds & souls literally every day of our existence, we carry it in our pocket, we see it on our phone, we hear its music in our ears, but moreover than that, we look forward to Sunday mornings with both extreme excitement & those bubbling butterflies in our stomach that make the amazing afterhours our brilliant best. But, we are not alone in this accolade, as scene websites & publications have lauded loads of awards on this captivating club, while 2011 alone has seen the brand spread it wonderful word internationally too, tours of Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Ibiza among a host of others, that along with being beamed out to the wider world on the radio, touching all six continents of this gigantic globe.
So, without a doubt, it has been a yardstick year for Beyond, we can counting ourselves so lucky to have been a part of this prolific picture, we ourselves having showered the club with compliments, posts, reviews, reports & recommendations unparalleled with any other. And with all that in mind, couldn’t think of a better brand or choice to devote our final resplendent clubbing reflection of 2011 to, two happenings earlier this month our focus, the first marking our return to the scene after a six week ill health absence, the club itself rolling out as the official afterparty for WE’s “Disco” event, meaning that as we arrived at just turned 6.30 a.m., the queue was still substantial, although being superbly managed as usual by Tom Fuller, we pleased as punch to see him back at Beyond after, like us, as few weeks and doing what he does best. But it was the calls from Steve Pitron that were beckoning us in, the man eager to catch a few moments with us before his set start in the main room at 7 a.m. out arrival in the chapel space also greeted by the brilliant Bel & a handful of the Brazilian bunch with whom we have regularly rubbed shoulders with during the year.
With Steve off into the yet unopened main room to prepare for his performance, Bel in tow, we sought some pre-rollercoaster ride solace in the terrace room, finding Jamie Hammond spinning a characterful collection of upfront & euphoric house that was certainly hitting the mark, while from our spot we were in full view of the masses of ex WE party goers, many of whom had clearly, like us, made Beyond their post Coronet destination, not least Jamie Head, Fat Tony & Peyton, all of whom took a moment to say their hello’s before disappearing into the considerable crowd that was anticipating the opening of the main arena at Area. But we didn’t have to wait that long, the stampede for a special space akin to a buffalo migration across the African plains, we dashing to demarcate our spot right down to (yes you guessed it) the left of the D.J. booth, although we hardly needed to rush, as our approaching pal Sophie Pearson, had done the job just perfectly, marking out our space with red tape (naturally imaginary), just as we had planned from a few days earlier, a whole gathering of the remaining Brazilian bunch making us feel right at home once more, it feeling mere days rather than weeks we had been away from this heavenly & hallowed clubbing turf.
Now we were ready to jump onto the terrific train of tunes that would surely make up the impending rollercoaster ride of rapture, Steve starting as he meant to go on with the brilliant “You Better”, the room packed to the rafters before the track had ended. And with Steve’s Celso now captivating our company, the podiums already full with extrovert revellers, the lighting in the hands of the superb Smalls responding to Mr Pitron’s playlist perfectly, his second selection was equally as good as the first, “Music In My Soul” sending us into a spectacular spin on our spot, Brazilian boy Luis joining us in our joviality. But even these two tremendous tracks were set to be eclipsed by the next which, to this day, is simply known as “Track 3”, yet one which blew us away, we being left breathless by its brilliance, as like “Offshore” it was definitely joyful tear material, not to mention dripping with destroying qualities that have become nearly as much as an infamous as those rollercoaster rides we find ourselves on. With Steve now firmly in the zone, the new tracks kept coming, our iron lung hardly being able to cope, our excitement reaching such heights that we were close on wetting ourselves, not just due to the mesmeric music our maestro was masterminding, but because we daren’t leave our spot for the much needed toilet break for fear of missing out on even a second of Steve’s scintillating set.
With our much needed visit done, it was back into the groove in an instant, the tremendous tracks, one after the other sending us into a “Doing The Disco Matt” frenzy, Bel with her tweeting & Sophie with her whistling all adding to the awesome atmosphere, even the eye catching Eduardo from the Brazilian bunch wanting a piece of our dance delirium, dragging us off our spot and into his path, although we certainly weren’t complaining. Mind you, it wasn’t long before we had reassumed our usual position, not least due to the final Steve selection in a simply scintillating two hours of hypnotic house, “Bitch Lady” sending us wild as well as into a fit of hysterical laughter, not least due to the hidden meaning of the track and one we knew Mr Pitron had picked on purpose. Yet, there was going to be much more hilarity to come from the morning, Steve now next to us and egging both Bel & Sophie’s tweets & whistles the frolicking threesome cornering us on our spot with their playful taunting & tickles and all this while The Sharp Boys took over where Steve had left off, classics like “Put Em High” intermixed with latest hits, both Geroge & Stephen on fantastic form and hitting our magnificent mark with their masterful music machinations. But our morning, while pretty advanced by this stage was not yet over, our usual retreat into the terrace for a meet up with Tom finding Fat Tony tearing up the place with tons of terrific tunes, his captive audience clearly lapping up every tasty morsel with gusto.
However, it would be in the company of Mr Fuller that we would see out our resplendent return to Beyond, although not before a string of hilarious moments, kicked off with a “Kitty” lookalike female standing near us next to the bar, Tom remarking that she looked more like Bagpuss, while the usual line of gorgeous guys kept heading in Mr Fuller’s direction, each occasion prompting us to carry out the customary check for a hip hugging line. And with it never ceasing to surprise us what a draw our magnificent mate was (indeed is) to these delectable dudes, we continued to be aghast as a whole succession gratefully agreed to pose in front of the camera with which Tom had thrusted in our direction, we acting like his personal David Bailey but loving every minute of it. But a step outside would be the signal we needed to call a halt to this humongous happening, although not before falling into the tracks of the adorable Andrea, whom we had lost in the first few wonderment moments of WE and had hardly set foot on her since, missing her completely during Steve’s set, meaning she made up for lost time in an instant with his hysterical quips that that included “…where the f*** were you?!?!…” & “…you can f*** right off yaaaah!!!!…” leaving us wanting more, she soon dragging us right back to our main room spot, Alan K now in charge of the tunes. So, with a calling cry over the D.J. booth, he lauded the most magnificent multi mixed version of “Release Me” on us, he clearly pleased as punch to see us back soaking up his set, we equally as chuffed to have him back at Beyond too, the icing on our cake being a session up next to the main room man, seeing him in amazing action.
So that was the first of our brace of Beyond’s, we only needing to fast forward a week to find ourselves back on our spot in the club’s main room, back being an appropriate word as we couldn’t have been happier to see Mikey D at the decks, our short absence nothing compared to his, although in an instant it felt like he hadn’t been away at all, a glorious mix of tougher tech tunes intermixed with dancefloor delights, “You Better”, “Souk” & “Pressure” among them, while a look in our direction & then a quick chat over the booth confirming that we were nibble size tweeting, made both of us feel right at home. Mind you the flood of familiar faces were doing to trick too, the likes of Jonny M, Minty, Terry Bryan &, of course Tom Fuller all helping, the delectable Dorin also doing his bit with a huge hug & kiss, the previous days upset caused by a certain individual fizzling out of our minds, our thoughts now firmly on the task in hand, having a terrific time. And with Smalls in place & Mikey masterminding mounds of majestic music moments, we knew that Beyond was once again the place to be, a place that had served us so well for the whole of the year, a captivating constant in our lives that made everything else all the more worthwhile.
However, the morning was set to go from strength to strength, as the arrival of two otter constants in our lives Steve & Celso would find us hitting our gyratingly terrific top gear, this after a captivating catch-up with Steve Sharp & more of those friendly & familiar faces passing us by, Liz Dowling, Severino & Sylvester among them, while Tom continued to provide plenty of enthralling entertainment as he pulled the boys, doing a roaring trade with Fire’s re-opening party tickets. But we were D.J. booth bound, Steve wanting us to be part of his arrival & reunion rejoicing with his back-to-back pal of a D.J. partner, our excitement levels now at fever pitch as we prepared to be once again destroyed in a pool of emotional yet joyful tears, although with the magical moments we were spending in our lofty position getting a little too much, that along with Mr Pitron’s playful tickling pranks, we quickly retired to our spot to succumb to the second stormer of a set. And the first flood of tears hit home pretty much instantaneously, those trademark stares from our fabulous friend over the booth in our direction starting us off, then the addition of three fingers being held aloft, clearly indicating that “Track 3” was being lined up, but not just that, as the third track in his set showing, a gorgeous gesture that erupted our emotions effortlessly.
Now we were In Steve Pitron seventh heaven again, Celso in close quarters, Bel by our side, the Brazilian bunch occupying our area & Mikey enjoying a post performance Beyond boogie within eyeshot, our delightful D.J. clearly also enjoying every second, his smiling looks across with the choosing of every track saying it all, while a sense that we were about to be, in our pals own words “…destroyed…” by his dance delectations, was sweeping over us. And as it turned out, our feelings were not lying to us, first “Music In My Soul” then “Catch You” sending us spinning yet also ravaged with emotion, Bel instigating her own infamous microphone moves to the latter, while Tom Fuller was doing his best to avert our attention away from the amazing atmosphere now apparent, calls for “Get A Room” well placed as a cute young thing was burying himself in our friends face. But the terrific tunes kept coming, “You Better”, “Live Your Dreams” & “levels” among them, although quite uncharacteristically, Tom was drawing us away from this prolific Pitron performance, our absence for the short few minutes it was, ringing alarm bells in our head, our arrival back on our spot evidence that Steve had wondered where we had gone.
Back in our rightful place, we were soon savouring yet more scoops of superb Steve sounds, although with Bel now with her beautiful Brazilian beau, Tom flirting with his young Brazilian boy and even Luis having his turn with a passing hunk, it was clear that more than just romance was in the air, we craving for our own slice of the action, albeit that we had the music to once again fall in love with. And with Beyond at full tilt, Elektra Paris & her drop dead gorgeous go-go’s atop the podiums, the Area lighting & effects sparking in the Sunday morning spotlight of a showing, Mauricio Ortiz also passing by to say hello, it was not only the music we were in love with, although with the second week in a row seeing Steve pull “Bitch Lady” out of his musical bag of tricks, we realised that clubbing & dancing doesn’t get better than this, a remark we have made on many occasion about beyond & about the pitch perfect Pitron performances we have been privileged to be part of, this one no exception. Yet with Steve’s set over, it was a case of continuing our clubbing traditions in this awesome afterhours, our catch up with Tom over post Steve set drinks, followed by a return to our spot and the savouring of an Alan K performance that once again included an colossal multi mixed compilation of “Release Me”, we witnessing this one right next to the man himself, once more up in our select & sort after spot, proved a huge highlight among a mound of many more at this second scintillating session in a week, this awesome afterhours delivering to the degree that other clubs can only dream of.
So in rounding off this lengthy look at the legend of a club that is Beyond, while our reflection on this breathtaking brace of brilliances was the carrot for us to deliver this in-depth delectation, the truth of the matter is that we need little or no reason to orate about this awesome afterhours as we do, much of what we have already said proving just what an outstanding club this is, not just in comparison to others on the capitals clubbing circuit, but right across the world. From the lighting, to the effects, from the atmosphere to the energy and from the people to the players, we can say with total conviction that Beyond tops any other clubbing brand we know, including both those of today & of yesterday, a ten year triumph that has ridden the most wonderful wave crest for the whole of this exceptional existence. And when we look at the players that have graced its decks over the years, whether guests or residents, it reads like the most magnificent who’s who of the gay clubbing D.J. scene, many of whom we are so fortunate to call friends, some close and one very close. So it is to those dynamic D.J.’s that we dedicate this final review of Beyond for 2011, indeed the final posting on our site for this year, as it is these D.J.’s, over & above all the familiar faces we see every time we visit the club, that spin our wonderful world around with the magnificent music, meaning we are sure that, within the next few hours when the club steps into the first spotlight of 2012, we will be right there with that close D.J. pal, no doubt on the rapturous rollercoaster ride. (DISCO MATT)