Archive for February 2012
Having set the benchmark high enough with its captivating “Candy” colossus a few months ago, WE Party on tour in London exceeded even that excellence with a simply scintillating “Safari” showing on the first day of 2012, meaning all eyes will be on The Coronet this Saturday when the next instalment in the wonderful world of WE rolls into town, DM delving deep into this Spanish super brand & its “Pharaoh” themed event.
We look back on our years immersed in Matinee with fond affection as while it may not have been the first of the so called Spanish armada of clubs to land on the shores of London, it certainly stole our clubbing hearts for a sizeable chunk of its time at the top of the capitals circuit game. But its thunder was to be short of stolen by SuperMartXe which, at its height, seemed to do everything bigger & better than its uncomfortable bedfellow, very much pushing Matinee out of its superb spotlight, although unlike the Barcelona born brand, we never took to SMX in the quite same way. Yes there were some exceedingly good events, yes there were some stunning spectacles and yes, host venue The Coronet proved a perfect place for it to plunder its parties, but while Matinee always seemed to flow with consummate ease, there was always an edge (some would say exciting) to its successor, that along with a sense of seriousness that we never really became accustomed to. So, when the latest wave of wonder from Spain hit our shores here in London, we were wondering what to expect, although with that fun element back with a ban, along with the so called “new formula” of clubbing, the clubbing community took to this new Spanish super club in the spotlight like a duck to water.
We are of course talking about WE party, the Madrid born brand which has set the world alight with its larger than life LED displays that has definitely become its USP, WE’s deployed technology seemingly far in advance of any other we know, while the accompanying stage shows are to the standard we have come to expect from Spanish super clubs. Plus, with the effects, the production & the themes the brand employs always erring towards the fun element that is sometimes missing from clubbing, WE has certainly captured clubbers imagination, incarnations in the capital extending to “Attacks”, “Candy” & “Disco”, while it has mixed in more Matinee & SMX themed events too, “Broadway” & “Prison Of Love” two examples which for us detracted from that fun element that We has become renowned for. But with the We world tour extending to Brazil, Australia & even The States, European playing grounds including Paris, Rome, Ibiza, Barcelona &, of course, its Madrid base, London seems to be the testing ground for Victor Pallas & his terrific team’s newly formed themes, “Safari” having played out here first & on 1st January to boot. And, while “Candy” set a pretty high benchmark, “Safari” took WE to new levels here in the capital, meaning this latest outing has a lot to live up to.
However in “Pharaoh”, which takes place this coming Saturday (3rd March), the London & Madrid teams are once again pushing the boat out, promising “…incredible visuals and stage production, mind blowing special effects, cutting edge music from the WE Resident DJs, and more gogos and dancers on stage than ever before…” that last stake claim hopefully propelling “Pharaoh” into a similar league to “Safari”, although we still reckon they will have to go some to match what we called incredible among a long list of other superlatives that we are hoping to repeat with our reflection of this event. But with “…London’s biggest super-party back with an incredible event dedicated to the mighty Pharaohs of Egypt…” our hopes are high for some creative costumes to match those of the last event, we being told that we will be taken on “…an exciting journey to an ancient civilisation, a land of all powerful gods, pyramids…” which kind of hints towards the staging, this small video clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeVwPezL0F8 giving glimpses of what to expect while we are expectant of exceptional LED displays to match the spectacular staging. That said, the team are keeping much of the detail under wraps, not least the beans spill on a possible PA, although we are pretty confident in saying that it won’t be Peyton (shame!) as we know this superb singer & performer is down under right now, soaking up the sunshine of Sydney & the remnants of Mardi Gras. But someone we can pretty much guarantee being there is main London man that makes everything happen, Aaron Elder, but he will no doubt be missing a certain D.J. who, for us, reigned supreme at “Safari” although is taking a well earned overseas holiday, so won’t be playing at “Pharaoh” as is advertised on certain flyers & posters.
So that kind of neatly leads onto the music and while, as we have hinted above, Steve Pitron will not be in pole position for “Pharaoh”, the line up is still pretty stunning, not least that headliner & Spanish WE resident, Carlos Gallardo will be flying in especially for the event. Now, we are hoping to get a quick back stage boogie with him again (like we did at “Safari”) although we would much prefer if his set includes his two recent track releases, the first with fellow WE performer Peyton, “Let It Go” having played out at WE “Disco” in December unbeknownst to us (we were a tad distracted with our Brazilian pal) and is up in studio form at http://youtube.com/watch?v=lgOUCcj4kpQ, although we are not sure it will make it into Carlos’s set, but we will be keeping our ears pricked up in case. However, we are 100% sure that his recording “Feel It Inside” with Rebeka Brown will, this newer & fresher pressing already looking like going places, having made it big in Spain & is one we tip as a spring bloomer here in London, the “official” video release definitely worth checking out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=qAinI_VxzzU , while for a further Carlos fix, take a trip into his website at http://carlosgallardomusic.com/, oh & make sure you are primed & ready for his performance at “Pharaoh” on Saturday.
As for the rest of the music cast, we are definitely being spoiled as big scene hitters Jamie Head & Paul Heron feature large, Jamie riding on a wave crest of late, not least from a string of spectacular sets for Later and he will be getting in 9th birthday party mood as he plays an opulent opener at “Pharaoh”, while Mr Heron is fresh from his exploits down in Brazil for Carnival, so will be brimming with new beats to captivated the clubbing crowd that will surely stick around for his final set slot. But we cannot contain our excitement enough as the Spanish ante is upped by the resplendent return of Gonzalo Rivas, who has been noticeably absent during the last few weeks, well apart from a handful of appearances over NY weekend. However, it is for good reason, as he is now based back home in Seville, so only tripping across to London every other week of so, but is back with a bang this weekend, as not only will he slot in at WE just before Carlos, but will also be headlining A:M as well as barnstorming Beyond, he remarking of his trip, “…really happy about it & can’t wait to rock your waistlines again you bitches…”, while with everything on the up & up for him in Spain, we are sure he will be on his usual fabulous form, so a set at “Pharaoh” to savour. And to get you in the mood (it has us already), why sink into his soundcloud site & select his latest set of sounds, the title “I Get Deep, I Get Deep (Deep Squared Feb 2012 Supersession) hinting towards what to expect, yet a worthy addition to your collection, by hitting the download button at http://soundcloud.com/gonzalo-rivas/i-get-deep-i-get-deep-deep.
Now that’s the music signed sealed & delivered, now what about the detail? Well, this WE “Pharaoh” party takes place this Saturday (3rd March) at the Coronet in Elephant & Castle and certainly looks like being a roadblock event, not least that all the £10 super advance tickets sold out within days of release and having just put the phone down to the man in the know, the £15 early advance ones have all gone too. However, fear not as you can still swoop up a standard £18 option by going online now to http://weparty.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-03/03/we-party-london-we-pharaoh or if you prefer, pop into Soho outlets, prowler, Clone Zone & 50, as well as Ku Bar & Rupert St, while Solarstation are offering a joint ticket & sun tan for just £25, so another consideration if, like us, you are looking a little pale after a long winter out of the sun. Now, naturally advance is the way to go as while we are sure that paying on the door will be an option, you will need to expect to pay much more, those doors opening at 11 p.m. & the club running through to a planned 7 a.m., you assured of a warm welcome from the brilliant Ben Kaye and, of course, the terrific Tom Fuller (no WE party is ever the same without him), while the charming JJ Clark of Room Service fame will be pandering to your every need inside. Oh and that reminds us, we completely forgot to mention Jodie & Fat Tony in our music bit (back track quickly), both representing Room Service in the “Pharaoh” second space and given how they rocked the room at “Safari”, should go down a storm on Saturday. Plus, as no party is a party without a pre-party, “Pharaoh” actually has two, the first at Room Service tomorrow night (Thurs 1st March) and then on Saturday itself at Rupert St, further details on the former available by going to http://facebook.com/events/225570394206157/, while more info on the main event itself can be found via http://wepartylondon.com.
So, while we are still smarting from a stunning “Safari” showing, we will very much be pushing play for “Pharaoh” on Saturday, no doubt nibble size tweeting our way through the whole event and if you see us there, then come say hi, naturally having made sure that you “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
Well its seems we overlooked the inclusion of a specially devoted podcast mix to this We “Pharaoh” event, Jamie Head having dived into the studio to produce another gem of a compilation which very much follows in the fabulous footsteps of his production for “Attacks” last January. This one, kicks off in neo tribal & tech style splendour with plenty of vocal injection that are very pleasing on the ear & hint towards the opening set we can expect from Jamie this Saturday (well tonight in fact). With highlight tracks for us including the new remix of “Bad Habit” & the totally towering “Gravy”, along with loads more hot of the press pickings, we cannot think of a better way to get warmed up for the heat of the euphoric Egyptian experience to come at The Coronet, than by heading (no pun intended!) to http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2012-02-27T12_21_46-08_00 & either hitting the download or play button to your absolute delight.
When it comes to brilliant clubbing brands, it doesn’t get better in our books than Beyond, but when it only has itself to better, the feeling that it has become a little complacent has been evident of late, although all that was to change with its “Early Disco Doors” event & an extended set by its star turn. But what made this Beyond a contender as its brilliant best yet?, how come our emotions erupted so?, and what next for this colossus of a club?
There is little doubt that we can count ourselves extremely fortunate to be within one of the most diverse clubbing scenes in the world, a wealth of brands, events, parties & themes catering for the equally diverse & cosmopolitan crowds that London seemingly continues to attract. So, with so much activity on offer, week in week out, it is sometimes difficult to cut the wheat from the chaff & to choose those tall poppies that stand out from the crowd, although when it comes to the afterhours segment of the scene & Sunday in particular, that choice becomes quite easy. And having pretty much dominated this prominent playing field for the last decade, very much taking up the mantle (or perhaps stealing it more like) from the previous top of the tree turn Trade, this club has seen a meteoric rise in the early noughties, replaced by an equally impressive phoenix rise from the ashes of its Colosseum collapse, forging a new prolific path within the amazing & awesome outfit that is Area. Plus, with a never-ending succession of scintillating showings pushing the boundaries of brilliance and increasing the benchmark with relentless rapture, it is difficult to imagine that this brand has left any space for further improvement, but it has & it proved just how in the hands of one of its star turns last Sunday.
Beyond is, without question, the biggest brand on the capitals clubbing circuit, the claim to fame, whatever the competition or whatever the occasion, that all roads lead to its doors, playing out pretty much every week, while, despite not having hit the high notes in a recent club pool, is still very much at the top of its game, a summer touring season stretching towards the end of 2011, the club having touched on international destinations that have included Paris, Ibiza, Amsterdam & Athens, while it has also welcomed others into the hallowed Area turf, La Demence & Cafe Ole just two that have played alongside this brilliant brand, while in the guise of Ultimate, beyond has teamed up twice with Trade to create an afterhours sensation, the last instalment taking place in Beyond’s backyard & proving one of the busiest of 2012 so far, even if the music was a tad on the tough side for us. However, it is when Beyond is simply Beyond that we seem to enjoy it the most, these “midnight” affairs not really doing it for us, even the “belief” parties seemingly attracting a different crowd to the norm, the genuine afterhours article, even with the odd theme thrown in for good measure (think “Tokyo” & “Erotica”), is a wonderful winner in our books.
So with our favourite club of all time only tweaking its winning formula slightly with an earlier than usual 4 rather than 6 a.m. start, what promoter Steve Sharp aptly called “Early Disco Doors” (our doors?!?!) we were very much up for succumbing to another afterhours Sunday morning session, not least that the clubs longest serving resident, superstar Steve Pitron was down to play an extended set that would no doubt spell trouble for us from the word go. But, having missed out on a handful of happenings in 2012 alone, we were keen to get back in the groove, while our premier premier player Mr Pitron was pretty insistent that we were there, although it didn’t take much persuading as we arrived with our pal at not long turned 6.3 0 a.m. With little or no queue to negotiate & door hostess Minty seemingly a little distracted, we were soon inside Area & heading straight into Beyond’s main room, the place already pumping with party goers lapping up the supercharged sounds being served up by George Sharp, while we paused at the bar to seek refreshments for the extended escapade ahead, we also being joined by our premier protégé player, Zach Burns, who was fresh from his superb set stint at Casa Latina and clearly in party mood for this, his first trip to Beyond. With energy boosting refreshments in hand & with Zach off to find the adorable Andrea, we weaved our way through the cavorting crowd with Steve, first storing our bits & bobs behind the D.J. booth & then sinking into our spot in preparation for the pulsating Pitron performance to come, while with Andrea appearing from nowhere & then the marvellous Mhardenn pitching up too, we were certainly in captivating company as we metaphorically strapped ourselves in for what was to become the most the most tearful emotional rollercoaster ride we had succumbed to ever.
With the first Pitron pick, “Lady Luck” immediately sending us into a dancing delirium dive very much akin to that rollercoaster taking its first fearful plunge, we were being emotionally tossed from side to side and up & down, Steve’s second selection am emotional tear jerking surprise, the Crazibiza remix Joey Negro’s classic track “Must be The Music” watering our eyes a little unexpectedly, although with “track 3” being played third, our eruption was pretty inevitable. But this was only the beginning of our jubilant if but tearfully emotional journey at this “Early Disco Doors” dancing devotion, the Beyond faithful certainly responding to Steve’s sound selections with fervent following, the podiums packed & the whole room alight with action, that infamous Area lighting at full swing, the superb Smalls in charge of course, while we couldn’t resist touting a tweet which simply said, “…fifth in the SeenQueen awards?!?! This is tops & you know it…”. In between these nibble sized shouts however, it was the music that was doing the talking for us, we knowing in an instant that the Pitron destructive forces were hard at work on us, “Bitch Lady” soaring us skyward with enthralling ecstasy, while we came swooping back down with his next selection, “Rain Down Love” virtually on cue as the marvellous Mhardenn scooped us up in a huge hug, very much making what was already a magnificent morning even better.
Now we were a trifle hot under the collar, yet having been away from Beyond for so long, we were a bit reticent to stripping down to our waists like many already had, rather simply going sleeveless & hoping that the upcoming PT sessions at BritoClerke Training would soon put all those fears to bed. And with Zach back by our side we soon fell back into the zone, our premier protégé player by our side & our premier player in charge of the tunes, while it would be a peeping Mr Pitron who would once again score a giant emotional goal, giving us fair warning on an impending track that would surpass even the delightfully destructive qualities of “track 3”, we aptly calling it “3 times 33”, it delivering to desired emotional effect. Mind you, this was just the tip of the iceberg of shell shocking Steve stunners, as “Story Of My Life” mixed into “Gravy” left us virtually breathless spinning on our spot, the master at work surpassing even his mesmeric mixing best, these two tracks pushing us to the edge, the pressures of the last few weeks beginning to release, the company of Zach, Mhardenn &, of course Steve a major factor in fragile feelings. But it was the track “Let You Go” that delivered the destructive killer blow to our emotions, we erupting into floods like never before, we soon amidst our own tidal wave of tears that only “So Much Love” was going to pull us out of, it performing to perfection, just like the dynamic D.J. that had selected it.
With sizable chunk of Steve’s set now done, we were beginning to check our emotions a little, not least helped by a beckon up into the Beyond main room D.J., we standing resplendent next to Steve once more, this privileged position always the icing on our cavorting cake, although our stay was somewhat brief, “World” the protagonist in our pledge to sink back to our spot. And this terrific tune saw us explode into a fury of “Doing The Disco Matt” moves, while there could only be one track to follow that, “Levels” hitting its heavenly mark as always, while further classics “Souk” & “Long Time Coming” finding favour, while the final ace in the Pitron pack of premier playing cards would be an all-time favourite of ours & another classic to boot, “Release Me” polishing off the most majestic morning of emotional eruptions we had succumbed to ever. So, with Alan K soon assuming the decks, while we would have normally prolonged our beyond stay for his performance, given just how emotionally engrossed we had become in Steve’s shell shocker of a stunning set, every inch of our energy & resolve had been drained away by the two & a half hours of demonstrative yet delightful destruction, Steven Sharp gratefully allowing us to grace our exit with our pal Mr Pitron, mere mumblings being the best we could muster in the journey home, our head in our hands such had been the extent of this mesmeric master’s wonderful work.
Having played witness to some truly brilliant & breathtaking Beyond’s in our time, “Tokyo” &” Erotica” two standouts among a seas of scintillating others, what we experienced this morning was a shell shocking & stunning something else, Steve Pitron exceeding our expectations even more than we could have imagined or hoped for. And having completely absorbed ourselves in the rapturous rollercoaster ride we found ourselves on, those emotional eruptions bigger than ever before, it will be a morning that will remain in our memories for a long time to come. As for the full extent of this “Early Disco Doors” event, it seems that feedback impressively indicated that all three rooms were alight with action, the likes of D’Johnny, Paul Christian, Fat Tony & Jamie Head all delivering delightfully, while in the very capable promotional hands of Steven Sharp, there is no doubt that Beyond continues to ride that wave crest it has found itself on for so long. Plus, while it may have only reached a lowly fifth in a certain scene website’s annual club poll, in the hands of its all-star resident D.J.’s & other invincible ingredients, this brilliant brand showed us why is remains the best club in town, one deserved of a top slot in ANY scene award ceremony and certainly one that gets our vote every single time. And we highly expect it to top an upcoming magazine’s poll, while the club will surely continue to stand proud on that wonderful wave crest that still shows no signs of coming into the shore, meaning we will be taking that rollercoater & surfboard ride of resplendence for a long time to come. (DISCO MATT)
While carnival season was well under way back home, it seemed that Brazilian brand Casalatina, which was born in London, decided an inter galactic theme was better suited to celebrating their fourth showing on the scene. But did this “A Space Odyssey” spectacle sparkle like a shooting star or sink scorching into the stratosphere?
There is absolutely no doubt that the international influences that have swept the capitals clubbing circuit in recent times have made for a much more colourful playing field here in London, the green, green grass of home getting a massive splash of red & yellow in the form of the inbound so called Spanish armada back in the noughties (gosh makes us sound old!!!). And while the proverbial torch has been passed from brand to brand to hold high & burn bright, Space, Matinee & SuperMartXe all part of the rapturous relay, run, the current leg in the hands of the wonderful WE, the Spaniards haven’t had it all their own way in our captivating clubbing backyard, as the red in that colour splashed playing field has got a grain of green running right through it, as The Brazilians have definitely landed on London & in a big way. So, with The Week very much the pioneer of the South American dream, a succession of parties both at Fire & at the Coronet in part fulfilling its readymade following, although right on the tail of The Week’s second showing, a new London born brand was to show its Brazilian credentials & cards, very much taking the initiative away from its Sao Paulo prominent player.
Casalatina was the inspiration & idea of dancer come choreographer turned promoter Thiago Drewry who considered that a there was room on the capitals clubbing circuit for a brave new Brazilian brand & being native of this South American country himself, was well positioned to propose the venture to the Orange Group powers that be. And while The Week had established a foothold in the capital, it would be Casa (we often drop the “Latina” bit, oops) that would take up the set the 2011 season alight with its home grown Brazilian charm, the second instalment “Super Carwash” propelling the party into the eyes of the clubbing elite, the involvement of fellow Brazilian Mauricio Ortiz, he of SuperMartXe fame, giving the brand the boost it needed and setting it on course for a season of spectacles that have confirmed it as one of the capitals more prolific parties. With “Sugar Daddy” reaffirming a fervent following, even in the difficult times both the clubbing world & Vauxhall in particular were going through, it was just a question of when as opposed to if that Casa would storm the scene again, the latest & fourth instalments, “A Space Odyssey” flying in the face of calls for the theme to reflect & celebrate the carnival season sweeping across Brazil, meaning we were more than keen to see how it would fair & compare to the “Super Carwash” benchmark.
With initial plans to arrive literally as the doors opened at 11 p.m. somewhat scuppered by an over indulgent disco nap, we were in playful mood before we even left the house, our liason with our near & dear D.J. pal forced into feigned false starts a few times, we probably pushing our luck a little too far when we tried the same on opening Casa spinner Junior Mora, our arrival at not long turned 11.30 p.m., met with a distained look from our Brazilian protégé player. However, all that was after the warm welcome at the entrance by the larger than life Chrissy Darling, looking just the galactic part in her colourful & star spangled costume, while the charming JJ Clark made the smoothest of starts even better than we could have wished for and with the coatcheck staff recognising us in an instant we already knew this evening was going to be one to savour, host venue Fire certainly ticking all of our expectant boxes from the off. But it was an expectant Steve Pitron that was to grab our attention as we sped towards the main room D.J. booth, the space only scantily scattered with selection of scenesters, although our eyes were diverted onto the stage production which was striking to say the least, a phallic like rocket on one side & a full size astronaut moon walking man (not a real man you understand) on the other, a whole stream of stars framing the whole affair and certainly living up to the Casa style of staging. Mind you Mr Marsh was a little if but amusingly disparaging of the efforts, he remarking as he spotted us, “…it’s amazing what a few stars & stage props can do…”, although it was first Mr Pitron and then our protégé player that received our discerning devotions, Junior warming up this “A Space Odyssey” event wonderfully with a captivating collection of chunky upfront house hits, all blended in brilliantly with bits of Brazilian beats to befit the occasion, while Steve was determined to divert Disco Matt from the task in hand, darts in & out of the lounge space interrupting our devotions to Junior’s superb set and a rapidly filling out main room.
So, with earlier doubts that this “A Space Odyssey” take-off would nose dive like an exploding Space Shuttle in the stratosphere, Casa was having none of it, the afterburners on its towering trip into wonderful weightlessness propelling this party proudly, a whole host of familiar faces having flocked to Fire to succumb to their own spot of space dusting & dancing, the list pretty endless, although notable inclusions being Suzana Quentin looking gorgeous as ever, the adorable Andrea, full of beans, our premier protégé player Zach Burns, ready for duty, as was Brazilian beatmaster Doug Silva, accompanied by partner Weverton De Castro, while we managed a brief audience with Jodie Harsh as she swing by, the lovable Lunarde Martins lauding more of his attention on us as we refreshed ourselves with Steve in the lounge, Steven Galo also in the thick of the action, as was Chrissy & Aaaron Elder, while the marvellous Mhardenn Teixeira was very much in playful mood, chasing us round the club although pushed from a few Pitron prompts. But all eyes were on the stage, as the first of a few showings would dazzle the audience, the “A Space Odyssey” theme a little absent from their costumes it has to be said, but their performances & stage presence as sparkling as the sun, pyrotechnic ticker tape explosions & our much loved roof rockets illuminating Fire like never before.
With Junior’s jamboree of a spectacular “A Space Odyssey” set over, for us all too soon, it was time for Doug Silva to assume the decks, an immediate brace of Brazilian beats belting out to a audience that were seemingly lapping up every tiny morsel of his music and while the tribal tones were not particularly doing it for us, Mr Silva was mixing up the music marvellously, a whole host of uplifting house hits making their mark. But when he selected the towering tune “Gravy”, we felt a little more Beyond than Brazilian, a further successive string of sounds affirming our feelings, although we were far from complaining, spinning on our select spot with the marvellous Mhardenn not far away and Junior (oh we can call him Celso now) right by our side, Steve having retired to rest before what would turn out to be a breathtakingly brilliant Beyond to beat all others. But saving that for another review, it was Casa we were concentrating on, not least as the arrival of a camera & microphone, Chrissy Darling the interviewer & we the interviewee, caught us a little off guard & tongue tied, a short series of quizzical questions leaving us a tad tongue tied, yet eloquent enough to pour praise all over this prolific party, while her final on the spot shocker left us hoping that the “husband” humdinger wouldn’t make it further than the film editing & cutting room floor.
With this Odyssey outing going from strength to strength, our premier protégé player Zach Burns mixing up the magnificent music in the second space, that along with the arrival & deck assumption in the Casa main room of Alan K, we were very much spoilt for choice as to where to lay our final music hat of moments. Would it be Mr Burns & his barnstorming beats or Mr K & his euphoric & energetic house heaven?, we deciding to share our dancing devotions between the two although doing so with alarming speed, perhaps due to over indulgence in energy boosting refreshments akin to rocket fuel that kept us firing on all cylinders, while the cavorting crowd were also showing no signs of slowing down, the main room podiums packed, even the stage appearances continuing unabated, from trio’s of females to males, all impressing immensely, making our decision to curtain call this Casa carnival decidedly difficult. However, with Beyond now on the brain & an expectant Pitron performance in mind, it was time to wave a fond farewell to Fire, the need to recharge our own batteries as well as those of our nibble size tweeting toys also paramount in our plans, we gracing our exit after goodbye wishes to our flock of fabulous friends & familiar faces that were seeing this glorious galactic gathering right through till the end, wending our way home to reflect on another Casa club night that made a magnificent mark.
So, in concluding our refection of this brilliant Brazilian brand’s latest impressive instalment, we can say with conviction and answering our original question, that “A Space Odyssey” certainly did sparkle like a shooting star and, once the party got going, showed no signs of sinking into the sub space stratosphere, the music, the effects, the lighting & the production all living up to the high bar benchmark of “Super Car Wash” wonderfully. If we had to pick on one part that fell a little short of expectations, then it would be the dancers costumes, which as we said lacked the space themed spice we would have thought should have been their centre-piece. However, in truth we are nit picking a little, as Casa Latina is much more about the spectacle, the music & the staging, Thiago, Mauricio & Lunarde masterminding all these ingredients impressively to produce a party to be proud of, that music doing much of the talking for us, not least performances from outstanding opener Junior Moura and the blending of beats from Doug Silva two heavenly highlights. But like so many of our meets of late, it was also the people that made this memorable, a big thanks going to each & everyone that came to say hi, along with all those mentioned by name, you made this a space adventure to savour and we cannot wait to walk on the Casalatina wild side again soon. (DISCO MATT)
With Saturday & Sunday seemingly being all about Steve, Steve & Steven, Disco Matt steps out of the scene shadow in what already looks like a whirlwind weekend of amazing action from start to finish, picking out his top of the tree choices of where to be & be seen in Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch.
As we approach another wonderful weekend on the capitals clubbing circuit scene, it seems there is an unstoppable wave of enthusiasm for extending exceptional events into the path of party goers that simply will not let the word austerity into their dance diary dictionaries. And while there has been a host of heavyweight happenings over the last handful of weeks, the scene certainly is pausing for breath on this third February Friday, Saturday & Sunday, we go in-depth on a trio of towering turns (well four actually) that are floating our boat & should be floating yours too.
So first we head into Soho and to our favourite hip & happening hangout in this part of town, the creative combo that is Profile & Lo-Profile on Wardour St, these un-identical twins going from strength to strength, week on week and like all the best in the business, is far from resting on its laurels. And looking at Profile first, while the weekend format continues along the same winning formula line, tonight (Fri 17th) seeing one of our protégé player’s, Junior (aka Celso) Moura warm up the start to your weekend & get into the Casa groove from 8.30 till 11.30 p.m., this on the back of an appearance for “Society” last week, his uplifting vocal house along with a blend of Brazilian beats ticking all the boxes. Then on Saturday (that’s tomorrow) it’s the turn of scene stalwart Rob Sykes to sort the sounds, while we cannot escape mentioning the gorgeous bar team (especially one!) who are enough to pull any crowd with their charming & attentive service, that including a happy hour each day when its 2 for 1 on standard spirits & mixers & £2 a pint Stella, plus cocktail pitchers for just £14. Add to that the week day evening meal offers, now including “Masala Monday’s” when its £10 for two Indian curry dishes, while Tuesday’s is steak night & Wednesday’s mark another 2 for 1 offer, this time of Profile’s brilliant burgers. Now we would say, pop onto the net & check out their website at http://profilesoho.com for more details, although it appears to be a tad out of date, so we will have a word when we swing by tonight.
Onto downstairs and it’s another busy weekend for Lo-Profile with house brand’s “Playtime” & “ClubNation” taking up residence on tonight & tomorrow respectively, Jay Roberts having his hands full with a bevy of porn stars come escorts as Hustlaball’s Jeffrey Davids rolls into town to oversee the London leg of the “Mr Hookies 2012” competition which last year was held at Ku Bar, the team finding it a little compact & bijou for the boys to bare their assets for all to see. So, choosing “Playtime” as the place this year is a terrific tie in, as the theme’s of both events run in tandem. And Mr Roberts is upping the ante with his porn-tastic party, telling us that we should “…get your harness fitted (tick), polish up your leather boots (tick), grow out that stubble (tricky) & leave off the cologne (please no!)...” adding that “…these are commands not requests (yes sir), as Playtime gets XXXtra dirty with hardcore hunks Spencer Reed & Scott Hunter, their bedroom manner more like the farmyard & the demands for your attentiveness knowing no bounds, all meaning that the podium action should be every bit as hot as the banging in Jay’s backroom boudoir. And banging out the beats will be the dynamic duo of D’Johnny & Steve Artis, the Berlin based Swede & the London based German sure to drench the dancefloor with loads of deep & tech house, all making for an XXXtra pron-tastci night to remember down Wardour Street way. Then, fast forwarding to Saturday (18th Feb), it’s just a little calmer in the hands of ClubNation, the new night that launched last weekend and this week sports two towering talents on the capitals clubbing scene, Mikey D & Jamie Head, both going back-to-back in an extended set from start to finish, although with Mikey’s services required south of the river at some point, he will be juggling ClubNation with Casa Latina, but a double dose of Dower definitely helps the musical medicine go down, details of all these happenings & more available at http://loprofile.com.
Onward to Vauxhall and it pretty much goes without saying that the Orange Group once again tops our tower of tips, a whole host of parties to choose from beginning with Onyx & ending in Orange, although it is the filling in the multi layered sandwich that we concentrate on here, A:M the first and one that kicks off a littler earlier than usual at 3 a.m. tomorrow morning (Sat 17th Feb) at Fire, the “Headliners” theme continuing as promoter Steven Sharp welcomes back Trade original Steve Thomas to the decks, he who kicked off this season of headliners back in September, Mr Sharp remarking of a fellow tremendous talent, “…Steve recently guested on the Main Floor at Beyond to rapturous applause, so come and see why this Saturday morning…” while we would add that having captivated us week in week out in the Turnmills days of Trade, Steve continues to cut a significant stride on the scene, whether it be on the dancefloor or in the recording studio, a long list of releases with fellow Trade man Nick Tcherniak, hitting the high notes on worldwide download charts, while his appearance for Trade on Christmas day was one of our huge highlights. So, with Steve in the driving seat, the cast of supporting musical artists include Fat Tony, Jamie Head & D’Johnny, all in a main room that will surely rock from start to finish, while if you fancy it a little more deep & RAW, then the lounge space sports David Jimenez, this on top of host Danny Boyce pandering to your every whim and the marvellous Minty meeting & greeting you in her inimitable yet loveable fashion. With A:M Headliners sending you deep into Saturday, the event running to a planned 10 a.m. finish, entry is just £8 before 5 a.m. with a flyer, ad or Facebook invite, or £12 otherwise, further details available direct from the event page at http://facebook.com/events/299624366764277/.
As for our other sandwich filler, well it could only be one and that is Beyond, the awesome afterhours that has been at the top of its game for over a decade now and shows no sign of slowing down. However, with an unhealthy handful of “Midnight” events filling the clubbing calendar so far this year, we are pleased to say that our favourite club of all time returns to a more regular timing for this “Official Casa Latina Afterparty” party, well to a slightly earlier than normal 4 a.m. in what has been called an “Early Disco Doors” event this Sunday morning (19th Feb). So, while many will still be cavorting at Casa (more on that in a mo), across Vauxhall, this awesome afterhours will be stoking up a head of steam that will see all three rooms swing into action virtually simultaneously, the “Beyond Da Disco” terrace space in the healthy hands of Jonny M, The Oli & Jamie Head, while further in and the “Beyond RAW” Chapel will feature deep house hard hitters Paul Christian, D’Johnny & Hifi Sean, our discoballs dude fresh from a short season stint down under but is jet lag free & ready to rock. However, it’s the main room that will surely get the lion’s share of devotions, as The Sharp Boys & Alan K do their own sound sandwiching, the man in the middle being all star resident Steve Pitron who rolls out an extended two & a half hour set and one sure to see us jump on that emotional rollercoaster ride from our spot, whether it be down on the dancefloor or that new privileged position next to the master at work. Add to that the prolific podium prancers headed up by Elektra Paris & Shaun Capewell and, while the doors times may be a little different, the magic of Beyond as we know it well will surely be the same. And talking of those doors, a reminder that (did we make it clear enough?!) that they open at 4 a.m., the club running through to a planned midday finish, your exceptional entry in the hands of the marvellous Minty & inside, Danny Boyce hosting as only he knows best. In terms of tickets, you can grab your online at http://orangenation.co.uk or via the usual Soho outlets Prowler, Clone Zone & 50, priced at just £10, while more will be available on the door but expect to pay more (£15 to be precise), we leaving it to the superb Steven Sharp to say “…the whole team are proud that Beyond rocks London like no other afterhours in the city or indeed the UK! The past few weeks have been so busy and we thank you all for your incredible support…”, and we second that emotion, enough said!!!
Right, to our third gay mecca on the capitals clubbing circuit, Shoreditch, the spot on City Road getting our Best Bite focus this week, East Bloc like the others we have chosen, riding a wonderful wave crest of popularity at present, not least with brands such as Gutterslut, Meat, TheMenWhoFell2Earth, & SOS propelling that popularity much further than the venue’s promoter Wayne Shires could ever have wished for when East Bloc opened just over 2 years ago. And it is SOS. that takes centre stage this Saturday (18th Feb), celebrating the upcoming London Fashion Week with, in the words of head honcho Jim Warboy, “…kicks it’s high heels into full pace, gathering all fashion mavericks, unfashionable trendsetters and head-turning traffic stoppers to experience another underworld party where style is definitely not over substance…” he adding that you should “…dress up, dress down, dress to express, or even undress – it’s your call…” all very much hinting towards the SOS philosophy of all styles suit, how do they put it, shoe gazing muses, earth-shaking booties, stargazing musos, trans twisted beauties, that’s SOS. And that extends to the music too, as the team welcome special guest D.J. Neville Watson to the decks, bringing with him a blend of raw deep & pumping house that has seen him hit the heights with numerous influential genre labels including Clone, Dissident and Mule, while the underground element of East Bloc should suit him well, having played at the world renowned Twilo, Berghain & Panorama Bar. Then, joining Mr Watson on the main room “Catwalk” will be Jim Warboy (naturally) and rising star of Shoredtich Ilona International, while Andy Blake, who has been busy launching his new label “In Plain Sight”, will be there too, all these SOS stars turning up the tech & acid house heat. But with the “Dupes Den” sporting El Moreno & Niyi Maximus Crown turning out RnB hits, while Jacqui Potato (AKA fashion expert, Julian J Smith) & Jonathan Bestley will be picking pop, showtunes & tranny mash, this is definitely a musical mix for all seasons & scenesters. Then, with Doghouse, who made an impact in the early days of SOS with their vivacious vogueing will be taking to the catwalk to give away a limited number of tote bags full of Doghouse goodies., while these SOS doors at East Bloc will be opening at 10 p.m. with entry a mere £6 Before midnight, £10 after that and then, for late arrivals, its just £5 after 4 a.m., the club running v late, host Scottee making sure you have a wayout & whacky time, living up to the reputation that this is “…one of the capital’s most outrageous and brilliant parties…”, more info, should you need it, available at http://sosnow.co.uk.
Well, that’s our Best Bite choices of where to be & be seen on the scene, although with time against us, our planned Short Shouts part of this newsletter will not be making it o press this week. However, with a reputable reference & equally large listing, we highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this week’s Boyz Magazine, or better still go online to http://boyz.co.uk where you can still cast your vote in their “20th Anniversary” scene awards, as your vote for your favourite bar, club, event, business, D.J. & more, really does count. So, safe in the knowledge that you have all the armoury to make an informed decision on who, where & when to lay your clubbing come socialising hat this weekend, we wish you an enjoyable one. As for us, well, it seems that, after an unforeseen circumstances absence from the scene, we will be back this weekend, planned trips to Profile & Lo-Profile tonight, followed by Casa Latina tomorrow & Beyond on Sunday morning, may also include A:M. So, if you see us out, come say hi, if not try follow our live nibble size review tweets at http://twitter.com/discomatt, but most importantly, make sure you Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
It literally took the scene by storm when it launched in London sixteen months ago, a summer season in Ibiza propelling its profile even further, while its presence at WE events as well as playing pre-party hosts for the likes of Beyond, Casa Latina & Matinee have seemingly secured its future. But with the seventeenth month itch approaching along with the need to cope with the capital’s clubbing crowd complacency, what does Jodie & her tight knit team have in store for this superb Soho scene soiree?
There can be no doubt in our minds that when we cast our eyes across the clubbing scene schedule in any given week these days, there are a handful of clubs & events that not only crop up with resounding regularity, but also stand out from others as exemplary examples of popular parties that hardly ever fail to attract & maintain a healthy following, the likes of Beyond, Later & Orange three shining examples of weekly brands that have stood the test of time. However, maintaining an enthusiasm & interest in events takes a fair amount of hard work, the days when you could simply open the doors & see crowds flock in, very much long gone, whether it be at the weekend or otherwise. However, when a club catches the imagination to the extent that it very much bucks that trend, the people involved could be forgiven for taking things a little too much for granted, although even the less experienced promoters have to realise that by simply sitting on their laurels is tantamount to disaster, particularly when operating in a scene that is renowned for turning against the trend tide with lightning speed.
Room Service is one such clubbing brand that literally took the scene by storm and since its launch in October 2010 has seemingly continued to ride a wave crest that shows no signs of coming into shore, an extension of its eventing here in the capital seeing promoter Jodie Harsh & her terrific team expand into a summer season in Ibiza, undoubtedly propelling the profile of the club in the eyes of Europeans if not just Spaniards. But back home, while we have only made the occasional visits since the launch, every time we have pitched up after 11 p.m., the queue has extended down Greek St, a reflection of just how popular the club is, and this is on a Thursday (i.e. school) night if you please. However, Jodie’s jamboree has not been without its competition, Gigolo seemingly locking horns when it launched in May last year, although what it rather seemed to do was to bring more people into Soho on a Thursday night, although while David & L.a. may have since switched both venue & night, Lo-Profile has “Society”, meaning Room Service still needs to keep on its toes and remain “Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion” in its quest to remain at the top of its game, a game that has seen it voted as the best UK club night in 2011 by Attitude magazine & is sure to feature in the upcoming Boyz award results too.
So what does this boutique clubbing brilliance have in store in the forthcoming weeks & months? Well, first & foremost, Jodie has consolidated her towering team of resident D.J.’s these being scene stars & favourites Steve Pitron, Severino, Kris Di Angelis, Fat Tony & Ariel, while special guests in recent weeks have included the mighty music maestro, Smokin Jo, east end boy Matt Bogard & Brighton belle Verity Mayes. And hosting pre-parties remains a staple ingredient in the Room Service schedule, the club welcoming Matinee with open arms three weeks ago, Trade last Thursday and tonight (Thurs 16th), it’s all about “A Space Odyssey” as the Casa Latina crew roll into Soho town. But while all these represent amazing attractions, we have to dig a little deeper into the Room Service treasure chest of treats to discover some hidden gems that often get overlooked when considering whether to mosey on down to Maibella, this compact & bijou yet enticingly beautifully formed little venue on Greek St. And those treats pretty much start at the door, the charming J.J. Clark making every single welcome something special, while for those that arrive before 11 p.m. (the club opens at 10) there is a complimentary glass of champers to greet you, this as well as the special “serviced” cocktails priced at an extremely reasonable £4 each available all night, or for those at the other end of the scale, a bottle of Grey Goose, marketed as “…the world’s best tasting vodka…”, with all the accompaniments & special treatments the Maibella team offer you for £150.
Then we look outside of Room Service’s Soho doors and the untrained eye & ear will hardly realise that Jodie has teamed up with Circa Bar on Frith St, just a block away, this equally compact & bijou beauty matching the sumptuousness of Maibella, also attracting an equally qualitative crowd and sporting a bunch of resident D.J.’s that have past & present links with Room Service, Munroe Bergdorf & James Pople two that appear relatively regularly on Thursday’s. And as part of the tie between the two, that is Room Service & Circa, for those of you that can’t make it down to Greek St until after the witching hour, it is well worth swinging by Circa first, as there are “late night check-in passes” for your favourite boutique brilliance priced at a competition busting £5, valid for entry between 1 & 2 a.m. However, it doesn’t stop at Soho, as Room Service continue their partnership with WE, once again taking over the second space at the forthcoming “Pharaoh” event on Saturday 3rd March at The Cornet in E&C, while the summer season ahead looks like seeing Room Service go on tour, as well as rekindle the “Downtown” brand and, with little birdie tweeting that Room Service could be hosting a room at the next As One event, sitting on laurels does not form part of the Jodie’s & her teams equation.
So, if you haven’t yet checked in at Maibella on a Thursday and in so doing, indulging in the full Room Service sensation, that being “…your weekly fix of the best of London’s gay scene wrapped up in a boutique package, with the hottest go-go boys steaming things up, a crazy army of hosts leading you into a haze of neon lit mischief and the best underground house music in the city…” then its high time you did. And in the words of Room Service’s sponsors, this is one fabulous feast for the eyes & ears, meaning it’s time to stimulate your senses and “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
Virtually a year to the date, the brilliant Brazilian brand Casa Latina, with amazing adventures “Super Car Wash” & “Sugar Daddy” under its belt, returns with an event of epic proportions, as it shots beyond the stratosphere with its “Space Odyssey” outing, magnificent men Mauricio, Thiago & Lunarde masterminding a magical meet that sees Disco Matt jumping on a space shuttle ride of recommending rapture.
Casting our minds back twelve months, we found ourselves questioning the appeal & authenticity of a new home grown Brazilian brand that was set to make a showing on the capitals clubbing circuit, but not just that, literally follow in the footsteps of Sao Paulo splendour The Week, which had scored a gigantic goal with Latino’s & their lovers here in London, two exceptional events at Fire & a third at The Coronet substantial successes in their own right(s). So, with the focus on this globally renowned clubbing concept, choosing to stage a similar style of showcase seemed a risky to say the least, although with the clubbing community awash with Brazilian bel’s, beau’s & beaut’s, there is no denying that this new Latino kid on the capital’s circuit block had a pretty extensive & adoring audience. Yet with a succession of Spanish brands washing London’s scene shores, plus with enough of our own events on offer, there was a nagging doubt that a second Brazilian brand would survive in an ever increasingly claustrophobic clubbing climate where brands like Lovechild, SuperMartXe & Salvation were being squeezed out or kicked into the proverbial long grass.
So Casa Latina, that’s who were are talking about if you hadn’t already got the gist, arrived at a pretty turbulent time and amidst a number of international brands infiltrating the capitals scene, WE having launched to amazing accolade, also pitching its next party in the same month as Casa, the Brazilian branding itself leaving decided doubts in our minds as well as those around us, not least that a new podcast from the Brent Nicholls stable of sounds, released prior to Casa’s creation, sounded too close for comfort, “Casa Latino” the compilation, while an a instead of an o represented the club. However, having been in the sunny climbs of home for the launch party last March, it was only at the “Super Carwash” event that we saw the extent of this epic encounter, host venue Fire packed to the rafters, the prolific production akin to a SuperMartXe showcase and the music a brilliant blend of Brazilian beats, tough tech & uplifting euphoria. And then there was “Sugar Daddy”, an outing that had much to live up to, expectations high as a consequence, but one that failed to deliver as fantastically as the former, the numbers struggling somewhat, despite all the impressive ingredients included.
All that said, Casa’s continuance always seemed a certainty, not least that the Saturday circuit was & still is a little devoid of sufficient showings to spark enough enthusiasm, we mean, if they hold another Beyond “Midnight” soon (there have been four this year already) then we will scream! And so in this Saturday (18th Feb) we find ourselves at the next instalment of this Brazilian brand books of bashes, the joint promoters Thiago Drewry & Mauricio Ortiz, both Brazilian’s too (which kind of helps) deciding on “A Space Odyssey” as the title and given the extent of the production at the last two parties, we can only imagine what Fire will be transformed into. That said, the team have not given much away with their PR material, the most we could get out of them being, “… “A Space Odyssey” promises more outrageous dance shows, oversized production, cutting edge special effects, and incredible stage installations…” and so while we have been left a little short on substance, what we know of Mr Ortiz’s experience in bringing exceptional entertainment to the fore, his significant influences during the height of the SuperMartXe days speaking volumes, we are kind of comfortable that this latest Casa creation will prove suitably sensational. Plus, judging solely on the stage shows & performances from both “Super Carwash” & “Sugar Daddy”, we are expecting another drenching of drop dead gorgeous go-go dancers, while a little birdie in the know has told us to expect a special P.A. performance, some more special treats and “…one of the most amazing opening shows ever put together on the stage…”.
But while all that does fill us with excitable anticipation, what we are really interested in is the music, Thiago & Mauricio once again shaking up the guest slots a little to include a couple of heavy hitters along with the usual smattering of Brazilian boy beatmasters, we actually more excited about this line-up than at any of the previous events. And for good reason, as it includes two each of our protégé & premier players, while it also has a pseudo Beyond feel as well as a Room Service roll call, an enticing combination of influences, leaving us in a quandary as to where to start. Well, let’s take a look at the Brazilian boys first (a good start we think) regulars Doug Silva (you may know him as DouGium) and Junior (Celso) Moura, Mr Silva fresh from a trip back home & brimming with Brazilian beats, many of which he has combined into a compilation simply entitled “Destination Brazil” and one worth checking out at http://soundcloud.com/djdougsilva/dougsilva-destinationbrazil. As for our Junior, well we cannot contain our excitement & pride at how our protégé player has grown into his D.J. vocation, stints for Profile & Lo-Profile cropping up with ever increasing regularity, while a recent guest slot at Gigolo, as well as a forthcoming appearance at Monday nighter Popcorn are both sure to propel him in the eyes of promoters and we can see the big stage beckoning sometime soon. However, what we cannot do here is share a new podcast of his, we needing to look back to Casa’s “Sugar Daddy” event for his last edition, one still available at http://djjuniorspodcast.podomatic.com/, while we know he has plans for a new release very soon.
So that’s our Brazilian boys, but what about the rest? Well, first & foremost is the inclusion of another of our protégé players and one who made a massive impression on the scene during 2011, Mr Zach Burns the star turn of Gigolo, while regular slots for Profile & Lo-Profile fill his schedule, that along with a residency at The Edge every Saturday. And in Mr Burns, the team couldn’t have chosen a better boy to create the official “A Space Odyssey” Casa compilation, a seventy minute marvel packed with barnstorming beats, Latino flavours, vivacious vocals & the trademark Zach disco twist, so one well worth adding to your collection by going to http://soundcloud.com/djzachburns/dj-zach-burns-casalatina-a. Then we move to our premier players, all three Beyond all-stars who are sure to stand significantly in the space odyssey spotlight, the mere mention of their names, Mikey D, Alan K & Jamie Head, filling us with feverish excitement, Alan also having laid down a mix marking his first Casa appearance, one which we have already added to our 2012 podcast chart list and so well worth sinking into at http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/2012-02-14T02_36_09-08_00. As for Mikey, while we may be devoid of a fresh new compilation from him, what we will not be short of on Saturday is scores of superb sounds, he ranking right behind our master as the second highest premier player on our list, an amazing accolade which we reckon speaks for itself. Then in Jamie Head we have a towering talent that has been tipping our musical scales for longer than we care to mention, Crash, Beyond, Later & Lo-Profile fabulous features and having recently played back-to-back with Mikey at later, we are crossing fingers that the duo will do the same at Casa. But it doesn’t stop there as Room Service supremo, Jodie Harsh, is also taking to the Casa decks and is sure to add a tantalising twist to the “Space Odyssey” soundtrack, her inclusion competing a line-up that look as though their mission to mars with mounds of magical music to come for sure.
Right, with the sounds sealed & delivered, what about the detail? Well, this Casa Latina “A Space Odyssey” event takes place this coming Saturday (18th Feb) at Fire in Vauxhall, doors opening at 11 p.m. & the club running through to a planned 7 a.m. finish, while the Casa showcase actually begins tonight (Thurs 16th Feb) at Room Service, who are hosting the “official” pre-party where discounted entry passes will be up for grabs. However, advance tickets proper are on sale both online at http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-02/18/casalatina-a-space-odysseyand at the usual Soho
outlets, prowler, Clone Zone & 50, all priced at just £10 (subject to booking fees), while there will be more available on the door, including concessions & guest list entries, but for full entry fee paying customers, expect to pay £12 plus. And that door will see the delightful Chrissy Darling, dressed to dare & dazzle, while her hosting helpers including the charming J.J. Clark, adding that Room Service touch that we absolutely love, while the one fly in this “A Space Odyssey” ointment is a she beginning with “S”, we really mystified why this rebel without a plausible cause is involved (Thiago & Mauricio, what are you thinking?!?!?!). But with the promise of drop dead gorgeous dancers, that immensely impressive D.J. line up of premier & protégé players, as well as our close pal Mr Pitron in attendance, we will have plenty to distract us from Miss Rebel (she will surely be doing lots of her usual child like attention seeking elsewhere!) meaning that this is certainly shaping up as a Casa to covet & celebrate, resulting in the fact that you simply have to, “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
We were amazed by “Attacks”, bamboozled by “Broadway”, captivated by “Candy” & delighted by “Disco”, just four in a season of WE Party events that filled our 2011 dancing boots brilliantly. But as 2012 dawned and our choice between “Safari” or Salvation loomed large, we were not quite prepared for the magnitude of magnificence we were to experience in the hands of WE, a party that marked the most phenomenal start to a new year that we can remember, but what made it so good?
There is no doubt that the so called Spanish Armada invasion of clubs has had a huge impact on the capital’s clubbing circuit & scene, Matinee very much leading the way for others to follow, Space securing successive seasonal showings, while Matinee really pushed Spain into the capital scene spotlight, holding sway over Sunday’s & then Saturday’s leaving British brands wavering in its wake. But when SuperMartXe very much took this super size Spanish style clubbing to the next level, even Matinee ended up playing second fiddle to its then new nemesis, the sparkling stage shows SuperMartXe’s strong point, that along with the gorgeous guys it used to attract, all which held the club, its promoter & its events in the highest regard. Yet, while all three made an indelible impression, they were all pretty much pushed into the shade by the landing in London that was the wonder of WE, a winter warmer of a launch proving one of the hottest tickets in town, even eclipsing the enormity of SuperMartXe, this new darling of the super size scene then going from strength to strength, scoring success not just here in London but across the globe, tours of its homeland Spain, to Brazil & Australia all highlights, while touch down’s in The States, as well as well as enriching European destinations including Paris & Rome look set to continue this scintillating success story.
So with WE very much in the ascendency and London having been compared as second only to its holy grail of a home in back in the Spanish capital, it is no surprise that the might of muscle of Madrid is thrown into the partying & production and the effects & the imagery when the WE wagon rolls into town, London even showcasing the brands new incarnations, the likes of “Attacks”, “Candy” & “Broadway” all examples of themes that have premiered here and then gone onto touring success elsewhere. But more than that, having joined forces with a capital clubbing corporation with the strength & size of The Orange Group, WE has found a fabulous partner to proliferate its parties, the established infrastructure that the former has in place, enabling the touring WE to show itself to its brilliant best, it being no surprise that throughout 2011, it truly captivated capacity crowds with its outstanding offer. And still dizzy from the delights of the “Disco” inspired first anniversary event in December, when the announcement that WE would be back on New Year’s Day, its “Safari” themed event switching from the usual slot to a t-dance style shindig, it was no surprise that it would prove yet another stunning showcase, a 3000 strong demonstrative delectation of dancing devotees deciding on WE as their dazzling destination.
So, while a good six weeks have passed since “Safari” played a most significant part in shaping what proved as the best start to a year we have ever had, the memories of its magical moments remain momentous in our minds now as when we made tracks for this towering treat, a pre-club liaison with close friends Steve & Celso seeing us chauffeured to the Coronet’s doors literally as the clock struck six, this supper time start not sitting well with us, not least that we were still in recovery mode from the breathtakingly brilliant Beyond just hours before. But with Aaron Elder welcoming us at the door, plus walking into a prepared yet unopened venue, we felt a little overwhelmed once again, our spot next to Mr Pitron in the Beyond D.J. booth while he was preparing for that storming set, to be repeated here at “Safari”, as our playing pal invited us up onto the stage to stand in the wings watching the master at work as he once again prepared to amaze his adorning audience with a soaring set to savour. With our select spot sorted, we took the opportunity to peek around the stage, the massive & magnificent LED displays firing up and flashing “Safari” style images that, even from the close vantage point looked stunning and with a myriad of activity going on around us, first Aaron Elder walking by, then Mauricio Ortiz pausing to say hello, while Mark (aka Edna) McKenzie was finalising touches to the stage decor, we couldn’t help but feel lucky to be in the spot we were.
Then, with a shrill & shout from across the auditorium stating simply “…DJ, music please…”, this “Safari” event was up & running, Mr Pitron swinging into action in his usual swinging style, we now also joined by Celso & fellow Brazilian Nilsson Junior, while having been served up VIP refreshments, the party couldn’t have started off on a better foot. But with the crowds beginning to assemble and the Cornet’s main space filling with dry ice & smoke, the team also decided to shroud the stage & LED displays which were still flashing furiously, Aaron & the WE crew reducing us to fits of hysterics as they attempted to pull the curtains around the playing Mr Pitron, just leaving a small slit for Steve to look through. Mind you, our hysterics were set to continue unabated as he selected one of our 2011 track greats, “Bitch Lady” have significant meaning as well as charting highly in our Y.E. rundown. Now we were in the groove, although from our privileged position it was difficult to see the developing crowd, the curtains blocking any view of the auditorium we had had before and just the occasional flashes of lights on bodies indicating that this “Safari” event was filling up pretty fast.
However, we certainly weren’t complaining about being aloof from the cavorting crowd, far from it, as a sequence of scintillating selections saw us & Steve smiling for ear to ear, his continual glances back towards us, evidence of the enthralling engagement we were engrossed in, the towering tunes he was tipping out of his box of musical tricks including a brilliant new version of “Miracle”, neatly followed by the brilliant “You Better”, a track which marked the surge of “Safari” emotions & tears eruptions that would continue virtually unabated for the next two or so hours. And the precision perfect Pitron plundering kept coming, further hard hitting & heavenly house hits, “Music In My Soul”, “You’ve Got The Love” & “Live Your Dreams” all tugging on our emotional strings superbly, Steve then upping the tempo more, we feeling the jungle drums beat in our WE “Safari” feet, the unexplainable feeling of complete euphoria that was sweeping over us sending us diving delightfully into yet another rollercoaster ride of rapture in our master’s magnificent musical hands. Then, when he momentarily stepped back from the DJ booth to spill the beans on a new release by the creators of the infamous “Track 3”, our euphoria & excitement reached fever pitch, this new tune which we now know as “Let You Go”, so appropriate to our actions of the time, we very much letting go, of our emotions, of our inhibitions & of our senses as we soaked up the splendour of this scorching “Safari” set from Steve, while engrossing ourselves in what was becoming one of the most epic experiences we have ad at WE or indeed any club in a long while.
But the night was going to get even better as Steve’s seventh savannah gear was selected for the final stint of his superb set, the storming selections still coming, first “Catch U” catching our emotions effectively, then an impromptu multi mixing moment thrilling us, while it was down to the amazing Avicii track “Levels” to send us soaring into the stratosphere, a tune that had been heavily criticised by a onetime close D.J. pal of ours (who could that be?!?!), but in Steve hands seemed simply spectacular, the crowd certainly reacting favourably, The Cornet’s main space alight with audacious action. However, the climax of this purple patch Pitron performance was still to come, although our excitement grew yet further when WE Madrid resident & all round delightful D.J./Producer, Carlos Gallardo arrived on stage, we being touched by his immediate recognition of us, even this to be topped when our man from Madrid decided to join us in an impromptu “Doing The Disco Matt” duck & dive right on the WE “Safari” stage in front of the colossal crowd, a purple patch moment indeed. Mind you, Steve hadn’t yet finished with his scintillating set, the Danny Verde remix of “You & I”, soon followed by the climax track for us, Mr Pitron turning towards us & raising three fingers in the air, this meaning just one thing, the towering “Track 3” & those vivacious Polina vocals that saw us go completely wild & Carlos once again joining in on our spinning frenzy.
So, with “Safari” hotter than a Southern African savannah and Mr Gallardo about to take to the decks, it was also time for the huge stage reveal, all the WE dancers from both Madrid & London in place and weekly rag photographers Chris Jepson & Rolf ready to shoot away, we also holding station on the stage as the anticipation was too absorbing to move. And the audiences appreciation once the curtains were fully drawn back was plain for all of us on stage to see, although it was only when we vacated our privileged position and headed into the thick of the action with our pal Mr Pitron, that we saw the full extent of the enormous & epic visuals. Indeed with the “Safari” themed images, we felt right at home, each one drawing us towards our South African roots, while finding our way towards Celso & The Brazilian bunch was a negotiation that proved trickier than tackling our home town of Johannesburg in rush hour, The Coronet surely busier than ever before and including pre WE times too. But we were intent on grabbing some refreshments & getting up onto the VIP balcony, Naomi grabbing our attention as we ascended the stairs & then Aaron Elder & many of The Orange group top brass also in attendance, the view of the stage & the developing dream of a display from the dancers & those impressive images all the more magnificent. And Carlos was definitely injecting some Spanish sounds to this “Safari” themed event, his tribal tunes very much in key with the African slant, while there were vocal infusions too, Mr Gallardo even selecting what we recognised where two Pitron picks, Steve looking straight at us as we did, our reply simply stating that “…imitation is the highest form of flattery…”.
With a whole host of familiar faces now commanding our attention, first the marvellous Minty, quickly followed by Orange man main Mr Marsh, we were also delighted to see Delice boys Anthony & Diego who had made the trip over for a spot of London partying as well as promoting their spring Delice Dream festival in Spain. But with plenty more familiar faces around, including Pabs, James, Ben & Lexi, it seemed the world & his wife hand landed on this “Safari” splendour, the jungle drums beating about Salvation, a party we had planned to visit too, but being so engrossed in WE as well as needing to be by our master’s side, not least given some of the trauma & tears of the last few hours, we were going nowhere, rather succumbing to this sensational “Safari” showing with every passing magical moment. And back down in the thick of the main room action, yet more floods of familiar faces presented themselves, among them the lovely Luis, as well as our soon to be disposed male version of Alyson, a Brazilian brute of a boy that had short of terrified us in Profile Bar a couple of days earlier, Steve very much stoking the situation as usual, but all making for a handful of hilarious moments.
However, we were doing our best to keep an eye on the action on the stage, a rather plump go-go getting ours & our pals attention, he definitely looking a tad out of trim & moving quite precariously, although him apart, the dancers & their customers were among some of the best we have seen, while we continued to be amazed by the “Safari” visuals & effects, the laser lighting also equally as impressive, the atmosphere at this WE New Year event simply spectacular. And Carlos was now deep into his set showing, a brilliant blend of Spanish tech & tribal house intertwined with upfront vocal house which was clearly keeping the capacity crowd entertained, even reports coming in that the Room Service crew in the second space upstairs were sporting a packed out place, both Kris Di Angelis & Fat Tony doing Jodie Harsh & this boutique bounty very proud. But, with an eye on our clock and our next escapade to As One calling, plus with our pals Steve & Celso looking to retire, we managed to squeeze in one more visit to the VIP balcony, both to congratulate Aaron & his terrific team for an exceptional event, as well as make our final social rounds before retreating into the post Coronet calm & home to recharge our batteries for the awaiting As One outing.
So, it pretty much goes without saying that we were immensely impressed with this latest WE event, “Safari” exceeding our expectations by a country mile, the visuals some of the best we have seen anytime & anywhere, while the stage dancers , effects & lighting added to the awesome atmosphere that was evident from start to finish. But while all this made WE “Safari” superb, what made it truly spectacular was being on that select stage spot, a privileged position where we could savour every single second of a simply scintillating Steve Pitron set & performance, our prolific pal playing to the extent of our emotions so effectively that we were continually left breathless in admiration. Then there were those magical Carlos Gallardo moments, the hilarious happening & the flock of familiar faces that, when combined with those towering first three hours in our masters magnificent hands, made for the best WE party we have been to, but moreover the best start to a New year that we can remember, probably in our lifetime. So, reflecting on this extraordinarily exceptional event, “Safari” in our estimation shot higher into the sky than the largest African Savannah plain tree branches that soar above the reach of the tallest of giraffe’s, a prolific & pulsating party that has set the standard for future WE’s to come, raising the bar brilliantly & proving to be every bit the “Incredible African Inspired Adventure” we had hoped for, meaning that this is one WE we will savour for a very long time to come. (DISCO MATT)
When the words “Beyond” & “Trade” are mentioned individually, one other word immediately springs to mind, “Afterhours”, but when they are mentioned together, one other word now forms part of that eloquent sentence, “Ultimate” a bringing together of these brilliant brands that has its second coming this Sunday, Disco Matt brushing aside his inhibitions in order to throw his weight behind these two clubbing heavyweights.
What we have said about the two most influential brands ever to grace the afterhours scene on the capitals clubbing circuit actually goes without saying, the reviews, the reports, the recommendations & the music pages of our website world filled with references to them both and while there are a handful of others that have influtrated this majestic afterhours market, there is absolutely no doubt that Beyond & Trade top the tree, both evergreen examples of branding & clubbing at its brilliant best. Yet while they have each influenced our lives for née on twenty years now, the mere fact that Beyond toppled Trade from its clubbing thrown, the new boy of the time commending its then nemesis to occasional events rather than weekly meets, always made the combining the two seem a suspicious conflict of interests, strange bedfellows if you like, although with collaborative projects such as As One bringing the marriage of minds to the fore, the promoters of these two towering turns thought why not?! Why not indeed, the joining of forces under the name Ultimate actually proving one of the best parties of 2011, packing out host venue Fire deep in Sunday afternoon, very muck akin to the halcyon Turnmills days of Trade, while the brilliance of Beyond also played a significant part in this most prolific of parties, its devoted room rammed from start to finish, proving that the desire form this diamond dancing devotion remained as strong as ever.
So, with Trade returning to storm the scene with another of its specialists events, “A Tainted Love” looking to hold sway tonight (Saturday 11th Feb), it seemed inevitable that a meet of this magnitude deserved an afterparty of equal excellence, the colossal collision of Trade & beyond the resounding result and Ultimate the production of this party proliferation and one that will follow Brixton Electric at the home of Beyond, Area in Vauxhall, tomorrow morning (Sunday 12th Feb). And with both events looking to dominate the weekend, like the two brands have dominated our clubbing lives for pretty much the whole time we have been stepping out on the capitals clubbing circuit, it goes without saying that Ultimate, despite certain earlier reservations, receives our rapturous recommendation, our coverage of this exceptional event a measure of the might of these two heavyweights joining forces and pushing club partying ahead of club politics. However, we felt right to vocally view our reservations in our report earlier this week, our post “Undeniably Underwhelmed” hinting towards this Ultimate event being unevenly weighted towards Trade, even the lion’s share of the so called Beyond D.J.’s in the line up having harped from the mothership of clubbing, our analysis concluding that the music style would swing in favour of the former, Beyond without headliners like Steve Pitron, Mikey D or Alan K, pretty much left out in the cold.
But with those reservations laid to rest, Beyond’s former promoter and Orange Group director of events Jonny Marsh reassuring us that, in his own words, “…the last party was amazing, we tweaked the music to match the mood & it worked like a dream, pleasing both Beyond & Trade followers…”, plus, with Alan K appearing on the D.J. line-up list following our report, it seems that every effort has been made to ensure that our favourite afterhours gets its fair share both on the music front, as well otherwise, after all, unlike the previous Ultimate event which was hosted by Fire, this second coming of the colossal collision will take place in Beyond’s backyard, Area. So, with our fears of a Trade takeover put to rest, what will this Ultimate event look like in terms of the music? Well, naturally being in Area, the organisers will be making use of all three rooms, we suspect they needing to, not least that the world & his wife look like pitching up to “A Tainted Love Affair”, so will surely then descend on Area for what will undoubtedly be an amazing afterparty. So with the main room seeing Beyond boys D’Johnny & Paul Heron go up against Trade’s Manchester boy Nik Denton, expect the music to be tough tech all the way, although with Alan K taking up the final reigns and sure to be the highlight of the main room for us, it will be Beyond, Beyond, Beyond in his heavenly hands. But with The Chapel space sporting the iconic Lady Bianca Trade’s very own first lady, she squaring up against Beyond beatmaster Paul Christian & Trade new kid Ross Homson, while we suspect the little gem in the crown of this colossal collision will be the terrace space, re-named the “lite lounge” for this Ultimate event and it will be here where Trade & Beyond will collide with captivating conclusion, Trade lite lounge originals The Sharp Boys & Fat Tony holding sway, while Jonny M will be getting an opening set look in so as to give it a bit of a Beyond feel. However, in the might of Steve, George & Tony, we have a true Trade/Beyond combo that is hard to beat and will surely rock the room to its rafters.
So, while being a die hard Beyond fan and still not that comfortable that Trade is muscling in on the holy ground that is Area, we cannot escape the fact that this will be one, dare we say it again, colossal collision, advance tickets on sale at the usual Soho outlets, Prowler, Clone Zone & 50, as well as online at http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-02/12/beyond, all priced at £15, while more will be available on the door, although expect to pay £20, those doors opening at 5 a.m. and the event running through to a planned 1 p.m. finish. That said, given the last party in Fire, which ran on into the afternoon, you may be in for an extended treat, while Later will surely beckon as an afterparty to an apfterparty, while in Ultimate the team have promised “…brand new visuals, incredible gogo’s, spectacular stage production and lots more hot surprises…” meaning you should be hot footing it down to Area and witnessing these two brilliant brands blend in perfect harmony. (DISCO MATT)
It ruled the clubbing waves throughout the nineties, continued to make an indelible impression throughout the noughties and, having come of age back in October, Trade starts the Olympic year with a prolific party that looks set to re-write its own unwritten rules, as from the tunnels of Turnmills, the arches of Arcadia & the modesty of Ministry, it hits the enormity of Electric, Disco Matt delving deep into the delectation that is “A Tainted Love Affair” with this brilliant brand.
With the capitals clubbing circuit the magnificent melting pot that it is, with the passing of every year comes a bevy of brands that either sink or swim with the tremendous tide change that seems to continually sweep the scene, all this meaning that a mere handful of hopefuls become semi-permanent placements in the ever changing cycle of clubbing fads & fancies that are an undeniable feature of the diversity that is London. So, looking at those heavenly happenings that occupy a space in our hearts, we obviously count our favourite club of all time, Beyond, right up at the top of our select list, while brands such as Matinee, Orange, Later, A:M, & Hard On! rank neatly below, all having the same thing in common, being brands & events that have stood the test of time. Then, more recent times have seen the likes of Lovechild, SuperMartXe & WE find a prominent place in our dancing devotions, although with two seemingly sidelined, while the third rides a wave crest, the jury is out as to whether they will also attain the test of time status of their clubbing counterparts.
However, there is one club that, undoubtedly has passed that time test with flying colours & also has reached a prominent place, the nineties seeing its occupy virtually every weekend of ours, while the noughties saw it continue to make a splash on the scene with a sequence of special events, just last year the club celebrating a virtually unrivalled 21 years in the business. We are, of course, talking about Trade, also known as the mothership of clubbing, the trendsetter that is, in reality, made the capital’s afterhours clubbing scene what it is today. Yet, having lost its historical seat, the legendary Turnmills in Farringdon, the legendary brand that is Trade has hotfooted it around the capital, landing on the likes of Arcadia, Ministry Of Sound, The Egg & The Renaissance Rooms, even teaming up with Fire for a trio of Orange/Trade treats, while the recently formed brand, Ultimate, has seen our favourite club Beyond, join forces with Trade, the second showing taking place this weekend. But, Trade continues to sport itself on the scene and in Brixton Electric has found a new spot to spin, the much talked about “A Tainted Love Affair” event taking place this Saturday (11th Feb).
So, naturally we could let this momentous moment in the scene schedule pass without focussing on this Trade affair and giving our take on how the change from the tunnels of Turnmills, the arches of Arcadia & the modesty of Ministry will transpose into the enormity of Electric, a theatre style venue that, on paper, is not a natural fit to the Trade style of party pitching. Now, for those of you that were around for Brava back in August will realise, this venue is Brixton, formerly known as The Fridge, didn’t have the most magnificent of starts, the place far from finished, so what was supposed to be the bright new future of clubbing in Brava, a collaborative concept between the promotions teams of Beyond & WE, fell much more that a furlong short of expectations. However, with the Orange Electric event in November, the tenfold improvements were evident for all to see and so it was just a matter of when as opposed to if, that we would see another showing by one brand or another at this iconic venue. So while it came as no surprise that Trade would be the next brand to brave it in Brixton (we actually thought it should have been Matinee), given the venues this mothership of clubbing has chosen before, Electric was a little surprising, not least due to the enormity of the main room & the obstacles that this will clearly present the team when deploying the usual Trade production. That said, in terms of size alone, the fit is perfect, as Trade events usual attract equally enormous numbers and “A Tainted Love Affair” looks like continuing that trend, while the team have promised that as far as Electric is concerned, they will be “…transforming the main room with new state of the art production, effects and visuals…”.
All that said, for us, Trade has always been about the music, yes Trade Mark’s artwork, those mystifying mobiles & other production bits are part of the picture, but without that trademark music, Trade would not be the brilliant brand it is. And for this “Tainted Love Affair” event, the team have pulled in some heavyweights, not least our very own Italian Stallion, Pagano, while other entrants across the two spaces include the legend that is Fat Tony, lite lounge boy Guy Williams & Trade iconess Lady Bianca, while newish boys Ross Homson also features. However, as far as the headlining main room D.J. is concerned, we leave it to the Trade collective in positioning this premier player when they say, “…embodying the club’s forward-thinking music policy Trade has invited special guest Italian Techno DJ UTO KAREM. Who in just a short period of time has produced hit after hit with forward thinking dance tracks that are fast becoming staples of DJ’s everywhere. His productions have found him fans that include the likes of Dubfire, Richie Hawtin, John Acquaviva, Marco Carola, Chis Liebling and many more…”. All sounds impressive & we are sure he will be, but for us, the star of the show looks like being Nick Tcherniak, the man who stole the spotlight at both Orange/Trade on Xmas day & also on the Trade room at As One, but more than that, as for this “A Tainted Love Affair” event, our Mr T has laid down the first official Trade podcast, which is an absolute corker, very much hinting towards what to expect from his set, so well worth a listen & download at http://tradetheoriginal.podomatic.com/entry/2012-01-31T07_29_52-08_00 (apparently also available via Orange Nation’s podcast page, why?????).
That’s the music so now to the detail and this Trade “A Tainted Love Affair” in a nod to Valentine’s Day, takes place this coming Saturday (11th February) at The Brixton Electric, doors opening at 11 pm. and the event running though to a planned 6 a.m. finish. This is a ticketed event, advance $£15 ones available online at http://www.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-02/11/trade-a-tainted-love-affair, while Soho outlets Prowler, Clone Zone & 50 are selling the hard versions at the same price (sadly all early birds went ages ago), while we think you will be able to get entry on the door, although expect to pay much more (we reckon £20), so you know what to do, that is buy before you try. And naturally, this “A Tainted Love Affair” has an afterparty, Ultimate seeing brilliant brand Beyond join forces with its afterhours auntie at Area from 6 a.m. Sunday morning (12th Feb), joint tickets for both events available via that online link and at those Soho outlets. Plus, we have to mention that this event also marks the official launch of Pagano’s “Official” Trade compilation (it’s not a podcast folks!!) “Trade – The Dark Side”, we hoping that a privileged copy will be coming our way, although watch this space for the download link, we suspect via Kult or Beatport. (probably http://toolboxdigitalshop.com/ too), with more info (should you need it, via the events page at http://facebook.com/events/186695398094718/ or a click away at http://tradeuk.net.
So that pretty much sews up the deal of the dynamic do and needless to say, the music is going to be just awesome, the team will surely pull out all the stops and Brixton Electric will be packed, packed, packed, the “…often copied but never equalled…” Trade sure to thrill from start to finish, meaning that you simply have to “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)