Archive for February 2012
With a name like Ultimate and the blending of two brilliant brands, we were expecting the ultimate best of both, but with the release of the D.J. line-up that shouts Trade & tech with one possible exception, Disco Matt cannot divert from his disappointment as he focuses in on this Beyond trade off of an event.
When we think about afterhours clubbing in London, there are a handful of names that we can conjure up, A:M, Orange, Later, & Ultra, four among a few others that spring to mind, although there is little doubt that these pail in significance when compared to the two colossus clubs that have pretty much dominated Sunday mornings for the last twenty or so years. The 1990’s saw Trade turn clubbing in the capital on its head, attracting amazing attention as it broke the boundaries of normality & convention, this mothership of clubbing opening the doors to another, Beyond, which pretty much unseated Trade from its lofty position, taking up the Sunday morning mantle at the turn of the century and then dominating the noughties, like Trade did in the nineties. So, while on paper these brands were seen as bitter rivals for a while, recent times have seen the clubs come together in collaborations that culminated in the launch of a joint forces clubbing brand called Ulitimate, the ethos being that this joining of forces would bring the best of both to the fore, the Trade musical camp clearly leaning towards tech come techno, while Beyond’s musical direction was more uplifting & euphoric, the combination undeniably a tantalising prospect.
So, our exciting enthusiasm for the brilliant beats of Beyond & the towering tech of Trade was very much a match made in heaven and it seemed that with the first Ultimate party back in October, after Trade’s 21st Birthday to be precise, that was exactly what seemed to have been achieved. With a distinct Trade room offering the tough tech that the club has always been renowned for, there was a Beyond space which sported many of its main room residents who delivered that uplifting & euphoric house music we hinted to. And in so doing, this so-called joining of forces seemed to fulfil every expectation and more, host venue Fire not only giving Ultimate a distinctly different definition, but saw the place packed to the rafters well into Sunday afternoon. Yet, despite the winning formula which clearly succeeded in virtually every department, it seems that in this Ultimate second coming, that winning formula has been worryingly fiddled with, as not only has that distinctly different definition been dissolved by housing Ultimate in Area, but casting our eyes across the D.J. line up for this latest joint venture, it in no way shouts a joint jamboree, rather looks more like a Trade afterparty of players with just a mere smattering of Beyond boys.
So what were we expecting from Ultimate’s music and from the event itself? Well, quoting from the promoters own press release, it was clear that this was supposed to see “…the two undisputed heavyweights of London’s afterhours scene going head to head…”, meaning we were expecting a balance of Beyond & Trade, the former having been noted for main room men that included prominent players such as Steve Pitron, Alan K, & Mikey D, these three very much defining the uplifting & euphoric house music for which this brilliant brand has become famous. But with the likes of The Oli, Jamie Head & Fat Tony also delivering delightful delectations in the terrace, latterly know as the “Beyond Da Disco” space, we were kind of hoping that at least one space would be given away to the brilliance of Beyond. That said, having been a Trade baby throughout the 90’s, when we occupied the Turnmills main room weekly, we also love the Trade style of sound, the likes of Gonzalo Rivas, Pete Wardman, Steve Thomas &, who can forget, the late great Tony De Vit, doing us unbelievable justice with their scintillating super-speed sets. So naturally, with Ultimate billed as a joint project between these two huge heavyweights, we were also hoping that maybe Messrs Rivas & Thomas would have been inclusions, indeed taking heart from further PR parts that included the phrases “… forging distinct musical styles…” & “…DJs across three mind blowing rooms will be selected from the super-talented stable of residents and guests from both leading brands…”, we therefore expected line-up inclusions of at least some of the names we have mentioned. Then, as for the event itself, we were hoping it would bring out the best in both brands, an equal share of the spoils of what will surely be a pumping & pulsating party, but reading between the lines, it fails significantly short of our probable pie in the sky expectations.
So, what do we have in this supposed marriage of magnificent minds? Well, deciding on Area means that Ultimate will, without doubt feel like Beyond, the venue for us being all about the brilliant brand and no other. Yet, in choosing the D.J.’s they have and mixing them up as they will be, in Ultimate at Area, they have created a perceived collaboration that actually leans far further towards Trade than Beyond. Yes, in theory the promoters have included Beyond residents, Fat Tony for one, The Sharp Boys for another (well two of course) and Paul Heron too, but for those like us that harp from the Turnmills days of Trade will realise, these terrific talents were very much part of the picture then and, as a result, will no doubt tilt their musical tendencies towards Trade & not Beyond at Ultimate on Sunday. Why do we say this?, Well let’s look at the Ultimate main room line up for a start, Nik Denton firmly in the Trade camp, while D’Johnny (we love his music by the way) is noted for his tougher tech tendencies, these two being joined by Paul Heron, an incredible international whose musical tastes are as diverse as ours, but will surely be channelled down that tough tech towpath that will undoubtedly be the Ultimate main room experience.
Then we look at Area’s second space and while the team have adopted the “Chapel” label which is very much all about Beyond, save for Paul Christian, it is Trade in another name, Lady Bianca & Ross Homson dominating the line-up and sure to send the music in a direction that is distinctly different to Beyond & considerably closer to Trade. But it doesn’t stop there as the third room, the terrace, has, for Ultimate, been renamed “the lite lounge”, a space that has Trade written all over it and in The Sharp Boys & Fat Tony, the pioneers of this awesome addition to the Turnmills partying package in the mid nineties, we have a space that will be much more about T than B. So, our analysis of the music direction of Ultimate seems to suggest that it is in fact a Trade afterparty, an extension of the event “A Tainted Love Affair” which will precede it at Brixton Electric and one we cannot contain our excitement for enough, especially having missed out on the brands 21st birthday bash. Yet while we accept that a party deserves an afterparty, what we cannot fathom out is how Beyond plays its part in this head to head encounter. Yes, Area is the home of Beyond, we get that and yes, Fat Tony plays at Beyond, so does Paul Heron & so do the Sharp Boys ( D’Johnny as well), but we cannot escape the fact that the music, an indelible ingredient that makes or breaks a club, is so much more & will be much more about Trade.
All this means that we have been left undeniably underwhelmed by this Ultimate event, our expectations & the excitement we felt just hours ago, akin to a tremendous tower block that has, in a moment of explosive implosion, been reduced to a demolition site of disappointment. That said, while we feel so strongly about voicing our opinion now and stating our case for the Beyond defence, we will be sleeping on our thoughts, we will be considering the Trade prosecutors persuasions & we will be reviewing our reporting on what will undoubtedly be an undeniably exceptional event that, despite our reserved reservations & implied Beyond trade off, will receive our resounding recommendation. (DISCO MATT)
We have seen the return of Gigolo, the launch of Blitz and now Soho prepares for a third protagonist to the social soiree set, as enigmatic individual, Johnny Sparkle brings his dream of promoting a club on the capitals circuit to fruition, Disco Matt biting into the detail on Lush-Moa which storms the scene this Sunday.
February on the capital’s clubbing circuit is usually a month for taking stock and preparing for spring, although like the shift in the global climate, it seems that a handful of individuals are rather using it to bring to budding fruition hopes & plans for long dreamed about creations. So, we have witnessed the weekly return of Gigolo at new home The Shadow Lounge, we have seen the launch of Blitz, a new bar come club at the old stomping ground of Kudos, and now we see a venue on Greek Street which is also getting in on this amazing act, the Soho scene seemingly sparkling like spring, rather than withering like winter. And in Green Carnation, we find this new protagonist within the Soho clubbing circuit, the venue a stylish spot that has been around as long as we can remember, its previous incarnation as Sanctuary pretty much responsible for the vibrant social soiree scene that we see today, Room Service just a block away heading up a long list of adventures that make this niche end of the clubbing market so appealing. But with Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, & Thursday’s pretty much a done deal, new to the London promotions game, Johnny Sparkle, has chosen Sunday as his day of reckoning as be brings us his clubbing concept, Lush-Moi.
So what’s it all about Alfie? Well, the ideology behind the club night is an injection of French chic & fancy to London, Mr Sparkle looking to bring across some special Parisian players to join the band of Brits he has lined up as his D.J. residency team (more on them in a mo). However, more than that, Lush-Moi aims itself at the stylish & sophisticated Soho set, the oasis that is Green Carnation the perfect place to pull in a cosmopolitan yet classy crowd, Johnny explaining of his concept, “…imagine a sophisticated party known for its glamour, sumptuous surroundings and the most eligible crowd and you have Lush-Moi…”, he adding of our expectations, “…As soon as you walk through the doors, the sound and the atmosphere seduce you into the fabulous world of self-indulgence…” and if you have ventured into Green Carnation of late, that is pretty much what the venue offers and a feel that Lush-Moi will be extenuating through an exemplary experience. And Johnny brings a fair amount of experience to the fore in this new venture, he having organised & ran clubs & events both here in London across in France & as far away as Brazil, he being noted as saying in a recent interview, “…I am really excited to bring to the scene a French taste to energise the London 2012 clubbing scene and with the world’s eyes focussing on the capital with the upcoming Olympics, I consider this as the right time to bring the best of London’s clubbing scene to the forefront…”.
Now, with the concept capped, what’s on offer on the music front?, Well, Mr Sparkle has enlisted a team of residents that harp from his “Booster” times, the team including Sharon O Love, a terrific talent that had a huge 2011, tours of Mexico & gigs across Europe showering her schedule, he funky, upfront & tech toned house music sure to fit the Lush-Moi ethos, a selection of her sounds well worth checking out at http://soundcloud.com/dj-sharon-o-love, her music always having an uplifting feel with drenches of vocals, her latest creation for Amsterdam’s “Funhouse” probably as close to the style of sound to expect from Sharon at the launch tonight. Then there is Jc Christopher, a guy in the thick if the music industry, working for agency Milk n Sugar, while in terms of D.J.’ing he has, of course played “Booster”, he has a regular slot with Friday nighter “Onyx” and makes the occasional appearance for Soho’s Rupert St, as well as being accredited to clubbing brands that include As One, Lovechild, Later, & Salvation, while a selection of his podcast pressings, which he titles “House Mix Tapes” out at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/house-mix-tapes/id343071724. With other residents including La Gosse, Dan K (of Barcode & “Booster” fame) & Joz F, while there seems to be a pretty thick “Booster” vein flowing through this team, Lush-Moi & its music is very much a major departure from both Vauxhall & this former Sunday night session, perhaps the seventh day in the week, the only real association.
So that’s the music, what about the detail?, Well, Lush-Moi launches tonight (Sun 5th Feb) at The Green Carnation (4-5 Greek St, Soho), doors opening at 7 p.m. and the club running through to a workable closing time of 1 a.m., the team tempting you in with a happy hour which runs for two, from 7 till 9, while entry is £8 (£6 with flyer, concession or ad), that pretty much summing up all you need to know, while a refresher on the detail is just a click away at http://everysparkle.co.uk/. Therefore, with us wishing Johnny & his team every success for this new Soho soiree splendour, we leave it to Mr Sparkle to sum up the event, when he says of Lush-Moi, “…think provocative, play full and witty, enjoy the experience of a delightful theatrical role play, see and feel everything that is Lush full and fabulous, when you open yourself to fantasy, your Lush-Moi comes to life…” he concluding “…let’s get Sunday’s parties started…” meaning snow or no snow Soho looks set to sparkle when Lush-Moi moseys on down into town, meaning you should definitely “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
It captivated the capitals clubbers when it launched two years ago, since when the colossal collaboration that brought both promotional & branding minds together has continued to attract considerable crowds. But with the former promoter bowing out, who would the amazing As One fair in the hands of its new director, one Steven Sharp?
If there is one day in the year that we never fail to find ourselves delighting in dancefloor devotions, it is the first, New Years Day holding higher regard than any other in our season of festive frolicking, Beyond a brand that has entertained us enthrallingly for the last decade, while Trade also played its part, the odd collaboration with Crash & afterhours Ultra resulting in “Essential” which rocked our world back in 2006. But when it comes to club combinations, we have seen plenty of others, the likes of “Famous Five”, & “Universal” immediately springing to mind, although there can be no doubt that, following its launch on New Year’s Day 2009, the amalgamation that is As One has seen a succession of successes, building on that first foray that saw host venue Fire packed to the rafters and brought together brands that included Orange, Lovechild, Megawoof & Lo-Profile, to mention just four. And with the bank holiday weekends of Easter, Spring & Summer sporting As One outings, this colossal combo has found a popular perch in the cavorting of the capitals clubbers, although with the original promoter & driving force behind the concept having gracefully bowed out, As One dipped off the radar for a while, leaving us to wonder whether, like it’s former fellows, it would return. But with the news coming through loud & clear that it would do just that, plus be in the hands of one of the capital clubbing circuit’s most prominent promoters, we looked forward to As One “NYD 2012” with eager anticipation.
So, have succumbed to the stunning scintillation of a spectacular “Safari” session with WE Party, we were definitely raring to go for more, a quick homeward bound refresher setting us fair for this latest As One outing, making haste for Fire at not long after midnight, the whole place already buzzing with activity and that was just the outside. However, with three different entrances to negotiate, while we were clear which queue to stand in, some were finding it a little confusion as to which one was which, although with the terrific Tom Fuller never far away, order was quickly restored and our smooth entry assured, the marvellous Minty paving our way with another of her trademark warming welcomes. That said, the next hurdle proved as high as beeches brook, the negation of the considerable coatcheck queue leaving us thing “…oh no not again…”, As One, particularly on New Year’s Day seemingly plagued by this problem, no amount of pre event organising (which had clearly be orchestrated) able to cope with the colossal numbers that had descended on Fire. And with WE, Salvation & other parties all emptying out at once, As One was a natural next move, meaning patience was required before we could see ourselves released into the already amazing action inside.
But were we in for a treat or what, new prolific promoter Steven Sharp having given this As One amalgam a fresh new feel, not least with the teaming up with the mothership of clubbing, Trade, along with the alternative brilliance of “The MenWhoFell2Earth”, this added to regular includee Megawoof, along with the Orange RAW influence, all making for a combo that was to serve Steven well. Mind you, with Trade in the Fire’s mirrorarch space & Orange in the main room, we did have a slight sense of déjà vu as it was this dynamic duo that had delighted us on Christmas day in the same place & pretty much at the same time. However, we were far from complaining, neither were the party goers packing out both rooms, Lee Yeomans trading tons of tunes in the mirrorarch, while one Orange resident was handing over to another in the main room, The Oli having really got this colossal combo going in scintillating style, George Sharp grasping with both of his brilliant hands the musical torch which was burning as bright as the lighting & effects that saw the space jam packed. So, negotiating the various spaces was a tricky affair, although in doing so, we bumped into scores of familiar faces, Simon Patrick & the delectable Dorin among them, while such was the crammed state of the various rooms, we couldn’t get close to Hifi Sean in the RAW lounge, or TheMenWhoFell2Earth boys across the other side of Fire, we eventually settling on our favoured spot in the mirrorarch and lovely liaisons with incumbent D.J. Nick Tcherniak & finished duty disc spinner The Oli.
So it was the Trade room where we decided to lay our hat for a while, the adorable Andrea bouncing up and quizzing us over our absence at Salvation, although even her advances weren’t going to dampen our spirits as Nick Tcherniak, having assumed the decks, was serving up a simply scintillating set, the room filling out even further as he showered scores of superb sounds on an adoring audience. And with the podiums packed with party goers, Trade’s Mark Mace looking on in amazement and our favoured spot by the D.J. booth brimming with bodies, we couldn’t have been happier with our As One lot. Mind you, if there was ever going to be one person that would drag us away from Mr Tcherniak’s terrific tech treats, it would be Tom Fuller, another (and our own) face of Trade who, by now, had masterminded the smooth entry of a capacity crowd and was ready to let his hair down. So, having missed out on our usual catch up at Beyond earlier in the day, it was to the bar for a we headed to toast with Tom, this magnificent meet and, of course, the beginning of 2012, catching up on happenings from the last few hours, including his notable absence from WE, “Safari”, a phenomenal party that had highlighted one of the best starts to a new year we could remember.
With this brief respite over, it was back to the action and the remainder of Nick’s prolific performance, we hardly able to believe that he could have improved on the perfection that was his Christmas Day set for Orange/Trade, although that was exactly what he was doing, so much so that he left an uphill task for incumbent D.J., an apparent techno legend who, for us would not come close to the magnificent music from the maestro before him. This meant we were off on our As One travels again, first dipping into the Megawoof room to spin to the sounds from our Italian friend, Micky Galliano, this a brief stay as we got wind of a set we really wanted to savour, Smokin Jo firing on all cylinders in the Orange main room. And arriving to catch her in full flow, we soon sank into her splendours, the space fuller than we had ever seen it before, the tunes she was turning out akin to a Trade lite lounge rather than an Orange session. Plus, with, Fat Tony and Steven Sharp up behind the decks in support, it very much felt like a lite lounge reunion, this Trade from Turnmills days trio very much the focus of attention, Smokin Jo’s superb sounds leaving us breathless with admiration, spinning on our tightly squeezed spot with gusto.
And with the amazing As One atmosphere getting better by the minute, it would be no surprise that Fat Tony would feed off this lite lounge style frenzy, taking up where Jo had left off, the whole place continuing to erupt in ecstatic excitement, while we were now very much torn between his dynamic deliveries and the equally enthralling exhibition that was unfolding in the Trade room, Gonzalo in charge of the tunes and lifting the vibe & feel of this sagging space in an instant. Seeing these Trade men of old in fabulous form, the appreciative audiences lapping up every tender musical morsel from both, our dilemma as to where to deliver our devotions ended up in a split decision & division, bouncing between the two like a boomerang on a never ending circular cycle, Gonzalo gripping us with heaps of heavy yet hedonistic house, while the fluffier feel of Fat Tony’s tunes were also hitting our high notes, the heady concoction of this majestic musical mixture sending us stratospheric with satisfaction. But all this incredible indulgence was running our battery levels low, the hectic schedule of the last 36 hours beginning to take its toll, so rather than running ourselves into the ground, we decided an exit on a high was the order of the day, both beatmasters delivering on cue, Fat Tony’s selection of “Enjoy The Ride” seeing us dive into a Doing The Disco Matt frenzy with our Brazilian beat Jeovanne. And so with our rapturous ride coming close to an end, we waved our farewells, to Nick, Tom, to Andrea & Stephen, our cougar loving clubbing companion having braved the extraordinary heat of this event dressed from head to toe in an officer & a gentleman style suit, but like us was also running out of steam.
So, having savoured a significant slice of this latest As One outing, what did we think of the whole event?, and did it live up to the fabulousness of the first? Well, without doubt the injection of Trade into the As One combination of clubs gave this latest incarnation a fantastic feel, the marriage of minds with Orange from a week previously, repeated with rapturous results, Steven Sharp’s influence and inclination to point this colossal collaboration in a dynamically different direction a gamble that paid off & with decisive dividends. With each room bringing their own fan base of followers, that on top of a clubbing crowd who simply didn’t want their New Year’s Day celebrations to end, this was, without doubt the busiest as well as the best As One yet and, the coatcheck hiccup aside, one we thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. And while each & every D.J., performer & As One team member played their part in this pulsating party, in the hands of Nick Tcherniak & Gonzalo Rivas in the Trade room and Smokin Jo & Fat Tony in the Orange room, we had a quartet of quintessentially prolific performances that, like the closest of photo finishes, resulted in a terrific top of the tree tie between all four. So, while it may be over a month since we savoured their scintillating sets, they remain as fresh in our minds now as they were fabulous then, the final word, however, having to go to Steven Sharp who, through his passion, his vision, his hard work & his devotion, dealt us an As One party that delivered in virtually every department and more wonderfully than our wildest dreams could have imagined. (DISCO MATT)
While it may be cold outside, the heat is certainly being turned up across the Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch scene this weekend, some new entrants along with old favourites filling Friday through Sunday and so having bitten into the best, it’s time to shout for the rest, Disco Matt picking out an exciting eleven of places to be & be seen on the scene.
Well, having promised to shout from the rooftops throughout January, like a few personal issues in our lives right now, the wheels came off somewhat, or as a friend aptly put it, the rollercoaster ride that we usually find ourselves on has crashed off the rails. However, like the de-railed train in Bletchley, we now find ourselves back on track and ready to run through our exciting eleven across Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch, a substantial sprinkling of old favourites mixed in with a couple of brave new brands that are not only contending with the weather but an armoury of outstanding others for your weekend attention. But with a nod to some week night events too, as well as a mention for the Boyz annual scene awards, along with a handful of dance diary dates, we have a lot to get through
So let’s get right to it and to Soho, The Shadow Lounge getting our first shout, their very popular duo of delights in the form of “Therapy” tonight (Fri 3rd) with D.J. Sonathaq and then “Inferno” tomorrow night with Andrew Elmore are both sure to pack their usual punch. Add to these, Tuesday’s “OMFG” & Thursday’s “XXTra” and there is much going on, while Wednesday’s now means only one thing on Brewer St and that is “Gigolo”, The Hart’s back with a bang & really shaking up your midweek. So with much going on, check http://theshadowlounge.co.uk for the clubs own events, while a visit to http://gigolodisco.com or http://twitter.com/gigolodisco will keep you bang up to date with what the boys are up to.
Onward and to Rupert St who, despite the dark, cold & somewhat sparse nights of January, are looking to February with gusto and have a weekend of D.J. delights to draw you in, award winning spinner Oliver M on the decks tonight, while tomorrow (Sat 4th) its regular resident Alessandro sorting the sounds. But with our Italian bello having taken up a roving Sunday residence across at The Joiners Arms in Shoreditch, iconic D.J. Rich B assumes control each week, serving up a delightful mixture of classic, uplifting & funky house to end your weekend in the best possible way. Plus with a fab food offer to chew over and some tasty new bar boys to ogle over, there is much on offer at this hip & happening hangout, more details out at http://rupertstreet.com.
Next up is Ku Bar, or should we say bars, as both Lisle St & its little sister on Frith St have plenty to pull in the punters, many of the young & cute variety at that, the former rolling out a trio of treats with “Ozone tonight, The Very Miss Dusty O on the decks, while its a “Fabulous “ Saturday tomorrow night with DJ P, Sunday set aside for “Karaoke Cabaret” with the venerable Vicki Vivacious, while little Ku is not so little, this two floored tardis entertaining with D.J.’s on Friday & Saturday, so well worth a drop in, if only to check out the cute bar boys, more info on both Ku’s out at http://ku-bar.co.uk.
Moving up to Soho square finds The Edge which is a gem of a venue often overlooked, although with no less than five floors offering up different atmospheres in each, there is much on offer whether it’s a quit chat & drink, some soothing piano music or full on house hits you are after. And it is these house hits where we find our Friday in the hands of “Addiction” & resident jock Alabastor, while sinking into Saturday’s could be better than this, as our premier protégé player Zach Burns takes you on a “Revelation” of a journey with upfront & uplifting house, both nights clambering for your cavorting, while with so much more on offer too, a trip to http://edgesoho.co.uk.
Then, just a hop & skip across the square and we come to Circa, the compact & bijou bar perhaps one of our favourites after Profile as it’s a little gem of an oasis of calm from the hullabaloo of Compton St, yet has plenty to shout about, not least the superbly decadent “Discipline” tonight (Fri 3rd) with the marvellous Munroe Bergdorf very much laying down the hostessing & musical law, while on Saturday, the handsome Adam Turner tickles your musical taste-buds with tons of tunes as Circa has a rare 3 a.m. licence, on top of which entry is free, giving you just two reasons why we like it so much, that & the sumptuous surrounds that make this a must visit, their website at http://circasoho.com revealing more.
So those were the old favourites, what about the new breed? Well first up is Blitz Bar, the real mover & shaker on the Soho scene, even if it finds itself down by Charing Cross Station at the old Kudos site on Adelaide St. And with antipodean D.J. & scene stalwart Brent Nicholls involved, along with the likes of Paul Heron Doug Silva, Hrh Minty, Sylvia Rebel, Brad Frederick, Tom Spindler (to mention a few) and nights “Peepshow” & “Global Blitz” serving up early evening Friday & Saturday sessions from 8 p.m. till midnight, this is a stylish new spot you should definitely keep your eyes on as well as pay it a visit. And with the launch happening tonight, you can get the full low down by clicking on our own post direct link at http://discomatt.com/web/2012/02/recommends-brave-new-brand-on-the-block-blitz-bar-london-launch-friday-3rd-february-extra-bites-special/, while a visit to http://blitzbar.co.uk will cover off any of the rest.
To our last Soho short shout, although one that is by no means the least, as Sunday (5th) sees the launch of new night “Lush Moi” with the superb Johnny Sparkle turning his hosting hand to the club promotions game, drawing on his considerable contacts to bring the likes of Sharon O Love, Jc Christopher, & LaGosse to the decks, the night having an anglo French feel to it as well. And choosing venue The Green Carnation on Greek St to play host, gives Johnny & his team a readymade audience already, not to mention surely attracting plenty of his old Booster buddies along too, while this Soho newcomer aims itself towards a more stylish & sophisticated segment of the scene, the 7 p.m. till 1 a.m. timing sure to suit and given its appeal, we will be devoting a special Extra Bites post to the launch, due out shortly, while for more info on the venue, go to http://greencarnationsoho.co.uk.
Right let’s head over the water and to Vauxhall, this south of the river spot having plenty on offer, although just three get our Short Shout attention, the first so close to being a Best Bite (it would normally be) had it not been for A:M. But, with the team rolling out another “Midnight” 12 hour happening, all eyes will be on Beyond this Saturday/Sunday, not least as they welcome a new member to their all-star cast of resident D.J.’s., one Paulo Moreno from Portugal, who has a striking resemblance to Alan K & Jamie Hammond, his music style not too dissimilar either. But with news looming of some refurbishment plans for host venue Area, Beyond looking to up sticks for a few weeks, our third Extra Bites report of the week will be devoted to this our favourite club & this “Midnight” with Moreno affair, details on Beyond generally available at http://jonnym.co.uk/beyond, while for details on other Orange Group events this weekend, check out http://fireclub.co.uk/gayparties.
So to our two other Vauxhall Short Shouts, the first being The Royal Vauxhall Tavern who keep things on the straight & narrow with a trio of regular treats, kicking off their weekend with the rachous “Rooster” tonight (Fri 3rd), D.J. ComeAndTurn’s barnstorming beats sure to raise a cock-a-doodle-doo or two, way-out & whacky hosts (esses) Timberlina & JonJo adding to the audacious action, while the relative calm in comparison (well not actually) “Duckie” returns for another Saturday session, the adorable Amy Lame’s antics accompanied by a musical mash-up from Readers Wifes. Then, as we have said so many times, Sunday would not be a Sunday without a “S.L.A.G.S./Chill-out” shindig, the packed out place week in week out testament to its continued popularity, The Dame Edna Experience now a legend in our lifetimes, while she is actually taking a break this Sunday, the hilarious Kandi Kane filling her spot. But with plenty more on offer right across the week, a wee visit to http://thervt.org.uk will give you all the info you need.
And it is The Eagle that gets out other Vauxhall Short Shout, like its nemesis just up Kennington Lane, turns out a trio of old favourite treats this weekend, Tim Jones & his merry “Tonker” men beefing up your Friday night with chunky tunes a-plenty, not least as superstar spinner Alan X takes up the guest slot and will have plenty of towering tunes as well as a terrific tan to show off following his exploits in our home city of Johannesburg, while on Saturday “Carpet Burn” goes all bad on us, although of the Michael Jackson tribute variety, Carpet’s resident D.J. Johnny Kalifornia spinning everything from “Billie Jean” to “Thriller” while the aptly named P.A. Stacey Jackson will be burning up the Carpet dancefloor with her new disco drenched devotion. And with the madcap meet that is “Horse Meat Disco” serenading your Sunday’s, The Eagle has something for pretty much everyone, further details up at http://theeaglelondon.com.
Rounding off our Short Shouts run-around the scene is Shoreditch (well Dalston actually) and The Dalston Superstore (DSS) who have plenty in store this weekend, tonight seeing “Breed” take centre stage, promoter & D.J. Rex the Dog extenuating the electronic in the basement for an extended rave, while gender bender’s John Sizzle & A Man To Pet sort the 80’s & 90’s beats & bops upstairs. Then on Saturday (4th) DSS points towards Berlin with its “B(e)ast” event, welcoming both Snax & Kevinfunct to the decks downstairs, while the brilliant Borja Pena sorts the NYC style sounds on the ground floor, leaving D.J. Squeaky & guests to wrap up the weekend with their “Tutti Frutti” cocktail of cavorting that includes slices of soul & hunks of house, more info on all happenings down DSS way available just a click away at http://dalstonsuperstore.com.
Right we promised a pert pack of dates for your dance diaries, next Saturday (11th Feb) seeing Trade return for another one-off frolic, this time going large at Brixton Electric for their “A Tainted Love Affair” event, while that neatly moves onto “Ultimate” which, after the huge success on Trade’s birthday weekend in October, returns to Fire in Vauxhall next Sunday (12th Feb) both Beyond & Trade joining forces for a pulsating party not to be missed. And staying with Fire for a moment, the following Saturday (18th Feb) sees latin love-in Casa Latina return with its “Space Odyssey” affair and one sure to emulate the parties before it. But casting our net over Soho & Shoreditch, we find ourselves spoilt for choice next Saturday (11th Feb) as both serve up two new happenings, Lo-Profile hailing the launch of “ClubNation” with special guest Wayne G, while our own Shoreditch son Kris Di Angelis wages “War” at East Bloc with his new venture of the same name, with Severino & James Pople & Munroe Bergdorf among the list of residents, more details on all these events coming up over the next few days right here at http://discomatt.com.
Now, just before we go, we thought we would squeeze in a mention for Boyz magazine and their annual scene awards, now in its 20th year and a poll that never fails to attract a huge amount of attention. With voting having opened just 48 hours ago, you can pick from a whole host of categories that reach well over double figures, while, as a 20th anniversary treat, there are special categories as well as the chance of winning a cruise (of the Med kind). So, a visit to http://boyz.co.uk will take you to the online version, while you can always pick up a copy at your favourite bar, or retailer. Plus, for a quick short cut, just move across to our banners section right here, find the gold coloured “Boyz Awards” one, click, and you will be right where you need to be, making a difference to your bar, club, event, D.J. & promoter of choice scooping this much coveted of acknowledgements.
Right that’s it for this first weekend in February and one that finds us laying a little low having caught a nasty cold, cough & sore throat, meaning that with the possible exception of a cameo appearance at “Lush Moi” on Sunday, it will be next weekend before you can come up & say hi. However, it goes without saying that we wish you a wonderful weekend wherever it takes & finds you and, with “A Lottie Going On” along with some “Brave New Brands Beckoning”, our two part newsletter has hopefully given you plenty of picks to “Go There! Be There!. (DISCO MATT)
With Siberian winds & the threat of snow gripping the streets of London this weekend, the thermostat has been turned up to the max across the capitals clubbing circuit, Disco Matt checking out the hottest action across Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch with his Best Bites choices of where to be & be seen on the scene.
While we may be coughing & spluttering our way through this current working week, confining ourselves to the keyboard & away from the peddles has meant we are back in the driving seat with our weekend recommendations. So, while the last one was busy enough what with the return of Matinee, the superb Sharp Tidy event, a breathtaking Beyond and that special back-to-back set from Jamie Head & Mikey D at Later (and that was just Vauxhall), this weekend looks like measuring up to be just as good, some new starts & some old favourites vying for our attention. And having given away a special bite to Blitz, here we pick out our choice three, one each from Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch, we also peeping through the looking glass to some upcoming events that have made the DM dance diary.
So to Soho first and we were initially pointing in the direction of Charing Cross, but with so much going on across at Wardour St, it had to be Profile & Lo-Profile that got our Best Bite pick again this weekend, not least that our own temperatures (and something else) were risen on Tuesday over a sociable drink, one of the gorge new(ish) barmen very much tickling our fancy. So naturally, Profile gets our full-on attention first, not just because of the delicious treats behind the bar, but plenty in front of them, not least in the D.J. talent that will be taking to the Profile decks this weekend, tonight (Thurs 2nd) seeing the pint sized powerhouse that is Renato Porto sorting the pre Society sounds, while tomorrow (Fri 3rd) sees favourite & our premier protégé player, Zach Burns, turn out the tunes & turn up the heat, very much getting you in playful mood for the saucy going’s on downstairs. But with your Saturday being superbly steered by none other than Jamie Head, we can’t think of a better place to be in Soho between 8 & 11.30 p.m. when the boys bang out the beats. However, with a heavenly happy hour that includes cocktail pitchers at just £15 & 2 4 1 double spirits that along with a food offer that makes us lick our lips with hungry joy, the comprehensive bistro menu extending to lunch specials with two main courses for just £12, the now famous Tuesday steak night, & 2 4 1 burgers on Wednesdays, while watch this space for news on a new “Masala Monday” offer & for Profile’s special “Valentines Day” feel the love meal for two offer and there’s definitely a lot going on at our Best Bar 2011 winner, more info on all these offers & happenings available at http://profilesoho.com.
To Lo-Profile now and like it’s little sister upstairs, there’s a lot going on here too, home-grown brands “Society” and “Playtime” both doing extremely well, the former welcoming Tony English & Fabio Luiggi to the decks tonight (Thurs 2nd Feb) while the real focus lands on “Playtime” at its host Jay Roberts, this Friday night foray currently one of the (in our view “THE”) best in town, attracting capacity crowds week-in week out, the playful element extended beyond the dancefloor & the podiums into Jay’s backroom boudoir, tomorrow night (Fri 3rd Feb) sure to be no different, Nick Evans & Alessandro on deck duty from 10 till 4 a.m., while Mr Roberts welcomes playful boys Martin Kandra & Florent Leturmy to spice up proceedings and in Jay’s are boys “…who are gonna show you what real men like…” (boudoir here we come!). But the “Playtime” playing field has just got a huge extra pitch in the form of Europe no less, Jay & his porn-tastic team of Gabriel Cross & Danny King, along with D.J. & cheeky boy Steven Artis kicking off their tour of the continent with a trip to gay Paris tomorrow night (Sat 4th Feb) when Playtime takes over Spyce Bar in the French capital’s Le Marais quarter, while the favour is returned on 25th Feb when Spyce land in on London at the new Lo-Profile “ClubNation” Saturday (more of that coming up). Indeed talking of Saturday, in advance of “ClubNation’s” launch next week, when they welcome international megastar D.J. Wayne G to the decks, this sees “Global Blitz” boy’s Brent Nicholls & Paul Heron play for the opposition, Paul hotfooting it from Charing Cross in time for his 1 a.m. deck date, while the first half is down to Mr Nicholls and with Lo-Profile’s doors opening at 10 p.m. on each of the three nights & running to 3 a.m., 4 a.m. & 5 a.m. respectively, door entry varying from anything between £3 & £8, check out http://loprofile.com for more details.
So onward to Vauxhall and while a certain weekly rag may be avoiding them, we certainly are not as The Orange Group top our pile of premier picks once again this weekend, although with so much going on, it was a difficult choice to decide which of the six club events to focus on here. Would it be Onyx, Beyond Midnight, Later or Orange?, each worthy of our attention, and while we will be devoting a special post to beyond, when it came down to the final choice, A:M squeezed out the others, not least as this weekend (well the whole of February actually) looks like being a corker for promoter (ours of 2011 in fact) Steven Sharp & the A:M team, as they welcome iconic D.J. Lottie to the decks, very much headlining what has come a weekly “Headliners” happening down at Fire now that Mr Sharp is in charge, his extensive contacts within the scene & D.J. circuit, bringing some exciting names to the fore. As for Lottie, well having played with some of the finest and indeed mightiest names in the business, Steven rates her as “…a headliner who we are just so excited to be welcoming to our gracious “A:M Headliner” decks…”. And for good reason, as she has played alongside the likes of Daft Punk, Felix Da’ Housecat & Josh Wink, as well as Layo & Bushwacka, all recognised as masters in the art of tech & electro house music. But more than that, Lottie has appeared on the covers of magazines (how does the song go???) including Time Out & I D.J., while the London clubbing scene will know her as the co-founder of the fantastic Friday nighter Gallery, that on top of filling the shoes of Radio 1’s Pete Tong for his Friday night slot, an accolade indeed meaning, as Steven rightly say’s “…we have the red carpet out…”. But with an all-star cast of A:M residents that include D’Johnny, Guy Williams, Jamie Head, Fat Tony & David Jimenez, plus with door hostess Hrh Minty & club host Danny Boyce, this is one A:M, you won’t want to miss, doors opening at Fire from 3 a.m. this Saturday (4th Feb), the club running through until a monumental & mad 11 a.m. finish, entry a mere £8 before 5 a.m. (make sure you grab a Boyz ad or an A:M flyer) or £12 for others, we reckon it’s a small price to pay for a headliner like Lottie, more info out at http://fireclub.co.uk/gayparties while pencil the 18th & 25th Feb in your dance diaries as Steve Thomas & Pagano respectively fill the A:M Headliner boots.
So across we go to Shoreditch and reigning supreme in our choice picks is the City Rd splendour East Bloc which has a lot going on this weekend, Sunday seeing it open its doors on a regular basis for the first time, while two giants of the venue’s weekly come monthly schedule return to serve up plenty of alternative action. So, like the best of award ceremonies, let’s talk about the happenings in reverse order, although there is method in our madness as this means we focus on Sunday (5th Feb) first, this the new entrant to the East Bloc clubbing calendar, as the new “Bloc Party” launches on a weekly basis following the highly successful pre New Year event in December, although this first outing will see Joelle Hyland & BOY London take over with models a-plenty sporting their wares & and loads of limited editions items on sale. But the music will also be doing the talking & walking (well dancing actually, as with the best in RnB, Hip Hop Basement & funky house from the likes of Kartel Brown, Jeffrey Hinton & Miguel Dare, this is alternative with a capital A, hosts Mark-Ashley Dupé, Richard Logins , Jake Cook & Kwame Suaavve taking care to make sure to have a brilliant time, East Bloc opening its doors from 10 p.m. till 4.30 a.m., entry free until 12.30 a.m., & £5 thereafter, more info up at http://facebook.com/events/320359361335631/. So we come to Saturday (4th Feb) and the truly terrific “TheMenWhoFell2Earth” which returns for its monthly meet, the team exclaiming “…Right then, are you all done with the de-toxing? Good. Well here’s a night out for those of you who think it’s about time you had one and those of you who never stopped anyway…”, which sums up this alternative antic better than we could in as many words. And as the TheMenWhoFell2Earth beam back from outer space on another earth bound party mission, they bring with them favourite fella Erol Sabadosh, with internationalist Francine Bacon from Berlin, both who will fill your musical boots with barnstorming beats of the punk funk, dirty disco & remixed rock N roll in room one, while over in the second space it’s all about “Sink The Pink” who describe their “Boy Box” band in the form of Hot Fuss & James Phillips as a duo that will “…whip you into a musical melting pot, pulling out the trashiest, dirtiest, most shameless music ever made in one dark, sweaty room full of fun..”. Well, enough said really and if you haven’t got the idea by now, go check out http://themenwhofell2earth.co.uk for more info while East Bloc welcomes this outer space outrageousness from 10.30 p.m. till 6 a.m., entry a mere £8 on the door. So that leaves Friday and another weekly session of Larry Tee’s madcap meet, “Super Electro Party Machine”, electro music the backdrop and played out by Larry & guests who this week include Tania & Calum’s for the debutant party (don’t ask!) in room one, while Nan Atichatpong & friends sort the sounds in the second space, this another 10 p.m. till 4 a.m. event, all for just a fiver and with plenty of drinks offers to boot, further detail on this “…coolest of East End weekly…” out at http//facebook.com/groups/233646343355718/.
Well, that’s it for our Best Bites choices for another weekend, but with part two of our weekend newsletter coming up, namely our “Short Shouts”, fear not if you haven’t yet had your fancy tickled, as we have plenty more offerings up our scene sleeve. However we reckon that there is definitely a “Lottie” going on right here and with our premier picks including “Playtime”, “A:M” & “The MenWhoFell2Earth” you have at least three exceptional excuses to be seen on the scene, naturally making sure that you “Go There! Be There!”. (DISCO MATT)
For some, Christmas is about the treats under the tree, for others it’s about the turkey on the table, but for us? well it’s about the traditional turn with Trade and while Turnmills may just be a memory in our minds, this Christmas night we were given the next best thing, a Chrimbo combo that proved a sweet sensation that was well worth swapping the dessert for the dancefloor.
We have always been a bit of a stickler for tradition, we always give up something for lent, not an Easter goes by without indulging on the proverbial egg, of the chocolate kind of course, while come our birthday a bottle of our favourite South African Beyerskloof is an essential inclusion in our sometimes singular celebrations. So when it comes to Christmas, we have plenty of traditions too, those that have known us over the years realising that Xmas Eve is never the same without the mandatory gammon & mash along with the classic film “Oliver”, while on the day itself, smoked salmon & champagne is a morning must while watching another classic, “Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang”. Yet while in more recent times we can take or leave the tradition of Turkey, not least that in the sunnier climbs of our South African home, the heat of the summer doesn’t necessarily mix with the daytime feast that festoons the masses in the northern hemisphere, one thing we have grown to adore & pursue with a passion, is a little dancefloor debauchery. So, while last year it was Lovechild at Red & Blue in Antwerp, the previous handful had always been about the mother of all clubs, without whom no Christmas is quite the same, a club that always reigned supreme on Sunday’s although for on this occasion would step out in the night rather than the day.
Trade is a name that had always been synonymous with another T, namely Turnmills and while many a Sunday morning during the 90’s saw us cutting a stride on this clubbing equivalent of churches, no less than eight occasions seeing us working off our Christmas lunch on the dancefloor of this infamous clubbing mecca, the debauchery & decadent feel that we always used to succumb to on a Sunday heightened even more in the knowledge that the vast majority of London, on this one night of the year, would be rather sleeping off theirs! So there was always something extra special about the Trade Christmas nights and, even when Turnmills was no more, there was always The Egg to fall back on, while the post Farringdon days also had another home for this mothership of Christmas day clubbing, namely Fire in Vauxhall, this venue choice not only proving a popular one, but opened up the opportunity for Trade to join forces with another amazing afterhours clubbing brand, in the case of Christmas, being none other than Orange, the outing that started Fire way back when & is the name behind the mighty organisation that now runs this Vauxhall venue.
So, with Orange & Trade once again joining forces and asking us to “…enter the realm of The Snow Queen…” and with a line up that included Steve Thomas, Nick Tcherniak, Pagano, Paul Heron & Fat Tony, how could we resist, even the lack of public transport & triple taxi fares nowhere near enough to retain us from making the 20 minute jaunt from Clapham to Vauxhall and a meet with our Christmas night maker. And arriving at Fire’s doors at not long before midnight, it was clear that many had the same thing in mind, the queue already considerable, yet managed with the usual dexterity we have come to expect from our very own face of Trade (and many more clubs for that matter), Tom Fuller, the mandatory pause and catch-up stalling us in time to be greeted by Aaron Elder and our promoter of the year, Steven Sharp, the man behind Orange & the driving force behind this “Snow Queen” affair. But with the club beckoning as well as an expectant Chrissy Darling waiting for her Christmas kiss, we negotiated a rather overzealous security guard who went as far as feeling our crotch (how dare he!), is was Miss Darling that was doing the now acceptable feeling and having spent the previous Christmas day in her company, clubbing in Antwerp, it felt extremely appropriate that she was here too. But while all these entrance greetings love-in’s were welcome enough, well apart from that naughty crotch feel of course, it was Orange/Trade we were here for, the pounding music of the main room grabbing our immediate attention as we disrobed at the coatcheck & prepared ourselves for the decadent chrimbo cavorting ahead.
And it got right off to a brilliant start, Orange RAW man Hifi Sean in charge of the tunes, entertaining an already considerable crowd to a ton of tech & deep house beats, the lighting & effects already in full flow as we found out to our sudden surprise as the snaky Smalls hit the go button on the special snow cannon installed for this exceptional event, a shower of the white stuff flying over our heads in our selected spot, this time to the right of the D.J. booth (shock horror) & covering our hair & shoulders making us look like a south pole penguin. But with “Mr DiscoBalls” Sean sorting some sensational sounds, w soon shook off our snow covering, our dextrous “Doing The Disco Matt” moves shifting the last remnants of snow, while there were plenty others getting into the Orange/Trade groove too, one guy next to us even putting our extravert dancing to shame. Mind you, while this RAW element was doing it for us, it was the Trade treats we were very much looking forward, a peek into the mirrorarch, the space set aside for our mothership of clubbing captivation, spotting the screens being pulled back & the room swinging into action. So, it wasn’t long before we found ourselves up in our favoured spot (yes you guessed it, just left of the D.J. booth, the one & only Steve (Janet to his friends) Thomas masterminding the music, immediate Turnmills memories flooding back in our minds, as he set about scoring a succession of bulls-eye’s with his brilliant beats.
Now we were well into this classic Chrimbo combo meet, the influence of Steven Sharp, not just a prolific promoter, but one half of The Sharp Boys who had been Trade residents themselves, clearly working like a dream, that other half in the form of George due on in the Orange room, although not before international playboy D.J. Paul Heron had his turn, our momentary pause from the thrills of Mr Thomas in the Trade room seeing us stall our return a little longer than we had planned. And for good reason as not only did someone wearing a straw in their ear as a Madonna like microphone that immediately reminded us of our beautiful Brazilian babe Bel, but another female close to our hears made her actual presence felt, Andrea bounding up to give us the customary welcome that never fails to reduce us to fits of laughter, “…you can f*** right off…”, while a flood of other familiar faces came walking by, Nick Tcherniak, Tom Marchant & Ariel Mayer among them, while another Nick, Mr Evans to be precise, was on close call having kindly transported his close pal Paul to Fire in time for his slot at this “Snow Queen” happening. Indeed Mr Heron was heaping hoards of heavenly house upon us, tracks such as “Souk” making us shout out in our minds, “where are you Steve & Celso”, while the delightful dancers now on stage were discerning distractions enough to keep us concentrated on the Orange/Trade task in hand.
But Trade was to show the most hypnotic hand of the night, the club brands resident Nick Tcherniak the D.J. disciple to do it, a simply stunning set from start to finish enthralling the now packed to the rafters mirrorarch space, a hoard of Trade babies in attendance to witness this master mixer at his wonderful work. So, it was no surprise that we totally succumbed to this superb showing, spinning on our spot like a good un, even Trade’s Mark Mace mystified by a monstrous moves, while the arrival of Pagano for his turn at playing on our musical heart strings, did slightly stop us in our tracks, although such was the exhilarating energy being poured on us by the terrific Mr Tcherniak, we were soon back in the zone soaking up what was to be our performance of the party. Yet with so much more to enjoy and, as a result our nibble size tweeting pretty much grinding to a halt, it was Pagano who first thrilled us with a mound of magnificent music in the Trade space, including a new production of his that had a distinct nod towards a Bond theme of the OHMSS variety, while George Sharp kept drawing us into the Orange room, Tom Marchant’s new track also enthralling our ears. But the morning’s madcap melay for us was crowned by a prolific performance from Fat Tony, this Trade lite lounge legend very much sealing our satisfaction deal on this “Snow Queen” splendour, Tonnic’s vocals and Tony’s selection’s sending us skyward with every beat, our anthem of old, “Release Me”, even halting our exit, rather ensuring we reassumed our spinning spot in the Orange/Trade main room which marked our final focus on this fantastic foray.
So what did we think of the latest chapter in our catalogue of chrimbo cavorting?, and who rocked our world in the eight or so hours we sank into this “Snow Queen” quest? Well, first & foremost, the combining of forces between Orange & Trade worked like a dream, this the third time the duo have collaborated over Christmas and we loved the way the two differing styles of beats & bodies merged as one and whilst it may have not quite had the overtly decadent feel of the Turnmills Xmas nights, the sensation that we were pushing the boundaries of normality were certainly evident. As for those that rocked our eight hour world, well, pretty much every D.J. did their bit in tantalising our musical taste-buds, from the deep tech house of Hifi Sean through the more uplifting citric beats of Paul Heron & George Sharp in the main room, to the Trade tipped tunes from Steve Thomas & Pagano in the mirrorarch, our trips back & forth between the two spaces were evident that each & every one of them were hitting the mark. However, we have to single out Nick Tcherniak for his simply stunning set in the Trade room, we lapping up every tasty morsel of his magnificent music, while our hats very much also go off to Fat Tony for his splendid set in the Orange space, it being extremely rare for a D.J. to actually pull us back from the brink of an exit and he did it in spectacular style. So hearty congratulations to all involved from start to finish, to everyone that said hi but especially to Steven Sharp, our promoter of 2011, for masterminding this classic chrimbo combo, you did both Orange & Trade proud, well done. (DISCO MATT)
London may have been gripped by the terror of the blitz back in the 1940’s, but a new kind of blitz is looking to make a bang in the capital when, some seventy years later, the brave new brand on the block that is Blitz Bar launches with its “Peepshow” party, Disco Matt biting into the detail of this new concept that brings back some old favourites.
We look back on the halcyon days of the broad bar culture that was Soho and one that stretched much further than the boundaries surrounding Compton St, venues such as Halfway To Heaven off Trafalgar Square, Locomation on Leicester Square and both Cruz & Brief Encounter on St Martin’s lane, all the watering (some right old) holes bridging the gap between the Soho stomping ground and the gigantic gay clubbing paradise that was Heaven, nineties London a very different prospect for the roaming gay looking for some audacious action. And there was another venue that was part of this picture, Kudos on Adelaide St. sitting neatly between those St Martin’s Lane cruising grounds & the might of Heaven, the more classy & trendy set seeking this refuge away from the red light tendencies that remained quite prevalent at the time. But, with the shift of clubbing to Vauxhall and Westminster council sweeping a clean-up broom through the Soho scene & its surrounding streets, the whole nature of gay bar culture in central London changed, the current landscape even without the brilliance that was Barcode, even Heaven a mouse compared to the might it was before, Kudos a victim of the shifting of the scene south of the river.
However, while Kudos may have gone for good, the gay legacy that it left behind at the venue on Adelaide St. is set to be bravely re-born in the form of Blitz Bar, a name that is commonly associated with the bombing on London during the second world war, although the organisers behind this bold new venture are hoping that “bombing” will not be the byword of this scene step change, rather the rekindling of some old favourites as well as bringing some new concepts & stars to the fore. That said, given the shift away from the vicinity in recent times, Blitz Bar finds itself pretty much out on a limb, even though Halfway To Heaven is close by, while it is favoured by pretty good transport links and, being in the Charing Cross district, one geographically noted as being the historical centre of the capital, central it certainly is. But Blitz has a tough task ahead of it in attracting an accomplished audience, although is attempting to serve up something for everyone, ranging from a firm favourite social soiree, to a sexy burlesque come risqué offering, as well as music driven night that has international come global intentions, that along with a planned D.J. competition evening which sits on a slightly different stool to former forays.
So Blitz is very much looking to shout a scene statement, that shouting beginning this coming Friday (3rd February) when the new venue (currently a Gilberts Bar) launches with its headlining event, “PEEPShow”, one which has been billed by co-promoters Brad Frederick, Tom Spindler, Brent Nicholls & Doug Silva as being “…Inspired by the sexual, and sensual vision of the 21st Century man the resident “PEEP boys” will be presenting outside of the box sexy burlesque and peepshow inspired stage shows with added visual treats, stamping its way into your weekly diaries…” they adding that “…Hot DJ talent will be hitting the deck space in the basement club along with various guests delivering vocal, upfront, progressive, funky house beats adding the perfect soundtrack to your weekend starting point…” residents Brent Nicholls & Doug Silva joined by an array of guests that currently include Sharon O Love, Alessandro Londra, Zach Burns, Norbert M & Jamie Hammond, while in hosts Brad Frederick & Tom Spindler, it seems the Vauxhall element of clubbing has an indelible influence in the PEEPShow philosophy, the duo sure to attract more than a handful of their brethren to Blitz. And for the launch night, the team have enrolled the P.A. services of “…blond beaut & rising songstress…” Emma Cook, while there will be plenty of burlesque gogo’s on show to bolster this basement bonanza, although due to some licensing technicalities the original 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. running time has been shifted to an 8 till midnight slot, meaning, as of going to press, we are unsure of entry fees (we reckon there must be some serious money behind this venture if its free entry!), but with more information available at http://blitzbar.co.uk & an indication of the music of offer via the inspired PEEPshow podcast at http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2012/01/30/minicast-peep-house/, this should be a launch night to write rather than head home about and as the boys simply say “…welcome to the show, we dare you…”.
PEEPshow aside, Blitz Bar extends into Saturday’s too, the venue’s international intentions, a mid-evening offering that kicks off this Saturday (4th February) from 9 p.m. till midnight, bringing to London a truly global feel, the team remarking of this Saturday night showing, “…we are passionate about music and every Saturday you can experience GLOBAL BLITZ, a collection of international DJs taking you on a global journey of house…” hostess Sylvia Rebel like her PEEPShow compatriots adding that Vauxhall element to proceedings that is sure to attract a certain crowd of clubbers & cavorters, while the D.J. roster looks pretty similar to the Friday foray, excepting the addition of Paul Heron, Berlin boy Tom Peters (aka KevinFunkt) & Oliver M along with Italy’s GSP, these just some of the internationally renowned stars that will give the night a global feel. And with each week given away to a different night, the team tell us that “…the Global roster takes you from London to Brazil with stopovers in Europe, with “BERLIN BLITZ” on the1st Saturday of the month) with DJs Paul Heron & Tom Peters + Guests, “LONDON BLITZ “ on the2nd Saturday of the month, with DJ Brent Nicholls plus some of London’s biggest spin maestros, “LATIN BLITZ” on the 3rd Saturday of the month with DJ Doug Silva plus a collection of guest DJs with that Latin flavour, “EURO BLITZ” on the 4th Saturday of the month) with DJs representing the best of Europe & the UK including appearance by Alessandro Londra, Sharon O Love, Oliver M and “XXXTRA BLITZ” on the 5th Saturday of the month when guest DJs will descend on Blitz to provide us with sexy beats and horny house in this extra Blitz session…”, need we add more apart from pointing you towards http://blitzbar.co.uk for more info.
However, without doubt the ace in the Blitz bar pack for us is “SuperSocial” which hits the ground running from next Wednesday (8th February), bringing back the terrific, tremendous & towering trio that is Brent Nicholls Paul Heron & (Hrh) Minty, yes the team that brought us “Industri”, a superb social soiree of a club that pretty much transformed our lives for good and one that saw Disco Matt born & then bred in his infancy. And the firm favourite “Industri” package of old will be transposed into the Blitz Bar of the present, a two floored foray giving it a feel towards the future, all based around the “social” theme, so social hours, social surroundings & social sounds, yet with the “SuperSocial” philosophy being pretty much the same as its former, namely “…a simple idea of a house party where friends, friends of friends and more friends are welcome to drop in…” , while just like the days of Industri, the team tell us to expect “…anything can happen, it can go from mild to wild and back again…and with Minty as your host you will be made to feel right at home…” a better hostess with the mostest we could wish for. So, with Hrh ruling the roost upstairs, down in the basement, the back-to-back partnership between Brent Nicholls & Paul Heron will be re-formed, Brent telling us to expect “…floor filling anthems, funky house, disco dipped grooves, the occasional WTF record with plenty of progressive, deep and tech thrown in providing you with the perfect soundtrack to a social backdrop…” and pretty much what we used to get at Industri, especially in the Vauxhall days. Plus, it seems that “SuperSocial” is teaming up with the Gigolo boys, meaning its Blitz bar early doors, followed by a jaunt up to Shadow Lounge, discounted entry to Gigolo available at SuperSocial, the combo making for a “…midweek dirty disco orgy extra-ordinare…” and sure to pack a powerful punch in the clubbing scene calendar. So, with Minty, Brent & Paul back together, “SuperSocial” will be the place to be this coming Wednesday (8th February) and every Wednesday after that, further details out at http://blitbar.co.uk.
So, in “PEEPshow”, “Global Blitz” & “SuperSocial” you have three new ventures that should fill up your Friday’s, shake up your Saturday’s & whip up your Wednesday’s, Blitz bar the brave new brand on the block offering up a new place to step out & be seen on the Soho(ish) scene. So, put your brave head on the Blitz block, get down to Blitz, get blitzed and in so doing, make sure you Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)