With the Wig Party’s reputation for clubbing glamour sophistication & style in combination with charitable causes, thus attracting the cream of the scene & celebrity crop and proving ever more popular year on year, it was only a matter of time before the team behind this annual event would seek to score a second yearly soiree success, Disco Matt delving deep into the details on “The Masked Ball” which hits the ground running this coming Sunday with a spectacular showcase.
We are fabulously fortunate to find ourselves within a sparkling scene that, like the biggest & brightest of rainbows, superbly shines & shows off the full colourful spectrum of clubbing concepts, whether it be internationally renowned brands such as WE, Matinee & Salvation, or home-grown gatherings such as Beyond, Orange & Trade, London very much proving a fruitful partying playing field that encompasses one of the most diverse clubbing communities & cultures in the world. And that also goes for the venues that house all these happenings, from former theatres to abundant arches and from state of the art super structures to bijou basements, the capitals clubbing circuit pretty much having it all. Then add to this a plethora of promoters propelling their productions on a plentiful partying public and the picture is certainly as prolific as you will find anywhere, an insatiable desire from a catalogue of creators to cater for every type of taste making for one of the richest tapestries of tantalising turns that we know. But when it comes to combining both clubbing & charitable causes, it seems that one particular outfit have got it down to a tee, having built on a firm foundation that has seen its annual events grow in both popularity & stature to the degree that it was simply a matter of when as opposed to if it would extend its offering into a second showcase to score a success with the scene.
The Wig Party has certainly captured the imagination, one that started as a pretty small & select slice on the clubbing & social scene four years ago, has now grown into a massive annual event each October, drawing in the cream of scene along celebrities a-plenty, notable attendees including Leona Lewis & Danni Minogue, while a host of other have made discreet & cameo appearances, often attracting the national newspaper paparazzi, all which has propelled The Wig Party to a position of prominence within the clubbing circuit calendar, as a consequence the October event making headline news in pulications across the land. And it seems that the scene, year on year, has responded resplendently, not just donning wigs for a charitable cause, but going all out with some of the most extravagant & opulent costumes & apparel to match the sumptuous surroundings which, for the first three years were within the wonderful walls of Cafe De Paris, although the 2011, due to that huge demand & popularity, moved across to Mayfair, further enhancing this prolific party’s prominence on the scene schedule. So having become the amazing annual attraction that it has, demand for the October event far outstripping its capable supply, the team being The Wig Party have been under considerable pressure to pander to its adoring public, the product of this process being “The Masked Ball” which, like its bigger sister, looks like storming the scene and making more of those heavenly headlines.
So, with the scene set, what is “The Masked Ball” all about? Well, the format is similar to The Wig party itself, although with one intrinsic difference, the emphasis being on masks rather than wigs, although we highly suspect that veteran “wig-ers” will be wearing their handsome head pieces with pride, of course along with the mandatory mask. But as we have said, wigs are not necessarily part of the makeup of this event, rather, in the words of the Wig Party promotions team, “…the dress code is very relaxed but wearing a mask is compulsory, think simple but chic, think sexy and fun..” they adding “…our famous pageant is taking a back seat on this event making “The Masked Ball” a different yet equally fabulous charity event where dancing and seduction is the main aim, so wear footwear to keep on moving and clothing (or lack of) in which to sweat…”. But the central theme of raising funds for charitable causes that is at the core of The Wig Party is very much part of “The Masked Ball’s” aims & achievements too, the main benefactor being The National Aids Trust, an incredible organisation noted as the UK’s leading HIV/AIDS charity and one which is dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV, NAT provides fresh thinking expertise and practical resources for those living with the virus, while they also campaign for change in a whole series of ways. As a result, support to allow NAT to continue its wonderful work is vital and both the Wig Party & “The Masked Ball” are proud to be giving a helping hand in this quest, further information on NAT & how you too can contribute, is available to going direct to the NAT website at http://nat.org.uk
But back to “The Masked Ball” itself which takes place this coming Sunday (18th March), the team choosing to return to the captivating Cafe De Paris, a place that has not only played host to The Wig party itself, but is the historical home of one of the best known & loved Sunday t-dance parties, Salvation. Indeed the man behind the original Salvation parities, prolific promoter Alex Erfan, is very much connected & involved with both The Wig party & this event, while Joshua Rafter, the man behind Outlet, one of the best known gay property companies in the UK, heads up a team that reads a bit like a scene who’s who, notable names including Ben Kaye, Alan X, Jon Dennis, Rob Sykes, Chris Jepson, Jerry Boston, Mark Barrett, Kevin Arpino, Mark Mackenzie & Matthew Arnold, while the promotions team have superb scene starlets Naomi Ruiz, Suzana Quentin & Katy Lawrence on board, joining a host of other names that make for one of the most gorgeous & glitterati gatherings of magnificent minds anywhere. And it seems that The Wig party team are pulling out plenty of stops for “The Masked Ball”, as along with a confimed D.J. line up & prolific P.A., they are promising excellent entertainment that includes “…the charming sounds of a string quartet as our guests arrive…” plus an amazing aerialist show to kick off proceedings, other attractions including walk-about magicians, a caricature artist, trot card readers, fortune tellers & the like, very much making this a colourful pageant to satisfy all the senses. Plus, having been reliably informed that everyone involved from the venue through to the D.J.’s, the dancers, the designers, the performers & the organisers have donated their valuable time & input for free for this event, we give thanks to them, along with all the supporters, sponsors and prospective attendees (that’s you!!) for making this possible & for making a difference, all in the name of charity.
That said, having a great time is also what “The Masked Ball” is also about and the team have lined up a superb set of D.J.’s to stimulate your musical senses, The Wig party’s resident Rob Sykes the first to get our mini focus and a star that has been stepping out on the scene for many a moon, clubs such as Factor 25, Action & Juicy part of his considerable C.V, of achievements, while most recently he played for the massive Matinee “The Return” party which stormed back onto the scene in January, Rob’s main room performance showing that he hasn’t lost his touch for turning out a terrific tune and a set showing well worth a listen by checking out his devoted podcast at http://djrobsykes.podomatic.com/entry/2012-01-18T14_44_50-08_00. But joining Rob will be D’Johnny, this Berlin based boy having made significant strides on the scene in recent years, playing regularly for brands that include Beyond, Orange, Later & Gravity, while showings across Soho extend to Barcode, Lo-Profile & Rupert St, big name international brands also craving for his terrific talents, WE Party one of particular note, Johnny having played at a handful of the London events, while he was in the thick of the Madrid action on NYD, his devotion to the brand through his compilation from October of last year, still available at http://djohnny.podomatic.com/entry/2011-10-13T08_05_02-07_00 giving more than a hint of what to expect on Sunday. Then there is a name that is making his mark on the scene here in London, although has a reputation in the industry that has its roots in the recording studio, Marco Gee having been behind productions that include “Sun Rising Up” & “Bodyswerve”, while appearances for brands Lovechild & Deviate have got this impressive Italian noticed here in the capital, his uplifting & euphoric house sure to go down a storm, his “Gold Vol 9” at http://marcogee.podomatic.com/entry/2012-01-02T12_00_00-08_00 probably the best representation & clue of what his performance at “The Masked Ball” will encompass.
But the music and the performances don’t stop there, as the team have extended to offer to a second dancing space, Tony English joining the party and bringing with him a wealth of talent that extends to brands such as SuperMartXe, Puscha & Lovechild, while he has hosted his own radio show and now takes the helm of Gaydar Radio’s Club Nation show every Saturday night, Tony being in touch with some of the biggest names in the business & showcasing some of the newest & freshest sounds coming out of Europe & Spain in particular, a country that he remains incredibly passionate about. And his own series of podcasts at http://tonyenglish.podomatic.com/ represent his style of European sound, that come Sunday will surely also include plenty of huge house hits that he also brings to the fore when pressing podcasts for the Logan Presents brand, these also featuring other D.J.’s producers, the February release including Brazilian clubbing brand The Week’s resident, Pacheco, so well worth a listen at http://loganpresentspodcast.podomatic.com/entry/2012-02-06T16_42_30-08_00. And joining Tony is another Lovechild star although a man with a repertoire that extends to pretty much every major party in the capital, let’s see, Action, Beyond, Crash, Hard On!, Industri, Matinee, PSP & Salvation, while a score of years & more still see antipodean Brent Nicholls cutting a stride on the scene, Lo-Profile’s “Playtime” just one of many parties that draw on his exceptional experience & towering talent. Playing genres that extend to disco to funky house & having inspired a new style of genre which he labelled as nu-funk, Brent always seems to trend set with his sounds selections, his latest podcast devoted to that “Playtime” party, indeed lifted from his live set for the outing in February at http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2012/03/04/podcastplaytime/, symptomatic of the sound selections that should see him score a success with his set on Sunday.
But no spectacle like this would be complete without a prolific P.A. performance and the team have certainly picked a big hitter to headline the party, Peyton being one of the best in the business and a towering talent that has been in considerable demand right across the globe in recent years. Indeed, he will arrive at The Masked Ball fresh from his tour of Australia, having featured large in Sydney’s Mardi Gras festival, while other destinations recently have included Brazil, Spain, Israel and, naturally, his home country of The USA. Having been born there, in North Carolina to be exact, like all good American boys, he often travels home to catch up with family & friends, although being a son of a travelling evangelist, Peyton (christened Christopher Peyton) was encouraged to develop his vocal skills from an early age within the church environment that he used to frequent with his father, he being noted as saying “…it’s not uncommon to find me singing the old time spirituals and hymns that gave my voice its starting place, and consequently its strength…”. And it is this power & strength in Peyton’s voice that has seen him score significant successes in a singing career that has spanned close on twenty years, a whole list of track releases littering his discography, although the stand-out one surely has to be “A Higher Place” which was featured in a handful of Hed Kandi album releases, one sample at http://youtube.com/watch?v=8USNazREcos a resounding reminder of just what a huge hit it was, Peyton’s connections with Hed Kandi & the then top cheese, Mark Doyle, really putting his name on the vocal and dance/clubbing scene map. But more recently Peyton has been associated with the latest international clubbing brand phenomenon that is WE, having collaborated with the clubs resident D.J./producer Carlos Gallardo on a couple of projects, “Let It Go” their latest production, this video clip at http://youtube.com/watch?v=D1rbIngNOZA, a great insight into the bond the two have formed in the studio, while we will never forget Peyton’s performance of “WE (Eloise)” at the “Attacks” party on NYD 2011, which, for us, propelled him in our books as the best in the business. So, we are expecting something quite special from him on Sunday and also hope to bring you an exclusive interview on the back of the review of “The Masked Ball”.
Having gone into dynamic detail on the D.J.’s the music, the performers & the plans, lets now run down the detail you all will need to know about the event itself, The Wig Party’s “The Masked Ball” taking place this Sunday (18th March) at Cafe De Paris in Piccadilly, doors opening for this t-dance affair at 6.30 p.m., the party running through to a planned 1 a.m. finish. Advance tickets are still on sale online at http://wigparty.org/tickets, currently priced at £12, all the early bird £8 & £10 ones having been gobbled up a while ago, while if you fancy treating yourselves, then the VIP option at £25 will get you priority entrance, access to the upstairs VIP balcony, a welcoming complimentary drink, a dedicated bar, cloakroom & washroom facilities & exclusive access to the roaming magicians. Plus, if you want to grab a ticket in person, then you can head either to Outlet on Old Compton St, Soho or to Q Men on Earlham St, WC2, while you will be able to pay on the door but do expect to pay more, while it is worth remembering that all tickets sale proceeds will be going direct to the charity benefactor, NAT, so by simply buying a ticket, you are already making a difference to those affected by HIV/AIDS. But it doesn’t stop there, as Room Service are hosting a pre-party tomorrow night (Thurs 15th March), details at http://clubroomservice.com, while The Orange Group will be holding the “official” afterparty, details of which we will bring you in our Weekend newsletter, further information on this event available through http://wigparty.org.
So, it definitely looks like “dancing in disguise” is the way to go this Sunday and we will hopefully be donning our mask & heading down to Cafe De Paris, so if you see us no doubt nibble size review tweeting our way through the party, (you can follow the live action at http://twitter.com/discomatt), do come & say hi, while it just leaves us to remind you that to “Be There!” you need to “Go There”. (DISCO MATT)