From A.M. to WE, Boylesque to Beyond, Onyx to Orange, plus Gravity, Later & newbie Infamous too, there is no doubt that Orange Nation is a superb Vauxhall & Southwark clubbing torre de force this “World Pride” weekend, also holding sway in Soho with an exclusive outdoor event, Disco Matt dishing up the detail of a superb sequence of showings courtesy of this capital clubbing conglomerate.
As we sit on the scene sidelines swinging in & out of our summer sabbatical, we are quite horrified by the sound bites we are seeing over what is clearly a shocking shambles of a so called World Pride event, the latest statement from Pride London which includes this “…our sincerest apologies, Pride London deeply regrets the situation we have found ourselves in …” issued following a wave of criticism of their handling of World Pride, clear evidence that not only will this year’s London Pride festival be nothing short of a flop, but when the capital sees itself in the global spotlight, it is a damning disgrace that the both committee presiding over Pride in London & the powers that be holding the purse strings, have failed the community at such a late stage. However, with no such committee & commitment problems, it comes as a huge sigh of relief that from the ashes of cancelled dance stages & arenas comes the saviour that will be Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch in the hands of Orange Nation, who have no less than eight clubbing parties across the latter two districts & one huge pre-party come party planned for Soho.
So putting World Pride to one side, let’s take you through the whole Orange Nation offer, including that planned Soho party, first up being Gravity this Friday morning (6th Jul) which (quite tongue in cheek to Pride London) has been called “It’s Definitely Happening”, although we do wonder how long looking into the morning mirror that title took, although in all fairness the team do say, “…it’s Pride weekend, so start as you mean to go on…”, Gravity certainly the place to do that, especially if you want your weekend to start early on Friday morning, doors opening to this event at 2 a.m. & the club running to a “v late” timing. And with D.J.’s on duty including Fat Tony & Verity Mayes, plus with host JJ Clark zooming across from Room Service, no doubt with plenty of followers in his tracks, while Gravity’s promoter Danny Boyce will be sure to give you the warmest of welcomes, this is the best place to be at the start of your weekend, especially if its starts on Friday. Plus, with entry on offer at just £5 before 3 a.m. with a flyer or pass, these being handed out by a bevy of boys around Soho on Thursday night, as well as being available from JJ at Room Service, while its £8 thereafter or £10 on the door, more info available at http://facebook.com/gravitythursdays.
Into Friday we find ourselves and usually it would be Onyx at Area neatly followed by A:M at Fire, although as has been the trend in recent months, when it comes to the big weekends (& this is one such weekend), the clubs combine to make one huge happening stretching close on twelve hours, an equally towering team of D.J.’s flying the respective club flags. So, kicking off at 11 p.m. & Fire playing host, this “Pride Warm Up” party sees the two club D.J. camps collide, in the Onyx corner we finding Matt Bogard & Jonny M playing upfront & energetic house with plenty of vocal intentions in the main room, while is pop & dance anthems from gender benders Tasty Tim & Lady Lloyd in the lounge, while packing a powerful punch in the A:M corner are all star residents Fat Tony D’Johnny, Jamie Head, Alan K, Paulo Moreno & David Jimenez, very much cementing the character of this amazing afterhours club which promoter Steven Sharp is always clear to stress, “…it’s all about the music…”. Mind you, with the amount of hosts on duty you may be forgiven for thinking otherwise, Nick Adams Byam ability assisting the delightful Chrissy Darling (could he be a pretty young thing?!?!) while A:M wise, it’s the dynamic duo of Danny Boyce & Minty, Chrissy presiding over the door duty early on, while Minty takes over later. And talking of the door, entry packages are pretty reasonable, as a wee trip to http://gayguestlists.com/onyx could get you in gratis, while for others & those with a flyer it’s a mere £6 before 3 a.m., rising to £8 before 5 a.m. & then £10 thereafter, while if you don’t want to go foraging for a flyer, then you can rather click on http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/06/onyx-vs-a-m-fire-pride-warm-up for that £8 price tag while entry on the door is £12 after 3 a.m.
So onward to Saturday and with both the parade & the “official” World Pride after events covered in confusion, Soho will no doubt be playing host to the lion’s share of the action, Orange Nation in the thick of the action, or should we say in the middle of it, having secured Comptons who will be playing host to the WE “Players” pre-party. Now, naturally we have been digging for details and with plans to have an outside stage very much in the balance, we can nevertheless confirm that, as of going to press, this pre-party will happen, whether inside or out, D.J.’s on duty confirmed as Paul Heron, Matt Bogard & Fat Tony, while if the green light for an outside stage goes ahead, then the whole Orange Nation residency team will be rolled out in back-to-back form, so Steve Pitron & Jamie Head, Alan K & Paulo Moreno, Jonny M & The Oli, D’Johnny & David Jimenez and Verity Mayes & Bryony Masters. However, with Westminster council crying wolf on issues of policing, safety & funding, as well as having supposedly issued a licensing edict to all venues, the final decision on this outside stage will not be made until after a major meeting which takes place tomorrow, so watch this space for a “hot off the press” newsflash as the decision hits our desk. Mind you, whichever way it goes, Comptons is always the biggest & best Pride melting pot & with Orange nation plus WE Party involved, it will be even more so.
Now talking of WE, if time allows, we will be delivering a full on focus & devotion to what will undoubtedly be the biggest party of the whole Pride weekend, The Coronet in Elephant & Castle once again playing host this Saturday (7th July), while the D.J. line-up is mighty & impressive as the place, WE’s very own resident roving D.J. Carlos Gallardo back to London by popular demand & sure to thrill with tons of towering tunes neatly balanced between those benchmark euro-beats & uplifting vocal injections, while it will be an all out progressive assault from our Italian stallion, Pagano, the tones turning tech when Paul Heron & D’Johnny take to the decks. But with Room Service’s Kris Di Angelis & Matt Bogard going back-to-back in the second space, there will certainly be an alternative electro twisted trip to be made, Munroe Bergdorf playing host upstairs, while the main arena will be in the very capable hands both Ben Kaye & JJ Clark. So, let’s rattle through the rest of the detail which goes like this, doors opening at 10 p.m. & the club running through till 6.am., advance tickets available online via http://wepartylondon.com &/or http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/07/we-party-london-we-players-pride-party, at the standard £18 price tag (yes those £10 &£15 super advance ones went really quickly), while outlets Prowler, Clone Zone, 50 & Solarstation are your Soho sources, along with Comptons & Ku-Bar, entry we believe available on the door, but expect to pay more.
But for those that may be WE’d out or are in search of something a little more intimate compared to the full on theatre size experience, the Orange Nation team have come up trumps with “Boylesque”, in what has been labelled as “…the alternative pride party…” although is likely to have massive mainstream appeal, not least that international gay icon, pop star, D.J. & altogether good egg, superstar Boy George is at the centre of, not only the title of this club night, but the entertainment too. And having announced that he will be performing live for the first time in over two years, while we have been sworn to secrecy, the is one stunningly spectacular surprise up his sleeve, meaning that you will be far from disappointed if you trade your W & E for a B & G. But more than that, we are told that artists flown in especially for this event (we really cannot say, sorry) performing both D.J. sets & songs (itching to tell!!), okay just two then, Jeremy Healy & Jon Pleased, but all we will say is that it’s not to be missed. So what more can we say, well apart from George & co?, well, the “alternative” burlesque (see what they did with the title?!) theme will be extenuated by a score of sexy boys & girls on stage, while the second space will be a “Fire” room showcasing some of the clubs finest D.J.’s (naturally those not on duty elsewhere!), Fat Tony (B G’s best buddy), Jamie Head & Verity Mayes on decks duty, while the third room will be given away to Walt Utz & Madame Jojo’s who will present a show spectacle with a line up of London’s most notorious stars from the cabaret circuit. Now we really cannot say anymore (stop it!!!) apart from dipping through the detail, “Boylesque” kicking off at Fire from 11 p.m. this Saturday (7th July) & running through to a planned 6 a.m. finish, advance tickets priced at just £10 (absolute bargain!) still available at http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/07/boylesque-boy-george-s-alternative-pride-party, while you can check-in at the usual Soho outlets for handpicked passes.
Onwards we go and to Beyond and like WE, if time permits we will be devoting a special feature to it as this looks like being every bit the roadblock events that is always is come big weekends, and some we say, not least when you consider that the team have “…pulled out all the stops to bring one of the world’s best D.J.’s to London…” NYC’s Hector Fonseca bringing with him a resounding repertoire of remixes, no less than 5 having reached number one in the billboard charts last year alone, hence we are chomping at the bit to feature him is this special focus. But with Tel Aviv’s FFF Group also jetting in their own package of players in the form of D.J. Tal Cohen & international drag performer K Long, both who featured in the FFF party at Fire last year, Beyond certainly has the global feel that that only WE Party & Hustlaball can match this weekend. Add to that London all star cast including Steve Pitron, The Sharp Boys, Hifi Sean, Fat Tony, D’Johnny & Paul Christian, together with back-to-back sets from Alan K & Paulo Moreno and Verity Mayes & Bryony Masters, so if there was ever a club that was about the music for us, then it is Beyond & not least this “World Pride” spectacular. So, skipping through the detail, it’s a 3 a.m. start at Area this Sunday (8th July) with entry simply £15 in advance (the best commodore you will spend this weekend) either online at http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012/07/08/beyond-world-pride-2012 or at those Soho outlets, while entry will be available on the door but expect to pay more & probably wait even longer, Ben Kaye & JJ Clark teaming up gain, as they did for WE, while no special Beyond would ever be the same without the tremendous Tom Fuller.
So, on the home straight (ish) and Later comes next, the team rolling out yet another fun filled frolic in the form of the now infamous “Funfair” format, the Later garden a hot bed of happy happenings with rides & games stalls, while a fortune teller will be sitting on his /her corner ready to tell you what is around your corner. Plus with the pool filled up if the weather permits & the bbq, an indelible ingredient of any Later party, stacked with sausages & brimming with burgers, that along with some other surprises in store and out will be the new clubbing in. That said, inside the musical heat will be turned right up full, resident D.J.’s Jamie Head, D’Johnny & Paul Heron cooking on tunes gas mark nine, while hostess Andrea & her boys (yes she has a bevy of them) will be causing enough madness & mayhem to make this a party to remember. And with host venue Fire’s doors opening at 11.30 a.m. this Sunday (8th July), the club running through to 8 p.m., with discount wristbands/stamps available at Beyond, standard entry is available online at http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/08/later-funfair or on the door, priced at £10, we are pretty sure you will be walking away come 8 p.m. with the biggest smile on your face, candy floss round your lips & a shiny bum from all that sliding, not to mention sore feet from dancing.
Now we would normally finish with Orange (which we will), but will quickly mention new club “Infamous” which launches at Covert on Sunday night from 6 p.m. details coming your way via our extra bites post “Princely Sum of A Soiree”, which paves the way for the “From Orange With Pride”, the organisers saying of the Pride closing event saying “…you’ve had the world, now get a true taste of London & the biggest last dance of Pride 2012…” as it is sure to be with not just the “Orange Family” of D.J.’s that include The Oli, Fat Tony & the Sharp Boys, but Hifi Sean is back too, starring in Fire’s main room alongside guest slot guy Paul heron (my he is a busy boy this weekend, we count five gigs at least!), while the event also boats the newly named RAW Future Heroes space with Lee Yeomans in charge of the tunes. But it’s Pride and so we all know what track/record that means, “A Deeper Love” among a handful of other hits performed by special PA Elliotte Williams, very much crowning this citric colossus which kick starts at 11 p.m. on Sunday (8th July) & carries you deep into Monday morning & a date with your day off diary, http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/08/from-orange-with-pride-london-s-biggest-pride-closing-party the place to go for advance tickets, priced at just £10, while its half that price with a flyer before 1 a.m., door hosts Chrissy Darling & Minty managing your efficient entry & them cheerful cavorting ala citric style.
So that’s the Orange Nation World Pride package and what an enthrallingly extensive one it is too, we finishing by reminding you that advance tickets are very much the way (especially for WE & Beyond), Solarstation not just a superb source, but also an opportunity for you to soak up some sun, of the sun-bed variety of course, as we all want to look at our best for World Pride, a quick visit to http://solarstation.co.uk revealing all you need to know before revealing yourselves to some bronzing brightness. That just leaves us to wish you a very happy World Pride, even if the event itself looks like being a bit of a wash-out, as there is always the league of Orange Nation clubs to turn & to take to. (DISCO MATT)