Posts Tagged ‘Beyond’
As we stutter & stumble into the third month of our year of positivity, 2013 is looking as rosy as the inclement weather, spring yet to have sprung in a second month that had plenty of positives but plagued with health negatives, we nevertheless looking back then forward with a yet further renewed sense of optimism for bigger & better times to come.
With a real spring in our step as February broke and much to look forward to in March, it would be fair to say that, as with the majority of 2012, our month was dominated by personal health issues that have close on brought us to a grinding halt, we falling off the radar completely in the last couple of weeks. However, while we should be a few thousand feet up in the air right now, heading home for our holidays, due to those health complications, we find ourselves lame in London, although with a mindful eye on the need to remain both positive & optimistic, out of the disappointment of missing out on our beloved South Africa (for now at least) comes the opportunity to be part of an event that marks a new beginning in the capitals clubbing circuit. So, for this third monthly message of 2013, we celebrate the good things to come out of February & the great things to come in March, while also touching on some shocking scene soirees that marred what was otherwise a really positive month for the London scene.
A disturbing trend that seems to be re-emerging and what looks like a writer’s block that we have developed towards the cornerstone of our activity, reviews of Scream & DISH from January & Propaganda at Red & Blue from February still outstanding. Plus, with a cancelled trip to This Is Prohibition and a dip in clubbing activity towards the end of February, our sheet here is clean excepting the first in our returning “That Was The Weekend That Was” review and then the special (and final report) we posted on Beyond, which did also review the clubs history from Colosseum through Area, while for us, the good times we reflected on, are now becoming memories of what used to be our favourite club of all time, but due to recent developments has fallen fatally from grace. http://discomatt.com/web/2013/02/reportsreviews-not-another-one-beyond-midnight-saturday-23rd-february-special-reflective-report
With no less than three previews planned for February, only one actually made it to publication, and quite a scathing one it was too, as we honed in the crazy new Orange Nation Friday night venture that was effectively the replacement for Onyx. But with a name “Manic Panic” it was always going t be in for some stick, the name itself probably a reflection of the internal affairs of the group, while with second room off-shoot District XXX nothing short of a clubbing rip off, we didn’t hold back in our condemnation of this new club on the calendar. As for March, well Covert will be getting our preview attention, as will Matinee’s “La-Leche” event in Paris, more detail on these coming up in a bit. http://discomatt.com/web/2013/02/previews-dads-army-antics-manic-panic-district-xxx-the-launch-friday-15th-february/
While we have only two weekly newsletters to boast for the whole month and just one Weekend Focus, our attention did land on two huge newsworthy happenings, the new clubbing combo This Is Prohibition & the forthcoming As One In the Park, although with a need to really pull our socks up, March seems to be the month to do it, although we are effectively already two weekends down. http://discomatt.com/web/2013/02/recommends-sidings-showtime-this-is-prohibition-love-resurrection-saturday-16th-february-weekend-focus-special/
The phrase “…there’s something in the air…” seemed wholly appropriate for our reporting in February as, while we promised ourselves a positive 2013, we actually found ourselves focussing n some of the scene negatives, Beyond, Manic and Orange Nation dominating our downbeat deliveries, while in our new Seventh Day Sermon reports, we received the biggest reaction to our writing since we started back in 2008, many praising us for speaking out on issues, particularly in our “Finding Our Favour Faltering” post. But while these controversial compositions will continue in March, we will also be reporting on the good & the great of which there is much out there at the moment. http://discomatt.com/web/2013/02/reports-finding-our-favour-faltering-dms-seventh-day-sermon-sunday-17th-february/
A pretty abysmal month for what is the true love in our lives, although with the popular podcast wind punched out of our sails, we struggled to find favour with many productions sufficient enough to go to full feature press. However, both Danny Verde & Brent Nicholls made it, while we also propelled Jean Phillips latest captivating compilation as one of three “Podcast Of The Week” choices. But, as we pick up the pieces of a dented delivery period, we hope to be back on both our newsletter, D.J. focuses & podcast picks feet by the end of March, having also consolidated our D.J.’s & Music sections into one. http://discomatt.com/web/2013/02/musicpicks-digital-dream-holab-heaven-podcast-track-of-the-week-saturday-23rd-february/
What seemed like a good idea at the time, ended up being a vastly underused section and, in reality, one which was simply a distractive extension to our Recommends section. So, while we did post two Picks posts for Gigolo & Butch n February, we have decided to ditch the section in favour of a new Press Releases one, while our Picks will now fall under our Recommends where they should always have been.
With March doing just that, marching ahead, we have much to catch up on, however, with some subtle changes to our website already implemented, we have much planned for the weeks ahead, not least that special feature on overt, our next Disco Matters interview, this time with Alan K, as well as a preview of Matinee Paris, a destination in our diary for Easter Sunday. Plus with Easter itself only three weekends away, the focus will fall on that, while the vent “A New Beginning” is in the forefront of our renewed activity, following which further new ventures as well as International focus features of The European Gay Ski Week, the return of Lovechild & WE Party will be received our detailed devotions.
First & foremost, the place to watch is right here, while we use our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/pages/Disco-Matt/112730602119746 and our group at http://facebook.com/groups/discomatt/ to propel all our posts into the public eye. And here you will also find pictorial propulsions of our “Pick Of The Day” and “Podcast & Track of The Week” choices, as well as our new “Hot Shot Happenings” where we share unmissable events, all these choices & post links appearing on our personal profile at http://facebook.com/discomattlondon along with our Tumblr page at http://discomatt.tumblr.com.
DISCO DANCE DIARY DATES
Having been completely off colour since Antwerp in February, we have scaled back our diary for March considerably, the only two commitments going to Covert’s “A New Beginning” this coming Saturday (16th March), while Matinee in Paris on Easter Sunday (31st March) is a definite too. So, anything else will be a bonus, while we plan to be back to at least four outings in April (and probably more).
Well that’s it for this third monthly newsletter and having seen our activity crumble at the end of February & the beginning of March, the only way is up. So, while we are determined to now under promise & over deliver and also ditch our theory of one post a day, the reality is that we are far from out of the health situation woods, meaning March may not be as productive as we would like, but, as we said earlier, bigger & better times are to come, so we move forward with positivity & optimism. (DISCO MATT)
With new & renewed life about to be injected into a sagging London scene, we reflect on what used to be brilliant, but what then went badly wrong as competition crushing & monstrous monopolies mobbed, while with the winds of change about to blow, we also look at what is to come in restoring & rejuvenating both the diversity and inclusivity that made this capital’s clubbing circuit the most captivating across all the five continents
We have always said that six months in clubland always seems to be a long time, why?, well because so much seems to happen, to change, to shift, that even this relatively short time in our lives, six months can feel like a lifetime in terms of sheer activity. Yet while our continental cousins seem to take it in their stride, the pace seemingly a lot slower and the schedule more measured, here in London, just like the city itself, the clubbing circuit, particularly in recent times, always feels to be on a knife edge. However, it wasn’t always that way, as in our early years circulating the scene, there seemed to be much more harmony, clubs & events, possibly purely by fluke, seemingly dovetailing into each other, never really treading on toes, but playing their part in a richly diverse yet inclusive scene that gained London’s reputation as being one of the most captivating for clubbers anywhere on the planet. Unfortunately, in more recent times, we have found an unwanted evil creeping in, the desire to dominate and in so doing, not only crush the competition, but bully others into submission, on the surface spurning some truly spectacular & prolific parties, but under the veneer, delivering a devious intent to take charge of the circuit centre ground, pushing a whole host of promoters & parties to the edge of existence. But with the winds of change about to blow across the capitals clubbing circuit, the resurrection of what made London’s scene so strong, it diversity yet inclusivity, looks like being the most cataclysmic change we have seen in a long time, creating an more even playing field for all those that want to play their part, the evil of domination & competition crushing banished from the equation.
But before we touch on those changes and the club at the centre of this marvellous movement, let’s take a nostalgic look back at what was so good about the scene a fair few years ago and then what went desperately wrong, our trip down memory lane taking us back to the mid 1990’s when the scene was alive with a whole host of clubs, all playing their part on the most dynamic and diverse scene in the world. And what a world it was, as we had some truly amazing club nights to savour, many that have become legendary, the likes of Fiction on Friday nights, Love Muscle on Saturday’s, Trade on Sunday morning’s, Sherbert then Salvation or Factor 25 on Sunday afternoon/evenings and FF, DTPM & Warriors on Sunday nights. But there was so much more, as it seemed so many more people were out to party, Subsation’s Soho & South, the latter sporting Queer Nation & the very early days of Hard On! (then called FIST), we had the colossal collaborations that was Famous Five, while Heaven was still massive, and London Gay Pride was a festival to be proud of, as was the superb Summer Rites, all evidence of clubs & club promoters coming together to deliver that diversity yet inclusivity that clubbers tuned into by the 1000’s. Plus, while there were rich pickings to be had, it seemed that clubs & events took the place in the scene schedule, never really pitting their wits against each other, rather attracting their followers and taking their small slice of the significant cake that was a truly captivating capital clubbing circuit.
And it was still looking good and feeling great as the century turn arrived, Vauxhall now part of the picture, thanks in the main to a visionary who created the iconic come legendary Crash, this spurning more club nights, including Action and the soon to be brilliant Beyond. That said, Vauxhall was already playing its part with the likes of The Market Tavern, The RVT & others, while it was on the verge of being pivotal in a change that would see that evil competition crushing and domination creep in, the success of Crash in outing the south of the river spot on the clubbing map, itself inadvertently fuelling the greed of a certain group, whose original intent with brands such as A:M & Orange, was simply to play its part in the prolific diverse playing field that was still a fabulous feature. But as the noughites progressed and international players began to look to London, the likes of La Troya & particularly Matinee, there began an undercurrent of deviousness that would end up even putting national party politics to shame, the halcyon days when club nights such as Horizon & Juicy simply played their part, soon pitching their parties in direct competition in incoming new nights. Indeed as the now recognised Orange Group organisation empire began to expand, it became clear that its intentions were not to play a part in the rich diversity yet inclusivity of the scene, but to dominate and to take more than just a slice or two, but the whole clubbing circuit cake.
Now we entered a period where promoter fighting & club confrontations become a norm, very much driven by The Orange Group’s desire to dominate, Crash pushed out of the Vauxhall picture, even its promoter ties with the still brilliant Beyond severed, his attempts to offer alternatives in a brand new venue, Area, also crushed. But he wasn’t the only one, as Matinee’s attempts to play its monthly part were scuppered, again it being a victim of what we call party pitching, so running a popular event up against another, this disturbing direction also rubbing off on other promoters, who themselves began to fight & battle each other, the SuperMartXe story one such example, while we were gratified that experienced promoter players with level heads sought to stay out of these sordid squabbles. But this evil element was to exacerbate itself to an enth degree, as a long list of individuals were drawn into The Orange Group empire, then spat out as soon as their perceived shelf life had expired or, in some cases, where they dared to promote parties that had the tiniest risk of toppling the domination that this greedy group desired. And while, as with our last sermon on this subject, we feel it would serve no good to mention names (there are many), clubs that have fallen prey include Crash, Matinee, SuperMartXe, & Lovechild, all big Saturday players, their fall from grace leaving us with little, well apart from WE, the ins & outs of how it, with the aid of The Orange Group, pushed SuperMartXe out of The Coronet, quite shocking.
We could go on and we could name case after case, promoter after promoter and club after club that has been either pushed out of the clubbing picture or even out of business by this greed and domination, the last twelve months bearing the rotten fruits of this greedy labour, leaving us with a lacklustre London scene that is not a patch on what it was back into those halcyon days. Yes there have been some success stories from within, Onyx, As One & Deelooded three, while now veteran outing Beyond has continued to ride high in the eyes of clubbers. Plus, what this domination has also done, is allow others to re-group, take stock and, in some cases, head off to do their own thing, a perfect example being Shoreditch and the players within it, who have created an environment that harps back to those happy days of the 90’s. But more importantly, what this greed has also created, is a marvellous movement, a powerful & influential one at that, which is seeking to restore the scene to that wonderfully diverse yet inclusive picture & playing field that we have mentioned many times, the individuals behind this wind of clubbing change, passionate about D.J.’s, promoters, players and you the clubber, in engendering the kind of scene where people work and come together, rather than fight or squabble. And it is the new(ish) gem in what was perceived as being part of the Orange Nation crown, that is driving this change, this tight knit team, after bringing the venue back under their control, now beginning to reach out to a number of promoters, to D.J.’s & other scene figureheads right across London, all who seem to want to play their part in the restoration of a London scene that, as a result of this greedy domineering period, is on its knees, the aims & aspirations of these change driving force individuals being to treat people fairly, pay them properly, reward their efforts, create an environment exempt from fear & bullying, but most importantly, restore a scene that makes Londoners proud, where they have choice, they have diversity, yet everyone feels they are included.
So, we have already hinted who is driving this wind of clubbing change, a change we are so pleased to be a part of too, we, ahead of our special feature, “Championing Clubbing Change”, raising our glass to the characters in what could quite possibly be a chain of cataclysmic changes, the like the capital has never seen before. (DISCO MATT)
What was a brilliant brand and a fabulous favourite of ours, is fast losing both is brilliance and its favour with the twelve hour “Midnight” mould breaker that is effectively laying this colossal club to a first four waste, we once again, yet for the last time, looking at why & how Beyond is being broken when it needs no fixing.
Of the myriad of meets, the catalogue of clubs and the bounty of brands we have come across in the close on twenty years we have been circulating the clubbing scene, not just here in the capital but across in continental Europe, as well as back home in South Africa, there are of these meets, clubs & brands, a figure that must run into the thousands, just a handful or two that we would class as truly legendary in our clubbing lifetimes. Back home it would have to be Cape Town’s Bronx, while in Europe, Muccassassina in Rome, Red & Blue in Antwerp, La Demence in Brussels & Salvation in Barcelona top our legendary continental tree. And while there are clubs further afield as yet untouched by our visiting hand, we look to the capital for a the rest, Factor 25, DTPM, Action, Fiction & FF, while of all these, there are two that sit above even this pronounced party parapet, both Sunday morning afterhours and both accounting for a seventh day of the week wondrous loss to the normality of straight minded Sunday life, each contributing to a run lasting from 1993 to 2012, with just a year or so break in 2006/7. Naturally, Trade is one of the two, Lawrence Malice’s legendary creation without doubt at its brilliant best in the Turnmills era which stretched from 1990 to 2003, while the other, one that wrestled the magnificent mantle for our mothership of clubbing as THE best club of all-time can only be Beyond, it dominating the 21st century like no other club, yet close on twelve years after its inception, is in serious danger of losing its title back to Trade.
So why this falling in favour and what is causing the brand breakage? Well, to answer those questions with qualification, we need to look back to Beyond, two, three or even four years ago, when having risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the split with former host venue, the Collosseum as well as on the back of a fall out between the then joint promoters. Finding its feet within weeks of securing its new home, the amazing Area, Beyond very much entered its most prolific purple patch period to date, a run of events spanning 2008 through 2010 securing it as not just the most popular outing on the capitals clubbing circuit, but gained a reputation overseas, even though it had yet to play out in continental Europe and further afield. And during this period, the format of Beyond hardly changed, a solid residency of stars ensuring its popularity never waned or the need to change was not an issue. Indeed, with Steve Pitron, Mkey D & Alan K masterminding the main room and David Jimenez, Hifi Sean & Paul Christian sorting the sounds in the second space, Beyond was very much at its brilliant best. However, the real magic for us was in the terrace room, where the delightfully debaucherous & decadent feel of clubbing on a Sunday morning played out the most, The Sharp Boys, The Oli, Jamie Head & Fat Tony often outstaying even the main room revellers right up to the midday finish, while that main room lighting the exceptional effects, the trademark ceiling rockets and scores of sterling sets from Mikey, Alan &, particularly an always precision perfect Mr Pitron, earned Beyond its all-time best club status.
Yet, despite all this, the then new promoter, Jonny Marsh, decided in 2010 that Beyond was destined for bigger and better times, not just in London but overseas, his aims to share the brilliance of the brand not just in other capital cities of the world, but in festivals & tours, this programme marking measured successes in Paris & Mykonos, although not that much more, The Week in Brazil playing host just once, Beyond showing its singular hand at Sydney Mardi Gras, while the La Demence cruise and the XLsior festival will go down as Beyond’s best international expeditions. However, back in London, the virtual constant tampering with the format, swapping and changing the D.J.’s at the drop of a hat, the continual desire to throw special events and the theory that by changing & shifting the show around would keep it fresh, actually put many of its earlier years fervent followers off, while this went virtually unnoticed by the promoter and his team, as for every regular they lost, another transient party goer would replace, meaning the bottom line figures didn’t look much different, but that whole fabulous feel & marvellous magic that had been Beyond, was slipping & sliding significantly. But, with Steven Sharp steering a stormy ship into calmer waters, Beyond, for a while at least, regained some of that magic it had lost, although with knee jerk axing & changing of promoters becoming the norm across the group, like Later & A:M, Beyond was an inevitable victim, a situation that has existed now for the last two years.
So that brings us pretty much up to date, although in 2012, while we continued to support our then most favourite frolic of all, our stays were merely extended to Steve Pitron set performances (which will always remain special for lots of reasons) and not much more, the charge laid at our door that it was only his house music we were interested in, but the true fact being that Beyond was not a patch of the party that it was in the years before. Indeed, another element in this equation was the decimation of the scene Saturday schedule , much of which lays at the doors of Orange Nation, meaning there was little to feed our desire to party before Beyond, even the protagonists of this sad Saturday story not replacing their crushed competition with ample or sufficient alternatives. And that brings us neatly to this “Midnight” format, one that was originally devised, like “Super Size” & “Ice”, as simply specialist & one-off events to satisfy increased clubber demand that bank holidays & the like dictated. However, more deviously, this “Midnight” format was also used as a weapon against brands such as Matinee & SuperMartXe, that competition crushing attempt to pitch this afterhours party right into the thick of the Saturday schedule, a place were Beyond in our view, simply doesn’t belong. But with no competition left and no real big parties remaining, excepting WE, Beyond is now simply being used to fill that very gap its timings switching & fixing created, 2013 already proving that as in the last eight weeks, there have been no less than five “Midnight” events, all the current promoter being able to say on the subject is “…we like to let people party for longer…”, a weak response to our critiscm of how this format is being used & abused, if ever there was one.
What we simply cannot understand with the current use of the “Midnight” muddle, is that rarely is the chapel space open before 3 a.m., while a wait till six or even seven is required before the main room swings into action, leaving just the terrace space which, in the hands of one Anna Iwinska, is tortuous tech house terror that wouldn’t be out of place in Berlin’s Berghain, while this week’s zero o’clock start sees an absolute unknown, Daniel Braggins, kick off this once spectacular show. But the favour faltering & all-time status sinking story of Beyond doesn’t rest just at the door of the now maligned “Midnight” format, but the whole atmosphere & feel of the club, the staff nowhere near as friendly as before, the security imposing & sometimes acutely invasive, while the promoter, who we would expect not only to take charge, show himself throughout and generally be the face of the club, is rarely seen after 8 a.m. And while some order has been restored with the once steady resident star line-up’s, we cannot help but feel (without mentioning names) that square pegs are being pushed into round holes, just one example being that certain D.J.’s can be seen playing in all three rooms, whereas each space always did and should have their own distinct sound, these individual’s styles actually no different from one room to the next. However if we are to believe the bullish banter of the clubs promoter when he say’s “…I’m loving the atmosphere at Beyond this year so let’s all raise the roof, take it to the next level and keep it at the top of its game…” those very words a contradiction in terms, as if Beyond really still is at the top of its game, where is that next level? Plus, while he adds of Beyond, “…not just London’s but the world’s best afterhours…” we are seriously casting doubts as to whether it can still rooftop shout that status.
So, with NYD looking like it was our last Beyond and with the winds of clubbing change about to sweep the scene, thus putting this once awesome afterhours amazement’s home in a pronounced & precarious position, we not only fear for Beyond’s future, but reckon that soon Trade will recapture that title as our top club of all-time it lost back in 2001/2, leaving us to simply lament on the magical memories Beyond brought us, both in those halcyon Colloseum days and that purple patch Area period. (DISCO MATT)
With much happening on the scene this last weekend, the timing of the return of our “That Was The Weekend That Was” review & report couldn’t have been better, we looking at the good, the bad & the ugly new ventures to hit the capitals clubbing circuit, while reporting on other highlight happenings and forthcoming frolics
What a funny old year 2012 was for us, not least the spluttering start on a special weekly feature originally called “That Was the Week That Was”, the intention to report back on events of the day and look forward to ones coming up. But as we struggled to even keep our review head above water, we decided to peg this new features back to just the weekend gone rather than the whole week, although even this proved a tough old task, as did much of our writing if we are honest. However, with the distractions that thwarted our publication progress at least parked and with 2013 very much our year of positivity, we are back with the new look “That Was The Weekend That Was” a punchy post that will pick on highlight happenings, good bad or otherwise from past weekend just while also looking forward to the next.
Right, let’s get on and did right into the detail of what very much proved to be a weekend of new club launches, great news on the surface, but scratching beneath it proving that there was elements of god, bad and (in our view) downright ugly. So to the good first and Saturday (16th Feb) and This Is Prohibition, a new clubbing concept that combined brands Lovechild, Bear Necessity, Queer Nation & Butch, a collaboration of like minded promotional minds similar to the halcyon days of As One, & Famous Five, bringing together a wealth of D.J. talent from both London & internationally and stamping its mark on the scene from The Sidings in Southwark, a venue formerly known as The Arches but now under new management & ownership. And, while we were laid up with a nasty virus, the feedback we got on this “Love Resurrection” first party & launch was extremely positive, the numbers buoyant, well over 100o through the door, while the brands worked together brilliantly, Lovechild the main focus & drive, not least with a prolific performance from P.A. Abigail Bailey, while with a string of superb sets from Oliver M, Tony English & Alan K, as well as pulsating performances in the other rooms, promoters Alex Erfan, Patrick Lilley & Manu Cartagenero were pleased as punch with the result. And while there is still work to do both on the venue & the format, This Is Prohibition will be back, no specific date yet set, but the likelihood is a May or June return, we bringing you news as soon as we get it.
Now to the bad and the ugly and if you saw our preview “Dad’s Army Antics”, you will quickly guess that we are talking about Manic Panic! And District XXX, the latest Friday night frolic twosome to come out of the Orange Nation creative stable. But creative they are not, particularly the latter, a whole host of people both within & outside of these two clubs, feeding back and concurring with our views on these fault filled ventures. You only have to read some of the event detail, a line which never fails to leave us aghast being “…a team of the craziest, limit pushing, disco pumped club kids will be rolling around the club each Friday night to ensure no one leaves without returning hot sweat flashbacks of their time at MANIC. These will be named The Panics…”, it speaking volumes for a club concept which, in the eyes of many is just a complete laughing stock. Yet, with international heavyweight Pagano headlining the vent each week, there is a glimmer of hope within the Manic Panic part of proceedings, while we cannot help but look upon it as a bad bash that puts all the good work of Onyx to shame. And it seems that clubbers agreed, as reports came in that numbers for Friday’s (15th Feb) launch, were not as expected, a figure of 600 being bandied around, this across three rooms, that second space sporting our ugly element as, again in our view, District XXX is a rip-off of the truly terrific PLAY>TIME, which fell afoul of the sudden closure of Lo-Profile in January. However, with hardly a care or a blink of the eye, a number of team members & D.J.’s previously part of the PLAY>TIME package have simply jumped ships and are now imitating this brilliant brand, from what we can see, trying to build a club within a club which is flawed for all sorts of reasons. So, with these reported numbers not good, the Manic Panic concept bad & the District XXX imitating downright ugly, time will tell whether this already maligned meet while last.
To other happenings over the weekend and to Friday again first, out east proving the place to be, as Larry Tee’s Super Electro Party machine not only celebrated London fashion week, but welcoming special guest D.J./Producer, D Ramirez to the decks, they coming back for more on Sunday (17th Feb) with their “Fashion Disaster” party, Jodie Harsh the guest this time. And sticking with East Bloc, the superb SOS was back on Saturday, Jim Warboy and his terrific team proving, yet again, how popular this party is, while with new Thursday edition Butch on the weekly schedule and next Saturday seeing the return of Gutterslut, Wayne Shires’ Shoreditch spot is certainly cooking on gas at the moment. As for Soho, while it is still clearly missing Profile & Lo-Profile, The Edge, Circa, Ku-Bar and new(ish) macho hangout, Manbar are taking the strain and all reported good numbers & atmospheres across the weekend, while Suzie Kruger’s Hard On!, currently based out of Union in Vauxhall, recorded one of their biggest turnouts in well over twelve months on Saturday, giving rise to the fact that the diversity within the scene that has been sadly lacking of late, is beginning to turn around for the good, rather than the bad that a certain group have been driving & diving the capitals clubbing circuit into. That said, Beyond, thank heavens, returned to its age-old format of a Sunday morning start, although while labelled as a “Temptation” event, it didn’t quite tempt enough to make it a roadblock event, despite the flock of frolics feeding it, but, disrobing developments aside, there is no doubt it remains a clubbing & clubber favourite.
Well, that was the weekend just gone, but what about the one coming up? Well, we have already mentioned Gutterslut, which is back to East Bloc with a bang this Saturday (23rd Feb), special guest D.J.’s Femi B & Bryony Masters heading up the rave room, while Princess Julia & Thirsty Kirsty take charge of the tunes in the DiscoSlut space, while alternative antics out east included “Pantastic” at The Joiners Arms and “Handsome” at The Visions Video Bar, both also on Saturday, while another shindig of the same day worth a shout is “Club R18” at the Eagle in Vauxhall, special guest Jack Chang on deck duty. AS for other choices, Soho’s The Edge with Zach Burns and Circa with Adam Turner are always good bets, while if you want bad & ugly, then its Manic Panic & District XXX again this Friday (22nd Feb). And talking of bad, at least creative bad, Beyond goes “Midnight” on us again this week, that’s now a total of five out of the last eight, vindicating our view that the promoter is attempting or at least sending a message that this once brilliant brand is now no longer just an afterhours amazement, but is trying to be a club for all Saturday & Sunday seasons, something it really doesn’t need to or should be. On the Orange Nation positive, Later welcomes back original Terry Bryan, a set you should definitely not miss, while before all that, something you also shouldn’t miss is this Thursday’s (21st Feb) Room Service, Jodie Harsh & co welcoming both Hifi Sean & Pagano to the decks, details of all of these upcoming events (excepting Manic Panic & District XXX) available a banner click away right here at http://discomatt.com/web, while you can also head to the online versions of both Boyz & Q.X. at http://boyz.co.uk & http://qxmagazine.com respectively.
So, that’s our “That Was The Weekend That Was”, good, bad and ugly as it proved for us, while we hope, wherever you had been & seen, it was a good one for you and with a selection of superb soiree’s coming up, that this next weekend is packed with positively pumping parties And, while clubbing is not specifically on our weekend agenda, with a birthday bash & them a meeting of minds, we will have much to share about a more diverse yet inclusive scene that London always used to be famed for, so here’s to a wonderful weekend that will be . (DISCO MATT)
After a lack lustre January that saw us fail to show our hand at any of their happenings and with so many new clubs & events launching elsewhere this month, this coupled with an undercurrent of uncertainty as promoters & key players have been pulled from the picture, we start our new series of “Seventh Day Sermon’s” by entering the lion’s den that is Orange Nation and share our thoughts on why we are finding our favour faltering.
Striking an independent balance is part & parcel of our core aims and achievements when we promote the clubs, events, music producers, businesses & publications that we do, while we also apply plumes of passion as well as conviction, both which have built the reputation we have today for not just spreading the love, but balancing our coverage in terms of reviews, previews, recommends & other posts fairly & consistently. And while many are hugely appreciative of our support, remarks such as “…one of the industry’s most loved columnists…” contributing to a continual stream of gracious gratifications that make our work worthwhile, we are all too often accused of being biased by and to certain quarters of the clubbing circuit, this never having been an issue with the internationals we support, but right here in London. Indeed, if we had a penny for every crumb of criticism, every moaning message, every conflictual comment and every enraged e-mail we have received over the years, our piggy bank would be brimming by now. However, we would be the first to admit that, for persistent periods over the last twenty four months, but particularly in the last twelve, our appearances & our posts have leant too far much in the direction of Orange Nation and its collection of clubs, our excuse, while no real defence, is that in both Beyond and certain key players & promoters in the Orange Nation mix, we have had a favourite frolic & a flock of firm friends.
Indeed, our support for Orange Nation has, in the main, been extremely positive in the last few months, the controversial edge that used to be a feature of our early work, all but disappearing, a casual comment from a D.J. pal on the Beyond dance floor recently confirming this, when part of the conversation included, “…I really miss your controversial posts…”, those so called critical & contentious articles, reviews & features never posted simply to poke & provoke, but based on actual beliefs and witnessing of shortcomings. And we have never been one to skirt issues or avoid tricky matters, while as we said earlier, we have always sought to strike a reasonable balance when faced with the difficult dilemma of saying it as we see it, particularly when recommending clubs & events, recent examples of parties falling into that bracket including Matinee “Pervert”, Beyond & Manic Panic! That said, when great things happen and when really good events come up, we are the first to throw our wholehearted support behind them, in the case of Orange Nation, Deelooded benefitted from one of our most positive previews ever, while we boosted their January Free Clubbing offer, the new February pass and, as recently as this weekend, their As One “In The Park” festival which, on paper at least, looks to be one of the best gay gatherings in years.
However, the phrase, “…what a difference a day makes…” or in this case, a handful of 2013 weeks, has come to bear upon our brow, as we have found ourselves taking off those rose tinted glasses that, in the case of Orange Nation, we have been accused of wearing for far too long and in so doing, clouding our judgement and prejudicing our publications, although with those glasses now off, our eyes have re-opened to a host of other clubs & events that we have been overlooking, we find ourselves, once again, sharing our coverage more evenly & fairly, while naturally picking out those clubs & events we consider deserve our full blown attention, shifting the emphasis away from the Orange Group & their events. Yet while we haven’t turned our back on Orange Nation, far from it, following a disturbing set of developments in recent weeks, we find our favour towards them faltering, a whole set of circumstances changing the way we both view the group and feel we can actively propel & promote some events of theirs in a positive way. And this is manifested in the fact that the mainstay brands, such as Beyond, A:M, Later & Orange, have been subject to constant tampering, many damaged as a result, some irreparably so, while D.J.’s, promoters and organisational individuals within & connected with the organisation have been treated dreadfully, reports of abuse and other shocking incidents & irregularities, many inexcusable in our eyes, leaving us asking questions of our own opinion of the Orange Group. Furthermore, of the spartan new ventures & club concepts Orange Nation has brought to us recently, they have either consisted actually of nothing new, or the idea & concept of the so called new is flawed on so many levels, thus rather than adding to the capitals clubbing circuit choice, they are simply replacing what has been lost with the same old same old, that or doomed for disaster drudgery.
Now, while a whole host of the accounts, claims & stories surrounding the mistreatment of individuals at the hands of Orange Nation leave our skin crawling in disgust, it would serve no purpose to either reveal the details of cases, circumstances, issues or indeed individuals, but rather to highlight this as a significant reason why we have found our favour to this clubbing group faltering. But what we can account for, are those club brands which have fallen prey to either Orange Nation’s greed or their desire to fix something that isn’t broken, Beyond right at the top of our list, not least that we have made no secret of the fact that it attained the status of our favourite club of all time. However, that very status is now in serious danger of dissolving, as we are left bemused by the sheer volume of “Midnight” events in 2013 alone, while the timings continue to chop & change as often as the wind direction, the same being said for the resident team of D.J.’s, some of whom are left off the weekly roster completely, while others are snubbed for their audacity to play for other promoters. So, as a result of this, Beyond, for us, has lost its appeal & draw and while the numbers may not be reflective of our view, the club is nowhere near as great this year, as it was last, the year before last, or the year before that, other examples extending to A:M, which was inappropriately used to fill a Friday clubbing schedule, lost its afterhours appeal as a result and now, having now switched back to its Saturday morning status, looks like struggling to survive, Orange, the emblem of the group, a pale of its former self, like many of the brands, having changed promotional hands as often as hot dinners, while the less we say about Manic Panic & District XXX the better, the concept of the former probably the worst we have ever seen, while the latter is a copycat of what proved to be one of our favourite frolics of 2012.
However, it goes much deeper than all of this, as with the benefit of hindsight, we look back over the last two or so years and see how the scene has changed and not for the better but for the worse, much of this lying at the doors of Orange Nation, how the scene schedule on Saturday’s for example, is not a patch on what it used to be, as promoters & clubs have been squeezed out of the partying picture, certain promoters throwing in the towel on Vauxhall and moving elsewhere, while others have been forced out of business completely. Moreover, with Orange Nation’s seemingly insatiable desire to dominate the capitals clubbing circuit, many of those Saturday scene shindigs are now no more, yet have not been replaced by Orange Nation events, the group’s creativity on what should be the biggest clubbing day of the week being to simply extend the opening hours of Beyond. Indeed, as a result of the crushing of competitors to Orange Nation’s own perceived clubbing crown, what it has simply served to achieve is that Vauxhall is left as the only playing ground for what we would call mainstream &/or big style regular gay clubs, the lack of any decent new brand blood to replace the ones lost, leaving the existing ones both monotone & mundane, for us, verging on the downright boring. But there is more that has dented our demeanour towards Orange Nation, that being the instantaneous & irreverent jumping of ship of many of those involved with Profile/Lo-Profile, moving not just themselves but brands associated with the former, all to Orange Nation and seemingly without a blinking of an eye or with any sort of respect for what has been a genuine loss to the scene, not just in Soho but London wide, the legacy that our Wardour Street wonders could have left, rather simply gobbled up by Orange Nation, the spotlight specifically on Society, while more indiscriminately, PLAY>TIME, which when you look at District XXX, is that copycat clubbing we referred to playing out for all to see.
On the positive, we can breathe a sigh of relief that ventures such as East Bloc in Shoreditch and its clutch of club nights is serving up viable & now very popular alternatives to the Vauxhall same old same old, while real success stories like WAR, DISH, SOS & Heroes, are offering both vitality & variation to Vauxhall. Indeed, it has been pleasing to see previously pushed out promoters returning to the scene, bringing with them fresh new ideas & clubbing concepts, This Is Prohibition one such example, we also finding new blood sprouting up in Soho, Bakebox a couple of weeks away from its second showing, Swallow another newbie and Manbar finding its feet & stride with a whole set of soiree’s sprting some of the biggest D.J. stars on the London scene, while existing parties Room Service & Gigolo remain as popular and packed as ever. And scratching beneath the varnish & veneer of Vauxhall itself, there is much happening to rock that so called dominating world of Orange Nation, Union fighting back with the likes of Booster, Wrong & others, Hard On! (now based there) reporting one of its best ever turnouts just last night, while Barcode looks like it may be coming back into its own, The Eagle having just celebrated its ninth year and still pulling in the numbers now as it did then, clubs such as Tonker, Carpet Burn & Horse Meat Disco major contributors. Plus with a big announcement imminent, one which will pave the way for a fairer, more fun-filled & positive playing field in Vauxhall and beyond, the inclusive nature of the players & performers within the scene the main thrust, it seems that competition crushing is a thing of the past and with this exciting news about to erupt, it may be more than just our favour towards Orange Nation that falters, but a cataclysmic change to the capitals clubbing circuit that sees a future bright and not just one that is Orange. (DISCO MATT)
With its dust sheets confined to the cleaning cupboard, As One emerges from its own obscurity with a bang, as it announces and exciting new chapter in its history, this clubbing combo caterpillar bursting out as a butterfly with its own Festival, we reporting in brief on the first announcement and ticket release.
Billed as “…London’s biggest gay gathering…”, just as we were about to write off As One as another amazing accomplishment on the capitals clubbing circuit no more, the news hits our desks that the team behind this colossal clubbing combo, have consigned it’s dust sheets to the cleaning cupboard, As One emerging from its own obscurity with a bang. Indeed, not only is it moving from inside to out, As One will be showcasing some huge artists & performing artists on the scene, as well as pulling in some true clubbing brand giants from both home and away.
So what do we know so far?, well a little bit and a lot really, as the plan to transform this clubbing caterpillar into the butterfly that will become an open air festival has been in the planning for a while, although kept very much under those dust sheet wraps. However, following the first reveal back at the beginning of the month, some of the detail is now dripping through, the first and most important announcement is that As One “In the Park” will take place on Bank Holiday Sunday 26th may at Victoria Park in east London, the location famed for bringing us huge happening Lovebox (among others), As One not quite of the scale of its counterpart, but sure to make a spring splash from 12 noon till 10.30 p.m. on 26th May.
Plus, the team behind this huge outdoor As One outing have also confirmed the first of many performing artists that will take to the main stage, Rita Ora, the 2012 pop sensation of Britain, whose debut album, “Ora”, zoomed straight t the UK number one spot, also spawning three singles, “Hot Right Now”, How Do We Party” and “R.I.P.”. Add to that a current UK tour and no less than three 2013 Brit Award nominations and she is very much a draw & coup for As One “In The Park”, while the team have also released details of the clubbing brands that will host the various dance arena’s around Victoria Park, London based Beyond, Orange, Deelooded & Salvation flying the home flag, while the international influence will come from Matinee “Revolution”, WE Party, The Week & the massive Circuit Festival. Plus, with support already in from Soho venues Comptons, Ku Bar, The Shadow Lounge, Rupert St. and businesses FindHRR, Prowler, Boyz, G3, the festival is already gathering promotional pace.
But the other piece in our news nibble jigsaw is the release of the first batch of tickets, super early bird options priced at £35 available online at http://ticketweb.co.uk/event/as-one-tickets/40035, while the VIP package looks quite impressive as it offers fast track entry, a complimentary glass of bubbly, exclusive entry to the Shadow Lounge VIP village behind the main stage, VIP toilets, VIP bars stocked with only premium spirits & other drinks, while even table service is on offer to make your whole experience enthralling. However, they do come at a price, a hefty £75, but given what they offer, it does actually seem good value for money and, from our experience of Lovebox, and those VIP toilets are worth their weight in gold. And with more acts to be announced next week, we reckon you should grab one of those super early bird tickets now, more information available by e-mailing the As One “In The Park” team at email@example.com or b following their website at http://asoneinthepark.co.uk, while you can also keep track of announcements as they hit by both liking & following their Facebook page at https://facebook.com/AsOneInThePark.
So setting its stool on a bank holiday weekend in May, as well as choosing a location renowned for holding park festivals, the future is definitely looking bright for the butterfly hat has become As One In the Park and we can’t wait to share further news as it reaches us and the date gets ever closer. (DISCO MATT)
First there was a month of free clubbing and now there is a month of seventh day deals, Orange Nation following on from their January offer with a February one that focuses on its Sunday soirees, we delve into this deal as well as reporting on the latest news of Later, Orange and new to the group, Society.
When it comes to clubbing, if there is a day in any given weekend that we have always leant towards, it has been a Sunday, the hedonistic days in the nineties when so much was going on, made this seventh day of the week a rich playing field for us party heads that were, still out from Friday. Yet, with so much on offer, the likes of Trade, Sherbert, DTPM, Nutz, Salvation, Factor 25, The L.A., F.F., Warriors, Medikation and many more, you could literally bounce from one party to the next and go from the early hours of Sunday morning right through till Monday lunchtime. Indeed, as the century turned, the offer was still pretty strong, relative new kid on the block, Orange, first setting its stool out in Rotherhithe, but soon moving across to Vauxhall and what was, at the time, nothing more than an empty dusty archway. Yet those early days of Orange in Vauxhall were the epitome of the decadent and naughtiness sensation that came from clubbing on a Sunday and into a Monday, the dusty floors, the makeshift coatcheck, the self built D.J. booth (well hardly a booth) & the basic laser lighting made it quite magical and a period in our clubbing that ranks with some of the best and we will never forget. But Sunday mornings in Trade which filled our early years, evolved to Beyond which has dominated Sunday’s since, the Colloseum days between 2001 & 5 still the most hedonistic, made even better by the advent of Later in the, by then, fully fledged venue Fire, continuing the tradition that the seventh day was all about going clubbing rather than going to church.
Yet while we consider we have seen the best of Sundays in that purple patch period during the nineties & naughties, today’s clubkids can still enjoy their seventh day on the dancefloor to the full, perhaps with less choice than we had, but nevertheless, a chain of clubs that easily sees them party from the early hours of Sunday morning through to late Monday morning, the mini circuit of meets concentrated in Vauxhall. And it will come as no surprise that both Beyond & Later are still in the picture, as is Orange, while relative new kid on the block, Society, completes a quartet of clubs that, under the Orange Nation (ON) umbrella now also make up their newly launched “Sunday Pass”, an offer that runs for the whole of February, fixing the entry price to just £20 for the four clubs or £15 for three. So what exactly is the deal, well the ON team tell us, “…Continuing on from our free clubbing in January, your Orange Nation gives love back to its clubbers as we bring you in February, “The Sunday Pass”. We have long been a firm believer in the rulin nature of Sunday clubbing, after all, we were born on a Sunday night at Orange many years ago!..” adding of the pass itself, “…this incredible February offer will get you a jaw dropping joint entry into your favourite Sunday parties…”. And quite simply, for £20, you get entry to Beyond, Later, Society & Orange, while by dropping Beyond, your Sunday Pass price also drops to £15, pretty good value when you think that standard door charges for the four add up to £38 (at least) and one you can grab each week of February by either upgrading your entry on the door of Beyond or Later, or by going online to http://orangenation.co.uk, it’s as simple as that.
So with “The Sunday Pass” sorted what of the news on Later, Orange & Society. Well, let’s deal with the first two first and we are so pleased to hear that these superb Sunday soiree’s are going back to their roots, returning to the winning formula’s that have made them so popular over the years. Later gets a re-injection of uplifting, chunky & heavenly house with The Oli back every single week and special guests such as Emma J White & Marco Gee brought in to re-ignite the daytime disco energy into this enthralling event. As for Orange, well we reported a while back on Fat Tony taking over the promotion of the club and his desire to bring back the fun and the accessibility that always made Orange so popular, Plus with Glendora back and the RAW room rolled out too, Tony is definitely making his mark on what he considers as his baby, not least that he was involved right back in the Rotherhithe days and has played for the brand ever since. To Society then and many will recognise this as a party from the Profile paddock, although following the sad demise of this Wardour St wonder, a significant slice of the team have switched on ON and Society has now become “The Sunday Society”, having launched just last weekend (Sun 3rd Feb) and returns this with Lee Harris & Zach Burns on the decks and while many t-dance delectations in Area have quickly fallen on their swords, we reckon Society will be given a good go & run, more detail on this new addition to the ON family out at https://facebook.com/SocietyProfile, wile for more news on Later, head to https://.facebook.com/LATER.INFO.
Well, we may still look fondly back on our Sunday’s clubbing back in the 90’s & 00’s, but the one thing we didn’t have was a deal like “The Sunday Pass”, so giving credit where credit is due, we say horary to Orange Nation for serving up this Sunday special offer, one well worth grabbing if, like us, you love your Sunday clubbing. (DISCO MATT)
While we make no secret that Beyond has become our favourite club of all-time, having wowed our world for over ten years now, recent developments have left us in dismay over some of the mixed messages that are marring its magnificence, while come Sunday (3rd Feb) all that will be brushed under the carpet as Beyond’s first big bash since NYD looks set to be a sell-out success, we reporting on then recommending this brand & it’s “Pervert” party.
Having devoted reports, features, recommendations & reviews to this brilliant brand, pretty much speaks for itself, while we have propelled related podcasts, music and the clubs resident D.J.’s on scores of occasions in our time, all an indication of the love and passion we have for this awesome afterhours (we use that word for good reason), as since day one back in 2001, we have been probably one of the biggest & longest lasting supporters, fans, fervent followers of this Sunday morning (also used for purpose) meet. Indeed, having formed friendships with flocks of D.J.’s, scene faces, scene workers and pure party people, this captivating club, for much of its history, stood for everything that was great about clubbing. From the Colloseum period, through to its current reign over Area (and no other brand or event feels the same here for us), a purple patch period between 2009 & 2011 chalking up tons of terrific turns, during 2012 and particularly in the last two to three months of the year, it seems to have lost some of its spark, So, our once weekly visits have become far less often and when we do make it down,, they are short & sweet (for some far too short), no one’s fault but ours, we just seem to be finding our favour faltering. But more than that, what was recognised from the off as a pure afterhours party, has shifted its timings as often as the wind changes direction, leaving us scratching our head as to what the promotions team are attempting to achieve.
Beyond, without doubt remains at the top of the capitals gay clubbing circuit pile, it having built on the solid foundation of its early years competing against Trade, quickly becoming THE place to go after the previous parties pale, this “all roads lead to” reputation played out virtually weekly, Area having proved the perfect venue for this awesome afterhours. And our clubbing memory banks are brimmed with magical moments, not least from the band of superstar resident D.J.’s that have graced the club’s decks over the years, The Oli, Jamie Head, Hifi Sean, Fat Tony & The Sharp Boys right up there as considerable contributors, while that purple patch period we talked about was pretty much dominated by Alan K, Mikey D & Steve Pitron, Alan always playing the final main room set, while Mikey & Steve would swap around, we & masses of other never getting tired of seeing the same trio week in, week out, it was monotonous, it was simply magically stunning to soak up their scintillating sets. And when you look at Trade for example, their main room line up hardly changed each week, Malcolm Duffy starting, Steve Thomas next then Alan Thompson, Ian M, Tony De Vit & Pete Wardman, while as a couple of the characters fell out their places were filled, but the D.J. format hardly ever fiddled with.
Yet in the last couple of years and in 2012 particularly, the Beyond powers that be have insisted on messing with the magic, introducing an effective rolling D.J. roster, while the year also saw Alan K finally throw in the towel, for reasons we won’t yet go into detail on, while poor Hifi Sean, who for us, was the epitome of everything the was charismatic & compelling about the chapel space, was ditched due to inter promoter politics. But the upheaval didn’t stop there, oh no, The Sharp Boys removed from the roster by the current promoter, they being told “…their music didn’t fit with Beyond…”, shocking in the extreme, especially when you take into consideration that they were playing the club in the Colloseum days and, with the exception of Steve Pitron, are (or is that were) the longest surviving residents. Indeed, talking of promoters, very much like the club timings, they have changed like the wind over the last three years, we’ve had Steven Sharp twice (the best in our opinion), Jonny Marsh, Mauricio Ortiz & most recently Ben Kaye, while as we go to press with this post, our ear to the ground information (not confirmed we must stress) is that Ben is due to be replaced by JJ Clark. And as for these “Midnight” parties, which in late 2012 & for nearly the whole of January became the norm, well they are the single most confounding contributor’s to the mixed messages that are marring the magnificence of Beyond, The Orange Group seemingly falling back on the brand to fill a gaping gap in their Saturday schedule, rather than launch a new night, a move that may perhaps re-emulate those heady & hypnotic days of Juicy & Horizon.
Yet, all that said, we feel that Beyond has been the savour of the nation of clubbing brands that make up Orange (Orange Nation – The Orange Group), as 2012 has seen virtually all of them falter, some more significantly than others. Onyx has all but disappeared & As One has gone into hibernation, CasaLatina seems to have ceased to be, while A:M has been subject to what we see as a muddled make-over affecting numbers, Orange a place on its prolific past. Even Gravity has seen a switch of venues, in effect downsizing form his former home Fire, Later’s “Nu Direction” promising, well until the promoter that made all the marvellous changes was, once again, sidelined, Beyond however remaining buoyant, often brimming, its popularity seemingly unblemished despite a distinct movement away from Vauxhall. So, as much as we have our own issues, one thing is for sure, this awesome (and it truly is) afterhours beats every other club we know in London & on the continent hands down, meaning that while we remain uneasy with recent developments, Beyond simply cannot escape our positive spin, our resounding recommendation and, more than anything else, our acknowledgement that, clubbing in the capital, when this brilliant brand is on fantastic form, doesn’t get any better. And we highlight suspect it will be at its best this weekend, when it entertains Matinee goers & many many more for sure, with its “Pervert” party.
So what can you expect from this spectacle? Well, we concur with the promoter, Ben Kaye, when he say’s “…this is biggest weekend on the gay scene calendar since NYD…” and given the explosion of events, Beyond looks like it will have rich pickings as there are at least three other big events apart from Matinee, that will no doubt converge on Area on Sunday morning, although with it being the official afterhours for the Spanish superclub’s latest London outing, Beyond sharing the “Pervert” pin for its party, so will probably also replicate some of the production & dancers from the Fire foray. However, the D.J. line-up is pure Beyond, the main room looking good (well great actually) as it seems the team may have sensed some of our discord, Steve Pitron & Mikey D appearing consecutively from 6 through till 10 a.m., while The Oli is back in the terrace too, the full line-up picture completed by Rob Sykes, David Jimenez, Maze & Masters and (sharp intake of breath) Anina. Plus, the promoter tells us that the team are “…welcoming back JJ Clark to Beyond, who you will be seeing a lot more of in the coming months…” perhaps deluding to what we said earlier, while a whole host of others, including James Marsh on the door & the amazing Altina Ha on VIP duty and new addition John Brooks who, following the sudden closure of Profile/Lo-Profile, switched swiftly and now seems to be involved in Gravity, Beyond, Later & A:M, while he has brought brand Society with him, one that launches in Area this very Sunday evening from 6 p.m. As for Beyond’s doors, well they open at 4 a.m. this Sunday (3rd Feb), advance tickets available online at https://orangenation.ticketabc.com/events/beyond-official-mati/ as well as at the usual Soho outlets, all at an inflation busting £10, while entry will be available on the door, but expect to pay more, further info available via https://facebook.com/beyondclub and on the events page at https://facebook.com/events/203328906476042/.
Now, given our pre-Christmas planned commitments, we won’t be back at Beyond, our stay of absence extending and almost unheard of six weeks, while we leave it to Ben Kaye to round off our recommendation when he says, “…don’t miss the best after hours in London on the weekend that the whole of London seems to be going to…”. (DISCO MATT)
Continuing to find a new niche for our Best Bites within our weekend newsletter, this time we have decided to ditch the former format further, simplifying our selections into our top three choices of where to be & be seen on the scene, whether in London or internationally, we then squeezing in a small selection of short shouts along with news nibbles of some more February frolics to look forward to.
Well, the closure of Profile & Lo-Profile continues to leave us at sea with sustaining our former newsletter format of bringing you our Weekend Best Bites choices one each from Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch, last week seeing us introduce an international flavour, one we are keen to keep up. And a week on finds us with another fresh pair of eyes on the recommendations prize, deciding to ditch the former format further, making it as simply as possible, picking our top or the tree three from wherever they may be, the question remaining, will Vauxhall sweep the board or will our continental cousins get a look in?
So let’s get to answer that question, our first choice from Vauxhall, A:M making it here two weeks in a row, not least that there is big news on the promotions front, although for us mixed emotions as it seems that Steven Sharp, in our books the best in the game, is no longer the clubs promoter, this news having passed right under our radar save for an inkling when we saw this week’s events page. And as if we had already had enough bad news following those sudden Profile/Lo-Profile closures, this is a major blow both for the club and for the scene in general, Mr Sharp, without doubt, the most adept in PR, in artwork ideas, in networking, well in all aspects of promotion really, while its was Steven that turned the fortunes of A:M around, cleaning up its crowd act, focusing on the music and bringing in some big named guests to propel AM’s profile. So, it is a sad day indeed for us and we wish Steven well with his further promotional aspirations, while we are sure he will throw himself into his D.J.’ing & production with studio & playing partner George Sharp who together, naturally, make up The Sharp Boys.
With Steven gone , who has taken over?, Well by all accounts the marvellous Mauricio Ortiz has stepped into the breach and will, at least, be holding the fort while a fully fledged promoter can be found. That said, Mauricio’s experience n & around the promotions game speaks for itself, from SuperMartXe to Beyond, CasaLatina to Matinee, our brilliant Brazilian has seasoned promotional hands, while he is a real grafter, often being the one that puts in the hard work while others bask in the glory, so we feel that A:M is certainly in a safe pair of hands. So that’s the news, what about tomorrow’s (Fri 25th Jan) event?, well it is quite a special one, as it marks the long awaited & much anticipated return to the capitals clubbing circuit of international playboy D.J. Paul Heron, who had taken a leave of absence to get married & soak up the sun in Southern Africa. But he is back and headlining this event, which takes place at Fire in Vauxhall from 11 p.m., others on duty including D’Johnny, Matt Bogard & (wait for it) The Sharp Boys, while Onyx holds on by the skin of its teeth to the second lounge space, DMS serving the pop, while it’s tech & euphoric house heaven in the main room. Hosted by Andre Hellstrom & Louise Port, entry is free before 4am with a brand new Orange Nation membership card, otherwise with a flyer or ad its £3 before midnight, £6 before 5 a.m. and £10 after, while that full price £10 is for all others, further info out on the events page at https://facebook.com/events/322450467855010/.
One down, two to go and we stay in Vauxhall moving from Saturday to Sunday morning, which can only mean one thing, yes it’s Beyond which, in reality, is never far from our attention, even if NYD was the last time we trod its dancefloor boards. However, with Paris the first weekend, then DISH the second, plus with the prospect of a string of “Midnight” format frolics to contend with, we made it clear that we would give our favourite club of all time a bit of a break. Indeed on the subject of this “Midnight” format, we still can’t quite understand the package, a club that has always been in the amazing afterhours bracket, not once, twice or three times, but six in the last eight stretching an extra 4/5 hours back into Saturday, seems to us quite ludicrous. And it’s not as though the main room is open from that time, not at all, as it’s just the terrace till 3, then the chapel space till 5 or 6 when the sardine like squash forces the promotions team to react and open the main room, this the reality of what clubbers come up against and feel about this format. That said, on the special occasions, like for example a Beyond vs. Matinee party, this “Midnight” format makes inherent sense, but on a dark, dank & cold January Saturday, no, not at all!!, we having made our views perfectly clear to the promotions team on more than one occasions.
So, are we relieved, pleased & ecstatic that Ben Kaye & his crews have woken up and smelt the roses, as Beyond from this week kicks off at a much more reasonable 4 a.m. start, this sure to make all the difference to the D.J.’s, the atmosphere and the whole feel of the club, returning that hedonistic feel that starting your clubbing in the wee early hours brings. And Sunday (26th Jan) also marks the return of Beyond’s all-star resident, a man who has been there since the start and continues to have the pulling power & prolific performance credentials that he had back then, yes of course, its Steve Pitron, an extended 2 ½ hour set from 7 a.m. sure to pack that Area main room to the rafters. As for the rest, well Fat Tony follows Steve until close at midday, while the chapel sports the dynamic duo of David Jimenez & D’Johnny, girl power the name of the game in the terrace, with Ania (still not sure about her music) & the back-to-back Maze & Masters. And as Ben tells us, “…come and see what all the fuss is about as London’s best weekly party takes centre stage. ON memberships are still valid on this the last weekend of January and the Guest List will be open but only for a few hours; so make sure if you are on it…” while advance tickets are on sale online at http://orangenation.co.uk and at Soho outlets Prowler, Clone Zone & Fifty Dean, as well as at both Ku-Bars and at Rupert St which, every Saturday, hosts the Beyond pre-party from 9 p.m. till midnight, more details up at https://facebook.com/events/199497296862075/.
Now how are we doing so far with that answer? Well, Vauxhall gets two, who’s going to get the third, well we stay with London this week as it’s all about Europe for us next, our third Best Bite choice seeing us head out east to the place on City Road that has been a major contributor in transforming the Shoreditch scene into one of the hottest & hip happening hangouts in London. And the same could be said for East Bloc, the brainchild & inspiration of Wayne Shires, the man behind the truly legendary underground club Crash, which itself transformed Vauxhall into the clubbing mecca it quickly became. So it seems this transformation trend runs through Wayne’s veins, as he is virtually replicated what Crash achieved with East Bloc, the club sporting some of the most amazing & alternative clubbing brands on the scene, DISH, Guttersult, TheMenWhoFell2Earth, Songs Of Praise, Super Electro Party Machine &, of course, WAR, while the depth of D.J. talent speaks for itself, Tom Stephan, Borja Pena, Kris Di Angelis, Per Q.X. & Jim Warboy, just five among a fantastic flock, Wayne also keen to push & promote new talent that truly sets East Bloc and its events apart from the same old same old merry-go-round resident regurgitation that all too often plagues Mr Shires’ former playing ground. And having witnessed East Bloc just a couple of weeks ago, we saw the fruits of his labour paying dividends big time, the underground feel of the place emulating Crash, albeit on a smaller scale, while the crowd is delightfully different and gives the place that true club feel that takes us back to the days of our youth.
So that’s the venue, what about our event pick? Well East Bloc pulls in another party to add to its already illustrious list, as the Get With Me! Crew take over this Saturday (26th Jan) with big plans to transform this compact & cavernous club “…into your next holiday destination…” which, in itself, is intriguing enough to draw us right in. But this outing is truly alternative as not only does it combine the musical genres of what the team call, “Dancehall”, “Kpop” & “Reggeaton”, with some good old R&B throw in too, but the cast of D.J.’s are names unfamiliar to us in their entirety, so yet another intriguing draw. But maybe you will recognise the names of Matthew Stone, Theo Adams & Richard Mortimer, while the likes of Chris & Mathew, Anarchic Female, Jonbenet Blonde, Gabriel Gabriel and Sharna & Hermes will, in combination with all the others, spread the super Get With Me! Sound across East Bloc’s three spaces. So it seems that this alternative antic is definitely one to watch and actually indulge in, East Bloc’s doors opening for Get With Me! this Saturday (26th Jan) from 10 p.m., the club running through to a planned 6 a.m. finish, entry on the door a mere £5 before midnight and then £8 after, while with happy hour drinks between 10 & 11 and the fact that this will be yet another event that will pack out Wayne’s place, early arrival is advisable, details on the venue up at http://eastbloc.co.uk and more on the event itself out at https://www.facebook.com/events/472070932828639/
Now, with our plans to re-separate our Short Shouts back out into their own fully fledged newsletter in the next couple of weeks, we have time & space for just a small handful here, a real pick of the bunch, the first going to Delice, who land on London tomorrow night (Fri 25th Jan) at The Shadow Lounge in Soho, for another pre-party for their “Dream” dance festival, more info up at https://facebook.com/events/103722013131480/, this looking to be the hottest Soho ticket in town this weekend.
So, skirting Vauxhall completely, its back to Shoreditch & East Bloc we go, as Friday night frolic, Super Electro Party Machine, grabs our attention, not least that promoter Larry Tee welcomes back Jodie Harsh to proceedings, she joined with superb Room Service sidekick Munroe Bergdorf, while there is a Vauxhall influence as Maze & Masters creep across to spin some sounds too, the free vodka bar another reason why you should head out to City Rd, a summary of this soiree up at https://facebook.com/events/134989263329260/.
Okay, so we head onto the continent now for our two final Short Shouts, flying across to Rome first for Muccassassina, we having pretty much fallen in love with the brand since its showing at the huge LGDF gathering three years ago, while when we visted the club itself, we were blown away. And since that marvellous May with Danny Verde & Micky Galliano, Mucca has benefitted from our weekly support, Friday’s (25th Jan) event, “Porca” right up there, their event page at https://facebook.com/events/276699969122473/ telling the superb story much better than us.
Then, another love affair that we made as recently as three weekends ago was with Scream, the Parisian party that has been cutting a significant stride since 1996 and never fails to hit the mark with its weekly meets, Ludo & his terrific team joining forces with the superb Spyce to bring a specialist celebratory “Circus” event this Saturday (26th Jan), a full-on French feel from a D.J. team that includes Messrs Boumati, Nucci & Triumph, more detail available at http://scream-paris.com &/or https://facebook.com/groups/53427623634/.
Now to those news nibbles of February frolics that are worthy dates into your disco dance dairies, next Saturday (2nd Feb) serving up a splendid selection, Puscha’s “Undercover” party at Brixton Electric heading a London field that includes Matinee “Pervert at Fire & new night “Baked” at Green Carnation in Soho, while for us, it’s all about Propaganda at Red & Blue in Antwerp, this our second European trip of the year. Back in London and to the following day (Sun 3rd Feb) and a slice of Soho moves south, “Society” launching at Area in Vauxhall from 6 p.m., an event an news item that will be covered in an upcoming “Extra Bites” post, as will be Deelooded’s news of its second space line-up, this prolific party also on the move the following Sunday (10th Feb) to a new Shoreditch spot and is already looking like THE place t be & be seen that weekend. Internationally again, and WE Madrid will be in carnival mood the day before (Sat 9th Feb) at La Riviera, Phil Romano joining resident Manuel de Diego, while we zoom back to London for our final piece of clubbing news and a new club launching in Mayfair on Tuesday 5th February with Micky Galliano & Zach Burns, more info on this to come too.
So, that is it for another weekend, these our choices of where to be & be seen on the scene, while a veritable feast of London frolics can be found by heading to the listings in both http://boyz.co.uk & http://qxmagazine.com making for a world is your oyster array of outings, while our “Top Of The Tree Three” along with our short shouts given you plenty to party with. As for us?, well a nasty knew injury looks like confining us to the comfort of our sofa, but with lots of heavenly happenings to hone in on, we trust that this weekend will see you “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
Having turned tails on our regular format following the shock Soho scene closure stunner, we have reverted to combining our Best Bites & Short Shouts, tripping from Vauxhall to Shoreditch & then to Paris for our top of the tree choices, while mini mentions go to our best of the rest both in London & internationally, along with news of new & noteworthy disco dance diary dates.
With over a week having gone by but the news still shaking the scene that Profile & Lo-Profile are no more, it has also crushed us to the core, our Friday frolics to PLAY>TIME now mere memories and our favourite Soho spot no more, the impact has reached our recommends newsletter, as the Soho, Vauxhall, Shoreditch format has been smashed to smithereens. However from the ashes of that former format comes a new avenue of opportunity to propel parties over the continent, as well as retain the Vauxhall & Shoreditch elements in a revised Best Bites that will, in time, again break away from our pack of picks, while for this week it all gun-ho, as we combine our top of the tree choices with mini mentions & disco dance diary dates.
So let’s get into the recommends mix first heading to Vauxhall and to A:M, which this coming Friday (18th Jan) goes into birthday celebration mode, not its own but of its hostess, the marvellous Minty (HRH to those in the know), a true scene sister who has been superbly steering party people through the doors of some of the capitals biggest & best clubs, a list that has included Crash, Beyond, Matinee, Orange & WE, while she has been holding sway at A:M for many a moon now. However, this will be her first birthday celebration at the club, we having been used to marking the occasion for a handful of years at Industri, the Thursday frolic that will forever be Minty’s (along with Brent & Paul too), although with this superb soiree no more and A:M now her delectable dive into dancing debauchery, it certainly makes a perfect place for her to party, the birthday event PR tagline being “…get the London look with Minty as she celebrates her Birthday A:M style…” while the team go on to say “..join the queen of the disco and her gang of beautiful dirty Vauxhall bunnies on an epic journey of dance, music and glamour through till Saturday morning…”. And with a D.J. line up to die for, The Sharp Boys joined by D’Johnny, Gonzalo Rivas and special guest Fabio Luigi (a Minty request) in the main room, A:M still have splashes of Onyx within it that make it an “Ultra” event, DMS delivering the pop-tastic tunes in the second space, all this taking place at Fire, doors opening at 11 p.m., the club running through till 9 a.m. Saturday morning, entry charges as follows, with a flyer or ad, £3 before midnight, £6 before 3 a.m., £8 before 5 a.m. or £10 thereafter, more info, including that Orange Nation membership free entry offer up at http://orangenation.co.uk or via http://facebook.com/events/181258335331581/.
To a couple of Vauxhall Short Shouts now and how could we avoid mentioning Beyond, even though the seemingly never-ending “Midnight” sequence of sessions seemingly continue unabated which, for us, are becoming yawn worthy. However, with special guest D.J. GSP (of XLsior fame) commanding the main room from 6 a.m., others on duty including Fat Tony, Jamie Head & Rob Sykes and doors opening at midnight this Saturday (19th Jan), more detail in true Ben Kaye promotions style up is out and available at http://www.facebook.com/events/523689437663032/
And making it at Orange Nation threesome inclusion here, Orange is certainly soaking up a splendid citric squeeze, a fresh yet familiar format from a few years ago back with a bang, new promoter Fat Tony having taken the helm just last weekend and is already making subtle changes, including the resplendent return of the gregarious Glendora this Sunday (20th Jan), regular resident The Oli joined on the decks by Jamie head, more detail on the full line-up out at http://facebook.com/events/104636443047790/,
Our other mini mention goes to a club night that just like the three already mentioned, is a capital clubbing circuit colossus come institution, Horse Meat Disco still in birthday celebratory mode, the ad saying it all when it exclaims that the club has been “…proudly serving disco burgers for the last 10 years…”, one of its residents that was there from the start, Severino, doing his own serving with a special six hour set, doors opening a hour earlier than usual at 8 p.m this Sunday (20th Jan)., more detail out via http://facebook.com/Eagle.London/.
So, skirting Soho, we head across to Shoreditch and to our second top of the tree choice, another birthday bash too, as the superb SOS celebrates its second this Saturday (19th Jan) at the exceptional East Bloc, Jim Warboy’s club one of the most popular on the calendar at this heavenly hangout, so sure to be a packed out affair. Indeed, having gained a reputation for being a “…tri-sexual underworld…” event, the crowd is a colourful as you will find anywhere, all up for partying & playing to the full and, in the process, saving their souls from mundane boredom, while the philosophy of the club is very simple, “…tune in, turn on, drop the attitude…” hinting towards a warm & welcoming Warboy wonder. And it seems that, in celebration of the second birthday milestone, Jim has gone to great lengths to bring the best in beats, he joined in the main room by east end & SOS favourites Hannah Holland & Joe Robots, while the second space gets a boost with special guest, the queen of the socialite scene, Room Service’s Jodie Harsh, headlining two back-to-back sets from the duo’s Chris Murdoch & Matthew Josephs and Anton Douglas & David Motta. But it doesn’t stop there as the marvellous Mark-Ashley Dupé masterminds the music in the back bar, accompanied by The Plastic Boy & Iccarus, while the big news for this brilliant birthday bash is the introduction of special host (or is that hostess?!) Jonny Woo, who is sure to spice up proceedings significantly, while can only be intrigued by fellow host Oozing Gloop, one very much boggling our mind. That said, this is one birthday you won’t want to miss, doors at East Bloc opening at 10.30 p.m. and the club running through till 6 a.m., entry £6 before midnight or £10 thereafter, more detail up at http://www.sosnow.co.uk/ and/or via the Facebook events page at http://facebook.com/events/478290032211425/.
To a couple of Shoreditch Shouts and we stick with East Bloc for our first and this Friday (18th Jan) when Larry tee rolls our another Super Electro Party Machine, this week welcoming new hip hop clubbing sensation, Hard Cock Life, who take over the main room madness from 10 p.m., while Mr Tee mixes it in the second space with Attack Attack Attack, more info up at http://facebook.com/groups/255553057341/.
As for the second, weill its goes to The Joiners Arms who have a pretty busy weekend, Friday seeing Rob Sykes on the decks for the weekly outing “Yes”, while the following evening, it’s the second instalment of new club night “Pantastic” with Alessandro Londra on the decks, Sunday’s “SPQR” with resident Julian de Apostate serving up the sounds, the club’s Facebook profile at http://facebook.com/joiners.arms.9 the place to go for further info.
So we move to the new & exciting part of our weekly recommends newsletter as we go international, although not literally as it will be February before we hit the continent again (more on that in a mo), although having trodden the dancefloor boards of this Parisian pleasure just two weeks ago, selecting Scream as our top of the three third Best Bite choice has come very easy indeed. But what has made it even easier, is that our premier protégé player, Zach Burns, stars in this Saturday’s (19th Jan) showing, this his second appearance for this brilliant brand which has been partying in Paris since 1996, no mean feat when you consider how tough the scene in the French capital has been and how much turmoil it has gone through in recent years. However, with a main room that compares with the best in Europe, a second space that serves up pure pop classics and a third play area where dancing is replaced by dark (we get our drift?!), there is no shortage of delightful distractions & diversions to keep even the most demanding of dancers sufficiently satisfied. But in Zach Burns, Scream has a D.J. that will surely have the main room packed and party heads eating oout of his funky, progressive & vocally infused house heaven, our mr Burns having laid down a compilation to mark the occasion and one well worth a listen via https://soundcloud.com/djzachburns/dj-zach-burns-house-sessions in advance of heading down to what is labelled as “…the biggest weekly French gay party…”, one that has welcomed the likes of Peter Rauhofer, Hector Fonseca, Offer Nissam & Pagano, Zach finding himself in amongst great company. Plus, with regular resident Tommy Marcus kicking the party off from 11 p.m. and special host Mika Paoleti caring for your every need, should you find yourselves in paris, this is definitely the place to be & be seen, more info out at http://scream-paris.com and/or http://facebook.com/groups/53427623634/.
To a couple of international Short Shouts now, a mini mention having to go to Muccassassina, which holds its “Play” party this Friday (19th Jan), welcoming special guest D.J. Danny Tor, joining resident Luigi Rosi in the main room, but with no less than three other dance come play spaces to choose from, this Rome club now into its 23rd season and still going as strong as ever, more info out at http://facebook.com/events/425666644169750/.
As for our second?, well we head much further afield, to Mexico in fact, although with a birthday theme running through this newsletter, plus with a Parisian pick under our belt, we couldn’t help but propel Heaven Queretaro, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this Saturday (19th Jan) and welcomes our Parisian pal, Leomeo to the decks, he sure to go down a storm with the Mexican crowd, more detail out at http://facebook.com/pages/Heaven-Club-Queretaro-Official/225745691617.
So, that’s just about it for our Best Bites & best of the rest Short Shouts, while we did promise to give you some disco dance diary dates, we looking ahead into February, Saturday 2nd, seing new club night “Baked” launch in London at Green Carnation in Soho, pitting its wits against big boys Matinee Pervert at Fire in Vauxhall & Pushca at Electric in Brixton, while the menWhoFell2Earth add to your choice, the boys back to East Bloc on the same night. However, if you want to hang your hat internationally that weekend, then why not join us and head out to Belgium, to Antwerp in fact, when prolific party “Propaganda” plays out at Red & Blue, while looking slightly further forward, another weekend in fact, it seems that back in London, its all about east, as DISH returns to East Bloc on Saturday 9th and then the talk of the town, Deelooded, kicks off in its new Shoreditch location, at a new venue, Xono, and on a new night, Sunday 10th February, this more than any other mentioned here, an absolute MUST for your diary, we having covered it all in detail within our preview “Making Majestic Moves” out at http://discomatt.com/web/?p=6708
Well, that really is it for this week, plenty of picks to keep you dancing right through from Friday to Sunday, while for us it’s a quiet one, the prospect of snow here in London sure to send us running for sofa comfort cover, although whatever you may be up to or wherever it finds you, have a terrific weekend time, naturally making sure that you “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)