Posts Tagged ‘Brent Nicholls’
Regardless of the topsy turvy times & the rollercoaster ride twists & turns that have become part & parcel of our lives lately, being charmed by a creative compilation, passionate about a prolific podcast & titillated by a terrific tune means that music always seems to be the answer. And in finding that answer to our problems, Disco Matt is once again ready to extend his enthusiasm for the art of music making & music makers with the return of his regular features, focuses & newsletters, this report hinting towards a mass of activity to come.
There was a time not too far into the distant past when not one Saturday would go by without a music feature or focus of some sort making it to our former BlogSpot page or subsequent website section, although we would be the first to admit that our attention has been somewhat diverted by non Disco Matt duties & devotions recently, while we are somewhat shocked just how derelict & devoid have been our dedications to D.J,’s & producers that were once a weekly norm. Indeed, having looked back through our archives, we cannot quite believe it was September since we posted our last music newsletter, while to be fair to our activity, we did share a string of track selections that made for our top 40 of 2011 in the last forty days of the year, following that with our most comprehensive & three part review of “The Podcasts”, “The Sets” & “The Tracks” that made 2011 our best music year yet.
However, having hardly given that claim justice by our infrequent features & focuses, we are determined that March will signal an about turn on our tardy coverage of the single most significant passion in our lives, music making & music makers. So, from next weekend, Saturday & Sunday will signal the two days that Disco Matt will devote to D.J.’s, to producers, to compilations & to tracks, mixing up his activity between special features, specific focuses & the much loved newsletters that have all been noticeably absent. Starting with a focus on impressive Israeli Guy Scheiman, other D.J.’s/producers that will be reaping our focus attention in March will include Zach Burns, Elof de Neve, & Paul Moreno, while we will be re-starting the special focus features on music makers that have influenced our lives both past & present, so having covered Steve Pitron, Leomeo & Danny Verde already, we will be moving onto Javier Medina, Brent Nicholls, & The Oli during March, with many more to follow in the coming months.
But our music coverage reconstruction story doesn’t stop there as it is the podcasts & the tracks that will also be at the forefront of our attention, we both catching up on the months we have missed as well as restoring some sense of stability to our newsletters. So, in order to achieve this & maintain our coverage, we have decided that, throughout the remainder of 2012, we will be running two distinct music newsletter series’ in a sequence of volumes, the first entitled “Premier & Protégé Player Productions” and devoted to those handful of music makers both in London & internationally that have attained this privileged position within our extensive player & production list, while the second series, simply called “Allsorts In The Mix”, will cover the rest, planned subject matter’s in forthcoming weeks including Potential Protégé’s, Lofty Londoner’s, Exemplary European’s & Superb Spaniard’s, the aim being to encompass a list of scene stars & indelible music making influences that, both at home & abroad, extend well into treble figures.
Add to that the return of our music features devoted to specific events, such as Delice Dream, Gay Pride & Circuit Festival, along with particular parties, club brands & production houses and it is clear we have our work cut out. However, with music having been the answer to the rollercoaster rides we have found ourselves on of late, we feel it is high time we paid our dues to those protagonists that have helped us through these tough times and in so doing, paying homage to a medium that means the world to us and without it, would mean a very different world indeed. (DISCO MATT)
London may have been gripped by the terror of the blitz back in the 1940’s, but a new kind of blitz is looking to make a bang in the capital when, some seventy years later, the brave new brand on the block that is Blitz Bar launches with its “Peepshow” party, Disco Matt biting into the detail of this new concept that brings back some old favourites.
We look back on the halcyon days of the broad bar culture that was Soho and one that stretched much further than the boundaries surrounding Compton St, venues such as Halfway To Heaven off Trafalgar Square, Locomation on Leicester Square and both Cruz & Brief Encounter on St Martin’s lane, all the watering (some right old) holes bridging the gap between the Soho stomping ground and the gigantic gay clubbing paradise that was Heaven, nineties London a very different prospect for the roaming gay looking for some audacious action. And there was another venue that was part of this picture, Kudos on Adelaide St. sitting neatly between those St Martin’s Lane cruising grounds & the might of Heaven, the more classy & trendy set seeking this refuge away from the red light tendencies that remained quite prevalent at the time. But, with the shift of clubbing to Vauxhall and Westminster council sweeping a clean-up broom through the Soho scene & its surrounding streets, the whole nature of gay bar culture in central London changed, the current landscape even without the brilliance that was Barcode, even Heaven a mouse compared to the might it was before, Kudos a victim of the shifting of the scene south of the river.
However, while Kudos may have gone for good, the gay legacy that it left behind at the venue on Adelaide St. is set to be bravely re-born in the form of Blitz Bar, a name that is commonly associated with the bombing on London during the second world war, although the organisers behind this bold new venture are hoping that “bombing” will not be the byword of this scene step change, rather the rekindling of some old favourites as well as bringing some new concepts & stars to the fore. That said, given the shift away from the vicinity in recent times, Blitz Bar finds itself pretty much out on a limb, even though Halfway To Heaven is close by, while it is favoured by pretty good transport links and, being in the Charing Cross district, one geographically noted as being the historical centre of the capital, central it certainly is. But Blitz has a tough task ahead of it in attracting an accomplished audience, although is attempting to serve up something for everyone, ranging from a firm favourite social soiree, to a sexy burlesque come risqué offering, as well as music driven night that has international come global intentions, that along with a planned D.J. competition evening which sits on a slightly different stool to former forays.
So Blitz is very much looking to shout a scene statement, that shouting beginning this coming Friday (3rd February) when the new venue (currently a Gilberts Bar) launches with its headlining event, “PEEPShow”, one which has been billed by co-promoters Brad Frederick, Tom Spindler, Brent Nicholls & Doug Silva as being “…Inspired by the sexual, and sensual vision of the 21st Century man the resident “PEEP boys” will be presenting outside of the box sexy burlesque and peepshow inspired stage shows with added visual treats, stamping its way into your weekly diaries…” they adding that “…Hot DJ talent will be hitting the deck space in the basement club along with various guests delivering vocal, upfront, progressive, funky house beats adding the perfect soundtrack to your weekend starting point…” residents Brent Nicholls & Doug Silva joined by an array of guests that currently include Sharon O Love, Alessandro Londra, Zach Burns, Norbert M & Jamie Hammond, while in hosts Brad Frederick & Tom Spindler, it seems the Vauxhall element of clubbing has an indelible influence in the PEEPShow philosophy, the duo sure to attract more than a handful of their brethren to Blitz. And for the launch night, the team have enrolled the P.A. services of “…blond beaut & rising songstress…” Emma Cook, while there will be plenty of burlesque gogo’s on show to bolster this basement bonanza, although due to some licensing technicalities the original 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. running time has been shifted to an 8 till midnight slot, meaning, as of going to press, we are unsure of entry fees (we reckon there must be some serious money behind this venture if its free entry!), but with more information available at http://blitzbar.co.uk & an indication of the music of offer via the inspired PEEPshow podcast at http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2012/01/30/minicast-peep-house/, this should be a launch night to write rather than head home about and as the boys simply say “…welcome to the show, we dare you…”.
PEEPshow aside, Blitz Bar extends into Saturday’s too, the venue’s international intentions, a mid-evening offering that kicks off this Saturday (4th February) from 9 p.m. till midnight, bringing to London a truly global feel, the team remarking of this Saturday night showing, “…we are passionate about music and every Saturday you can experience GLOBAL BLITZ, a collection of international DJs taking you on a global journey of house…” hostess Sylvia Rebel like her PEEPShow compatriots adding that Vauxhall element to proceedings that is sure to attract a certain crowd of clubbers & cavorters, while the D.J. roster looks pretty similar to the Friday foray, excepting the addition of Paul Heron, Berlin boy Tom Peters (aka KevinFunkt) & Oliver M along with Italy’s GSP, these just some of the internationally renowned stars that will give the night a global feel. And with each week given away to a different night, the team tell us that “…the Global roster takes you from London to Brazil with stopovers in Europe, with “BERLIN BLITZ” on the1st Saturday of the month) with DJs Paul Heron & Tom Peters + Guests, “LONDON BLITZ “ on the2nd Saturday of the month, with DJ Brent Nicholls plus some of London’s biggest spin maestros, “LATIN BLITZ” on the 3rd Saturday of the month with DJ Doug Silva plus a collection of guest DJs with that Latin flavour, “EURO BLITZ” on the 4th Saturday of the month) with DJs representing the best of Europe & the UK including appearance by Alessandro Londra, Sharon O Love, Oliver M and “XXXTRA BLITZ” on the 5th Saturday of the month when guest DJs will descend on Blitz to provide us with sexy beats and horny house in this extra Blitz session…”, need we add more apart from pointing you towards http://blitzbar.co.uk for more info.
However, without doubt the ace in the Blitz bar pack for us is “SuperSocial” which hits the ground running from next Wednesday (8th February), bringing back the terrific, tremendous & towering trio that is Brent Nicholls Paul Heron & (Hrh) Minty, yes the team that brought us “Industri”, a superb social soiree of a club that pretty much transformed our lives for good and one that saw Disco Matt born & then bred in his infancy. And the firm favourite “Industri” package of old will be transposed into the Blitz Bar of the present, a two floored foray giving it a feel towards the future, all based around the “social” theme, so social hours, social surroundings & social sounds, yet with the “SuperSocial” philosophy being pretty much the same as its former, namely “…a simple idea of a house party where friends, friends of friends and more friends are welcome to drop in…” , while just like the days of Industri, the team tell us to expect “…anything can happen, it can go from mild to wild and back again…and with Minty as your host you will be made to feel right at home…” a better hostess with the mostest we could wish for. So, with Hrh ruling the roost upstairs, down in the basement, the back-to-back partnership between Brent Nicholls & Paul Heron will be re-formed, Brent telling us to expect “…floor filling anthems, funky house, disco dipped grooves, the occasional WTF record with plenty of progressive, deep and tech thrown in providing you with the perfect soundtrack to a social backdrop…” and pretty much what we used to get at Industri, especially in the Vauxhall days. Plus, it seems that “SuperSocial” is teaming up with the Gigolo boys, meaning its Blitz bar early doors, followed by a jaunt up to Shadow Lounge, discounted entry to Gigolo available at SuperSocial, the combo making for a “…midweek dirty disco orgy extra-ordinare…” and sure to pack a powerful punch in the clubbing scene calendar. So, with Minty, Brent & Paul back together, “SuperSocial” will be the place to be this coming Wednesday (8th February) and every Wednesday after that, further details out at http://blitbar.co.uk.
So, in “PEEPshow”, “Global Blitz” & “SuperSocial” you have three new ventures that should fill up your Friday’s, shake up your Saturday’s & whip up your Wednesday’s, Blitz bar the brave new brand on the block offering up a new place to step out & be seen on the Soho(ish) scene. So, put your brave head on the Blitz block, get down to Blitz, get blitzed and in so doing, make sure you Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
We have covered our track chart, published our podcast picks, so it just remains for us to share our sets of the year in this, the third part of our music review of 2011. So the wait is over as we countdown, from ten to one, our most prolific players & their scintillating sets, revealing who tipped our musical scales the most.
While there is no doubt that 2011 had its huge highs & large lows, very much reflective of the rollercoaster ride references that were so much a part of our journey from January to December, music continuing to be central to or existence, whether it be the terrific tunes or the captivating compilations that filled our ears throughout the year. However, if it wasn’t for the prolific players across the capital’s clubbing circuit, or indeed those inspirational international spinning stars that entertained us during our expeditions across Europe, what we have termed, musically wise at least, as being our “Best Year Yet”, could not have been complete without the scores of superb sets we were so privileged to be part of in 2011. But while we would love to capture each & every entertainer in our lengthy list of dynamic D.J.’s that sparked us to spin on our spot, whether in London & Antwerp, Barcelona & Brussels or Paris & Rome, we had to slice our set selections down to just ten, devoting five to stars here in the capital & five to those based abroad. So, by giving you a flavour of their storming sets through extracts from reviews of the time, we will hopefully demonstrate why these terrific ten made it into our Y.E. chart, but by also pointing you to their Soundcloud sites, Podcast pages or Website windows, so you too will be able to melt into magical music that amassed in our bountiful memory banks..
So let’s get to it and to our tremendous tenth first, a Parisian player whom we got to meet properly for the first time back in February when we paid a visit to the French capital, although his work had not gone unnoticed before, his inclusion in the massive LGDF dance festival here in the capital a year earlier got our focus. However, we counted ourselves honoured to meet Ben Manson while shopping with our Parisian pal Leomeo in Le Marais, which prompted a visit to the superb Spyce Bar in this delightful district and it was here where we witnessed the brilliant Ben in action, his lofty position above the impressive & striking LED wall & displays adding to the amazing atmosphere he was creating that night. Treating us to a truck load of towering tunes, we included the following in our review of his prolific performance, “…soaking up the brilliant Ben beats and a better set we couldn’t have wanted for, Mr Manson delightfully blending tech tracks, with tribal beats, infusing these with euro style sounds & uplifting vocals, then taking us back again on this magical musical journey he was carrying us away on. Indeed, a better set we couldn’t have wished for, especially when he selected the heavenly “Hide You” by Sami Kivera, then having dived back into a trio of tech tunes, lifted the already amazing atmosphere with another vocal dream, this time “Show Me Your Love”, the crowd reacting accordingly and showing their appreciation with dextrous dance moves coupled with whoops & cheers, we ourselves succumbing to these scintillating sounds, spinning on our spot as though we were cavorting in a club….”. So, it is no surprise that Mr Manson simply had to make it into our top ten with his Spyce set. But, with superb showings for Salvation, SuperMartXe, Scream, as well as La Demence & Beyond (to name just a few), there were plenty of other reasons why Ben won us over, while you can you can too be won over by the man’s musical magnificence when picking on any of the 20 or so podcasts on his page(s) at http://benmanson.podomatic.com/.
With nine out of ten of our set selections so close to call, nominating our noteworthy ninth was a tricky task, but someone had to make it and so it goes to Brent Nicholls who didn’t feature in our year anywhere near as much as in 2010, although that said, on the few occasions he did, he never failed to score significantly with his superb set showings. With Hard On!, Rupert St & Profile/Lo-Profile considerations, Industri was nowhere near the tour de force it had been, a switch to Soho reducing our weekly institutional visits to just a few occasions while trips abroad were other reasons for not appearing as often as we would have liked. But like Industri, Brent’s other playing ground in our clubbing cavorting, Lovechild, pretty much split our year down the middle, the first half much more a feature of our frolicking, Mr Nicholls pretty much the master of the “love lounge” where we land on his most magical memory making masterpiece from January & Lovechild’s “Snowball” event, our reflection of Brent’s showing including “…it was time for us to find safety & solstice in the lounge space, where Mr Nicholls was firing up what would turn out to be our performance of the night…” along with “…Brent was definitely hitting our musical sweet spot, with one favourite track after the next, “Release Me”, Now Or Never”, “Trapped” & even “Stereo Love” all getting airplay, the latter sending us into an emotional state & floating our thoughts across the miles to a Lovechild inspired experience far away…”, he set showing here, like too many we could mention, delivering delightfully, Mr Nicholls’ distinctive nu-funk style never failing to hook, line & sink us into s pinning frenzy. And, there is plenty of that so called “nu-funk” style of his in his plethora of podcast releases in 2011 alone, so if you haven’t sampled a live set, then the next best thing is to go straight to http://djbrennicholls.com & choose any one of the twenty or so releases from the year.
To our enthralling eighth now and we stick to London and a fellow scene star that has been cutting a significant stride for many a year, our first memories of Jamie Head stretching back to those halcyon days of Crash, the club that started the whole Vauxhall clubbing movement around the turn of the century. However, Jamie has remained a feature of the capitals clubbing circuit since, regular appearances at Beyond, Profile/Lo-Profile, A:M, & Later scoring highly in his schedule, while we look back just a couple of months to WE’s 1st Anniversary, when he set us off on our “Disco” dancing dervishes delightfully. Then there was his set at WE “Attacks” at the beginning of the year which also spurned a rare podcast, leaving us with plenty of choices for his inclusion, this along with a handful of Terrace Room treats at Beyond being edged out by his prolific performance when Later took to the high seas of London, well the Thames actually, Jamie nailing a superb set during this aquatic audacity. And having remarked in our review that “…with many still packing the outside deck, we laid our hat inside and for good reason as Jamie Head was now in charge of the tunes, serving up a set to savour, a whole host of classic hits remixed & rehashed hitting the mark with many, we finding a spot to spin not far from the makeshift D.J. booth, our dancing dervishes increasing with every track he picked, the dancefloor erupting when the truly brilliant “Enjoy The Ride” played out & seemed so appropriate for the terrific time we were having, this ride on the waves in the hands of Mr. Head a huge highlight…”. And it seems that, despite all his other amazing London appearances, Later seems to bring out the best in him, next Sunday (28th Jan) a definite date in to put in your diaries, as Mr Head hits the Later decks for an exclusive back-to-back set with Mikey D, while if you haven’t sampled a Jamie set, then you can do a lot worse than checking out his “Tech Head” compilation (which is pretty close to his Later showings) at http://soundcloud.com/jamie-head/tech-head, while his “WE Attacks” podcast remains one of our firm favourites & his still available to download at http://jamiehead2.podomatic.com/.
Onward to our superb seventh and we switch back to an international globetrotting star, the Belgian born but Barcelona based Steven Redant, who impressed us on more than one occasion during 2011, although is a D.J./Producer we have been tracking for much longer, Steven having hit our radar when he landed on London to guest for Matinee when it moved to Cable in London Bridge, Mr Redant also a feature of the massive London Global Dance Festival a couple of years ago. But global is very much a word that sums up Steven’s activity, hardly a weekend passing by when he isn’t jetting to some corner of the globe, he being noted for saying on many an occasion of his travels, “…it’s relaxing after a week in the studio…” Mr Redant also noted for his production work, recording’s with fellow Barca based boy Lenz Garcia & his major playing partner in crime, Phil Romano, a whole string of sounds coming out of this threesome stable. However, we found ourselves incredibly fortunate to witness a simply spectacular set of Steven’s at La Demence back in February 2011, a trip to this long running & popular club part of our mini hop between Paris, Brussels, Antwerp & Amsterdam, our arrival at Fuse & a spot by the D.J. booth made all the better by the warm welcome & hospitality we received from Mr Redant. But it was his magnificent music that truly won over our mind body & soul that night, our review, “Brilliant Brussels Beats” remarking of Steven’s performance, “…And with Mr Redant truly radiant & on fabulous form, delivering an equally dreamy set of dance, house, tech & uplifting tunes, we were sent into seventh heaven with a succession of scintillating sounds, hard edged hits intermixed with uplifting vocal smashes that was leaving us wanting more & more, not least when the awesome “Till We See The Sun” was rolled out, Steven’s prolific performance seemingly going from strength to strength., we now doing the Disco Matt just like we were at Beyond…” we concluding “…Steven Redant pretty much stole the show with a scintillating set that had us spinning on out spot for the duration…”, hence why it & he simply had to make it into our Y.E. set chart. And the great news is that if you weren’t there, fear not, as Steven produced a podcast to mark the occasion and one you can still download by hitting on the direct link at his podcast page, http://stevenredant.podomatic.com/entry/2011-02-10T04_51_37-08_00.
Now as we move to our spectacular sixth, it’s getting tighter & tighter and virtually to close to call between the next two, both who floated our boat while away in Barcelona in April for Delice Dream, although Carlos Gallardo had treated us to some superb sets at WE Party in London during 2011 too, “Attacks” & “Candy” two huge highlights, we being privileged to get an on-stage intro at the NYD party last year, while we simply had to mention our mini “Doing The Disco Matt” moment with Mr Gallardo at this NYD’s “Safari” event, we once again finding ourselves in the privileged position by Steve Pitron’s side on stage when Carlos arrived to take over with another superb set showing. But all that is for our review still to come, while here we are taking you back to April 2011 and when Carlos represented WE at Delice Dream, the following extracts from our review of the whole festival, focussing on Carlos’s exemplary efforts, we first remarking “…And to then add to this now audacious action, incumbent D.J. Carlos Gallardo began to steal the Delice Dream show, taking the initiative…” neatly followed by “…with the atmosphere now amazing, in the hands of Carlos, the party hit top gear terrifically, track after track wowing the captivating clubbers & seeing us go into “Doing The Disco Matt” overdrive, even the drop dead gorgeous Delice cover boy Mourad dancing in very close quarters, sending our senses skyward, while the night was Mr Gallardo’s who gave the performance of the festival so far, the whole WE party under his steership attacking the minds bodies & souls from start to finish of his simply scintillating set…”. Yet, while we can’t share the sounds of this scintillating set with you, a flavour of the man’s magnificent music is available from a rare podcast pressing that Carlos made in advance of WE’s “Candy” event in London at the end of May, so one very much a must for your collection by going to http://wepartylondon.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-16T06_26_59-07_00, this on top of a year when Mr Gallardo teamed up with prolific P.A. Peyton at a whole host of WE parties, including at Delice Dream, the product of the partnership a superb single, “Let It Go”, a terrific tune full of vivacious vocals & brilliant beats that showcases Mr Gallardo’s studio talents so one well worth picking out via Carlos’s Soundcloud site at http://soundcloud.com/coar/peyton-carlos-gallardo-let-it.
Onward to our fabulous fifth and our fourth international D.J./Producer to pack it in our top set “The Sets” chart, a man from Milan, Danny Verde, who’s 2011 has been, like our musically wise, his best year yet, tours of The USA, Mexico, & Brazil major features, while he has touched virtually every country in Europe during 2011, not least two showings in the U.K., first in Brighton back in January for club “Kinky Dangerous”, a weekend we were privileged to spend in his company, then just two months later in March, he was right here in London, playing for “The Black Party”, joining at the Beyond which immediately followed and making for a morning packed with magical memories. However, it was our turn to hit his turf a little later in the year, May in fact, when we made the trip across to Rome and to the magnificent Muccassassina. And seeing Danny playing in his own back yard (well almost) was an experience we will savour for a long time to come, the whole 24 hour expedition ranking among a handful of heavenly highlights of our year, although it was one of just a few exceptional events that we missed capturing in a full-on review, or even one of the bite size variety, rather a simple preview the review rapture which summed up Danny’s substantial showing at Mucca in May their “Raffaella event, when we simply said of or Milano Man’s showing, “…we lapped up every tiny morsel of the impressive & uplifting scorcher of a set from Mr Verde, who wowed us from start to finish of his superb stint, a performance packed with favourite anthems among newer tracks, treating us tremendously…”. However, with this proving one outstanding outing among a trio of Danny set showing 2011 treats, Delice Dream the when we declared of his performance on behalf of Mucca in Barca “…and we were not be to disappointed in any respect, the right royal send off we had been hoping for very much delivered from the off, resident D.J. back in Rome, Danny Verde, kicking off the night at Zillion in scintillating style, gloriously gathering an ever increasing crowd with a solid string of superb sounds, some Verde classics, others new tough tech & progressive beats that won him even more fans than he already had…”, it is no surprise that he has been included in our terrific ten, that on top of track remix productions a-plenty including Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed” & Lady Gaga’s “You & I”, both ranking highly in our Y.E. chart, a glance at his Soundcloud site at http://soundcloud.com/holabstudio giving you indication of why this man’s studio reputation is of the magnitude it is.
Now we find ourselves at our fantastic fourth and another international D.J./producer who rocked our 2011, he like the two before him, a feature of our fantastic five days out in Barcelona in April and a time when we got an opportunity to really get to know about the enigmatic Belgian & his work. However, it would be his home country where we would draw his set showing and one that sees him top our chart as best international D.J., despite the overall fourth position, this accolade as our best overseas entrant down to a simply scintillating set at Antwerp’s Red & Blue club back in February, when the club played host to Spanish brand “I Wanna F***”, although rather than its own resident shining the brightest, it was our Belgian beatmaster that would stand in the shimmering spotlight with a pulsating performance. So, letting our review of the event do the talking, this is what we had to say of his stellar set, “…a quick glance up confirming we were in the majestic musical hands of resident D.J. Elof De Neve, the man pumping out a superb selection of euro-style beats, uplifting vocal sounds and tech house drenches that had the dancefloor delirious with his selections…” further references including “…, the terrific talent Elof treating us to a storming selection of scintillating sounds, barnstorming beats & vocal infused euphoria that would put many a Matinee D.J. to shame. Indeed, the roof short of lifted off Red & Blue when he picked out one of our favourite tracks of now, Danny Verde’s vivacious remix of Blake Lewis’s smash “Till We See The Sun”, sending us into a spinning frenzy and the atmosphere in this “I Wanna F***” inspired event, stratospheric…” and “…in Elof De Neve, the Red & Blue team have a terrific talent of a resident D.J. and his performance on this occasion once again impressed immensely, definitely further elevating him in our estimation and, as we hinted before, someone who would put many a Matinee D.J. to shame, especially with the truly tremendous set we had the privilege of witnessing…”. So, that pretty much say’s it all for us, we rating Elof as our international equivalent of Steve Pitron, a truly towering talent that should & is going places, 2012 looking even brighter than 2011, while a visit to his Soundcloud site at http://soundcloud.com/elofdeneve/ will allow you to engross in Elof’s excellence.
So we reach our top three and look to London for all of them, two no strangers to our Y.E. music reviews, while our thumping third is a newish kid on the capital’s clubbing circuit block, although one that made the biggest impression on us in 2011, hence his lofty postion in this chart. Plus, being one of our protégé players, Zach Burns’ inclusion having already been confirmed as our best newcomer of the year, ranking very highly in our podcast part of this music review of the year had to make it into our set chart too, although it was well earned as his set at Gigolo’s launch back in May and then a close on pitch perfect performance in December have secured his third overall position here. However, splitting these two sets was too tough a call, so we decided to include them both, our reflection on Gigolo’s launch having very much a Zach theme, the title, “Brilliant Burns Beats” shouting out enough, while our remarks that included “…our attention was now drawn to the music and the cute yet capable Zach Burns, who was treating the classy crowd to tons of terrific tunes, a magical mixture of old classics re-made, intertwined with up to date floor fillers, the pace & pitch of his performance perfect for this superb Soho society social soiree that was definitely soaring by the minute…” as well as “…we were soon in seventh heaven when Zach pulled out our favourite tune of now, the awesome “Stupiddisco 2011 Original Mix” by King Richard & Danny Thomas, we finding our favoured spot by the D.J. booth to invoke a mini “Doing The Disco Matt” routine…”. But we were even more lyrical of his December delight in saying “…it would all pale in comparison to its & our star turn, the cute yet commandingly capable Zach Burns, his arrival & the assumption of the decks the real lift we had been looking for, this terrific talent who had impressed us from the moment we first saw him play, immediately setting about sorting a selection of sounds that would hook us for the whole heavenly two hours of his spectacular showing….” we adding “…with tracks that included “Music In My Soul”, “Last Night A DJ”, & “Here Comes The Rain”, these along with a magical multi mixing moment when Zach chose to combine “Stupdidsco” & “Don’t Go” with mesmeric effect, we were going nowhere, rather glued but spinning on our spot right next to the D.J. booth…” as well as “…with yet more treats in store, Danny Verde’s track “Open Your Heart among them, it was no surprise we were drawing comparisons of the brilliant Mr Burns to our other top draw D.J. Steve Pitron, the duo having played out pulsatingly just a handful of weeks ago at “Playtime”, even the occasional looks Zach was giving us over The Shadow Lounge decks akin to those we get from our other superstar turn…”. And, in essence, there is not much more to add, these two sets with the only exceptions of another two ahead of them, the most stand-out of our 2011, Mr Burns having laid down a podcast pressing lifted from that “launch” party at Lo-Profile which you can still grab by going to direct download link http://djburns.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-11T12_00_38-07_00, this coincidentally being the compilation that made it into our podcast chart.
So we come to our spectacular second and, as we hinted, an individual how is no stranger to our year end round-up’s, although 2011 was a year when Mikey D’s impact on our music world was not as extensive as previous years, as like football, it was a year of two halves, the first six months seeing him play out plenty of times at Beyond & at Later to exceptional effect, while the latter six saw just the odd appearance here & there, like so many people, Mikey having to devote his energies more & more to his daytime occupation. However, they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and it is perhaps this thought that secured his second place, Mikey’s set & reappearance at Beyond in December making an indelible impression, we remarking in our review “…back being an appropriate word as we couldn’t have been happier to see Mikey D at the decks, our short absence nothing compared to his, although in an instant it felt like he hadn’t been away at all…”. Indeed, such has Mikey become part & parcel of what is so brilliant about Beyond, his return definitely stood out head & shoulders above the other entrants in our set chart so far, we going on to say of this pulsating performance, “a glorious mix of tougher tech tunes intermixed with dancefloor delights, “You Better”, “Souk” & “Pressure” among them, while a look in our direction & then a quick chat over the booth confirming that we were nibble size tweeting, made both of us feel right at home…” along with “…Mikey masterminding mounds of majestic music moments, we knew that Beyond in his hands was once again the place to be…”. But the true depth of this stunning set was just how Mikey managed to lift the atmosphere through his spectacular selections and, like only one other, held us spinning on our spot literally from start to finish. So while we look forward to just next Sunday (28th Jan) when Mikey will be playing back to back with his old Crash sparring partner, Jamie Head, we look back on this set showing at beyond with fond reflection & marvellous memories, which, like the man has done for many a year now, fill us with joy & happiness through his magnificent music making, while his rare 2011 appearances are matched by that rare podcast production, “Heavy Baby” from June & still available at http://soundcloud.com/mikedower/heavy-baby, an exceedingly good example of his music diversity.
So to our phenomenal first, 2011 absolutely littered with prolific performances from one Steve Pitron, magical memory making moments at Beyond, Room Service & Lo-Profile a major feature of our year, while London gay Pride was a day we will never forget, Steve being an intrinsic part of the rollercoaster ride that made up our year of heavenly highs & lousy lows, although his music, perhaps like the place where he was always his most magnificent along with he himself, three of the compelling constants that made 2011, as we have indicated in this massive music review, our “Best Year Yet”. Therefore choosing a set showing of his to make our number one was an extremely difficult task, it could easily have been the porridge ridden Room Service showing in July, it could have been the superb send-off he gave us at Beyond Erotica in February, just hours before we flew home to South Africa, or the Beyond that welcomed us back to London in March, first “Muscle” when we & then “Black” leaving us to remark that “…as much as we were missing South Africa, we knew that right here right now, we were at home, Beyond in the hands of the (we love to say it!) pitch & precision perfect Pitron simply “doesn’t get any better than this”…” But while occasional invites up into the Beyond main room D.J. booth made these & many more very special, after much deliberating, we decided that it was his set showing at Orange Electric in November that would get our vote, it marking our return after a six week break, our absence through October having backed into his in September, meaning it had so much poignancy, highlight comments from our “Emotionally Engrossing Euphoria” review including “…another dynamic delivery of dance delectations he delighted us and a now near capacity Electric crowd to, a magnificent mixture of classics, classics rehashed & up to date hits, cleverly interwoven into a scintillating string of sounds, one track after next sending us into a spin behind the stage…” along with “…the track choices Steve was making, first “Last Night A D.J. Saved My Life” (Mr Pitron was definitely doing this tonight!)…” as well as “…balanced by more up to date tracks too, crowd pleasers for sure, “Live Your Dreams” one of them and “Pressure” another, both which, as they always do, sent us headlong into that tearful & emotional rollercoaster ride, while our vantage point right behind Steve was the best we could have asked for…” much more on this a read away at http://discomatt.com/web/2011/12/reviews-emotionally-engrossing-euphoria-orange-electric-saturday-26th-november-full-size-review/. But, while we cannot share a podcast pressing that comes close to this scintillating set, what Steve has produced in his “Jan 2012 Session” compilation is equally as emotionally engrossing as the euphoria he created back in November, so an absolute must for your collection by going to direct link http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/entry/2012-01-18T00_07_36-08_00.
Well, that rounds off the most comprehensive music review of ours to date, a three part epic that covered “The Tracks”, “The Podcasts” & “The Sets” that made 2011, musically, our best year yet and with 2012 starting off in a similar vein with that phenomenal podcast we have just mentioned, it’s now time to look forward to a year full of tremendous tracks, captivating compilations, but more than that, stunning sets that are the core of this rapturous part of our review. (DISCO MATT)
Finding ourselves on the cusp of another wonderful weekend within the capital’s clubland circuit, with the New Year now started in earnest, it seems that brilliant brands & birthday’s will be taking centre stage across Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch, Disco Matt picking out his choices of where to be best seen on the scene.
Well, it seemed that a sizable section of our scene were suffering from a post NY dip in their dancing dervishes last weekend as it felt more luke warmish out there compared with the usual heavenly hot happening feeling, we ourselves only managing a nibble size visit to Beyond. But with reports that A:M was amazing, Lo-Profile pumping & East Bloc brimming, there were pockets of the scene that bucked the trend. But as we take a peek into our forthcoming weekend looking glass, we have a couple of real gems along with two usual suspects to include in our Best Bite choices of where to be & be seen on the scene.
So let’s get to it and mosey on down to Soho first and to our usual yet spectacular Best Bite suspects, as in Profile & Lo-Profile we have two of our favourite hip & happening hangouts, not least for the warm welcome we receive from the second we step into their doors, both venues really pressing all our buttons when it comes to music, dance & socialising (oh & drinking on the rare occasion we indulge in a tipple), Profile impressing just as much now as it did when it opened just under three years ago. And with regular D.J. line-ups each weekend, it isn’t just food & drink they have become famed for, although with a menu that ranges from light bar snacks to full bistro brilliances, Profile is a perfect place for that lunchtime stop off, an early evening refuel or even dinner with friends. But is more the music we are talking here and tonight (Fri 13th Jan) sees the o of its favourite residents hit the decks, Zach Burns selecting plenty of uplifting disco drenched dreams to get you in playful mood, this cute yet commandingly capable chap sure to fill your Friday with towering tunes, while on Saturday, the exceptional Nick Evans sorts out the sounds to get you in magnificent mood for the audacious action ahead. Plus with the venue’s superb Sunday roast rounding off their weekend and the venue open daily until 11.30 p.m., catch details of this & all the above by going to http://profilesoho.com.
Let’s head downstairs now and to Lo-Profile, bigger brother of its bar bedfellow and one that continues to pull in the punters while others struggle, both Friday’s & Saturday’s proving particularly popular, although with home-grown brand “Society” having found its Thursday feet & Monday’s “Beartrap” also filling a niche, it is the porn-tastic & pumping “Playtime” that is this Wardour St. wonder’s biggest mover & shaker on the scene, host Jay Roberts bringing a stunning selection of stars to beef up the podium proceedings, while his back room boudoir also gives the lucky few chosen ones a private audience with the weekly porn stars. Then you add in magnificent music and it is no wonder why Lo-Profile has stolen a significant amount of steps on its close completion as well as draining dancers from Vauxhall. So tonight (Fri 13th Jan) should be no different as Mr Roberts drafts in Bruno Knight & Gio Cruz, both handsomely hunky & perfectly playful too, while playing the magnificent music is superstar Steve Pitron, who takes up the reigns from the 10 p.m. start, while the cheeky Steven Artis carries you from 1 till 4 a.m., entry a mere £3 before midnight or £8 thereafter. Then on Saturday, it’s the turn of Crash residents of old but still cutting a significant stride on the scene now, Brent Nicholls & Jamie Head to swing you into Sunday spinning to scores of superb sounds, Mr Head in a purple patch at the moment and still smarting from a trip to the mecca of tech hours & techno, Berghain in Berlin although will be tempering his tunes to fit the Lo-Profile occasion, no doubt begging you to do it all again with him at Later the following day, more info on Lo-Profile, its offers, prices & running times out at http://loprofile.com.
Moving down to Vauxhall and the first of our gems which finds its own individual feet after a sequence of collaborations & parties at a handful of host venues, Deviate sets it stool at Factory this Saturday (14th Jan) in what will hopefully mark its season of solo spectacles in the heart of a venue that started the whole clubbing movement in this part of the capital. So, having headlined at Heaven, barnstormed Barcode & an alliance with Area, promoter Francesco Pagano is keen to deliver a further new dimension to his loyal Deviate disciples as well as broadening the appeal of the club as a standalone entity. Yet, having joined forces with amazing afterhours Beyond on three occasions during 2011, that marriage of musical minds along with other developments in the Vauxhall scene, has resulted in Deviate benefitting from the infrastructure & support from The Orange Group, who now manage Factory as a venue. So that’s the backdrop but what about this event? Well, the team behind this dancing deviation have told us, “…we are thrilled landing back in London with our extravaganza with the ultimate electrifying lurid party concept…” adding of their parties, “…on every occasion the Deviate team delivered a new dimension of clubbing but now we have found a perfect location for our solo spectaculars…” also being proud to state that “…we take music and hedonism very seriously when putting on a party. So we are bringing together some of the freshest talent around as we concentrate not only on the DJs, but also on bringing cutting edge visual art and performance artists to create the craziest party around…”.
So we couldn’t have said it any better really, the reputation of Deviate as a club that breaks from the norm, mentions of banana bending & thrilling theatre all intermixed with hedonistic house music and you have one of the most diversely dynamic dance delectations that is a resounding representation of the superb diversity of a scene that is London. And that diverse Deviate package packs a punch in terms of talent, starting with the D.J. team headed up by Pagano who needs no real introduction, although having made it huge in The US during 2011, he is unquestionably one of the biggest names on the capitals clubbing circuit, so we are honoured to be in his presence, yet our Italian Stallion is humble enough to have deviated from his own usual norm in compiling a podcast (can we use that word?!) to mark Deviate’s new direction & one you can grab now at http://soundcloud.com/pagano/deviate-with-dj-pagano. But the team on Saturday also includes fellow Italian Marco Gee in the main room, along with Nic Fischer (of Gutterslut fame), while over in the second space, the iconic Tasty Tim joins Deviate regulars Massimo Paramour & new to the team Borja Pena, the accent here more on indie dance, nu-disco & electronic, rather than the tech come techno & deep house that marks the main room music. The add in extrovert entertainer Jonny Woo with his Prick Image lot bringing “…muscles, drag queens and dominatrix…” to the party, along with hip host Antonio Gigoltta, and you have Deviate petty much summed up, Factory’s doors opening at 11 p.m. & running through to a planned 7 a.m. finish, advance tickets at just £8 available via http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-01/14/deviate-factory, while entry on the door will be an option too, the party continuing at Beyond, the Deviate team arranging discount passes which will be available during their event, more details out at http://deviateuk.com, leaving the team to simply say “…get ready for a theatrically engineered hot mess with sexy music as we DEVIATE from the norm..”.
Now to Shoreditch & our second gem of the weekend and a new clubbing concept to boot, as “Dish” steps out of the significant shadow left by the marvellous “Meat”, one of our favourite clubs of 2011 (more on that is our club review of the year coming up) and marked the first joint clubbing venture between the D.J./Producer combo that was Tom Stephan & Kris Di Angelis. But while 2012 marks both setting sail with separate parties, Kris heading off with his “Blue Jeans” & “Delirium” (there are more from our own Shoreditch son), Tom has opted to stick with Meat’s venue host, East Bloc, the hip & happening hangout on City Rd that also links Mr Stephan with his promoter pal from the days of Crash, Wayne Shires. But while the winning Meat formula will clearly be running through this new party, what is delicately different is Tom’s promoting partner, Borja Pena stepping into Kris’s shoes and lining up in the “Main Course” room with Mr Stephan where tech house is the dish of the day, while in the “Side Course” space, you can pick through the musical menu that will include old skool house and r&b served up by Scott Webster & El Moreno. Then, with Tom’s usual twist on proceedings including sexy video’s saucy cubby holes & gyrating go-go’s, added to which a tasty trio of host treats in the form of Kane Luke, Melvin & La Pequeña will make sure the service is of sliver quality, in addition to exceptional value drinks prices & a mere £5 entry all night, that being at East Bloc (217 City Rd, Shoreditch, nearest tube Old St.), doors opening at 10.30 p.m. & the club running through till 6 a.m., more details available on their event page at http://facebook.com/events/101830959937889/.
Well, that’s just about it for our Best Bite choices for this second weekend in January, but just time to re-introduce our mention for tip top clubbing website SeenQueen, who are in the depths of their “Your Disco Needs You” poll for 2011, more details on this & their own (as they call them) gAylist choices of where to be & be seen on the scene, along with much more, up at http://seenqueen.com. Plus, we just want to squeeze in a mention for the adorable Andrea (yaaaah!!) who rolls out her now annual “Andrea Fest” (well it started already actually), Deviate, Beyond & Later on the roster, very much marrying our own, although we add Lo-Profile tonight with Steve Pitron erupting our emotions with (no doubt) “track 3” amongst many others. So, with the traumas of the last 36 hours behind us, we will be stepping out in style, so if you see us come say hi, but whatever you do & wherever it finds you this weekend, please be safe, but remember that, to be seen on the scene you need to “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
We finished the last year on our recommends newsletter right foot, so had to start the New Year on it too, looking at our best choices for where to be & be seen on the scene across Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch. But who, what & where top our tree in this part one? Well there’s only one way to find out….
Having savoured the best start to a New Year ever, our NY weekend starting with profile on the Friday & also including Beyond, WE “Safari” & As One on NYD, we are most definitely in recovery mode this coming weekend, not least as we catch up on reviews of all four events, along with our 2011 music & club special posts. However, while we may be dipping out of the scene, there is plenty on offer to tempt you out, picking out our top choices across Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch with all the detail you need to know along with those all important website links.
So, with both “recovery” & “resolution” being the bywords of this weekend, we head to Soho first with our top of the tree choice going to Profile & Lo-Profile, both venues very much recovering from a hectic NY weekend, yet having stated as the mean to go on in 2012, have a sparkling line-up of D.J.’s both old & new and experienced & fresh faced, although what they all have in common is descending devotion to their art. And Profile leads the way in both venues three day weekend which starts tonight (Thurs 5th Jan), scene stalwart & swinger Brent Nicholls spinning most likely a blend of beats that includes his trademark nu-funk & disco, while on Friday its new boy to Profile Andy Mac’s turn to trip the tune fantastic, this relative unknown quantity out to prove his Profile worth. However, it is Saturday (7th Jan) that gets our biggest thumbs up as our very own protégé player, Junior (Celso) Moura takes to the decks, this following a superb showing last Friday, he hitting our magnificent mark with a majestic mound of music that packed out Profile from the 8 p.m. spinning start to the extended 11.30 finish, so is sure to do the same this weekend, bringing with him his Brazilian “biiiiicha!” bunch who make any party a carnival, not least the handsome Mhardenn Teixeira who will be celebrating his birthday (we will be there for that alone). Then you add in the drop dead gorgeous bar team, along with some of the best food the scene can offer, not to mention a drinks & cocktails list that is hard to beat and Profile is a brilliant way to both start & finish your weekend in style & sophistication, not forgetting their fab Sunday lunch, served each week from 1 p.m., further details of all these & other yummy pickings available by hitting their website link http://profilesoho.com.
Then we turn to bigger sister Lo-Profile which really came into its own last year, not least helped by superb social soiree Gigolo. Yet while The Hart’s may have moved on, the legacy they have left behind means that Thursday’s in the form of home grown brand “Society” are fitting nicely into this now very popular starting night to the weekend, tonight seeing the delightful Doug Silva joins fellow Brazilian Ale Amaral on the decks, both sure to mix up plenty of Brazilian come euro-style beats with more uplifting house hits. But naturally, the weekend proper begins tomorrow night (Fri 6th Jan) with “Playtime” the saucy, sexy & steamy night hosted by the handsome & hunky Jay Roberts, a night which stepped into “Society’s” shoes just a handful of months ago, but has really transformed Friday’s, record numbers of party people making “Playtime” their preferred choice. And by starting 2012 as they mean to go on, in choosing the cute yet very capable Zach Burns as their anchor D.J., a towering talent that seems to play to enthralling excess in this exceptional event, with our Italian Bello Alessandro Londra kicking off proceedings from 10 p.m., while the eye candy by two porn stars, our own Ben Brown joined by US hunk Race Cooper, both sure to be flaunting their wares both on the podiums & in Jay’s backroom boudoir which, if you play your cards right, can be your special bonus to the bravado. Then on Saturday (7th Jan), we find international playboy D.J. Paul Heron very much in birthday mood, although earning a crust spinning some sounds along with playing & close pal Nick Evans, the two working off each other like an absolute dream, so this is one Saturday session you won’t want to miss. Now, with each night’s doors opening at 10 p.m. & running through to 4 a.m. (3 on Thur’s), entry just £5 before midnight each night & guest list options available, for more details on these nights & other happenings, go to http://loprofile.com.
Right to Vauxhall now and our top tree choice simply had to go to The Orange Group, although wading through the choices of parties in the rick pickings that make up their weekend schedule was pretty tricky, should it be Friday foray Onyx, the refreshed & revitalised A:M, the breathtakingly brilliant Beyond, the afternoon audacity that is Later or the club that started it all, Orange?. Well, while we could have picked on all of them, we just don’t have the room so with both “Recovery” & “Resolution” part & parcel of our post, the choice became quickly clear, Onyx getting first bite at the cherry tomorrow night (Fri 6th Jan) with their, yes you guessed it, “Resolution” party, the team certainly resolute to make 2012 a play & party hard year, starting 2012 as they mean to go on by re-introducing the very popular £1 shots as one of many glorious gambits to get you in that party mood too. And those gambits certainly extend to the music, as the team have had a little shake-up for 2012, welcoming two towering talents in the form of Hifi Sean & The Oli, both sure to pull a crowd as well as you onto the dancefloor with their brilliant beats, both being Beyond boys too which is a good enough excuse in our books. Joining them in the main room is regular Lee Harris, the pint sized powerhouse that has turbocharged tunes to match his mates, room two is all about pop with Lady Lloyd & James St James, while girl power players Lisa German & Verity Mayes steal the show in the terrace space their harder house & tougher tech tones always going down a treat. Add to & the best managed door entry in the land, masterminded by the terrific Tom Fuller, along with larger than life hostess Chrissy Darling, who will be handing out free Smirnoff Vanilla shots to the first 200 customers through those doors, that along with £2.50 drinks offers and you have plenty of excuses to make Onyx one of your first clubbing resolutions of 2012, “Resolution” kick-starting your weekend from 10 p.m., the club running through until 5 a.m., with entry free before 11.30 p.m. with flyer, ad or guest list entry (details at http://gayguestlists.com/onyx), while advance £5 tickets are available at http://orangenation.co.uk.
So with “Resolution” covered, it’s time for “recovery” to take its turn and in Fire on Saturday (7th Jan) we have just that, as not only can we celebrate this iconic venue being well & truly back among us, we can do as they are doing when they say, “…at Fire we don’t have the January blues, rather it’s all about the good times…” the still surely smarting from those so called “good times” following the truly amazing As One, which was the busiest one yet, promoter Steven Sharp pitching the party perfectly, not least pitting Orange against Trade which ended up a marriage of minds that worked like a dream and for the second time in a week at that. So, in what has been become a post bank holiday weekend tradition, Fire will be swinging open its doors for another “Recovery” party, asking you to launch yourselves into 2012 as you mean to go on, D.J.’s The Sharp Boys, D’Johnny, & Jamie Head sure to do just that, while a yet undisclosed guest line-up will add to the superb set of sounds that will surely make this a party to pull in the punters, the lighting, the pyro’s and those sparkling stage shows courtesy of Elektra Paris & Shaun Capewell along with their drove of delectable dancers making their captivating contribution. Plus, in the spirit of caring & sharing in what is always a tight first monetary month of the year, Fire is extending their free guest list offer that usually accompanies their “Recovery” events, a simple click onto http://tinyurl.com/2012recovery sure to secure your entry although you will need to get in fast as they have, naturally, limited the free passes. Mind you, if you weren’t around at any of the NY parties & grabbed a ticket, then watch out for the boys in & around Soho this tomorrow night & Saturday, while you can always just grab a £10 ticket online or at the usual Soho outlets, the online link being http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-01/07/fire-new-year-recovery-party (wow what a big one!), doors opening at 11 p.m., with the event running through till 7 a.m. and don’t forget that a £10 ticket purchase will get you into Beyond for free, yippee!!!
So to Shoreditch and a switch from City Road to Kingsland High Street, at it is The Dalston Superstore (DSS) that gets our Best Bite choice this weekend, and for good reason as our very own Shoreditch son, Kris Di Angelis, is treading the DSS boards on Saturday, while a firm Friday favourite also returns for another madcap meet tomorrow night (Fri 6th Jan), while no Sunday would ever be the same without a trip to “Tutti Frutti” with D.J. Squeaky & friends. But it is the other two that get our focus and Friday first as “Blondie” returns for its inaugural outing of 2012, Liz Bisoux heading up a team of Hi-NRG, electronic & disco D.J.’s downstairs, they also throwing in a bit of garage house music for good measure, while upstairs in the hands of Grizzle, its pop classics all the way, that along with the infamous “Blondie Bar Top Cabaret”, not to be missed, plus, with it being free entry all night, that’s from 9 pm. till 3 a.m., this is no bank breaker by any means. Then on Saturday Kris Di Angelis brings back the debaucherous “Delirium” to the DSS, with, as our angelic (not) Kris saying “…what better place to break your New Year’s resolutions than everyone’s favourite disco honeypot, The Dalston Superstore….” he adding of Delirium itself “…is back with quite frankly a banger of a line up…”, Kris being joined by fellow resident Jaime Ritchie, while guest jock for this outing is Ashley Beedle, all three spinning electro disco come tech. But, as with all DSS parties (well most) this is a two floor affair, upstairs being in the hands of Tony Dunne & Cathal, with special guest Ross Allen. With proceedings kicking off at 9 p.m. Kris adds, “…it’s free before 11pm (£5 after) so even if you’ve blown your load over Christmas and New Year you can still come and join the fun…” and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves, while these events aside, don’t forget that The DSS makes for a great food fuel stop off during the day too, all information on offers, menu’s & other happenings available by going to http://thedalstonsuperstore.com or by watching the boys tweets at http://twitter.com/dsuperstore.
Right, that’s it for our Best Bites on this first full weekend of 2012, but watch out for part two of our newsletter coming up next, when we Short Shout for a dozen or so delights, giving you plenty of other choices of where to lay your partying hat this weekend, whether it be in Soho, Vauxhall or Shoreditch, thereby making sure you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT).
Having just completed our annual special report on World AIDS Day (WAD), this year we pressing home the message of support for the fight against this epidemic by the smallest of gesture, that being the wearing of a red ribbon with pride, our feature entitled “Red Ribbon Day” (well worth a read at http://discomatt.com/web/2011/11/reports-red-ribbon-day-world-aids-day-thursday-1st-december-special-reportreflection/) not just an informative based compilation, but our own personal reflection of living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. But while we have marked the occasion with our report and will also be wearing our red ribbon with pride on World AIDS Day tomorrow (Thurs 1st Dec), scores of bars, clubs, businesses & organisations here in the capital will also being doing their bit for the cause, a whole raft of events on the day itself & into the weekend either raising awareness or, more importantly, raising funds for the wealth of charities that do incredible work in & around the complex yet diverse issues that both HIV & AIDS. So, with plenty of World AIDS Day pride circulating around the capitals clubbing circuit, we thought it appropriate to extend our red ribbon theme this “Red Ribbon Day Devotions” Extra Bites post and cover the places to be & be supporting not just on Thursday but across the weekend.
That said, naturally Thursday (1st Dec) is the main focus and Soho the focal point of activity, not least that the collection of venues behind “Pink Sunday” are extending the theme & idea to “Red Thursday”, the likes of Comptons, Rupert St, Village, Ku Bar, The Yard, Freedom, Profile, The Edge, Circa, G.A.Y. Bar & the Duke of Wellington joining forces in supporting charity The Food Chain, while the aim is also to raise awareness of the continual rise of HIV infections within the gay community. But the centre piece of “Red Thursday” is AIDS swish, a street carnival of remembrance, pride & community in the centre of Soho organised been scene stalwart & damn fine D.J. Stewart Who, he explaining that “…the idea is simple; as a community we dress up like we mean to party, the “SWISH” down Old Compton Street in colourful acknowledgement that we both enjoy & respect life…” Stewart going on to say “The AIDS Swish is an affirmation that we’re here and we care, not just about ourselves, but each other…”. But the aim of staging Swish is to boost awareness & support within the community for the allocation & erection of a permanent AIDS memorial in London. So, what’s the score with Swish? Well, it starts at 6 p.m. tonight (Thurs 1st Dec) at the junction of Moor St & Old Compton St (that’s Ed’s Diner end), the parade then making its way down Old Compton St with a post swish finish at Lo-Profile, where there will be a surprise performance, a keynote speaker & a celebratory drink (naturally!). Then at 8 p.m., to signify the completion of Swish, all the bars mentioned above will play Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, a better way to celebrate life we cannot think of. Now, to join in all you need to do is turn up on time, while Stewart say’s “…you can dress as you like, in full drag (he probably will be) or your regular day or night wear, just be there! (that’s our line!). So, here’s your opportunity to show vocal & vivacious support for WAD.
As for the bars/clubs themselves tonight, picking out a couple of highlights, Profile & Lo-Profile play a pretty big, the latter putting on an extra special “Society” , the theme being “Strip-a-thon”, all funds raised on the night going to causes, the Terrence Higgins Trust, National AIDS Trust & The Food Chain, the team telling us simply that “…the more you give, the less the Profile team will wear!…” and judging by some of the gorge staff there, this will be something not to miss. But with D.J.’s Nathan 6 & Nick Evans on the decks also entering the spirit of things with scores of saucy & sexed up sounds, there will be also be not just one but two performances from PA’s Katherine Ellis & Amanda Wilson, hosts Irvina & martin making sure the whole evening the mercury certainly turns red on what should be an action packed & fun filled Thursday. Now, Lo-Profile open’s early for the Swish finale, although “Society” kicks off from 10 p.m., entry just £4 before midnight, while Profile upstairs will be in business early doors, D.J. Brent Nicholls spinning the sounds from 8.30 p.m., the bar sporting a superb & special World AIDS Day totaliser, so you can keep tabs on just how much is being raised, as well as how many clothes are being shed!, info on both venues available at http://profilesoho.com & http://loprofile.com.
For something alternative, we zoom across town to Shoreditch, finding East Bloc on City Rd who are very much doing their bit for WAD although in a characteristically different way, as their primary aim is to raise funds for the benefit of Chiva Africa, a charity relatively close to our heart, not least that it supports HIV positive people (specifically children) in South Africa, so a well worthy cause in our books, a whole load on info on Chiva available at http://chiva-africa.org/, the night down at East Bloc organised by tip top D.J./Producer Tom Stephan, who has teamed up with Dupe Den’s Mark-Ashley Dupe & Jayson Jack Frost who will host the night. However with a cast of D.J.’s that includes Tom (of course) along with Harvey Adam & Jay Jaymen in the main room, the second space sporting Matt Bogarde, Kartel Brown & Oliver Rant, with two special back-to-back sets including Mr Bogarde vs. Nutty Nyce & Miguel Dare vs. Fifi, there will also be a special performance by La Gosse to round off what will be a very special night for a very special cause. East Bloc’s doors open at 10 p.m. with the event running through till a planned 4 a.m. finish, more details on this Shoreditch spot available at http://eastbloc.co.uk.
A couple of quick other mentions for WAD go to Soho bar’s Ku & Rupert St (RS), the former holding their infamous WAD auction where you can bid for your chance to date one of the yummy scrummy staff, plenty of other lots on offer too, while over at RS, resident D.J. Alessandro pops up to spin a special “Red Thursday” set, while the team holding a raffle & throwing in a free party prize for ten people at RS, this prize including a bottle of spirit, prosseco & a finger buffet, that on top of special shots, all funds from sales going direct to The Food Chain. For more info on both venues, check http://ku-bar.co.uk & http://rupertstreet.com.
So that’s World AIDS Day itself, what about the rest of the weekend, well while scores of bars & clubs around the capital & beyond will be doing their bit, we pick out just two others that we consider top tree choices of where to be & be seen in supporting WAD. Firstly on Saturday (3rd Dec), state of the art venue Pulse in Southwark stages what is very much a welcome return to the annual WAD commemorations, as “The Remembrance Ball” returns, and with a bang, as headliners will be The Freemasons will centre-stage the main room, along with Cahill, while there will be special stage shows too. But the music extends to a Gaydar second space where Simon Le Vans will be joined by other Gaydar jocks on the decks, a third “remembrance” chill-out room where to team hope to project images of those lost to HIV/AIDS, organiser Mark telling us, “…we would like people to send in a photograph of someone they have lost so we can project an image onto one of the video walls in this remembrance room…” he adding that “…it’s almost like the patchwork quilts that are done in The US and while we want to celebrate life with this ball, it is also about remembrance, to those that are gone but not forgotten…”. Now, Pulse’s doors open on Saturday at 10 p.m., the event running through till a planned 6 a.m. finish, entry a hefty £15, although a sizable chunk of this will be donated to HIV charities Status & Mildmay, while more info on the venue (including exact locale) can be found at http://pulseclub.co.uk.
Then on Sunday (4th Dec), promoter Steven Sharp once again makes a wonderful WAD impression with his Orange “World AIDS Day Fundraiser, the primary benefactor being international charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, another charity that is very close to our hearts (Steven’s too). So, with a large proportion of the entry fees to Orange going direct to the charity, the team will also be collecting for this deserved cause on the night, so please dig deep into your pockets while D.J.’s The Oli, Fat Tony & the Sharp Boys will be digging deep into the record collections to bring you scores of brilliant beats in the main room at temporary home Factory, these seeing you deep into Monday morning. With deep also being the word, RAW resident Gonzalo Rivas will take up the musical mantle in room two, stripping you down with minimal beats & classic deep house that will be a set not to be missed. So, as we have hinted, Orange has moved to Factory, their temporary home for the next three weeks at 65 Goding St, doors opening on Sunday (4th Dec) earlier than usual at 10 p.m., the club closing similarly slightly earlier at 7 a.m., entry just £5 before 1 a.m. with a flyer &/or ad, while main prices are held at just £10. More information on the temporary switch of Orange from Fire to Factory can be found at http://fireclub.c.uk/news, while pop into Facebook events page for more info on this heavenly happening.
So, that’s our take of where to be & be seen supporting World AIDS Day this year, we hopefully dong our bit tonight at Swish from 6 p.m. & (if we have the legs after WE, Beyond & Gigolo) popping into Orange on Sunday. So, if you see us, do come say hi, but remember to wear your red ribbon with pride & make sure you “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
Looking back on October alone it seems that even Alton Towers has nothing on the rollercoaster ride we have found ourselves on, last weekend a perfect example of huge Friday highs followed by Saturday lows, an amazing “Play Time” at Lo-Profile followed by missing in action absences from The Week & Lovechild. And our expected return to weekly newsletters was also on the rocks, our physical & so mental wellbeing having taken severe dent, although while we may be down & out on circulating the scene, it doesn’t mean that you should be, so it is only right that our recommends show should go on with a selection of Best Bites & Short Shouts tips of where to be & be seen on the scene in Soho, Vauxhall & elsewhere this coming weekend.
So, to Soho first and top of our tree has to go to Profile & Lo-Profile, the continuing success story of this bar & club combo attracting plenty of attention, well in our books at least, although it seems across the scene too, especially given a packed out place last Friday, both upstairs & downstairs. And then trend is surely going to continue in the same vein this weekend, with Profile serving up D.J.’s on both Friday & Saturday, while also serving up plenty of mouth watering food & liquid refreshments to wash it all down, all served up by one of the friendliest teams in town. Now, as for the D.J.’s, tomorrow night (Fri 21st) sees Rob Sykes take to the decks, no doubt serving up his usual cocktail of classics & latest hits, while on Saturday, relative unknown (we must find out more on him) Renato Ponto spins the sounds. In terms of that food offer, Profile’s Sunday roast is definitely worth a try, while their tempting daily bistro menu with the weekend lunchtime “2 for £10” offer is a great refuelling value for money temptation to drag you away from those Oxford St shops. And with a happy hour from 4 till 7 p.m. daily & the D.J.’s on show from 8 p.m., there’s every reason to start your night out early, more info on Profile’s offering out at http://profilesoho.com.
Now, downstairs in Lo-Profile, it’s a busy three day weekend, new(ish) night “Play Time” having replaced the former “Society” which has moved back to Thursday’s (more on that in our “Soho Social Soiree Shake-up” report out shortly), this week’s Friday night saucy shindig getting a tad sexier with the influence of home-grown porn star & all round birthday suit enthusiast Ashley Ryder, who brings some of his boys with him, joining handsome host Jay Roberts, while its just as eye candying tasty behind the decks, as the cute yet capable Zach Burns is back (officially this week), taking up the first stint, while Nick Evans completes the “Play Time” picture. Then on Saturday (22nd), it’s Lo-Profile in the raw with resident D.J.’s Nathan Six & Tony English sorting the sounds, the advertised billing that includes Alessandro Londra a tad inaccurate as our Italian bello is actually away in Poland on gig duty this weekend. But Lo-profile’s weekend doesn’t stop there, as the clubs major sponsor Gaydar has another celebration for its radio station’s 10th birthday with main man Phil Marriott hosting another “Secret Sunday’s” session, this event very much living up to its name with the surprise guest still under wraps, although judging from posted reviews, is one not to be missed. With Monday night meet “Beartrap” completing the Lo-Profile weekly package, check out their website at http://loprofile.com for more info on opening times, etc.
To some Short Shouts now and to Ku-Bar first, who have a full weekend of activity both their Lisle & frith St operations, the former sporting the likes of Dusty O, Lady Lloyd & DouGuim on the decks, while their no shortage young blood across on Frith St, more info on both available by going to http://ku-bar.co.uk.
Rupert St have a similarly busy weekend with D.J.’s on all three nights, our original foxy female Minx charging the tunes on Friday (21st), while scene favourite Brent Nicholls will no doubt be leathered up for his Saturday stint before heading down to Hard On! (more on that in a mo), while Alessandro lands back from Poland just in time for his usual Sunday slot, more info out at http://rupertstreet.com.
Onto the Shadow Lounge & firm favourites “Therapy” & “Inferno” fill their weekend, resident’s Sonathaq & Andrew Elmore, respectively, sorting the sounds, although we shouldn’t forget Sunday nights as Sister Dee Chanelle hosts the karaoke, live show & disco bonanza “Confessions Dbyk”, a weeklong list of events plus all you need to know on this Soho splendour out at http://theshadowlounge.co.uk.
Our last Soho Short Shout goes to Circa which all too often gets overlooked, although is a sumptuous & sophisticated little spot on Frith St up the Soho Sq end, which we find a perfect retreat from the manic movements around and has the added advantage of being open till 3 a.m., as well as sporting D.J.’s on all three nights of the weekend, including Munroe Bergdorf & Heidi Liscious, more info available at http://circasoho.com.
Right down to Vauxhall we go and to The Orange group who head up our league table of treats this weekend, a sea of activity encompassing some of your favourite brands around, Onyx, A:M, Beyond, Later, Booster & Orange all having their say, while the centrepiece of the weekend is the “Fire Free Party” on Saturday (22nd) which also serves as the official afterparty for “The Big Gay Lifestyle Show” (watch out for our Extra Bites post on this). And when the team say free, they mean it, although you do need to get into the club before 1 a.m. (no real hardship) with an ad or flyer (it’s £10 without), a superb line-up of D.J.’s on duty including D’Johnny, The Sharp Boys & Leandro Kloppel in the main room, while Ariel takes over the lounge, accompanied with his percussionist, hostess Elektra Paris keeping her gorge go-go’s in check & stage managing the shows as only she knows best. Plus, with selected shots at a mere £2.50 and spirit/mixer’s & beers at £2.90, this is one austerity busting bash that will certainly not burn a whole in your pocket, rather get you in the mood for partying right through till Monday morning, talking of which, Booster, which was shelved a few weeks ago, makes a welcome return to the schedule, guest D.J. Oliver M headlining this Sunday (23rd) at Area in advance of heading off for La Demence’s anniversary weekend, so will be a set & showing not to be missed. As for the other parties, A:M’s promoter Steven Sharp leaves the club in the capable hands of his resident D.J. team while he jets off to Amsterdam, those residents including Guy Williams, Fat Tony, Paul Heron & Jamie Head (top draw or what?!?!), while no weekend would be complete without a squeeze of citric clubbing from Orange, The Oli, Paul Martin & Fat Tony in the main room & RAW residents Gonzalo Rivas & David Jimenez keeping the beats banging till gone 9 a.m., more info on all these outings available at http://fireclub.co.uk/gayparties.
So to some Short Shouts and firstly you will see that we left out Le Boy from the line-up above and for good reason, as this is the first regular outing to take residence in new club Protocol which, given all the tongue wagging, is well worth a visit for the decor alone. Now Le Boy, having launched just two weeks ago, is beginning to find its feet, so for a sense of sophistication 7 style in an otherwise more manic Vauxhall world, why not pay Protocol & Le Boy a visit tomorrow night (Fri 21st), more details out at http://protocollondon.com.
Next up is venerable institution The Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT) who, as always, have a fun filled weekend kicking off on Friday with a truly alternative night called “Seeing The Red Project”, presented by the Bar Wotever crew, while Saturday sees the infamous” Duckie” roll out another raucous party, Sunday of course set aside for “S.L.A.G.S./Chill-out” who have announced the release of early bird tickets for their NYE “Pink Ball” (early or what!), more info on all of this out at http://thervt.org.uk.
To The Eagle now and a venue down on Kennington Lane very much masculine in it manner as well as its weekend events, not least “Tonker” tomorrow night (Fri 21st), promoter Tim Jones welcoming special guest Ben Jamin (not to be missed) to the decks, while Sunday’s are Sunday’s when its Horse meat Disco. However, these two regular nights sandwich the new to London “Cockette” (the name say’s it all) on Saturday (22nd), this Milan import bringing D.J.’s Max M & Gigi LP with it, so well worth a visit, as is The Eagle’s website at http://eaglelondon.com.
Our fourth & final Short Shout goes to Hard On! which returns this Saturday (22nd) to serve up your fetish fill at Factory, promoter Suzie Krueger supported & sponsored by Invincible Rubber this month, who bring a dirty sleazy rubbered up show to the party, the sounds just as sexy & sleazy in the hands of residents Brent Nicholls, Halo-is & Sharon O Love, while a reminder that this is strict dresscode as well as a members only club, all details of which you can find by going to http://hardonclub.co.uk.
So to our alternative action and we head out east for our Best Bite choice, The Dalston Superstore taking our plaudits this weekend with a full-on schedule that starts off with the return of monthly Friday night frolic “Back To Back”, this gigantic gathering packed with electronic house, disco beats & electro to techno tunes, delivered from a dream team of D.J.’s that includes Attaque, Ian Robinson, Kezokicki, Mr F & James Harris, this hip happening spread across both floors and for good reason as it does get, in the venue’s own words “…absolutely rammo…”, meaning an early doors arrival (we reckon before 10 p.m.) is well advisable. However, its Saturday that steal much more of the limelight as a special one-off night called “Strange Desires” devours DSS, Disco Bloodbath’s Damon Martin marking his own official warm up for Halloween and drawing on the terrific D.J. talents of Dirtbox, Crisco Disco, Jos Gibson and, straight in from Berlin’s Panorama Bar, their star turn Carsten Klemann, meaning the music is sure to be deep & techno based in the basement, while upstairs the feel will be a bit lighter with Londoners Dave Kendrick & Dan Beaumont in charge of the tunes, much more akin to the “Hot Mess” style of sounds that come out of this DSS regular, that being handbag house, disco, Italo & pop. And like Friday, with “Strange Desires” kicking off from 9 p.m., we recommend an early arrival to avoid not getting in or being crushed by the competition for a select spot, although on Sunday, it will not quite be the case, as D.J. Squeaky brings you another “Tutti Frutti” session to soothe you smoothly into the new working week. But the DSS story also extends to a fabulous food offer right across the weekend, this the perfect daytime retreat for a bite to eat and with everything freshly prepared on the premises catering for all tastes from vegetarians to carnivores and all at extremely reasonable prices too, the place is well worth a visit at some point, even if you can’t take in the full extent of their three nights of heavenly happenings, more details on the venue & its offerings out at http://thedalstonsuperstore.com.
Right, to our final round of Short Shouts and we head down the road, to City Rd in fact, where you will find East Bloc, the venue that hosts parties such as “Gutterslut” & “Meat”, although this Saturday (22nd) sees a new night launched called “Songs Of Praise” and before you ask, no they won’t be screening the BBC1 Sunday night programme, rather the team behind “Kimono Krush” (of RVT fame) move across east to deliver a sermon of sounds that include pop classics & future house in the aptly named altar room, while in the chapel (it had to be!) it’s all about indie, a visit to http://eastbloc.co.uk revealing more.
Next up is another east end offering, this time from Shoreditch son Kris Di Angelis, who has created yet another event/brand to brave the scene (where will this man’s talents end?!), “Love Below” having a pseudo Room Service feel about it, well in D.J. & hosting terms at least, as Kris is joined on the decks by Dimitry Strigun & Ricardo Borsi, while Munroe Bergdorf adds a touch of glamour to this unabated sex fuelled basement of a venue on Great Eastern St. (the place is GC’s at No. 54), deep house the order of the music. Now, we can’t provide a web link, but can direct you to the event page on for further details, which is http://facebook.com/event.php?eid=161645427262964.
Last but by no means least, although a departure from our usual picks, but keeping it close to home is a Short Shout for the Two Brewers in Clapham, which celebrates a staggering 30 years of strutting its stiletto stuff with a jam packed weekend of top notch cabaret (the stuff it does the best, better than all the rest) Friday (21st) seeing a special Drag Idol bringing back some of the competitions winners from years gone by, while on Saturday it’s the actual birthday bash, Sunday seeing no less than 14 of the cabaret circuit’s best, this the night we would recommend if you have to choose, details of the venue location & other tit bits (no pun intended) available at http://the2brewers.com.
Well that’s our picks for where to be & be seen on the scene this weekend, but just before we sign off, just a quick mention for our friends at Seen Queen who have been busy re-packing their shelves with lots of video’s & gallery pics from around the scene over the last few weeks, as well as looking forward to Halloween which is next weekend (ish), that on top of their own tip top choices (any the same as ours?!?), all worth a damn good rummage by going to http://seenqueen.com/.
So, all that’s left to say is to wish you a wonderful weekend wherever it finds you & whatever you end up getting down to, while for us it looks like being a quiet one as the shoulder injury won’t go away, but we are taking it day by day, so anything is possible, meaning if you do see us out, come say hi, naturally making sure you “Go There! Be There” (DISCO MATT)
Over the years we have grown particularly fond of certain brands that have braved the capitals clubbing scene, the reasons for our attractions as varied as the clubs themselves, although certain common denominators kind of tie them together, the music & the music makers two perfect examples, although with certain clubs, it can also be said that the promoters are just as important. Indeed, looking at those brands that have achieved a special place in our hearts and those individuals at the helm, the prolific part that promoters play pretty much go without saying, Crash & Wayne Shires, FIST & Suzie Krueger, Trade & Laurence Malice, they all go hand in hand. And whist these three examples made have faded from the scene, they still fill us with misty eyed memories and ones that we miss dearly. And there is another brand that we have missed dearly, one that, like our three other examples, has gained a special place in our hearts, a club that has sported magnificent music players & music of the highest quality, its promoter synonymous with its existence, so seeing it disappear off our radar, having played such an important part in our lives, was a bitter pill to swallow.
Lovechild has, without doubt, been a brand we have followed right from day one, when it launched itself as a Sunday t-dance style soiree, something in the order of Salvation, this being no real surprise as the promoter who had always been the big driving force behind this mega club brand, Alex Erfan, was keen to offer fervent followers of all things Salvation, something similar but different. However, it was clear from the first set of Sunday parties at Pacha, that the bottom had fallen out of t-dance style clubbing, on a Sunday at least, a short break seeing Lovechild reappear as a Saturday offering and at new home Fire, a venue which proved a worthy home for Alex & the club for close on 18 months. Plus, the switch from Sunday’s to Saturday’s allowed the Lovechild team to expand & experiment with the brand, a whole succession of successful parties, including alliances with other clubs such as Delice & Wild Fruit, cemented it as one of the capitals clubbing scene’s big hitters. Notable parties included “Wet”, “Makin Hay” & “Tropicana” (among many more), Alex also drawing on international D.J. talent to boost the appeal, while the creation of the infamous “Contact Room”, the introduction of saucy shows & the distinctly different arena’s of music, all added to the clubs appeal.
However, times they do change and it was becoming all the more clearer that the onetime harmonious working relationship between Lovechild & Fire, Alex Erfan & the Orange group, was beginning to sour, the “1st Anniversary” back in November last year being the first catalyst, Lovechild pretty much shunted into the sidelines while Fire’s main room was given away to a breeder bash. And, from then, it was pretty much a slippery slope for our loveable brand, the final full-on Fire fling being when Lovechild joined forces with Israeli splendour FFF in May, relationships between The Orange Group top brass & Alex straining to breaking point, all meaning something had to give and the withdraw of Lovechild from the Saturday clubbing schedule was the saddening consequence. But, as the saying goes, “you can’t keep a good dog down” and, after a summer break which has seen the brand pick itself up & dust itself off, Lovechild is now ready to start all over again, a new venue, a new look & a new direction the inspiration for its return.
So, what’s the big change?, and what can we expect from the new look Lovechild? Well, first & foremost Alex has forged a new association with Pulse, the state of the art venue that plays host to SuperMartXe, the break away from Vauxhall definitely a new & daring direction which, we hope, will pay dividends, the flexibility with Pulse’s space allowing Alex to manage & manipulate his events to match the crowd & the entertainment. And there is definitely lots of promise for this first event “The Big Blue”, Alex kicking off by saying that “…This incredibly exciting space will allow Lovechild to grow and present the biggest shows and parties to date. New features are being added to the Pulse in the run-up to the party and Lovechild will by then feature the biggest dance floor on the London scene as well as some of the most ‘state of the art’ lights and lasers going in especially for the night…”, while the joining of forces with porn star legend Blue Blake is the inspiration behind the title of the event, the accent very much sex & seduction, a whole host of stars beefing up this branded bash, Alex going on to explain that , “…Lovechild goes blue this Saturday when it celebrates the launch of porn legend Blue Blake?s filthy new film “A Policeman Fucked My Son” andhis new website blueblake.com. There?s not just 1 or 2 super hot pornstars (as seems to be the norm these days) but a veritable “pornucopia” of sensational Blue Blake stars from past and present. Leading the pack is the UK?s most popular porn star Paddy O?Brian, along with French superstar Issac Jones, British internationals Ben Brown, Bruno Knight and Jake Reed. There?s also some American beef jetting in from the USA, the buff and beautiful Cody Miller. And that?s not all, Pulse will be packed with porn stars and purveyors of filth. So the hot studs dancing next to you could be the guys you?d been watching fuck the night before…”
Well, that certainly sets the scene for this “Big Blue” event, the porn element plain for all to see, but what about the music?, Well, with a pretty impressive list of resident D.J.’s both from here in the capital & internationally, Alex has a lot to choose from, Tony English the first major inclusion in an all London line-up, this main man having been with Lovechild from its beginnings and very much the lynch pin in Alex’s armoury, having toured with the brand internationally to destinations that have included Amsterdam, Antwerp, Istanbul & Israel, while he was with Lovechild for their two excursions to Edinburgh over the summer. Moreover , he is the man behind the “Lovechild” single, which gets full release early next year, although Tony has posted the radio edit to his Soundcloud page, check it out at http://soundcloud.com/djtonyenglish/tony-english-feat-kaysee-1, the vivacious vocals of Kaysee looking like this should be a 2012 smash and will no doubt be within Tony’s set on Saturday. Then, there is Alessandro Londra, another dynamic D.J. that has been flying the flag for Lovechild both here in London & across Europe, he never failing to ignite the dancefloor with his full blown tech & progressive house, our Italian bello having laid down a podcast to mark Lovechild’s first party at Pulse, a 62 minute marvel which is as good an indication of what to expect from him on Saturday as anything and a compilation well worth adding to your collection by going to http://soundcloud.com/djalessandrolondra/lovechild-pulse-club-london. But Alessandro is not the only one to mark this “Big Blue” event with a podcast release, impressive Israeli Guy Scheiman (one of Alex’s international residents) also jumping on the compilation bandwagon with his own devotion, perhaps off all the mixes, our favourite & one which you can grab at http://djguyscheiman.podomatic.com/entry/2011-10-05T15_47_54-07_00 although unlike the text on his podcast page, sadly we won’t be seeing Guy at Pulse this time round, although we know Alex has him lined up for a gig real soon. Then London based Aussie Brent Nicholls has also released a compilation dedicated to the party and we can confirm he will be there, although scheduled to play a late set, although surely worth hanging around for, especially given the quality of this podcast, which is worthy of at least a listen by going to http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2011/09/21/podcast-lovepulse/.
But all that is only part of the music picture, as Alex will also be drawing on the talents of two more Italian’s, Tony Bruno & Gabriele Cutrano, while a second Aussie in the form of Terry Vietheer will also feature, as will both Mattias & Phil Hewson, an impressive notch up of eight stars who will all get a bite at the “Big Blue” main room cherry, while Marco Gee is the final entrant onto the list of prolific players, Marco the latest addition to the residency team, having hugely impressed us at Lovechild’s “Muscle” event back in March and is very much a staple part of this latest outing. Why?, well Marco is responsible for the production of what looks like being a char topping smash, the truly tremendous “Get It On” by Shockalady, a brilliant re-take of the rock classic by T-Rex, this new version very much more disco than rock, camp than vamp, this promotional video giving you a good idea of exactly what we mean, http://youtube.com/watch?v=4VJFzzIMH6M. And, the hot off the press news is that Shockalady will be performing the track live on Saturday, this shaping up to be one of the most entertaining shows we have seen at Lovechild yet and one you definitely won’t want to miss. Plus, with Marco taking charge of the opening set, you can certainly expect a rousing start to this “Big Blue” event, a taste of whats to come available from Mr Gee’s latest podcast, which was lifted direct from another opening set, this time for Lovechild’s “Superlovers”, an gathering held for Soho’s Pink Sunday, Marco playing out to a considerable audience at Lo-Profile, so one worth catching at http://marcogee.podomatic.com/.
So to the all important detail and this Lovechild “The Big Blue” spectacular takes place this coming Saturday (15th October) at Pulse (full address, 1 Invicta Plaza, Off Southwark St, Blackfriars, London, SE1) from 11 p.m. and running through until an advertised 6 a.m. finish, although a little birdie tells us that, subject to numbers, it could run a fair bit later (whoopee!!). Advance tickets have been on sale for a while, the £10 early bird ones having been gobbled up quite quickly, while standard £15 tickets are still available by going online to http://clubtickets.com/gb/2011-10/15/lovechild-pulse, while a drop into Prowler, Clone Zone &/or 50 is also an option, tickets also available on the door at the same price. With sponsorship support from Gaydar and live video recor4dings coming from Mirrorballs.tv, the launch of Blueblake.com will also be a feature, more information on the event out at http://alexerfan.com, while new website http://blueblake.com is also worth a sneak preview.
Now, despite a run of SuperMartXe’s at Pulse, due a a range of circumstances, we have yet to see the new venue, so we are just crossing fingers that come Saturday nothing will be in our way, meaning we hope to be there to report on it all, so if you see us, please come say hi, but make sure you don’t miss out on this Lovechild return by ensuring you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
Painting a reflective picture comes quite easily to us, although in the case of this super size review of Beyond’s “10th Birthday”, to do so has required us to prologue our reflection by saying that this “Amazing Afterhours Anniversary” devotion is no ordinary review. Why?, well because like no other club we have been connected with, Beyond holds unparelled importance, emotion & affection, so much so that we felt, as it has reached a magnificent milestone in its history, we should mark the occasion in a special way. So this review will not only capture the 10th birthday event itself, but also paint that picture of our emotional & affectionate connection with it, taking a journey through its history, sharing some special musical moments via YouTube links, and in so doing, making this a truly celebratory reflection rather than a simple event review. But while we cannot escape showing some the overwhelming emotion we felt on Sunday, much of it displayed through our nibble size review tweets at the time, we will be taking care to temper that emotion & balance it with the heavenly highlights that made this a brilliant Beyond birthday bash.
We can count ourselves extremely fortunate to have witnessed & savoured some of the biggest & best brands, many having stood the test of time and are treading the clubbing boards today in some sort of form or other, names that spring to mind including Orange, Trade, Salvation & DTPM, all having been around for well over a decade. However, despite these outstanding achievers having passed the landmark ten years, it would be fair to say that, with the possible exception of Trade, not one of these brilliant brands could have been considered as towering the top of the game for the whole of that time, such is the level of competition within the capitals clubbing circuit, not to mention the fickle nature of the crowds who often move from brand to brand at the drop of a hat, just look at switch from SuperMartXe to WE as a perfect example. Moreover, a whole host of other big brands in our lifetime haven’t quite reached that decade yardstick, Action, Crash, & Juicy all hitting the high notes but falling short of that double figure feat, thus putting such an achievement into perspective and meaning that when such an occurrence presents itself, there is definitely reason to celebrate, whether it be the club or the clubber, this past Sunday being no exception as one awesome afterhours achiever was set to mark their tenth anniversary.
Beyond created a pretty instantaneous impact from the day it was launched back in 2001, at the time tackling the tough cookie that was Trade, the then mother of all afterhours clubbing that had made hitting the dancefloor on a Sunday morning change from being just decadent to vogue, a time in the weekly calendar when many would either be sleeping or pursuing religious activities, the thought of clubbing the last thing on their minds. However, what Trade proved, was that the desire to dance & be debaucherous on the final morning of the week, although its music had a certain direction and due to its location, trekking across from the burgeoning clubbing hotspot that was Vauxhall became less & less appealing, especially when a new boy on the block showed its hand, literally on the doorstep of Saturday sensations Crash & Action. So, with the writing on the Trade wall, Beyond was the new darling of dancers and, despite having dipped off the clubbing calendar for two years, has, like no other club we know, remained at the very top of its & the capitals clubbing circuit game for the whole of its existence, making a 10th birthday bash a truly enticing & exciting prospect.
Having trodden those tender first few steps with the brand back in 2001, hardly a week would go by in those early years of Beyond’s existence at club Colosseum that you wouldn’t find us in the thick of the action, the likes of Brent Nicholls & Paul Heron entertaining us with laidback beats in the VIP room, while the main room sported stars that including David Jiminez, Alan X & Steve Pitron, all these names having made their mark at the colossus that was Crash. And during the halcyon Colosseum days, we grew increasingly fonder of our frolics in the hands of Beyond, not one New Years day ever quite the same without celebrating in the hands of this brilliant brand & its boy beatmasters, the music more mainstream than its old adversary Trade, perhaps accounting for its broader & lasting appeal. And even finding ourselves well out of its reach with work deployments into Essex & Kent, Beyond continued to feature in our frolics until 2006 when it dropped off the clubbing calendar, our Sunday’s temporarily replaced by new offer Ultra & venue Area, although life was never quite the same as those brilliant days, the loss of our now adorable afterhours akin to losing a close companion.
So when, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Beyond returned and took up residence at Ultra’s home Area in May 2008, a new dawn in the club’s history quickly followed, initial comparisons with Colosseum dissolving as the identity Area was giving Beyond was something quite spectacular, not least in the amazing atmosphere, lighting & effects that were to become the clubs trademarks. Plus, added into the mix was the continuity provided by some of its resident D.J.’s that survived the gap in the clubs services, the likes of The Sharp Boys, Gonzalo Rivas & David Jiminez, key players in the new set up, while the clubs longest surviving resident who like us, had trodden those tender first steps in 2001, right back in the thick of it all at Area, Steve Pitron the shining star that was pulling in the punters and playing, for us, the most magnificent music. And as we had craved our clubbing at Colosseum, we soon adored Area, Beyond the single most powerful link between the two that was by now riding on a wonderful wave crest that showed no signs of coming into shore.
With the club & the brand very much back where it belonged, at the top of its game and without doubt the most popular of all on the capitals clubbing circuit, Beyond entered a new phase of excellence, both at home & abroad, strides internationally seeing it play out to audiences in Paris, Amsterdam, Mykonos & Brazil, while back in London it was scooping award after award and cementing its reputation of being the jewel in the weekly clubbing crown. And our affectionate associations continued to grow for Beyond, the now infamous “spot” that had become a byword for Disco Matt’s dervishes, instantly recognised by so many of its regulars, D.J. residents & successive promoters, while our own purple patch period with the club reached its heights just this year when the equally infamous “rollercoaster emotional rides & joyful tears” became our secondary Beyond trademark. So, it was no surprise that, as the 10th Birthday loomed, our emotional excitement rose to boiling point, our expectations began to push the boundaries of reality and with many of its key players in place, on paper at least, we made vocal & emotional preparations to celebrate Beyond’s past, present & future, the scene now set for what was to prove an amazing afterhours anniversary.
Having sought to slide home to re-charge our batteries after a walk on the Casa Latina side, those now racing emotions of excitement & anticipation were very much gripping us, not least as we set the mood by listening to a handful of classic Beyond beats stretching back as far as 2004, all in preparation for the short journey return to Vauxhall, we finding ourselves arrive at Area’s doors at not long turned 6 a.m. And with the familiar face of Tom Fuller in his usual military style efficiently managing the considerable queue, it was clear many had decided Beyond was the only path to choose, the sweet smell of celebration hanging heavenly in the air. With door hostess Juliana’s welcome setting us on our way, it was into Area and first through the terrace room, where veteran of Beyond’s Colosseum days, Severino, was setting about charming the crowd with a ton of terrific tunes, a further advance into the chapel space spotting another Beyond heavyweight resident from past & present, Gonzalo Rivas, he too attracting an ample audience with a bundle of brilliant beats. But with our mind set on sorting a space for our belongings, then preparing for the main room magnificence ahead, we grabbed some refreshments & headed for the fresh air of the outside space, both to check our emotions and gather ourselves for the prolific partying to come.
With a flock of familiar faces coming up to say hi, it was clear that this Beyond birthday had attracted many of its most adoring fans, not to mention the whole of the Orange Group top brass, Craig Elder & all three sons plus Jonny Marsh & Verity Meyes present & correct, while scene faces aplenty were all around, we grabbing a few pre-dancing moments with the adorable Andrea, who like many, were waiting for the main room to swing into action. And with the jungle drums signalling its start, we headed inside and straight for our spot, arriving to find the space already rammed with revellers, The Sharp Boys in charge of the tunes and treating us to a terrific trip down musical memory lane, one classic Beyond tune after the next transporting us back to the delectable days of Colosseum, our eyes already ravaged with emotional tears as we span on our spot. But the Area memories were also having their say, not least when the release of the prolific & resplendent pyrotechnic rockets grabbed our attention, they racing across the rooms ceiling, their spectacular sparks adding to the already luminous lighting & amazing atmosphere, a collection of the Brazilian bunch that usually accompany us around our spot soaking up the splendour, both D.J. DouGuim & pal Giuseppe among them, our playful mate tempering our emotions with energetic insistence.
By now The Sharp Boys were in full flow, mind you so were our tears, the anticipation of the set we had been waiting for getting too much to handle, lending the need for a further fresh air break from the birthday bravado, a step outside spotting the arrival of Mikey D who, like The Sharp Boys, had put in a tremendous amount of preparation for a celebratory set full of musical memories of Beyond’s bygone years. So, fighting back yet more waves of emotion, we headed back to our spot, just in time to soak up a true classic, The Sharp Boys adding their own terrific twist to Chamonix’s “How Did You Know”, sending superb shivers up our spine, not least as this was one of ten tunes we had picked out as our own musical memories of the clubs history. With Steven having popped out to say hello & George waving over the D.J. booth, it was now the turn of Mikey D to step up to the Beyond birthday plate, admittedly without his back-to-back playing partner, many remarking on the absence of the clubs undisputed superstar, Steve Pitron, although what we & Mikey were missing in this masterful man, Mr Dower was to compensate for his companion’s absence with an simply scintillating set, soaring the amazing Area atmosphere to new heights.
Pulling ourselves together was now the order of the day, as Mikey set about stunning us with selection after selection, tracks “Delirious”, “Addicted” & “Sunday’s At Heaven” among a mound of other musical memory moments that were doing the job of deflecting the devastation we were feeling over the absence of our bon ami, Giuseppe on hand to soak up our tears and sending us into a spin with his bawdy bravado. And with the podiums topped with Elektra Paris’s drop dead gorgeous gogo’s, Mikey on fabulous form, the lighting & effects at full tilt, it was now that we found our significant stride, more & more familiar faces passing by to say hello, Lee Harris, Mauricio Ortiz & Naomi Ruiz among them, while Aaron Elder & Jonny Marsh were never far away, they like us marvelling in the magnificent music & prolific performance of Mikey D. With a terrific trail of treats being turned out by the tore de force that was Mr Dower, we found it hard to prize ourselves away from our spot, even with the tinsy temptations of a back-to-back set by D’Johnny & David Jiminez in the chapel space & The Oli in the terrace, such was the main room majesty before our eyes. But our moment of the morning was about to come, as the usual glances over the D.J. booth that would have come from our missing man, came our way from Mikey, the look & then the thumbs up sign sending the reassuring signal we had been looking for, lifting our spirits further within the rollercoaster ride we were journeying through this breathtaking Beyond birthday bash.
Now we were entering the final phase of our trip down memory lane, the arrival of Alan K & Jamie Hammond, the duo that would assume control of Beyond’s main room, signalling an end to Mike D’s magnanimous music, their assumption of the decks also marking a new phase in this amazing afterhours anniversary, a hint more to the Beyond present & future rather than its past which had been celebrated by the threesome before. And in this recently formed partnership, Alan & Jamie were to prove a formidable force in carrying the crowd along with their stupendous selections, we too suitably stolen by their dovetail devotions, although it would be Tom Fuller that would wrestle us away from the main room madness and complete the predictable pattern of our regular visit to this brilliant clubbing brand. So, assuming our position at the end of the terrace bar gave us the added bonus of soaking up a towering turn by the legendary Fat Tony who was attracting plenty of dancing admirers, not least when what surely can be described as THE anthem of the club, “Release Me”, was played out, that on top of recent hit “Enjoy The Ride”, both very much sealing our deal on this birthday bash, our minds now set on retiring home for rest, relaxation & reflection on what had been another morning packing with memory making moments.
So what did we think of this Beyond birthday celebration?, what were our heavenly highlights of this magnificent meet?, and what now for this brilliant top of the pile brand? Well, cutting through the emotions, the tears & tribulations of our day, we can say with hand on heart that this was an outstanding outing that will rank among some of the great Beyond’s of all-time and while it will probably never quite tip the scales that “Tokyo” & “Erotica” did, it will stand among a long list of others that will remain in our memory banks for many years to come. Hats definitely have to go off to The Sharp Boys who, without question, celebrated the glory of the Colosseum days through a spectacular selection of sounds that was pure unadulterated pleasure from start to finish, while each & every other D.J. across all of the three rooms played their prolific part in making this a birthday celebration colossus, mentions for Gonzalo Rivas, David Jiminez, D’Johnny, Severino, The Oli & Fat Tony indelible inclusions, while celebratory congratulations also have to go to the army of organisers who made this hallmark happening possible, not least to Mr Craig Elder.
However, for us, the huge highlight was that Mikey D set, a truly outstanding couple of hours in our morning marked with one towering tune after the next that we know will have made his playing partner proud, our huge highlight being that reassuring look he gave us over the booth in our moment of need. As for Beyond’s future, well it seems to be pretty secure, especially given the terrific turnout for this milestone mark in its history, the likes of new kid on the Beyond block Jamie Hammond sure to feature, while we know that the missing link from the morning, Steve Pitron, will be back and keen to make up for celebratory moments lost. Then there are its continual aspirations on the international clubbing playing field, the brand sure to make an impact on the further reaches of the globe, we sense a presence in Australia & South Africa on the cards, this on top of consolidation of its partying in Paris, its outings to Amsterdam & its sorties to Sao Paulo, while the Beyond trophy cabinet back home will need to make room for more awards to come as it steps into its eleventh year of cutting edge clubbing & colossal curtain raising cavorting. And despite what one particular tweet may have said, Beyond remains and will forever remain our most favourite club, meaning we will be right by its side as it continues to reign supreme, forging a path of clubbing fulfilment for us and many more besides. (DISCO MATT)
Now for those promised YouTube musical links and a self indulgent conclusion to this celebratory look at Beyond’s “10th Birthday”, as we thought it appropriate to pick our ten top tunes from the clubs history, well those covering the span of years & holding the most magical memories of their time.
So to our first choice and a track from Beyond’s first ever year, 2001, “Easy Livin” by Sea Flowers perhaps not that reflective of the clubs music of the time, but one which holds special memories for us as it was played by Brent Nicholls in the VIP room at club Colosseum, the club’s first home. A disco tipped track that will forever be about Brent & Beyond, catch a clip at http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y-uN5hRMyVs.
Onto our second choice and one from the clubs 2nd year, this 2002 track by Una Mass a real favourite of ours as “I Will Follow” would often finish off an Alan X set around 12 midday at Colosseum, sending us spinning into a fabulous frenzy, Alan one of a handful of residents that played at both Crash & Beyond in the early days of our favourite afterhours. A timeless track that still sounds as superb now as it did then, savour a slice at http://youtube.com/watch?v=4j-q6su5orc.
To our third choice and one that actually featured on Sunday morning, The Sharp Boys adding their own terrific twist to Chamonix’s “How Did You Know (77 Strings), which, when it was first released in 2003, stormed both the sets & the dancefloors of Beyond, many of its all star residents of the time playing it to rapturous reception, not least by Steve Pitron in Colosseum’s main room. This is a real memory maker, which you can grab in all its glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=pYiFmDuCvko.
For our fourth choice we skip a year and look to 2005 for the first of two tremendous memory making tracks, both from a mixing/re-mixing duo that were very much hitting the high notes of the clubbing circuit at the time, Haji & Emmanuel. Dajie’s “Brighter Days” holds particularly special memories for us, not least as we can visualise our appearance at Beyond on NYD, our right arm in plaster & Steve Pitron playing the track, while Hugh Stevenson was also noted of turning it out on many an occasion. An all time Beyond classic in our books, the memory making mix out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=2_lPtUMN-xc
We stick with 2005 and with Haji & Emmanuel for our fifth choice of ten, “Take Me Away” firmly in the Steve Pitron camp of classics that he would play often at Colosseum, the lyrics, the beats & the amazing atmospherics of the track shouting Beyond, “…come with me to the dancefloor…I want to dance the night away…”, or in this case the morning, which we did over & over again to this towering tune. A choice that will forever be an anthem of our favourite afterhours & its biggest D.J. all-star and one you can savour in all its splendour at http://youtube.com/watch?v=AtRht_BInS4.
Onto choice number six and one that sees us jump to 2008, marking a new era in Beyond’s history as it now finds itself in new Vauxhall venue, Area, having halted its happenings at Coliseum, disappearing off the clubbing circuit two years before. Now, while this track will never be forever our favourite afterhours, “Sunday’s At Heaven” was one of the year’s biggest hits & in terms of memories has us gazing at our pint sized French pal as he gyrated on the podium in front of the Beyond main room D.J. booth. One from the vaults & a worth a spin or two at http://youtube.com/watch?v=SFrAXbqt38w.
Number seven in our ten, taken from 2009, is trademark Beyond & Steve Pitron, a track that continues to make an inclusion in his sets to this day, we suspect more to get that emotional reaction that has become our own trademark of our rollercoaster ride journeys that came to a fore this year. “Last Forever” by Norman Doray still sends superb shivers up our spines and when we close our eyes we are on our spot in Area & at Beyond, that is how powerful it is packed with memories of our favourite club. “…Let’s make this moment last forever…” which it certainly does when we go to http://youtube.com/watch?v=zoG6OBJ1euQ.
To our eighth track choice and one that simply had to be included as it has beyond written all over it, although it was Industri & courtesy of Paul Heron when we first heard “Release Me”, Paul having discovered the track from a trip down under. However, we adopted it as our anthem and many of Beyond’s D.J.’s reacted, playing it out just to see us spinning uncontrollably on our spot, not least Alan K & Steve Pitron. A pick from 2009/2010 and out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=5MhbKqoBbgA, this towering track still erupts the Beyond dance floors & ranks as one all-time great dance hits of our times at the club.
For the penultimate choice in our top ten, we look to 2011, a year that marked a real purple patch period in our association with Beyond & its music and while a long list of tracks were in the running as number nine, due to the overriding significance of “Waiting For You” by The Shapeshifters, it simple had to be included, not least as it holds masses of memories of our Sunday morning appearances & those looks over Beyond’s main room D.J. booth by Steve Pitron, starting off those joyous tearful emotional eruptions. “…If you need me, just call me…”, say no more, just catch a clip at http://youtube.com/watch?v=nnB3t51qRBM.
So we reach number ten in our choices and while there are some real anthems in our picks, we kind of pail in comparison to this track which will always be about Beyond & Steve Pitron for us. The truly tremendous “Here Comes The Rain” which was first released by The Eurythmics years before, got the remix treatment in 2008 but still features in Steve’s sets today, the ticker tape explosions, the bubble waves & those pyrotechnic rockets the backdrop to its brilliant crescendo beats. This is Beyond at its brilliant best & its all star resident at his most resplendent, a worthy inclusion worth catching at http://youtube.com/watch?v=ACcTKAv1Sak.