Posts Tagged ‘Featured’
When we first landed on London and started our clubbing career in the capital, Sunday’s were very much the day to party hard & decadently, this trend having been forged by the mighty Trade, which when opening its doors back in 1990, quickly caught the imagination & short of transformed Sunday’s into the vogue day of the week, many swapping paper reading for partying, church for cavorting. So, it was natural that, when spilling out of Turnmills (Trade’s home) the energetic throngs of clubbers simply didn’t want the merriment to stop, thus an institution was born that, like its Sunday morning mother, firmly established itself on the capitals clubbing calendar, host venue Villa Stefano’s a must visit for any post Trade baby looking to dance deep into Sunday evening in what become the most decadent tea dance we have ever known.
DTPM is without doubt one of the leading clubbing brands, whose reputation has stretched far & wide, a club that has very much moved with the times, literally, from its original slot of 3 p.m. on a Sunday through to more of a Monday morning club & back ago, its 18 year history littered with amazing parties at a host of venues in the capital, including The End, Fabric & more latterly Paramount, but finding favour for us the most both in that original timing slot & at ancestral home Villa Stefano’s, it also being the natural follower to any Trade event. Indeed, living up to its name, in Latin, “Delirium Tremens Post Meridian”, roughly translated (in Disco Matt talk) as meaning “Delirious Teadance Post Midday”, it always seemed to have more significance on a Sunday afternoon rather than a Monday morning and so, when we heard that it would be making a welcome return to the scene, not only in our favouring timing slot, but following Trade’s 20th birthday event, we simply had to include it in our schedule, not least as promoter Lee Freeman had chosen the superb Cargo as a host venue for this “Eastbenders” titled trounce.
With Trade wearing us out in more ways than one (all for good reasons of course), we felt the need for a respite before landing on Rivington Street in London’s select situ Shoreditch for DTPM’s afternoon event, a short amount of re-fuelling of energy sought at hip hop hangout Rupert Street, before landing on Cargo at just turned 5 p.m. Whilst our arrival was a little later than planned, plus a good 4 hours after the party had kicked off, we were still in time to catch the ever engaging Laurent Chaumet on the door, who greeted us with his familiar French charm & warmth, escorting us through the entrance & past the friendly security staff & into the club proper, taking a moment to catch up in bits & bobs with us, before returning to his met & greet duties. Then it was just a case of finding the coatcheck to deposit our bits & bobs , while acclimatising ourselves to the inside of Cargo, this being our first visit, although the location being familiar to us as our daytime duties often require us to call on the address.
Ready & raring to go, we made our way into the main room space, filled nicely with plenty of partygoers, many whom had made the trip up form Trade, while a select few had very much more fresher legs to carry them through to the planned 10.30 p.m. finish. Moving around the dancefloor towards the bar to grab refreshments, we soon came across familiar faces, including Clington Forbes, who was still looking remarkably fresh following well over 12 hours of clubbing (like us), he having changed out of his Halloween attire that he had graced so fabulously at Vauxhall Chainsaw Massacre the night before, he getting down to the magnificent music at this “Eastbender” event with his usual gusto, invoking a similar reaction from our now refreshed legs, the New York & nu disco house that incumbent D.J. Guy Williams was selecting, very much hitting the mark & easing us into the party perfectly. And, it wasn’t long before we found ourselves at the D.J. booth saying our hello’s to the man behind the decks, Mr Williams still looking full of beans, even after the full-on fourth birthday bash for his own club brand Black Rabbit, as well as succumbing to the pleasures of Trade, which included a set in the lite lounge, the man clearly in party mood & enjoying this DTPM leg in his marathon weekend immensely. Indeed, he was very much in the grove with his music selections, the style much more akin to his performances at paradise 45 (another brand of his), but every bit the part for this cavorting at Cargo.
Feeling the need for a quick break out on the terrace to indulge in our re-emerged vice, we first caught up with Simon Patrick whom we had seen a mere four or so ours ago in a similar spot at Trade, he having taking the sensible decision to pop home & refresh himself for this post midday shindig. With a clutch of other familiar faces also taking a breather from the action inside, including D.J. Mikey D, who bounded up to say hello, soon followed by main man Lee Freeman, sporting his trademark trilby hat, who was just as pleased to see us, diving deep into conversation about all things DTPM, also touching on the change in D.J. line-up, Boy George, who was supposed to be headlining the event, cancelling (we were told for good reason) at the last minute, although such was the strength of the rest of the team, it didn’t make any difference to the party’s outcome.
With the familiar uplifting music sounds piping through onto the terrace, we starting searching for the source, soon finding it in the shape of the intimate second space, which was tucked away at the end of the venue, a neat little room with its own bar & make shift dance area, filled with a select crowd of faithful’s lapping up the superb sounds of the man in the seat, none other than Fat Tony, who had, just hours before, captivated us in Trade’s lite lounge. And with Clington in attendance, we soon get into the swing of this more uplifting & funky offering, spinning on our spot by the D.J. booth, even Lee & Simon joining in for a while, others also spilling in the space and adding to the already audacious atmosphere, all helped along by Tony’s selections which would never be complete without “Release Me” and “Here Comes The Rain”, both erupting the room & everyone in it.
But, as good as this little space was, we were being drawn back into the main room, our arrival timed to perfection as Guy Williams was ready to hand over the reins to the duo of Nick Tcherniak & Steve Thomas, an increasing gathering of party goers having assembled around the D.J. booth & stage, including the naughty but nice Tom Marchant, as well as Mr Patrick’s crew, which included TTD men Billy Richard & Greg Mitchell. And, with Guy in a really mischievous mood, not just playing with the red light behind the booth, but joking u with us & Steve, it wasn’t long before the whole affair descended into one hilarious moment after the next, Mr Williams continually put Mr Thomas off his stroke as soon as he got anywhere near the decks to mix a record, Nick having to assume control, while we were bent over in fits of laughter, Gus face an absolute picture and everyone around entering into the spirit of this jovial encounter extra-ordniarre.
So, with Mr Tckerniak in complete control of the music and his selections finding favour, the music more on the tougher side & much more akin to the DTPM style we had been used to, the stage also erupted into action, two scantily dressed go-go’s ascending each side & displaying their wares in front of the massive screen which was flashing vivacious visuals to enhance the show the twosome were entertaining the crowd with, the whole place pulsating with action and the atmosphere building by the second. Yet, as good as the party was becoming, our energy levels suddenly fagged somewhat, the previous 12 hours plus of hectic dancing beginning to take its toll on our remaining reserves, so we resigned our mind into following what our body was telling us, gracing our exit from this exceptional “Eastbender” event, to saunter back across town, leaving a still buzzing Cargo & DTPM mash up which partied on deep into Sunday night in style.
Having made the effort to make it across to Shoreditch & the brilliant host venue Cargo on Rivington Street, there was no doubt in our minds that this was the best choice place that lee Freeman had made since bringing the brand back to London just about a year ago. Yes, the location was not the most familiar to many, perhaps reflecting in the overall attendance, but the whole feel & vibe of Cargo suited DTPM perfectly for us, that post midday timeslot also finding our favour, added to the fact that the pitch of the music was just right, Guy Williams’ nu-disco blending into Nick’s more tech infused style brilliantly, while the second space in the hands of Fat Tony right up our street. And, while our stay wasn’t as long as we would have liked, the time we had there was full of fun from start to finish, the atmosphere amazing & the company equally so, meaning that our Cavorting At Cargo ended up being a most enjoyable experience, we looking forward to the next DTPM outing with interest, especially if the host venue is this swish spot in Shoreditch. (DISCO MATT)
Casting our minds back to when we were twenty, finds us frolicking in the clubs in & around Johannesburg, our informative years having been spent in South Africa, but in moving to London when we did, signalled a real step change in the way we clubbed. And the music we listened to, the hi-nrg sounds of the eighties transforming to the hard house tunes of the nineties with one club shinning out over & above the rest as the real trendsetter in this respect. Plus, setting its stool on a Sunday morning was also very much an evolutionary step for the London scene, especially at a time when the only option after the mainstream clubs closed, were illegal raves for clubbers & cruising for others, this now legendary institution quickly establishing itself as THE place to be & be seen, the place being Turnmills & the club being Trade.
Since its launch back in 1990, Trade has assumed that legendary status with consummate ease, along the way bringing us larger than life character’s, not least its creator Laurence Malice, but also other including the amazing artist, known best as Trade Mark, as well as a host of D.J. talents from Malcolm Duffy, Alan Thompson, Steve (Janet) Thomas, Ian M, Pete Wardman, Gonzalo & who can ever forget, the late great Tony De Vit. And these main room D.J.’s really set the trend for the hard edged Sunday morning partying that went on at Turnmills throughout the 90’s, further enhancements including the introduction of the Trade lite lounge, spurning greats like Guy Williams, The Sharp Boys & Fat Tony, while the post weekly Turnmills years have seen the brand choose venues like The Renaissance Rooms, Colosseum, Area, Fire, Egg, & MOS to lay its specialist night hat, never failing to celebrate its birthday in style somewhere, the most memorable of late being the 18th, which was held at The Arches in Southwark. So, celebrating Trade’s 20th birthday was a given and in returning it the place of those memories of two years ago seemed an incredibly popular move, but how did this landmark anniversary in the clubs history turn out? and what were our huge highlights?
With the anticipation for this 20th birthday building to a crescendo, we found ourselves in a lengthy queue at Arcadia’s (formerly The Arches) doors at not long turned 5.30 a.m., the fevered frenzy feel that used to grip us back in the days of Turnmills back with fervent, our hearts tripping a beat as we patiently waited for our turn to be checked in by the extremely overzealous security on the entrance. Mind you, given the incidents at the 18th birthday, it came as no surprise that the checks were somewhat over the top, clearly slowing the process down, as was the woefully undermanned coat check system once we were inside Arcadia’s walls. However, as with those heady days back in the 90’s, we quickly learnt patience needed to be the order of the day, this being rewarded by our release into the club with fellow Trade party goer Benoit, to grab refreshments at the busy main bar, having already in this short time, caught up with a score or more of familiar faces.
Main room bound, we were keen to check on exactly what the D.J. line up would be, the first room by the entrance already having been laid aside for Gabriele Cutrano to warm the crowd into proceedings, we finding the delectable Per QX opening, not necessarily the start we had expected, the usual form of Malcolm Duffy mysteriously absent. However, we quickly warmed to Per’s electro twisted beats, the main room already filled to brimming, even at this early hour, an indication that this commemorative Trade outing was the lions share choice over any other. Establishing our spot, strangely nowhere near the D.J. booth for a change, we soon bumped into yet more friends & faces from clubbing years past & present, Chris Brogan & co lapping up the building main room atmosphere, even old Trade babies Glen & Maz, two iconic individuals from our years in Turnmills, very much in the thick of the developing action, the Arcadia main room having the closest feel to the former Farringdon home we have experienced. And looking around, the team had certainly gone to extra effort to make it feel as much like Trade & Turnmills as possible, the walls blazoned with Trade Mark artwork, classic trade production hanging from the ceilings & just enough laser lighting to give it that truly decadent & rave house feel that we had so loved back in the club’s heydays.
But, we were keen to investigate further & with the other spaces opening, we ventured forth, first checking out the classic room which was about to get going, then the space opposite, interestingly set aside as a darkroom, and eventually finding our way down to the lite lounge where Circus resident Kris Di Angelis was setting the scene with some sordid sounds. Bounding up to say hello, he seemed as pleased to see us, as we him, our encounter temporarily putting him off his stroke, although it wasn’t long before he was back in the groove & stirring up a storm of terrific tunes to tantalise, so, having found our feet across the expanse of the venue, we headed back into the main room where Nick Tcherniak had taken over the decks duty. Finding favour with each & every track selection, his set slowly built from the more melodic classic Trade sounds through to energetic hard hitting house that had us spinning in a dervish in our spot towards the back of the dancefloor, yet with the space now rammed with party heads, we struggled to find room to dance extravagantly as we had so been used to doing both in the Trade of old & the Beyond of new, eventually finding a spot to swing our pants & settle into his set.
So good was Nick’s music, especially when he pulled out & played the fabulous “My People”, we were in absolute heaven & loving every minute of his magical mixing, our pal Benoit struggling to find his own pace with the tough edged tech sounds, but so many old Trade faces lapping up this 20th birthday bash with gusto. Then, as if Nick had been brilliant enough, up stepped recording partner & Trade original resident Steve Thomas (known affectionately as Janet) upped the ante with an octane fuelled string of sounds that well & truly set the room alight, closing our eyes for moments of his magnificent music, transporting us right back to the 90’s & those tremendous times at Turnmills in his hands. So superb were the sounds & so amazing the atmosphere, we were now going absolutely nowhere, even the massive screen in front of the D.J. booth firing up & displaying iconic Trade visuals to add to the incredible laser lighting & other effects that were giving this main space at Arcadia a fantastic Trade-esque feel.
Now the place was swarming, our extravert moves on the dancefloor only rarely traded for refreshment & relieving stops, the whole venue a veritable feast of eclectic & euphoric Trade followers, very much a who’s who of clubbing and clearly the only place to be on this final day of October 2010. And with the morning hardly half way through, there was so much in store, not only from a prolific PA performance from Lizzie France, who, to our delight, ascended the main room podium right next to us to belt out the Tcherniak & Thomas collaborative EP hit “The Answer”, but didn’t stop there, treating us to three other tracks, before making her leave & handing the controls of this colossal commemoration to Trade over to none other than Pagano. In an instant, this disc spinning maestro had the room in his grip, switching the feel, pace & direction delightfully, swarms of Pagano followers surging forward towards the D.J. booth to soak up his sounds, while the podiums were topped with Logan’s muscle-bound go-go dancers to give this Trade party a distinctive edge.
With the heat of the main room beginning to bite and our pal Benoit in need of some lighter edged music, not to mention a truck load of messages on our phone from a sadly missed & absent D.J. friend, we headed into the lite lounge where Fat Tony had taken charge, flanked by the vivacious vocalist Tonnic, ready to take the space by storm. And that they did, the room a wall to wall sea of bare chested bodied man hunks & glorious girls, all intent on non-stop dancing to Tony’s towering tracks, while, like in the main room before, we quickly found our feet re-tuning ourselves to this more uplifting & accessible musical magic, this time positioning ourselves in our favoured spot, yes you guessed it, just left of the D.J. booth, fighting off the perspiration & heat of this lite lounge love-in, as Tonnic delightfully added her vocal infusions to the scintillating sounds been selected. Now Benoit was in his own heaven, the feel more akin to Beyond than Trade, although we knew exactly where we were, memories of two years ago flooding back in our minds, only the stifling heat stopping us in our tracks in favour of respite out on the rain soaked smoking terrace and the occasional dive into the main room.
With morning turning to afternoon & the a list crowd showing no signs of dissipating, we continued to savour the delights of this awesome Trade anniversary, the lite lounge finding favour over the other spaces, many familiar faces also finding their way there, we catching up with the pals Michelle Thornber, Clayton Wright, Tom Marchant, Clington Forbes, Tamsin Roberts, Joel Thomson, Guy Williams & many more, all soaking up the lite lounge sounds, even bumping into yet more faces old & new. Plus, catch up moments out in the terrace, including those with Simon Patrick & Pagano himself, matched by earlier liaisons with Per QX, Lee Yeomans, Mauricio Ortiz, Paul Weller, Adam Barr, Gabriele Cutrano, Ross Patterson & Hassan Hatoum, to mention just a few (we can’t leave out Glen & Maz of course), meant that this party was living up to its billing as not the place to be but the gAylist place to be. Indeed, the constant wave of people either saying their hello’s to us as Matt or as Disco Matt, some recognising us from recent times, others from the past, all combined to make this one of the more memorable events in our clubbing year thus far.
But, as truly terrific this Trade birthday bash was, our decadent delighting had to come to an end, the stifling heat in the lite lounge having drained us of most if not all of our energy, an upsetting encounter in the main room sealing our departure fate, not to nicest end to this prolific party that we had wanted, although the mound of mesmeric minutes we have experienced throughout our nine hour marathon far outweighing this unfortunate end to our day. So, waving farewell to Arcadia & Trade, we sauntered into the West End to recharge our batteries & gather ourselves for the next instalment in our weekend of wonderment at DTPM’s “Eastbenders” bash, yet still full of tremendous moments of Trade magic etched on our mind & in our soul that would mean it would be hours before the euphoria of this epic encounter with the mother of all clubbing brands wear off.
Trade, having dominated our lives throughout the nineties, can be held solely responsible for shaping our clubbing world. Yes there have been so truly ground breaking clubs since that have & still form a major part of our lives, the iconic Crash being one & Beyond undoubtedly the other. Yet, as much as Trade is now only an occasional outing, it still holds all that magic it did back in those heady days of Turnmills. And with its 20th birthday bash, the brand proved that it remains just as decadent, just as debaucherous & just as delightful as it always was. Whilst Arcadia did prove a brilliant host venue, the heat of both the main room & the lite lounge was sometimes too much to bear, plus the overzealous security did put a dampener on the party for some, reports coming in of sporadic checks for no reason, an unfortunate result of issues from two years before, added to the fact that the place was a little on the dirty side for others.
However, that said, Trade’s 20th lived up to our expectations & more, real highlights coming in the shape of scintillating sets from Nick Tchernaik, Steve Thomas & Fat Tony, even the vocal infusions from Lizzie France, Tonnic & friend, adding extra spice to an already enormous event that has to go down as another titanic Trade triumph. But, all the highlights aside, what really made the party were the people, a magnificent mix of old faces & new, all intent on having the best time possible & making the most of this mesmeric mash up as only Trade & a handful of other parties can achieve. Plus, the news that Laurence’s brand will be back for more on a regular basis, should sufficiently shake up the scene & give it the injection of energy it needs, leaving us to raise our glass to Trade & its Tremendous Twenty Turn and may we wish it plenty more. (DISCO MATT)
Over the years we have slowly seen Halloween gain popularity in London, the all American style of celebrating infiltrating Britain & very much taking over the traditional pagan style parties that used to take place up until only a few years ago. And in clubland, it seems that Halloween is much more of a significant date too, many jumping on the bandwagon & choosing to throw specialist events to celebrate what is traditionally simply the eve of All Saints day, but has come to mean so much more for many. Indeed, more & more grown-ups go to the trouble & expense of dressing up in ghostly & ghoulish outfits to mark the occasion, parading around the streets of London with gay abandon and entering into the spirit of Halloween, often out numbering ten to one, the children playing out the more typical trick & treat antics, the adults trading the doorstep for the dancefloor to cavort in their costumes for one night only, well maybe the morning after too.
So, it came as no surprise that the club scene south of the river would be serving up its own offering for Halloween, doing its best to tempt people out with s specially themed party, aptly named “Vauxhall Chainsaw Massacre”, with the added enticement of a headline international D.J./Producer to compliment the impressive line-up, not to mention much promise with regard the decor & delights in prospect at host venue, superclub Colosseum. Add the that the teaming up of new A:M promoter & the flavour of the moment, Oliver M, with the Beyond B2B team, the scene was set for a spectacular Saturday night down Vauxhall way, we having been enticed away from our planned visit to Guy Williams’ “Black Rabbit” 4th birthday bash, in preference to supporting Mr Mohns, plus catching up with Industri pals & D.J. close friends Brent Nicholls & Eduardo De La Torre. However, two questions’s remained, did we make the right decision? And how did this Halloween House Horror turn out?
With much debate occurring between us & friend Benoit during the day, not just over the change of clocks, but whether we would venture out clubbing before the big one, Trade’s 20th Birthday, we finally decided that a trip to Vauxhall rather than Maida Vale was on the cards, firming up arrangements during the course of the evening and then scheduling an arrival at Colosseum at not long turned midnight. And as we had been greeted at A:M just a few hours before, the ever smiling & welcoming Minty was on hand to greet us, we eventually negotiating the maze of fencing at the door to find ourselves in her presence, even joint promoter, Oliver M, appearing at the door to say hello. But with the weather having turned quite cold & wet, we were keen to get inside the club, although not before the usual formalities, which this time included catching up with Tom Fuller who was keeping warm just inside the entrance and making himself useful with ticket collections & sales.
With the promise of delivering a warming shot of Sambuca back downstairs to Minty complete, we armed ourselves with our own refreshments and sad our hello’s to Pier Morrocco, who like Minty, we had seen at A:M and was, this time, on D.J. duty in the aptly named “Riverbar”, a view of the Thames out from its windows the inspiration. Mind you, with most of the action happening in the main room, we soon found ourselves in our usual spot, yes you guessed it, just left of the D.J. booth and savouring the delights of guest D.J. Andrei Stan for the second time this Halloween weekend, this enigmatic & fun-filled young man serving up a superb selection of sounds, tough & euro-style yet uplifting enough to rouse the select audience into audacious action. But, as select as the crowd may have been, we were very impressed with the amount of people that had made the effort to come in costume, the pathetic extent of our outfit merely a skull & cross-bones on a t-shirt, paining in significance to those around us, especially one such person who surprised us with a tap on the shoulder. Reacting to this prompt, we turned to face the individual, who we did not immediately recognise, only a closer inspection revealing it to be our Industri close pal Stephen, the make-up shrouding his familiar features and his clothing completely hiding his usual persona, so well that we were astounded by his transformation. Clutching a skull in one hand & a spear in the other, not to mention a ball & chain tied to his leg, Stephen was cutting an impressive stride and certainly matching the best costumes in this Halloween house horror of a happening, even many of the dancers outfits failing to make as much of an impression.
Looking around the main room, the team had certainly gone to the effort of sprucing up the place to give it a ghostly & ghoulish feel, the performing stage to the side featuring a similar chair to that we had seen in A:M’s Asylum party, although there were plenty more effects besides which certainly gave the main room a special feel, even if the atmosphere felt a little flat. With Andrei still in control, we went in search of the VIP (second room) space, having seen the posters indicating that Brent Nicholls was playing, we sure this not being the case as he was already committed to Hard On! and our conversation earlier had indicated that he wasn’t due to play at this “Massacre” event until later, our suspicions being confirmed when we found Lee Harris waiting patiently, the room still not open, a poor Mr Harris having been left high & dry for most of the first couple of hours with no real news to the contrary.
Having grabbed a short break outside & taken a message from our friend Benoit who was heading our way, we were back in the main room & catching up with plenty of familiar faces including Industri friends, Chris, Jeremy & Andrew, as well as long standing clubbing pal Johnny Salas with his own little entourage, many of whom had adorned themselves with suitable Halloween make-up & more, very much throwing themselves into the event with gusto. But it was back to our spot next to the D.J. booth that we found ourselves, Andrei having handed over to special guest, D.J/Producer David Penn, who assumed the decks and set about treating us to a full on euro-style & euphoric set of sounds, although it seemed that even he wasn’t going to lift the lack lustre atmosphere, the flat as a pancake feel a bit perplexing as was the scant amount of numbers, even if many had made the effort to dress to impress. Plus with no real second space on offer, we were condemned to making the most of what we had, our friend Benoit arriving & quickly drawing the same conclusions as us on proceedings.
However, we were boosted with the arrival of D.J. close pal Eduardo de la Torre, who was due to play in the second space, we praying that a change of heart by the event promoter, the seemingly single handed Oliver M, would see this VIP space roar into action. But, none of it, poor Eduardo, who had travelled across from his Berlin base especially for the promised gig, being left out in the proverbial cold with no proper explanation or information. It now seemed a case of damage limitation as the stage show did it’s best to ignite the faltering atmosphere, The Free Radical Formation’s Rob Harris injecting all his energy into a powerful & punchy performance of two tracks which gave the event a temporary lift, as did the drop dead gorgeous hunks of dancers that were framing him on the podium in front of the D.J. booth. But, with the show over, we were beginning to watch the clock until our trip across to Trade, it seemingly like many had chosen to either save themselves for the big birthday, or had decided Halloween parties at home were the preferred option, news also coming our way that Brent Nicholls had been cancelled, signalling the last straw in our stamina for this party.
It was now just a case of counting down until we could grace our exit, although with Gonzalo taking over the decks, we were given some joy, as his selections were definitely hitting the mark, even our pal Benoit beginning to enjoy himself at last. And with Mis-White & friend in close call trading dancing moves with us, we made the most of our final massacre minutes, the whole party feeling very much that, rather than the resounding success the build up & billing had promised. So, with the strike of 5 a.m., it was curtain call time on this chainsaw calamity, the main room dancefloor having thinned before our eyes, many either choosing a hip skip & jump across to Beyond Hell at Area, which was getting underway, or like us, making the journey across to Southwark & the mother of all parties this Halloween weekend, Trade’s 20th birthday.
Well, what can we say about this promised biggest & scariest Halloween party in London that was the Vauxhall Chainsaw Massacre that we haven’t already? Well, apart from the fact that it failed to attract anywhere near the following the team had expected, the whole night felt extremely flat & monotone, only brief sparks of brilliance coming from the D.J.’s on duty, as well as the stage performers & dancers. And of those duty D.J.’s, it simply beggars belief the way Eduardo de La Torre was treated during this event. Yes, the decision was made not to open the second room and yes, he was probably paid a cancellation fee, but having travelled all the way from Berlin and not even been given the opportunity to play in preference to London based D.J.’s is a disgrace in our books. Had it not been for the fact that we were in good company, that so many people had made the effort to dress for the party & that we really wanted to catch up with the people we did, we would have left Colosseum a lot earlier than we did, or indeed forgone the party completely. As a review after the event summarised, the party definitely lived up to its name and we will leave you to judge exactly what name that was. (DISCO MATT)
When it comes to afterhours clubbing, there is something quite special about the whole feel of partying deep into a morning, particularly at the weekend, pushing the boundaries of normality & delving into dancing decadence while most other folk are tending to the regularities of life, whether it be the housework, the grocery chopping or simply relaxing & readings the broadsheet press. Sunday mornings have always grabbed the lion’s share of our extravert clubbing activity, from the days when we paid homage to our own version of church, better known as Trade at Turnmills, through to more recent times when Beyond has pretty much dominated the Sabbath day more than anything else we can think of. However, Saturday mornings rarely get our attention, more latterly due to work demands during the week & then clubbing demands in the fat end of our weekend, although with much a-foot following the re-designing & refocusing of one such Saturday sortie, we felt it was high time to make the effort & pull our finger (maybe more) out.
A:M has quietly & consistently filled the gap in the Vauxhall clubbing market between Friday & Saturday nights, the nature of its popularity & its crowd waxing & waning with the changing times over its 9+ years of existence, the club rarely hitting the headlines, rather its cool & calm persona seeing it survive the test of time, while other offerings hardly failed to get off the ground. Yet, A:M never really ignited into something special, it being the Christmas equivalent to a stocking filler to the club circuit, rather than a full-on whacking great big present under the tree, although with news that the team behind this Saturday morning outfit, The Orange Group, were to introduce a new look, a new style, but moreover a new promoter, we were very much preparing ourselves for something exciting, fresh & much more appealing to the former look. Incumbent A:M top cheese, one Oliver M (of ex-Matinee through Matador & Impact fame) promised much in terms of new D.J.’s, new direction & an altogether more delicious new feel and with news filtering through following the re-launch night that the difference was considerable, we simply had see it for ourselves.
So, having succumbed to another impromptu yet thoroughly entertaining evening with Phil Marriot & his man Russel at Profile in Soho, swiftly followed by a foray Onyx way, we dashed home to re-collect ourselves ready for our walk on the wild side back to Vauxhall and A:M’s Halloween offering, “Asylum”, a fitting start (well continuation as it turned out) to our hectic weekend of clubbing activity on this last weekend in October. Arriving at Fire’s doors at not long before 5 a.m., we were greeted by the door hostess with the mostest, the magnificent Minty, the first hint of some majorly positive changes to the club, although in some ways it was a bit of a homecoming for her, as in years gone by she had been the face of A:M, so much more of a welcome back rather than a welcome to.
With catch up formalities over, we negotiated the rather large coatcheck queue; always an issue with Fire, yet a good sign in a way as the club was clearly busy, eventually finding our chilling bones inside & into the heat of the lounge space which was packed to the rafters & wall to wall with bodies, pulsating to the pumping & uplifting house, the legendary Fat Tony was turning out, the whole room alight with the sort of electric atmosphere normally reserved for Trade, Beyond & Orange. With a whole host of familiar faces lapping up Mr T’s terrific tracks, after one hello after the other, we found a small spot just shy of the D.J. booth where we came upon clubbing scene face & effervescent character, Romano Hendry, we immediately trading moves & talking points on what was clearly the party to be at, the lounge in Tony’s hands the perfect way to warm up our Saturday & get us in the mood to party deep into the morning. Our already excitable mood was heightened more when the deck meister pulled out none other than “Release Me”, sending the soaring atmosphere skyward, those who had room among the mass of bopping bodies, raising their hands (as the lyrics go) high above their heads in exultation of both the sound selection & the song itself, pure heaven.
But, we were keen to investigate the rest of the club, so squeezing our way out of the tightly packed lounge space, we headed for the main room, which was equally as full with a cavorting crowd lapping up the tougher yet accessible euro beat sounds of guest D.J., the adorable & cuddly Andrei Stan, of La Demence fame. Indeed, the man behind the decks was clearly enthralling his audience with one terrific tune after the next, very much testament to his tremendous talent that we had been so impressed with following his spectacular showing at both Matador & then Beyond earlier in the year. But, before we could dive behind the D.J. booth to say our hello’s, A:M’s new man Oliver M bounded up to say hello, lifting us high into the air in his usually charming & welcoming fashion, then immediately seeking our views on the club & the changes he had been masterminding. And, in fairness to what we had witnessed thus far, not only did the place feel much busier than we had seen it in a long time, but the D.J.’s choice of music certainly seemed to be hitting many more sweet spots, the lighter edge to the sounds much more palatable than before and the club itself feeling much more of a club & gay with it, rather than a stop off point for drunken debauchery & straight socialising that had all too often been an overriding element of the old.
Intent on catching up with Andrei, we were behind the D.J. booth in a trice & delighting in the company of the little man between his superb selections, he even entertaining us with his dancing by the decks, not to mention an improvised hop-scotch performance that had us in hysterics. Yet, as good as Andrei’s dancing & disc spinning was, we were perfectly placed to see the incumbent stage show, as Elektra Paris & her team ascended the space in front of us, to play out a pervy Halloween inspired performance, centre-pieced by a huge chair with a gorgeous go-go tied to its arms & back & enacting an electro twisted torture in the hands of a masterful Elektra (who else), much to the delight of the crowd who were cheering her every move, not to mention the macho male’s squirming in the seat. With the show over all too soon, Andrei re-assumed control of the main (turbocharged) room, continuing to strike resonance with the revellers in advance of the arrival of Alessandro Londra, who was to assume the decks & the headline main room slot for the night.
However, we were mirrorarch (fresh) room, which had been opened to its full extent, D’Johnny in charge of the decks and filling the space in an instant with his superlative sounds, very much more in the old style of A:M, tougher funky & electro twisted beats finding favour with the faithful and short of emptying the main floor of followers. And it was here where we caught up with pal Tom Fuller, who was enjoying some r&r after yet another hectic Friday shepherding scores of clubbers into Onyx before & now A:M as no other person can do better. Standing by the bar looking on & across this second room space, it was clear that this was now where the party was at, D’Johnny revelling in the action, as the podiums quickly filled with party heads intent on showing their appreciation for his efforts. However, what was to follow, somewhat left us (and many) bamboozled, as not long short of 7 a.m., the music ground to an immediate halt & the room was closed, leaving many wondering why.
Hunting down promoter Oliver M, we discovered that he was concerned that the main room had emptied, so had made the conscious decision to close the mirrorarch in attempt to recapture the turbocharged impetuous of before, although rather than leaving Alessandro to re-ignite the full-on feel, Andrei Stan was back behind the decks, picking up where he had left off and leaving our bello Mr Londra confused & deflated as a result. But more was to come, as not too long afterwards, the mirrorarch was re-opened but only as far as the now erected screens, leaving second D.J. for the night, Pier Morrocco, to play behind the screens & to an empty dancefloor, meaning that he couldn’t see his audience or his audience him, we scratching our heads in dismay, then like many, choosing outside for in, drinking for dancing & socialising for sashaying, wondering quite what direction the remainder of this A:M outing would take us.
However, with the morning still quite young, we threw ourselves into proceedings, re-joining Andrei behind the main room decks, further showings by Elektra & her dancers, doing their best to re-kindle the amazing atmosphere of before and Fat Tony still holding considerable sway in the NYC style lounge. And it was here where we saw out the remainder of this “Asylum” action, Minty holding court and Alessandro by our side still shook up by the happenings of the day, we doing our best to console him & put a positive spin on it all. But, with our sights on a hectic schedule ahead, we dived back into the main room for a final fling, catching in-bound D.J. Alan K (a welcome return at that) who was to capture the initiative & see the party out in his usual pulsating & powerful style, we eventually bowing out to head home & reflect the good, the bad & the indifferent of this new look A:M.
In drawing our conclusion as quickly yet as positively as we can, there is absolutely no doubt that A:M is improved on before. Not only does it feel much more of a club outing now, but it has much more of a qualitative content over the old. Fat Tony is obviously a huge asset & it showed in just how he packed out the lounge space, plus the introduction of more depth to the D.J. line up has had an evolutionary effect, although probably the most striking improvement is in the crowd, which is very much gayer, clubbier than & not quite as trashy as before. Plus, there is no question that all these changes have made A:M much more popular, the numbers through the doors speaking for themselves and the overall effect is that the club has a more accessible feel and our overall impression is, on the whole, a positive one.
Yet, as good as all these improvements are, we walked away dumbfounded by aspects of the delivery at “Asylum”, not least the non- sensicle use of the D.J.’s and the two/fro closure & opening of the mirrorarch. To use a D.J. to play to an empty dancefloor is simply ridiculous and to chop & change the main room artists, ended up being short of disastrous, leaving us to wander whether it was done in a moment of madness & whether there was any method to the decision making. In defence of A:M, we understand the second room was not set up properly, but then surely this was a fundamental error that should have been spotted at outset and, in our view, is the responsibility of the promoter to ensure that the club is prepared as it should be, before the doors are opened. Add to this the decisions made during the course of the evening, plus the fall-out & threats waged at us following the event, and we are left scratching our heads over the actions of A:M’s new hands. That said, as for the club itself, we like the new direction & we wish it every success for the future, a future we hope is full of good decisions & delivery. (DISCO MATT)
(ISSUED FEB 2010)
This Antipodean wonder’s glittering D.J. career has taken him right around the world, from his hometown Sydney, playing at top clubs & circuit events in South Africa, Canada, Germany, France and Italy, but London is where Brent has firmly established himself as a big draw & scene favourite. The list of clubs he has played in is endless, but we first came across his talent at uber underground club “Crash”, where he made the second room his own for virtually the whole history of the club, occasionally also making it onto the main floor where he played b2b with both Paul Heron & Steve Pitron. “Beyond” definitely beckoned and like “Crash”, Brent stamped his authority on the VIP room at Colleseum, cementing the D.J.’ing relationship with Paul Heron that has stood the test of time terrifically and is famed for being the cornerstone of Industri, the fab Thursday social soiree.
With a solid reputation in his field, Brent, who believes that his job is to educate and entertain, the reaction between these two underlying principles driving his sets and his performances at “Beyond” are both legendary & timeless, his blend of funky, electro & latin twisted house sounds very much his trademark & evocative of the VIP room which, for us, will always be his. In fact, one of our most favourite Hed Kandi tunes “Easy Livin” was in his playlist at the very first “Beyond” party and continues to this day to live in our memory. Brent was still involved with “Beyond” when it re-launched in 2006, although, sadly, for the whole time of its incarnation at Area, has been overlooked, although we hope this is set to change.
Leading a hectic life D.J’ing & managing tip top gAylist clubbing website “Seenqueen.com”, as well as web designing for some of the big clubs & promoters in London, Mr Nicholls maintains this hectic pace in the studio, last year completing no less than 16 compilations, many of which we simply cannot put down. His first, probably of many in 2010, picks right up where the previous year’s releases left off, cutting a unique, individual & progressive style to keep you on your toes. Brent explains away his “Deep Inside” release perfectly saying “it is more about that feeling you get, well, deep inside, when you hear that house tune, which could be anything from a commercial remix, a classic track covered and pimped for the 21st Century, or a song so sexy it makes you want to hump the bass bin. It moves you, it grooves you & it touches something deep inside.” and through his words you really get the notion that he is truly passionate about his art.