Posts Tagged ‘Onyx’
With new & renewed life about to be injected into a sagging London scene, we reflect on what used to be brilliant, but what then went badly wrong as competition crushing & monstrous monopolies mobbed, while with the winds of change about to blow, we also look at what is to come in restoring & rejuvenating both the diversity and inclusivity that made this capital’s clubbing circuit the most captivating across all the five continents
We have always said that six months in clubland always seems to be a long time, why?, well because so much seems to happen, to change, to shift, that even this relatively short time in our lives, six months can feel like a lifetime in terms of sheer activity. Yet while our continental cousins seem to take it in their stride, the pace seemingly a lot slower and the schedule more measured, here in London, just like the city itself, the clubbing circuit, particularly in recent times, always feels to be on a knife edge. However, it wasn’t always that way, as in our early years circulating the scene, there seemed to be much more harmony, clubs & events, possibly purely by fluke, seemingly dovetailing into each other, never really treading on toes, but playing their part in a richly diverse yet inclusive scene that gained London’s reputation as being one of the most captivating for clubbers anywhere on the planet. Unfortunately, in more recent times, we have found an unwanted evil creeping in, the desire to dominate and in so doing, not only crush the competition, but bully others into submission, on the surface spurning some truly spectacular & prolific parties, but under the veneer, delivering a devious intent to take charge of the circuit centre ground, pushing a whole host of promoters & parties to the edge of existence. But with the winds of change about to blow across the capitals clubbing circuit, the resurrection of what made London’s scene so strong, it diversity yet inclusivity, looks like being the most cataclysmic change we have seen in a long time, creating an more even playing field for all those that want to play their part, the evil of domination & competition crushing banished from the equation.
But before we touch on those changes and the club at the centre of this marvellous movement, let’s take a nostalgic look back at what was so good about the scene a fair few years ago and then what went desperately wrong, our trip down memory lane taking us back to the mid 1990’s when the scene was alive with a whole host of clubs, all playing their part on the most dynamic and diverse scene in the world. And what a world it was, as we had some truly amazing club nights to savour, many that have become legendary, the likes of Fiction on Friday nights, Love Muscle on Saturday’s, Trade on Sunday morning’s, Sherbert then Salvation or Factor 25 on Sunday afternoon/evenings and FF, DTPM & Warriors on Sunday nights. But there was so much more, as it seemed so many more people were out to party, Subsation’s Soho & South, the latter sporting Queer Nation & the very early days of Hard On! (then called FIST), we had the colossal collaborations that was Famous Five, while Heaven was still massive, and London Gay Pride was a festival to be proud of, as was the superb Summer Rites, all evidence of clubs & club promoters coming together to deliver that diversity yet inclusivity that clubbers tuned into by the 1000’s. Plus, while there were rich pickings to be had, it seemed that clubs & events took the place in the scene schedule, never really pitting their wits against each other, rather attracting their followers and taking their small slice of the significant cake that was a truly captivating capital clubbing circuit.
And it was still looking good and feeling great as the century turn arrived, Vauxhall now part of the picture, thanks in the main to a visionary who created the iconic come legendary Crash, this spurning more club nights, including Action and the soon to be brilliant Beyond. That said, Vauxhall was already playing its part with the likes of The Market Tavern, The RVT & others, while it was on the verge of being pivotal in a change that would see that evil competition crushing and domination creep in, the success of Crash in outing the south of the river spot on the clubbing map, itself inadvertently fuelling the greed of a certain group, whose original intent with brands such as A:M & Orange, was simply to play its part in the prolific diverse playing field that was still a fabulous feature. But as the noughites progressed and international players began to look to London, the likes of La Troya & particularly Matinee, there began an undercurrent of deviousness that would end up even putting national party politics to shame, the halcyon days when club nights such as Horizon & Juicy simply played their part, soon pitching their parties in direct competition in incoming new nights. Indeed as the now recognised Orange Group organisation empire began to expand, it became clear that its intentions were not to play a part in the rich diversity yet inclusivity of the scene, but to dominate and to take more than just a slice or two, but the whole clubbing circuit cake.
Now we entered a period where promoter fighting & club confrontations become a norm, very much driven by The Orange Group’s desire to dominate, Crash pushed out of the Vauxhall picture, even its promoter ties with the still brilliant Beyond severed, his attempts to offer alternatives in a brand new venue, Area, also crushed. But he wasn’t the only one, as Matinee’s attempts to play its monthly part were scuppered, again it being a victim of what we call party pitching, so running a popular event up against another, this disturbing direction also rubbing off on other promoters, who themselves began to fight & battle each other, the SuperMartXe story one such example, while we were gratified that experienced promoter players with level heads sought to stay out of these sordid squabbles. But this evil element was to exacerbate itself to an enth degree, as a long list of individuals were drawn into The Orange Group empire, then spat out as soon as their perceived shelf life had expired or, in some cases, where they dared to promote parties that had the tiniest risk of toppling the domination that this greedy group desired. And while, as with our last sermon on this subject, we feel it would serve no good to mention names (there are many), clubs that have fallen prey include Crash, Matinee, SuperMartXe, & Lovechild, all big Saturday players, their fall from grace leaving us with little, well apart from WE, the ins & outs of how it, with the aid of The Orange Group, pushed SuperMartXe out of The Coronet, quite shocking.
We could go on and we could name case after case, promoter after promoter and club after club that has been either pushed out of the clubbing picture or even out of business by this greed and domination, the last twelve months bearing the rotten fruits of this greedy labour, leaving us with a lacklustre London scene that is not a patch on what it was back into those halcyon days. Yes there have been some success stories from within, Onyx, As One & Deelooded three, while now veteran outing Beyond has continued to ride high in the eyes of clubbers. Plus, what this domination has also done, is allow others to re-group, take stock and, in some cases, head off to do their own thing, a perfect example being Shoreditch and the players within it, who have created an environment that harps back to those happy days of the 90’s. But more importantly, what this greed has also created, is a marvellous movement, a powerful & influential one at that, which is seeking to restore the scene to that wonderfully diverse yet inclusive picture & playing field that we have mentioned many times, the individuals behind this wind of clubbing change, passionate about D.J.’s, promoters, players and you the clubber, in engendering the kind of scene where people work and come together, rather than fight or squabble. And it is the new(ish) gem in what was perceived as being part of the Orange Nation crown, that is driving this change, this tight knit team, after bringing the venue back under their control, now beginning to reach out to a number of promoters, to D.J.’s & other scene figureheads right across London, all who seem to want to play their part in the restoration of a London scene that, as a result of this greedy domineering period, is on its knees, the aims & aspirations of these change driving force individuals being to treat people fairly, pay them properly, reward their efforts, create an environment exempt from fear & bullying, but most importantly, restore a scene that makes Londoners proud, where they have choice, they have diversity, yet everyone feels they are included.
So, we have already hinted who is driving this wind of clubbing change, a change we are so pleased to be a part of too, we, ahead of our special feature, “Championing Clubbing Change”, raising our glass to the characters in what could quite possibly be a chain of cataclysmic changes, the like the capital has never seen before. (DISCO MATT)
In a year that has seen a pitiful amount of review publications, we attempt to end 2012 on a high, looking back at the capital’s circuit clubs & clubbing events that made a big impression not just on us, but packs of party people who pushed aside austerity in favour of fun, while we also chronicle the changes that have swept the scene, this the second in our special “What A Year” review series.
In a year of huge highs & horrendous, mainly health lows, 2012 saw a significant shift in both our personal & vocational lives, the personal part already covered in our first annual address review, while we also touched on some of the clubbing highs that made it an unforgettable year. Yet, the cornerstone and the one constant in our activity over the last few years, our reviews, not only dipped in 2012, but suffered a veritable nose dive, plummeting out of the scene sky & spotlight like a stone, just nineteen completed & published, clearly equating to less than two a month, this far from a truthful reflective record of the events we attended throughout the year. However, with more than a handful started but not finished, along with a plethora of picks posts published, will we attempt to patch together a picturing of the parties that made it big in 2012, like our annual address, splitting the seasons into four separate paragraphs, while eventually selecting our star sets from a select list of scene spinners, also landing on our top five club events of the year from a seasonal section rating, a chart that required alteration as late in the day as yesterday. So, sit back and hold on tight as we speed you through our January to December jamboree of jaunts, hot footing it through a veritable feast of frolics while sifting some select slices from those rare reviews of ours, finishing off with a mention for a myriad of movers, shakers, winners, losers, lost & found in a year that saw a catalogue of changes to the capitals clubbing circuit.
To our first season and to the first day of the year, one which served up a trio of treats the now traditional NYD Beyond taking centre stage, although waiting in the wonderful wings was WE “Safari” which not only surprised but stunned us with the best spectacle this Madrid made meet had showed off in London yet, edging out the former foray in terms of enthralling excellence, the third in the trio a packed out party that inevitably, in comparison with the other two, was always going to have a mountain to climb to reach their divine dizzy heights. So with a start like that, you would have thought we were armed with a spring in our winter step, but it would be February before we put our review boots on, a Saturday/Sunday session of CasaLatina’s “A Space Odyssey” event followed by a Beyond which we labelled as a “Shell Shocking Steve Stunner”, Mr Pitron playing his socks off to a packed out place, all three rooms full, this no special event but had all the tremendous trappings of the terrific “Tokyo” & the exceptional “Erotica” , so was a serious contender for our club event of the year, while it has piped WE to seasonal top spot, Beyond’s NYD event a close behind third. In terms of big come headline hitting happenings, Trade came out to play for Valentine’s on 11th February, while Later was in 9th birthday mode in March, those with a penchant for wig wearing had the “Masked Ball” to parade through, also in March, while Shoreditch splendour East Bloc continued on its rise & rise, although the magnificent MEAT found itself on the chopping block, effectively cut into two, Tom Stephan heading one way with DISH, while previous promotions partner, Kris Di Angelis, headed in another, waging WAR that was to prove a huge 2012 hit.
So, with Beyond’s February foray taking seasonal top spot, here is a conclusive slice from our review that shows you just why. “…Having played witness to some truly brilliant & breathtaking Beyond’s in our time, “Tokyo” &” Erotica” two standouts among a seas of scintillating others, what we experienced this morning was a shell shocking & stunning something else, Steve Pitron exceeding our expectations even more than we could have imagined or hoped for. And having completely absorbed ourselves in the rapturous rollercoaster ride we found ourselves on, those emotional eruptions bigger than ever before, it will be a morning that will remain in our memories for a long time to come…” we adding that “…while in the very capable promotional hands of Steven Sharp, there is no doubt that Beyond continues to ride that wave crest it has found itself on for so long. Plus, while it may have only reached a lowly fifth in a certain scene website’s annual club poll, in the hands of its all-star resident D.J.’s & other invincible ingredients, this brilliant brand showed us why is remains the best club in town, one deserved of a top slot in ANY scene award ceremony and certainly one that gets our vote every single time…” it clearly having risen to the top of our January to March tree the rest of the review at http://discomatt.com/web/?p=4403 showing you why..
To our next seasonal sector now and one that sported clubbing celebration with a real royal connection, this period encompassing the pomp & circumstance around the marriage of Will & Kate, as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. But all that was to come, as it was Easter that stood in the season spotlight first, Beyond going into “XLsior” mode, while London sported another WE party premiere, this time “Fluro” colourfully captivating the capital. Then, just like the colossal combo that it was, As One saw of clubbing & clubbers convergence that was nothing short of a roadblock, although it was to prove the last popular party for this once brilliant brand blend, while another Easter bunny bash that emerged and then disappeared was Discotec. So, while this second biggest weekend of the year lacked a little lustre, there was much anticipation for a diamond jubilee one full of dancing delights, the dynamic developer of the year, Deelooded, grabbing plenty of its own headlines, while we completely sat out the weekend due to ill health. But there was one place that we weren’t going to sit out, the pulsating PLAY>TIME party a prominent part of our prancing in this period, the magnificent meet on 11th May seeing our premier player & our premier protégé player sort the sounds, Steve’s stellar set for once, eclipsed by a Zach Burns performance that has seen him storm into our Y.E. top 5, this Friday frolic also making it to top spot this season, even if it was devoid of an real competition, save for Beyond, which tuned the seasonal tables on WE, beating the June “Fast Food” foray into third, hanging our second place hat this awesome afterhours achiever’s 13th May party, a fabulous frenzy that, purely from a fun-filled perspective, had to be right up there.
The real shocker of this 2012 reflection is that we recorded not one review between March & May, a period that was, without doubt, our toughest, so we thought we would step back to New Year’s Day and share a small slice from our super sized study of “Safari” our summary saying “…So, it pretty much goes without saying that we were immensely impressed with this latest WE event, “Safari” exceeding our expectations by a country mile, the visuals some of the best we have seen anytime & anywhere, while the stage dancers , effects & lighting added to the awesome atmosphere that was evident from start to finish…” along with “…what made it truly spectacular was being on that select stage spot, a privileged position where we could savour every single second of a simply scintillating Steve Pitron set & performance, our prolific pal playing to the extent of our emotions so effectively that we were continually left breathless in admiration…”, we concluding that “…“Safari” in our estimation shot higher into the sky than the largest African Savannah plain tree branches that soar above the reach of the tallest of giraffe’s, a prolific & pulsating party that has set the standard for future WE’s to come, raising the bar brilliantly…” the whole review a worthy read by going to http://discomatt.com/web/?p=4708/
Onwards to the summer season and one that started with our scene sabbatical announcement, although it would be relatively short lived given the immensity of incarnations that were to play their part in this period and drag us, sometimes kicking & screaming, to successive soiree’s in a purple patch August three weeks. However, that was after the Olympics in July, along with what ended up a debacle of a London Pride celebration, clubbing corporation, Orange Nation, rescuing what was an utterly unacceptable maze of mismanagement by the committee responsible for, not just the capital’s celebration, but of the whole “World Pride” proceedings that delivered nothing, rather leaving us and many more disgusted & disappointed. But out of the ashes of a piss poor Pride came another brilliant Beyond on that weekend Sunday and our first review in three months, creating a catalyst for more to follow, that purple patch August period scooping all three seasonal spots in our club event chart, Beyond on 12th sandwiched by two Lo-Profile parties, ClubNation sporting a six hour back-to-back set from Steve Pitron & Max Sanna on 19th, while it was PLAY>TIME that would savour the spoils of seasonal victory, this marvellous meet that fell on first Friday of the month, delivering another Y.E. set chart entrant, this time from Nathan Six who added, in phenomenal fashion, to an already pulsating Pitron performance. This terrific trio apart, there was much more to melt into, boutique clubbing brands WAR, Gigolo, Room Service & new turn Tramp, showing the bigger boys a clean pair of heels, while Lovebox was an a huge highlight for us, there inevitably being low points for some, SuperMartXe’s “Olympiade” event failing to sufficiently ignite its own torch, while former Friday leader of the party pack, Onyx, found itself on the ropes after a battered bruising at the hands of its Soho rival, something it would never recover from. But perhaps the most saddening slump was that of Salvation, its prolific promoter Steve Elliot having suddenly passed away in March, leaving a void that not even his best friend & fellow promoter, Oliver Mohns, could fill, the promise of renewed London fortunes for what had become an global giant in the hands of Mr Elliot, falling at the first hurdle.
To our seasonal select and a piece from our PLAY>TIME review “Pitron & Six Pack A Punch”, our concluding comments leaving us in no doubt that our decision was the right one, the compelling evidence as follows “...In PLAY>TIME the team behind Lo-Profile have certainly found a winner on a number of fronts, it having established itself as a Friday night market leader, even knocking the might of Onyx off its pedestal, promoter Jay Roberts having developed a brand that neatly balances socialising, dancing, music & men in the most marvellous way and like lots of long running clubs on the capitals circuit, it seems this magnificent weekly meet has lengthy legs in it for sure…” our case continuing “…such has been the success of PLAY>TIME here in London, that the club has extended its welcoming arms across Europe, Paris’s Spyce having entertained Jay & his team on a couple of occasions this year already, while with the might of worldwide organisation Gaydar behind it, a little birdie tells us that there are bigger & better plans ahead to achieve the clubs aspirations abroad…”, we couldn’t conclude with championing Steve Pitron & Nathan Six, both propelling us into “…musical seventh heaven, Mr Pitron’s picks particularly pulsating & mesmerising although, to be fair to Nathan, despite having a hard act to follow, more than held his own, in fact, served up a simply spectacular set to savour & show his senior…” the full review out at http://discomatt.com/web/?p=5758.
To the final four months of the year now, we having squeezed September into this 2012 swansong season, a period that from a personal point of view proved to be packed with phenomenal positives, as our annual address illustrates, while a whole host of enthralling events have fallen outside the remit of this review, Brighton Pride, Steve’s 40th birthday party & two colossal concerts, Florence & The Machine & Robbie Williams, four exceptional examples. Yet, from a capital circuit point of view, there was as much to celebrate, a brace of birthday’s in September, one for Onyx which turned three on the 14th, while scene starlet Munroe Bergdorf was just a tad older at Room Service the previous night, November seeing another birthday, this time for Orange who marked their fourteenth on 11th, we unashamedly making mention of ours on 20th December (not a club event but it had to be done). Birthday’s aside, it was all change in November, as Later headed in a “Nu Direction” prolific promoter Steven Sharp now in charge, while A:M went all “Ultra” on us, shifting from a Saturday to a Friday start & gobbling up the already ill fated Onyx. Beyond has its fair share of change during the season too, a new promoter in the form of Ben Kaye shaking up the residency team of D.J.’s, ruffling some feathers along the way, while early October was a patch we would rather forget, WE “Bitches On The Beach” our worst experience ever, although it was to be brilliantly counter-balanced by WE’s own birthday bash, “Formula 2”, which was nothing short of phenomenal, leaving us in no doubt that it rightfully deserves our season top spot, although a decision we did deliberate upon, given in enormity of two breathtaking Beyond events in December, the 9th & the 30th (that’s yesterday!) to be exact. So, you can see what’s coming, these two towering turns taking second & third slots, pushing a captivating ClubNation from 24th November out into the chart cold, while Steve Pitron’s clean sweep of sets was inevitable, although has left us with a delicate dilemma to deal with.
So, before we hit on the movers & shakers, winners & losers of the year, here select slices from the final two paragraphs from our WE “Formula 2” review, starting with “… having experienced virtually every single outing here in London since the launch back in 2010, we can say with confident qualification that this best by a long shot…” then “…we acknowledge that “Formula 2” had some way to go to top “Safari” as our favourite & most fabulous WE party in London, it did in leaps & bounds and in virtually every department…” followed with “…it is the D.J.’s who get the lion’s share of our plaudits, some sets we missed, while others we savoured…” adding “…a superb set from Carlos Gallardo, in any other company would have made it to that premier podium position, he once again proving to us why we hold him in such high regard compared to his Spanish compatriots…” eventually concluding that “…it was Steve Pitron who crossed the chequered flag first, a simply stunning set that left us emotionally enthralled throughout, his choice picks hitting every heavenly house music mark we could mention, highlight ones without doubt “Not Alone” & Beautiful Lie”, while we would go as far to say that, just like this wonderful latest WE event & like his specially devoted podcast, this was the most phenomenal Pitron performance we have witnessed, no more to say…” our super sized showcase a click away at http://discomatt.com/web/?p=6178.
Well that covers of four seasoned 2012 scene step outs & highlight happenings, but what of the ones we may have missed and what of the movers, the shakers, the winners, the losers, the lost & the found? Well, Matinee made a magnificent return with a plethora of parties, a couple of twelve hours spectacles & a Beyond combo that found it return to its first London home, Area, while the scene’s Spanish superstar was undoubtedly WE, both “Pharoah” & “Hi Japan” overlooked above, yet in combination with the rest of their party pack, made it one of the most prominent performers. We briefly mentioned Deeleoded, which was another season on season scene success and sure to be a Y.E. award winner, while As One joined the ranks of losers that included Toybox, Shine, Bearzone, SuperMartXe, Discotec, Detox, Onyx & Circus, the latter sliding off the clubbing calendar quite surprisingly, while many of the others also fall into the lost & found categories, outdoor eventing a real loser in 2012, Pride already covered but a sad Summer Rites not. However on the bright side, there was always Beyond, this awesome afterhours continuing to ride a 2012 wave crest as tall as the previous four seasons, although it did have its fair share of challenges to cope with, a temporary shift to Fire in March one dark patch in a twelve month period that has surely secured another set of awards & accolades. That said, the big winners were the boutique clubbing brands, Room Service, Gigolo, WAR, Gutterslut, Carpet Burn & SOS heading up a long list of others, as like the austerity measures committed by the collation, the capitals clubbing circuit clubbing numbers did see a decline in 2012, paving the way for these more compact & bijou bashes to boost. Yet when we look at our own clubbing chart toppers, it is the big come bigger guns that have dominated the year, while in set terms, the delicate dilemma we faced was answered with an simple & straight forward epiphany, let our heart rule over our head and go with our gut, our podium position places, clubbing wise seeing Beyond secure both third & second spots with WE “Formula 2” standing top tall, while in terms of sets, it’s a podium packed out by Steve Pitron, a better way to finish this second 2012 review we couldn’t think of, as it is this incredible individual that has influenced our clubbing cavorting more than any other. (DISCO MATT)
It was pretty tight with a variety of others to choose from, but here are the final five in both the club event & set chart categories
Club Events Chart Top 5
- WE “Formula 2” – 1st December
- Beyond “Music Is All You Need” – 30th December
- Beyond “Early Disco Doors” – 19th February
- WE “Safari” – 1st January
- PLAY>TIME – 3rd August
Club Sets Chart Top 5
- Steve Pitron – Beyond “Music Is All You Need” – 30th December
- Steve Pitron – Beyond “Early Disco Doors” – 19th February
- Steve Pitron – WE “Formula 2” – 1st December
- Nathan Six – PLAY>TIME – 3rd August
- Zach Burns – PLAY>TIME – 11th May
Sales shopping sorted, sporting activities accomplished and Christmas leftovers lapped up, there’s only one thing that should be on your roster radar this spiritual St Stephen’s sacrament, as A:M Ultra rolls out its “Boxing Day Blowout” tonight (Wed 26th Dec), a prolific party which wrestled our “Pick of the Day” choice from the Popcorn & Gigolo competition, all the event detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while we fill out our Festive Focus Extra beneath.
Having suffered our own knockout blow following a mugging on the way to Orange “The Christmas Day Institution” event at Fire last night, while our Boxing Day may be on the back burner, there is a place that will be making the most of this final bank holiday of 2012, Area in Vauxhall entertaining A:M Ultra, which holds its “Boxing Day Blowout” bash tonight (Wed 26th Dec), moving across Vauxhall from its historical Fire home to the amazing & atmospheric Area. And with A:M’s tip top promoter, Steven Sharp, and his team pulling out all the showcase stops, this brilliant bash has all the hallmarks of the most heavenly festive happening of the season, this blowout bash having beaten off the Popcorn & Gigolo completion to make it to our premier “Pick of The Day” position. So, it simply wouldn’t do just to post a picture, but rather wax lyrically and bestow a Festive Focus Extra on this enthralling event, we sharing the slices from our special Orange Nation Christmas week focus, which serves up all the detail of his dance delight.
So, without further ado, this is what we had to say of A:M Ultra’s “Boxing Day Blowout”, our original devotion slightly edited to fit this Pick Of The Day & Festive Focus Extra, post, we kicking off by looking at the transformation of A:M, as well as sharing promoter Steven Sharp’s view on Boxing Day clubbing…..
“….Tonight (Wed 26th Dec) an afterhours institution that has gone through a significant transformation during 2012, holds its “Boxing Day Blowout”, A:M Ultra flying the Orange Nation flag, given that it’s a Wednesday and Onyx, which would normally occupy this slot, has all but disappeared from the capitals clubbing circuit, in a way a victim of its own success, like a tormented city trader having burnt itself out after a hectic three seasons at the top of the Friday tree. However, while to the naked eye, Onyx is no more, with an inside track along with informed information, Onyx has actually been absorbed by A:M, which under the superb steership of none other than prolific promoter Steven Sharp, has gone all “Ultra” on us, shifting & extending is previous afterhours status into the realms of nightime clubbing too, this traditional Saturday morning meet becoming a Friday frolic as well. And given the souped up size & substantial standing with the Orange Nation weekly clubbing/event schedule, it seems wholly appropriate that A:M “Ultra” has been granted this much prized Boxing Day slot, Mr Sharp pleased as punch that he has landed this cracking Christmas schedule stocking filler for his club, he remarking to us that “…Boxing Day has always been a traditional favourite party night to celebrate with friends and an excellent opportunity to dance and burn off any inches from Christmas Day excess!…” especially for those that didn’t make it to Orange last night…”
Then, we honed in on the detail of this “Boxing Day Blowout” bash, propelling the party PR, the D.J. & host line-up and then pointing you to the all important ticket & event info…..
“…As for the event, the first big “Blowout” piece of news is that A:M “Ultra” once again switches from his native home Fire, moving across to splendid sister (and in our opinion the much better suited) Area, Steven also revealing that the venue “…will be transformed into a snow setting, with all new decor, new visuals & loads of pyrotechnics to make the party GO BANG!…” we concurring that there is no better place than Area with its superior lighting, layout & atmosphere to push these plans to prolific prominence. And Steven is pulling out all the team stops, hostess with the mostest HRH Minty, with her little elf helpers Danny Boyce & Louise Port all on duty & handing out mince pies and Xmas sweets, while the D.J. line up oozes A:M from its main room pores, the star studded line up including Jamie Head, Gonzalo Rivas, D’Johnny and newish resident players Matt Bogard & Ania, all playing “…playing the contemporary supercharged house…”, the sounds extending to a second space where Onyx takes pop music charge in the heavenly hands of Tasty Tim & DMS. So, with a line up like that, this is sure to be the billed “Boxing Day Blowout With A Bang”, Area’s doors opening this coming Wednesday (26th Dec) at 10 p.m. and the vent running through to a planned 8 a.m. finish, advance tickets available online at https://orangenation.ticketabc.com/events/m-3-2-2-2-2-2/ priced at an early bird (still available) £10 or the standard £12, while with an ad/flyer it’s that same standard price on the door till midnight or £15 without & after, this surely an Xmas disco diary must, especially if (unlike us) you have Thursday off…”
Well, what more can we add, apart from sharing event page with you, a click on http://facebook.com/events/448638455184127/, while we leave some of the last words to Steven when he say’s “…so why not dance off those Christmas Day excesses with the team at we transform Boxing Day Night clubbing and take it to a new level and remember this special event is at Area not Fire and the doors open at 10pm…” he rounding off by saying “…see you on the Boxing Day dancefloor…”. And as this brilliant blowout bash gets our full thumbs up, we reap a recommendation reckon that you should “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
For over nine years it’s been storming Saturday mornings, pushing the mid to late A.M. boundaries, but the club of the same name is about to embark of the biggest change its history, shifting into Friday as well as Saturday, A:M going all “Ultra” on us from tonight (Fri 2nd Nov), meaning it not only makes our “Pick Of The Day” but gives us reason to “Focus Extra” on the event, all the detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while we cast our own eye on this dynamic development beneath
When we look across the diverse & dynamic gay scene’s across the near continent, there are a few brands that tend to stick out, many that have been pushing the boundaries for well over ten years, there’s La Demence in Brussels, celebrating 23 years in business this weekend, , Muccassassina in Rome equally as established, finding itself into its 23rd season, while the resplendent Red & Blue in Antwerp is not that far behind, cracking open the champagne on 1st December, marking its 14th anniversary, although what all these have in common is that they are the single most outstanding brands in their respective cities.. However, here in the capital, the prolific clubbing picture is somewhat more significant, as we have a whole host of brands that have notched up that double figure in business landmark, just last weekend seeing Trade celebrate its 22nd birthday, while Orange is, in just two weeks, marking its 14th, Beyond already deep into its 11th year storming the scene, all three not only iconic come legendary here in London, but are brilliant brands both known & active right around the globe. But there is a fourth, one that sits very much in the afterhours bracket like all the other three, yet just three months ahead of its 11th birthday, this club is about to embark the most dynamic & dramatic development in his history.
So which brilliant capital clubbing brand are we talking about?, well A:M of course, the club that has, singlehandedly been responsible for changing the Saturday mornings of masses of clubbers in the 10 years it has been pushing the boundaries of normality, as while the majority of men & women in the land consider heading out for the Saturday morning shop, A:M devotees week in week out trade the supermarket aisles for the dancefloor, partying deep into the sixth day of the week to the banging beats of a bevy of A:M resident stars. And during its 10 year history, we too have been found within the captivating confines of Fire on a Saturday morning, our most recent trip taking in the special guest splendours of Lottie, while many a moon ago, we would fall into A:M from our West London base with weekly regularity, that afterhours feel that we have adored since the days of Trade & then Beyond being replicated in its own wonderful way by the amazing A:M. Yet all this is set to change (or is it?) as the brand prepares itself to shift from just being a Saturday morning event to a full blown 10/12 hour happening each & every week, A:M embracing both Friday & Saturday in what the team ate calling an “Ultra” make-over come look and in doing so, introducing some exciting additions to the A:M package.
Now, before we make our own analysis & judgement on the changes afoot with A:M, perhaps its best to share what the promotions team have to say about this dramatic development in the A:M branding, they beginning by saying “…new beginnings are always something to celebrate, and with clubbing pedigree like ‘A:M’ it means something very exciting indeed…” the first exciting change being the incorporation of another brand into the A:M fold, the Friday night award winning club Onyx captured under this new “Ultra” umbrella, the team saying of this addition and how this new clubbing combination will look, “…bringing in a hot new line up and harnessing the strength of another Friday institution ‘Onyx’, A:M Ultra will revolutionise the start of the weekend with a super-size, super-production event from Friday night into the not-so-early hours of Saturday morning…”. But hold it right there, as did we read this right, A:M will, in its new “Ultra” form be a “not-so-early hours of Saturday morning” club?!?! And what does this mean for this much beloved Saturday morning mash-up?, well we will tackle that shortly, while back to the team talk, as they let us in on some of the new D.J. stars of this clubbing combo, “…our headline resident is none other than superstar producer Pagano, joined by D.J.’s including Severino, Paul Heron, Ariel, Matt Bogard & D’Johnny, delivering turbocharged house to Fire’s main floor. In room two it’s an Onyx takeover with the all star D.J.’s pumping out dirty pop anthems including Lady Lloyd, Adam Turner, DMS & Tasty Tim…” while there is more as “…Raul Gonzalez returns to the A:M fold bringing his stunning dance troupe and injecting some Spanish glamour to the weekend, alongside the freshest hosts and special performers…” while the team are launching a “…hot new VIP space the Skylounge, hosted by JJ Clark, offering a place to sip Champagne and oversee the dancefloor of Fire’s rocking main room…” as well as promising “…regular pop up clubs, incredible drinks deals, massive smoking area, hot new décor and loads more…”.
So exciting times for A:M for sure and in the hands of a man who we easily describe as THE most capable & competent club promoters on the capitals circuit, Steven Sharp, A:M in this new “Ultra” format is sure to go from strength to strength. Indeed, since taking over the brand just under a year ago, Steven has made subtle changes to A:m that has seen it rekindle the purple patch years of its earlier times, the club very much about the music, he having brought some superb special guests, Paul Harris, Smokin Jo & (of course) Lottie just three examples, while with residents such as Jamie Head, Paul Heron, David Jimenez & D’Johnny, the music is on the tougher side of house but clearly continues to hit the mark with A:M’ers far & wide. Therefore this marvellous music policy can only get even better with the introduction of stars such as Pagano & Severino, while with a totally different poptastic feel in the newly formed Onyx second space, there should genuinely be something for everyone, whether Friday frolick’ers or Saturday shimmy’ers. That said, we have to note a caution concern as, for us, A:M was always about that decadent feel of clubbing deep into Saturday morning, pushing those normality boundaries & having a resultant feel of fabulous naughtiness, while in this new format and being a “…not-so-early hours…” club, we fear that that is a real danger that A:M will lose that exciting edge and rather become a mainstream & conformist club, although flipping the analytic coin, we have to concede that in these times of austerity, the team have reacted by not quite landing the downward spiralling Onyx on its sword, but giving it a new lease of life by combining it with a brand that has been on the up & up & bucking the trend of the former.
With our analysis not yet complete, lets pause to run through the detail of this A;M “Ultra” which takes place tonight (Fri 2nd Nov) at Fire in Vauxhall, doors opening at 11 p.m. and the club running through to the advertised “Superlate” timing which we hope means the usual 11 a.m. finish but suspect sadly that it may be a little earlier. While we are told advance tickets are available via the new Orange Nation website at http://orangenation.co.uk, entry on the door is still the best way to go with A:m, especially when you pick up a flyer or ad as the team are offering free (yes FREE!) entry before midnight, while the same flyer or ad will get you discounted £6 entry before 3a.m., otherwise it £10/£12 during these times. Plus, with the A:M promotions team out in force across Soho & Vauxhall, we reckon that some special entry offers will be up for grabs, especially if the terrific Tom Fuller is masterminding the flyer team (as we are reliably informed he is tonight), while those drinks offers mentioned earlier mean it’s never an expensive affair for your A:M trip, the added bonus of hosts Hrh Minty, Danny Boyce Louise Port & JJ Clark mean you will be in heavenly & charming clubbing hands from start to finish, more info available by visiting the Orange Nation website, by hitting promoter Steve Sharp’s page at http://facebook.com/steven.r.sharp.1 or by checking out the event page at http://facebook.com/events/296615937120263/. As for that analysis of ours, well while there is definitely loads of positives to draw on, the combo of Onyx into A:M one, the introduction of new resident D.J.’s as a result another, the potentially extended hours of the A:M ethos an exciting prospect, given that this new “Ultra” format has been labelled as a “Friday revolution”, we fear the emphasis will be taken away from Saturday meaning that A:M is we have known & loved it will be no more, meaning the DM jury is out on this new format although the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, meaning, despite this reservation, the new look A:M receives our rapturous recommendation meaning we can simply say that to eat that prolific “Ultra” pudding you need to “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
Having found new legs in a new home, Friday night frolic Onyx is very much mixing it up this week as it plays host to Manchester based club Toolbox, the tougher beats of this brand contrasting to the uplifting & poptastic picks of its London host, we preluding the changes to Onyx & what to expect from Toolbox, while we also propel the promoters P.R.
2012 has been a tough year in many respects both in our own lives & those of clubs & promoters across the capitals circuit, countless casualties of the period of austerity we find ourselves within either feeling the pinch or faltering more dramatically, some disappearing off the clubbing calendar completely, while other s have had to cut their cloth to fit the fall in followers, not one brand we can think of, yes even Beyond, have steered clear of the scene storm we are all riding right now. Indeed Onyx has had its fair share of this faltering, diminishing numbers & the advance of a Soho Friday frolic leaving it with no choice by to downsize & change in order to once again thrive as well as survive. And just about a month into these changes, Onyx having switched venues from Area in Vauxhall to its smaller sister Covert, virtually next door, has proved an easier pill to swallow, this so called “New Era” in the club bearing fruit pretty much from the off, the promotions team pride also swallowed when they welcomed back the boy that started it all 3 years ago, Steven Geller, while calendar commitments aimed at giving Onyx a different & dynamic dimension are certainly keeping the offer fresh & exciting, even if some may not necessarily fit with the clubs core music policy.
The introduction of new D.J.’s has been another marvellous move, while this weekend, tonight in fact, sees Onyx play host to Manchester based club Toolbox, the brand ethos of this northern night seemingly poles apart from its London for one night only compatriot, the tough tech musical sound of Toolbox very much contrasting with the uplifting & poptastic picks of Onyx. So, as these two clubs collide, what can you expect from the event, Onyx “Toolbox 9th Birthday Tour” which kicks off from 11 p.m. at Covert tonight (Fri 5th Oct)? Well, this is what the team have to say about the changes to Onyx itself. “…Now a full month into the new fantastic run of events at hot new nightspot Covert, Onyx goes from strength to strength with a new team in place, new DJs and lots more additions to the ever-popular party…” and of this Toolbox birthday bash “…The Onyx crew is proud to be welcoming DJ and producer Nik Denton to the decks as part of the Toolbox House 9th Birthday tour – taking over the best clubs around the UK to celebrate 9 years of pumping house releases including the legendary TRADE compilations. This event will also be the official launch party for ‘In the Rain’; the Gaydar Radio playlisted future anthem from new production team Chris Marsh & Jonny M featuring Krysten Cummings…” the Onyx element reserved for Room 2, the team confirming that “…In the back room Onyx all stars Tasty Tim & Lady Lloyd are joined once again by scene superstar Munroe Bergdorf…”
So this latest Onyx outing is certainly serving up an exciting & different theme & feel and so should not only attract its fervent followers, but plenty more besides, especially those that have a penchant for the touch tech Trade style sound. As for the detail, well to recap a little, this Onyx “Toolbox 9th Birthday Tour” takes place tonight (Fri 5th Oct) at Covert in Vauxhall, doors opening from 11 p.m. & the club running through to a planned 5 a.m. finish. While advance tickets are on sales via http://orangenation.co.uk, admission on the door is actually on the the bufget best ways to do it, as if you grab an Onyx flyer or ad (of the Toolbox variety of course) then if you rock up before midnight you’ll get in for free, while a trip to http://gayguestlists.com/onyx will serve the same purpose. Otherwise entry is £6 with flyer or £8 without, while once inside you can take advantage of a handful of drinks deals that cover shots, shorts & bottles, this along with feasting your eyes on the new Onyx venue too (one we still have to do). And making sure your night goes swimmingly, hosts Chrissy Darling & Tom Knight will be both on the door to greet you & in the club to cavort with you, the saucy & sexy Sandro in charge of the stage shows & gogo’s, which simply leaves us to say, this should be the hot place to be & be seen on the scene this Friday, so make sure you “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
Shooting from the hip, we are back shouting from the roof tops, mini size selections of a host of clubs & events to take in across Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch this weekend, the briefest of detail with links to websites making this a nifty newsletter, our shouts syncing superbly below
Having gotten back into the recommendations mode & mood after an altogether atrociously lengthy break, we are raring to go in short shouting for a spree of shindigs across Soho Vauxhall & Shoreditch that have caught our eye this weekend, brevity the name & links to websites & event pages the game, the aim to give you a wider choice of places to lay your clubbing hat to those topping our Best Bites tree, it’s as simple as that.
So to Soho & our first short shout, Saturday (6th Oct) seeing ClubNation roll out another exceptional event at L-Profile with Mikey D & Paul Coals on the decks, doors to this Wardour St wonder opening at 10 p.m. & the club running through till 4 a.m., further details on this outing available at http://facebook.com/pages/Lo-Profile/163759593639440, info on the venue out at http://loprofile.com.
Next Soho shout goes to the Shadow Lounge who roll out another “Therapy” session tomorrow night (Fri 6th Oct) and Paul Heron & MisWhite on the decks, while the ever popular Andre Elmore spins upfront & uplifting house ala “Inferno” style on Saturday, not forgetting “Baleric on Thursday’s weekly, more info on all three out at http://theshadowlounge.co.uk or via their Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/theshadowlounge/
To the Edge now and another fun filled Friday beckoning with the dynamic duo of Andrew Elmore & D.J. Alabastor, while the added draw of vocals from Tonnic is a tasty treat for sure, Saturday seeing another tasty treat in the form of Zach Burns on the decks, hat “Come Play With Me” poster too provocative for words, but it works!! And with plenty more on offer plus late licensing, go check out their group at http://facebook.com/groups/edgebarsoho/ for more info.
Then, just a hop & skip around the corner is the compact & bijou yet superbly stylish Circa, tomorrow night seeing the marvellous Munroe Bergdorf both host & D.J. for the night they call “Discipline”, while another of our protégé players (Zach Burns is one) Adam Turner, spins the superb sounds on Saturday (6th Oct), Sunday seeing “Studio Dusty” of the Miss O variety take hold, all three nights offering free entry & running till 1 a.m. more detail on this brilliant bar out at http://circasoho.com.
So to our fabulous fifth & it goes this week to Rupert St, even though we are shocked by the news that while we have been off air, manager Cathy has moved (or was she pushed!!) onto pastures new, replacement Karl Nixon supposedly ringing the changes although with Alessandro on the decks both Friday (5th) & Sunday (7th) & Brent Nicholls the music meat in the sound sandwich on Saturday, this once packed out place looking to bounce back, more info out at http://facebook.com/groups/130804876996933/.
To Vauxhall now and we hone in on The Orange Group first, splitting four events out from each other, the first being Onyx, which plays proud host to the “Toolbox House 9th Birthday Tour” tomorrow night (Fri 5th Oct), welcoming special guest D.J. Nik Denton to the Covert main room decks, alongside Jonny M & Matt Bogard, while room two sees Munroe Bergdorf, Lady Lloyd & tasty Tim go to play, more info including opening times, entrance fees & drinks offers out via http://facebook.com/onyxlondon.
Following neatly on is A:M, which celebrated its anniversary last weekend, but keeps the house music heavenly heat turned to full on Saturday morning (6th Oct) from 3 a.m., with special guest D.J. Paul Harris, while a star cast extends to residents Fat Tony, Guy Williams, D’Johnny, Paul Heron & Fat Tony, along with a b2b set from Alan K & Paulo Moreno, the usual Fire venue hosting giving away to a joint protocol & Lightbox effort, more info in Mr Harris & the whole event out at http://www.facebook.com/events/428454637202317/
Jumping to Sunday and the later which, now under the capable & safe hands steership of Steven React Sharp is heading in a “Nu Direction”, this his second week at the helm & one that has a birthday feel to it, special guest D.J. Marco gee’s partner celebrating, while after Marco, Jamie Head & then The Oli spin the sounds, this sure to be a packed out affair as post WE party heads will bounce on from Beyond not wishing to stop, this daytime disco delight sure to go from strength to strength now Steven is in charge, more info on this particular outing up at http://facebook.com/events/428454637202317/ .
Then to number four in the Orange stable & to Orange itself, the Monday morning madcap melay that actually starts on Sunday night but takes you deep into the start of the working week, this week being quite special as RAW is back, albeit that original resident Gonzalo Rivas is not, while co-originator David Jimenez is, he taking charge on RAW on its 6th anniversary this Sunday/Monday (7th/8th Oct), while main room men include The Sharp Boys, Fat Tony & The Oli, more detail available by scouting the ON Facebook group page at http://facebook.com/groups/2412805063/ which also links into David’s special devoted RAW podcast.
Elsewhere in Vauxhall there is much happening, not least as Popstarz re-locates to south of the river & Hidden, the legacy left behind by the much missed Simon Hobart continuing in style, the extra space this venue offers, allowing the promoter & his team to deliver the biggest R&B room in Popstarz history, resident D.J.’s Tommy Turntables, Dennis The Menace & Lady Lloyd among those at this launch tomorrow night (Fri 5th Oct) more info up at http://popstarz.org.
Our significant & final sixth south of the river goes to Horse Meat Disco, the Sunday night meet that continues to pull in a considerable crowd week in week out, the relaxed atmosphere of host venue The Eagle contributing to that factor, while promoters James Hillard & Jim Stanton also re cognise the maxim that, “…if it isn’t broke don’t fix it…”, the winning formula hardly changed, that going for the resplendent return on Severino to the HMD decks this weekend (Sun 7th Oct), further detail out at http://facebook.com/groups/horsemeatdisco &/or http://eaglelondon.com.
Moving across town to Shoreditch and while having best bitten on the venue, we can’t but give a shout for East Bloc, this time for their Friday frolic, Super Electro Party Machine, promoter & D.J. Larry Tee welcoming three special guests to the decks, such has become the popularity of this prolific party, he joined by Jim Warboy, NYC’s Velissa Yeo & our own protégé player, Adam Turner in what looks like a corker & one we would be at tomorrow night (Fri 5th Oct) for sure if we hadn’t committed to PLAY>TIME, while you may not have that conundrum, more detail up at http://facebook.com/groups/255553057341/.
Then we move just up the road to Dalston & The DSS (Dalston Superstore) which entertains Borja Pena & his B(e)ast crew this Saturday (6th Oct), the Tel Aviv gay party PAG going head to head with the former, no doubt attracting sexy swarms of Israeli men, while the feast of D.J. talent both upstairs & downstairs will be just as much of a draw, Borja naturally flying the B(e)ast flag, he joined by Simon Rigg, founder of Phonica records upstairs, while downstairs, Avihai Partok is the PAG influence, he joined by Berliner come London based D.J. Tom Peters, more info out at http://facebook.com/events/431805860188409/.
Final in our foray East threesome goes to The Joiners Arms which has found a real niche for itself on a Sunday, not only drawing in the Hoxton locals, but with D.J.’s like Paul Heron, Alessandro Londra & Kris Di Angelis having graced the SPRQ (that’s the club night name) decks, this Sunday night shindig is drawing in a much wider audience & is very much becoming the place to be & be seen, particularly if you are after some old that old time decadence & debauchery that was so common place on the scene in times gone by. And amidst the spit & sawdust style of The Joiners (we are told it has had a lick of paint recently though) this Sunday (7th Oct) the extrovert Julian De Apostate spins the sounds, locale details & more available at http://facebook.com/joiners.arms.9.
Right , that’s just about it from us for this edition of Short Shouts save for a reminder that if you fancy your club or event being given a mention, then drop us a line at email@example.com or failing that then plaster either our Facebook group wall at http://facebook.com/groups/discomatt/ or our page at http://facebook.com/pages/Disco-Matt/112730602119746, while, failing a mention here, we will be happy to include you the the promotional banners on our website, so artwork can be forwarded to our e-mail address as above.
So, all that’s left is to wish you all a very happy weekend of clubbing, or whatever else you have planned, while as for us it looks like Lo-Prfile on Friday, WE Party on Saturday & possibly Later on Sunday, so if you see us out please come up & say hi, you may even get a nibble size tweet mention at http://twitter.com/discomatt, although if not simply remember that to be & be seen on the scene you need to “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
We can’t quite believe its three years since Onyx emerged on the capitals clubbing circuit, having pretty much taken the scene by storm from day one, it riding the rollercoaster of unbelievable up’s & dinky doses of downs that has been the last thirty six months, tonight (Fri 14th Sept) seeing this captivating club uncork the celebratory champagne, we landing our “Pick Of The Day” choice at Onyx’s doors, all the event detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while we reflect the clubs past, present & future beneath.
Has it really been just three years since Onyx opened its doors? Well, if the event PR is anything to go by then yes it has, although if we are honest it seems that this colourful & captivating club has been around for much longer, perhaps as it is now very much part of the capital’s circuit Friday furniture, it having captured the clubbing public’s imagination pretty much from the off, in its first year alone scooping a cupboard full of awards from the scene’s top brass press publications & websites. Yet under the veneer of this shiny spectacle Onyx has also had its fair share of upheavals, the club having changed promotional hands no less than three times, its original helm head falling from grace in a pretty dramatic fashion, his replacement soaring skyward in the eyes of the scene, while Onyx’s third pair of hands has had to cope with the club’s most turbulent period yet, its crowing popularity having been wrestled away by a Soho bit hitter in the form of the very popular Play>Time.
That said, along with its Orange Nation stable of running mates, brands such as Beyond, A:M, Gravity, Later & (of course) Orange, Onyx is now very much an indelible part of weekly clubbing life, surely its most notable achievement to date being the transformation of Friday frolicking and setting the standard that many others have followed. Onyx has also attracted is fair share of the cream of the gay D.J/Producer scene, figures including our Italian Stallion Pagano, super Swede Per Q.X., Gaydar Radio’s Club Nation host Phil Marriott, shining stars Jamie Hammond, Jc Christopher & Lee Harris, all gracing historic home Area’s main room decks. But moreover, the brilliant blend of upfront house into pop & commercial through tech & tribal across three spaces has been the clubs most formidable force to be reckoned with, scene icons Tasty Tim & Miss Dusty O spearheading that pop cultural revolution in Onyx’s second space, while an assortment of others including Lisa German, Ariel, Paul Christian & David Jimenez have turned the terrace room tech-tastic in Onyx’s three year time.
Then there have been the new kids on the Onyx & D.J. scene block, names such as Adam Turner & Matt Bogard, who have kept the offer fresh, while each promotional hand has played his & her part in creating a Friday phenomenon which, at its height, has knocked very hard on the door of Beyond as the biggest & best weekly around. So who have been those promotional hands? Well for much of Onyx’s history it has been Jonny marsh steering the ship, while more recently his Brighton bred sidekick Verity Mayes has held the helm, she having taken over at a pivotal moment in Onyx’s relatively short history and sees its moving from that historical home Area to the newer more compact club next door, Covert. Yet while this is a pretty substantial shift for the club, in some ways Onyx has come full circle as it marks its third birthday, as original promoter Steve Geller is very much back in the picture, heading up the main room D.J. line-up for this special celebration while we have a sneaking suspicion that he will also be re-arresting the promotional reigns back as the club sets sail into its fourth year, Mr Geller surely the one to return Onyx to the top of the Friday clubbing pile.
With that bite size reflection on the past present & future of Onyx done & dusted, let’s fill you in on a little detail of tonight’s third birthday bash which, if you have been paying attention, takes place at new home Covert, the club having waved a fond farewell to Area with its “Last Dance” affair one week ago. So, with a determined step into the future, Onyx rings in the new from 10 p.m. tonight, advance tickets priced at just £6 available online via direct link http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-09/14/onyx-the-third-birthday, while joint entry to A:M is just a further £6 via the same link, entry on the door a similar price while by going to http://gayguestlists.com/onyx, you can get yourselves discounted entry, a flyer also a discount option, entry before midnight having already been advertised as free (you know what to do). And in terms on the music, the Onyx team welcome special guest D.J. DMS to the new second space at Covert, alongside Tasty Tim & Lady Lloyd, while Steven Geller spins a special headline guest slot set in the main room, ability abetted by Jonny M & Matt Bogard. Plus, the go-go boys are back too and we suspect (although not in the PR) the tallest & most welcoming hostess in the land, Chrissy Darling, will be taking centre stage as usual, more info, should you need it, out via http://facebook.com/onyxlondon.
So, suffice to say, its looks like Onyx will be rocking & rolling tonight at Covert and is definitely a brilliant place to be & be seen on the scene on Friday, we hoping to make our inaugural visit to this Vauxhall venue & celebrate with Steven, Chrissy, Jonny & The Onyx crew, not forgetting the one & only Tom Fuller, so if you see us come say hi, but if not then keep your eyes peeled at http://twitter.com/discomatt for our live nibble size review tweets. (DISCO MATT)
From A.M. to WE, Boylesque to Beyond, Onyx to Orange, plus Gravity, Later & newbie Infamous too, there is no doubt that Orange Nation is a superb Vauxhall & Southwark clubbing torre de force this “World Pride” weekend, also holding sway in Soho with an exclusive outdoor event, Disco Matt dishing up the detail of a superb sequence of showings courtesy of this capital clubbing conglomerate.
As we sit on the scene sidelines swinging in & out of our summer sabbatical, we are quite horrified by the sound bites we are seeing over what is clearly a shocking shambles of a so called World Pride event, the latest statement from Pride London which includes this “…our sincerest apologies, Pride London deeply regrets the situation we have found ourselves in …” issued following a wave of criticism of their handling of World Pride, clear evidence that not only will this year’s London Pride festival be nothing short of a flop, but when the capital sees itself in the global spotlight, it is a damning disgrace that the both committee presiding over Pride in London & the powers that be holding the purse strings, have failed the community at such a late stage. However, with no such committee & commitment problems, it comes as a huge sigh of relief that from the ashes of cancelled dance stages & arenas comes the saviour that will be Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch in the hands of Orange Nation, who have no less than eight clubbing parties across the latter two districts & one huge pre-party come party planned for Soho.
So putting World Pride to one side, let’s take you through the whole Orange Nation offer, including that planned Soho party, first up being Gravity this Friday morning (6th Jul) which (quite tongue in cheek to Pride London) has been called “It’s Definitely Happening”, although we do wonder how long looking into the morning mirror that title took, although in all fairness the team do say, “…it’s Pride weekend, so start as you mean to go on…”, Gravity certainly the place to do that, especially if you want your weekend to start early on Friday morning, doors opening to this event at 2 a.m. & the club running to a “v late” timing. And with D.J.’s on duty including Fat Tony & Verity Mayes, plus with host JJ Clark zooming across from Room Service, no doubt with plenty of followers in his tracks, while Gravity’s promoter Danny Boyce will be sure to give you the warmest of welcomes, this is the best place to be at the start of your weekend, especially if its starts on Friday. Plus, with entry on offer at just £5 before 3 a.m. with a flyer or pass, these being handed out by a bevy of boys around Soho on Thursday night, as well as being available from JJ at Room Service, while its £8 thereafter or £10 on the door, more info available at http://facebook.com/gravitythursdays.
Into Friday we find ourselves and usually it would be Onyx at Area neatly followed by A:M at Fire, although as has been the trend in recent months, when it comes to the big weekends (& this is one such weekend), the clubs combine to make one huge happening stretching close on twelve hours, an equally towering team of D.J.’s flying the respective club flags. So, kicking off at 11 p.m. & Fire playing host, this “Pride Warm Up” party sees the two club D.J. camps collide, in the Onyx corner we finding Matt Bogard & Jonny M playing upfront & energetic house with plenty of vocal intentions in the main room, while is pop & dance anthems from gender benders Tasty Tim & Lady Lloyd in the lounge, while packing a powerful punch in the A:M corner are all star residents Fat Tony D’Johnny, Jamie Head, Alan K, Paulo Moreno & David Jimenez, very much cementing the character of this amazing afterhours club which promoter Steven Sharp is always clear to stress, “…it’s all about the music…”. Mind you, with the amount of hosts on duty you may be forgiven for thinking otherwise, Nick Adams Byam ability assisting the delightful Chrissy Darling (could he be a pretty young thing?!?!) while A:M wise, it’s the dynamic duo of Danny Boyce & Minty, Chrissy presiding over the door duty early on, while Minty takes over later. And talking of the door, entry packages are pretty reasonable, as a wee trip to http://gayguestlists.com/onyx could get you in gratis, while for others & those with a flyer it’s a mere £6 before 3 a.m., rising to £8 before 5 a.m. & then £10 thereafter, while if you don’t want to go foraging for a flyer, then you can rather click on http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/06/onyx-vs-a-m-fire-pride-warm-up for that £8 price tag while entry on the door is £12 after 3 a.m.
So onward to Saturday and with both the parade & the “official” World Pride after events covered in confusion, Soho will no doubt be playing host to the lion’s share of the action, Orange Nation in the thick of the action, or should we say in the middle of it, having secured Comptons who will be playing host to the WE “Players” pre-party. Now, naturally we have been digging for details and with plans to have an outside stage very much in the balance, we can nevertheless confirm that, as of going to press, this pre-party will happen, whether inside or out, D.J.’s on duty confirmed as Paul Heron, Matt Bogard & Fat Tony, while if the green light for an outside stage goes ahead, then the whole Orange Nation residency team will be rolled out in back-to-back form, so Steve Pitron & Jamie Head, Alan K & Paulo Moreno, Jonny M & The Oli, D’Johnny & David Jimenez and Verity Mayes & Bryony Masters. However, with Westminster council crying wolf on issues of policing, safety & funding, as well as having supposedly issued a licensing edict to all venues, the final decision on this outside stage will not be made until after a major meeting which takes place tomorrow, so watch this space for a “hot off the press” newsflash as the decision hits our desk. Mind you, whichever way it goes, Comptons is always the biggest & best Pride melting pot & with Orange nation plus WE Party involved, it will be even more so.
Now talking of WE, if time allows, we will be delivering a full on focus & devotion to what will undoubtedly be the biggest party of the whole Pride weekend, The Coronet in Elephant & Castle once again playing host this Saturday (7th July), while the D.J. line-up is mighty & impressive as the place, WE’s very own resident roving D.J. Carlos Gallardo back to London by popular demand & sure to thrill with tons of towering tunes neatly balanced between those benchmark euro-beats & uplifting vocal injections, while it will be an all out progressive assault from our Italian stallion, Pagano, the tones turning tech when Paul Heron & D’Johnny take to the decks. But with Room Service’s Kris Di Angelis & Matt Bogard going back-to-back in the second space, there will certainly be an alternative electro twisted trip to be made, Munroe Bergdorf playing host upstairs, while the main arena will be in the very capable hands both Ben Kaye & JJ Clark. So, let’s rattle through the rest of the detail which goes like this, doors opening at 10 p.m. & the club running through till 6.am., advance tickets available online via http://wepartylondon.com &/or http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/07/we-party-london-we-players-pride-party, at the standard £18 price tag (yes those £10 &£15 super advance ones went really quickly), while outlets Prowler, Clone Zone, 50 & Solarstation are your Soho sources, along with Comptons & Ku-Bar, entry we believe available on the door, but expect to pay more.
But for those that may be WE’d out or are in search of something a little more intimate compared to the full on theatre size experience, the Orange Nation team have come up trumps with “Boylesque”, in what has been labelled as “…the alternative pride party…” although is likely to have massive mainstream appeal, not least that international gay icon, pop star, D.J. & altogether good egg, superstar Boy George is at the centre of, not only the title of this club night, but the entertainment too. And having announced that he will be performing live for the first time in over two years, while we have been sworn to secrecy, the is one stunningly spectacular surprise up his sleeve, meaning that you will be far from disappointed if you trade your W & E for a B & G. But more than that, we are told that artists flown in especially for this event (we really cannot say, sorry) performing both D.J. sets & songs (itching to tell!!), okay just two then, Jeremy Healy & Jon Pleased, but all we will say is that it’s not to be missed. So what more can we say, well apart from George & co?, well, the “alternative” burlesque (see what they did with the title?!) theme will be extenuated by a score of sexy boys & girls on stage, while the second space will be a “Fire” room showcasing some of the clubs finest D.J.’s (naturally those not on duty elsewhere!), Fat Tony (B G’s best buddy), Jamie Head & Verity Mayes on decks duty, while the third room will be given away to Walt Utz & Madame Jojo’s who will present a show spectacle with a line up of London’s most notorious stars from the cabaret circuit. Now we really cannot say anymore (stop it!!!) apart from dipping through the detail, “Boylesque” kicking off at Fire from 11 p.m. this Saturday (7th July) & running through to a planned 6 a.m. finish, advance tickets priced at just £10 (absolute bargain!) still available at http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/07/boylesque-boy-george-s-alternative-pride-party, while you can check-in at the usual Soho outlets for handpicked passes.
Onwards we go and to Beyond and like WE, if time permits we will be devoting a special feature to it as this looks like being every bit the roadblock events that is always is come big weekends, and some we say, not least when you consider that the team have “…pulled out all the stops to bring one of the world’s best D.J.’s to London…” NYC’s Hector Fonseca bringing with him a resounding repertoire of remixes, no less than 5 having reached number one in the billboard charts last year alone, hence we are chomping at the bit to feature him is this special focus. But with Tel Aviv’s FFF Group also jetting in their own package of players in the form of D.J. Tal Cohen & international drag performer K Long, both who featured in the FFF party at Fire last year, Beyond certainly has the global feel that that only WE Party & Hustlaball can match this weekend. Add to that London all star cast including Steve Pitron, The Sharp Boys, Hifi Sean, Fat Tony, D’Johnny & Paul Christian, together with back-to-back sets from Alan K & Paulo Moreno and Verity Mayes & Bryony Masters, so if there was ever a club that was about the music for us, then it is Beyond & not least this “World Pride” spectacular. So, skipping through the detail, it’s a 3 a.m. start at Area this Sunday (8th July) with entry simply £15 in advance (the best commodore you will spend this weekend) either online at http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012/07/08/beyond-world-pride-2012 or at those Soho outlets, while entry will be available on the door but expect to pay more & probably wait even longer, Ben Kaye & JJ Clark teaming up gain, as they did for WE, while no special Beyond would ever be the same without the tremendous Tom Fuller.
So, on the home straight (ish) and Later comes next, the team rolling out yet another fun filled frolic in the form of the now infamous “Funfair” format, the Later garden a hot bed of happy happenings with rides & games stalls, while a fortune teller will be sitting on his /her corner ready to tell you what is around your corner. Plus with the pool filled up if the weather permits & the bbq, an indelible ingredient of any Later party, stacked with sausages & brimming with burgers, that along with some other surprises in store and out will be the new clubbing in. That said, inside the musical heat will be turned right up full, resident D.J.’s Jamie Head, D’Johnny & Paul Heron cooking on tunes gas mark nine, while hostess Andrea & her boys (yes she has a bevy of them) will be causing enough madness & mayhem to make this a party to remember. And with host venue Fire’s doors opening at 11.30 a.m. this Sunday (8th July), the club running through to 8 p.m., with discount wristbands/stamps available at Beyond, standard entry is available online at http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/08/later-funfair or on the door, priced at £10, we are pretty sure you will be walking away come 8 p.m. with the biggest smile on your face, candy floss round your lips & a shiny bum from all that sliding, not to mention sore feet from dancing.
Now we would normally finish with Orange (which we will), but will quickly mention new club “Infamous” which launches at Covert on Sunday night from 6 p.m. details coming your way via our extra bites post “Princely Sum of A Soiree”, which paves the way for the “From Orange With Pride”, the organisers saying of the Pride closing event saying “…you’ve had the world, now get a true taste of London & the biggest last dance of Pride 2012…” as it is sure to be with not just the “Orange Family” of D.J.’s that include The Oli, Fat Tony & the Sharp Boys, but Hifi Sean is back too, starring in Fire’s main room alongside guest slot guy Paul heron (my he is a busy boy this weekend, we count five gigs at least!), while the event also boats the newly named RAW Future Heroes space with Lee Yeomans in charge of the tunes. But it’s Pride and so we all know what track/record that means, “A Deeper Love” among a handful of other hits performed by special PA Elliotte Williams, very much crowning this citric colossus which kick starts at 11 p.m. on Sunday (8th July) & carries you deep into Monday morning & a date with your day off diary, http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-07/08/from-orange-with-pride-london-s-biggest-pride-closing-party the place to go for advance tickets, priced at just £10, while its half that price with a flyer before 1 a.m., door hosts Chrissy Darling & Minty managing your efficient entry & them cheerful cavorting ala citric style.
So that’s the Orange Nation World Pride package and what an enthrallingly extensive one it is too, we finishing by reminding you that advance tickets are very much the way (especially for WE & Beyond), Solarstation not just a superb source, but also an opportunity for you to soak up some sun, of the sun-bed variety of course, as we all want to look at our best for World Pride, a quick visit to http://solarstation.co.uk revealing all you need to know before revealing yourselves to some bronzing brightness. That just leaves us to wish you a very happy World Pride, even if the event itself looks like being a bit of a wash-out, as there is always the league of Orange Nation clubs to turn & to take to. (DISCO MATT)
Continuing his special series devoted to the diamond jubilee weekend, Disco Matt once again looks to fabulous Friday for his next “Diamond Pick”, when Onyx joins forces with A:M to bring you their “Queen Of DiA:Monds” event, the queen with the crown being headline D.J. Smokin Jo, all the detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while DM deals out his card pack prologue beneath.
When we look at Friday’s on the capitals clubbing circuit across the years there have been a handful of brands & names that have become synonymous with this traditional start to the weekend, there was & still is “Camp Attack”, brought to you from the promoters of G.A.Y., while who can forget Fiction, the cavorting club that reigned supreme over The Cross for a purple patch period, while more recently, one looks to Vauxhall for another prolific party that very much hit the ground running when it launched some three years ago & has continued to drawn in a fervent following ranking it at least equal & sometimes exceptional to its peer brands. Yes, we can only be talking about Onyx, the fabulous Friday frolic that has not only ridden the storm that has faced the scene during its history, a succession of promoters having taken it in different directions, both visually & musically, but with a whole host of specialist events, such as “Neon”, “Resolution”, “Recovery” & “Digital Generation”, it’s popularity has been propelled, while with the assistance of afterhours club A;M, Onyx’s appeal has been accentuated, particularly on recent big bank holiday weekends & when its backyard, Area, was closed for refurbishment.
And as we find ourselves on the precipice of another huge weekend in clubland, the promotional powers of these two clubs have once again joined forces to serve up a spectacle stretching a full ten hours, the best bots of both brands being merged into one end to end event that will see D.J. stars take turns to serve up a superb selection of sounds that showcase both the Onyx & A:M style. So from the Onyx camp we have ex-promoter of the club Jonny M & new terrific talent Matt Bogard take up the main room reigns, they joined by A:M regular residents Fat Tony, D’Johnny & David Jimenez, while the rich vein of Onyx runs through room two, The Chapel being all about pop music with none other than gender benders Tasty Tim & Lady Lloyd dishing out the dance delectations. Then with the terrace space given away to the alternative antics of “Obey”, the club kid feel of this space spearheaded by Mark-Ashley Dupe & his gang, in the traditions of Onyx, there is a delightfully different feel to each space, the added A;M ingredient sure to carry revellers partying deep into Saturday morning,
This will surely especially be the case when the legend that is Smokin Jo hits the decks, she very much the queen bee of this “Queen Of DiA:Monds” event, A:M’s promoter Steven Sharp thrilled to be welcoming her back to the decks following her appearance for the brand back in March & this simply stunning set at As One on NYD when she held sway in the Orange room, taking us back to those halcyon days when she trounced Trade with her terrific tunes. But having played at gigs right across the globe & attracted amazing accolades as a result, career highlights have to include scooping the industry’s biggest mag D.J. of year award, Jo still the only female to have lifted this coveted crown, while club brands she has played for stretch to mainstream clubs Puscha, Tribal Gathering, Cream & Full Circle, while she still plays to gay audiences across the capital, recent appearances for Paris Acid Ball & Fat Tony’s club Deelooded, notable highlights, the latter re-forming a working relationship & friendship that goes back to those groundbreaking days of Trade. Gigs aside, Smokin Jo is pretty productive in the recording studio, a current album project close to fruition while a host of track releases & remixes scatter a discography that stretches to well over 30, a small selection available by following the Beatport link at http://smokinjo.com/music/, plenty there to get you in the mood for what will surely be another prolific performance form this quintessential queen of the D.J. scene.
As for the detail on this “Queen Of DiA:Mond’s” A:M & Onyx amalgam, just click on the super sized image above, while we leave you by simply saying, to be seen on the scene you need to “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
It hardly seems twelve months since we stepped out onto the delightful dancefloors of Rome’s finest, but as Muccassassina calls the curtain on its 22nd season with a swansong of a showstopper this coming Friday (25th May), it simply had to make it to DM’s pick of the day, all the event detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while DM looks back a year with extracts from his review & his take on guest D.J. Jamie Hammond beneath
DM looks back 12 Mucca months…
To think that it is literally twelve months ago to the day that we were getting excited about our trip to Rome & a liason with Muccassassina, still fresh from playing witness to their spectacular stage showing & event at Delice Dream, yet as another season in Mucca land draws to a close, we couldn’t resist looking back a year & sharing our experience of the magnificence of Muccassassina.
“…From the very first time we saw Muccassassina’s magnificence in the flesh, we have adored everything about this brilliant Italian brand, having seen it out & about on tour both for the massive London Global Dance Festival & then at Delice Dream in Barcelona, the opportunity, however, to see it in its natural home in Rome a dream in itself. But with the added ingredients of two brilliant Bello’s in Danny Verde & Micky Galliano, along with a reunion with Mucca’s (the affectionate term) creative director Diego Longobardi & his terrific team, the opportunity to head to the Italian capital for this monumental meet up was too much to resist…”
“…So, with an in & out schedule sorted, we took a flight down to Rome on the Friday, hooking up at our nearby hotel with both Danny & Micky for a pre-club bite to eat, we showered & shooshed ourselves up for the short hope down to Mucca’s host venue, Qube, arriving at just before 11.30 p.m., in plenty of time to see the whole of this voluptuous venue in its pre-opening state. In the capable hands of Mr Verde, we were shown each of the three floors in sequence, Danny explaining the different musical concepts associated with the individual & very different spaces, the ground floor reserved for V.J. style classic nineties & noughties pop music, a huge back of video screens the focal point, while the first more mirrored & expansive space housing R&B, although it was the top floor that was the icing on the Mucca cake, a huge square shaped room encased by an upper viewing balcony, a massive stage at one end, with the D.J. booth up even higher behind, a truly spectacular space with the biggest mirrorball as a centre piece we had ever seen…”
Plus, to make the stat of this magnificent Mucca experience more magical, we got to kick back while the drop dead gorgeous dancers dress rehearsed the main stage show, Diego in the thick of the action, masterminding the whole operation with his usual flair & flamboyance. But we were here for the Mucca proper and it wasn’t long before the club was swinging into action, a sortie down to the ground floor finding that a large number of clubbers had already descended on Qube, a marvellous mixture of guys & girls, the expected Italiano trendy set very much out in force, as were the muscle mary’s but not overpoweringly so, regular club kids just as if not more plentiful, the one thing everyone having in common was to have the best time possible…”
“… And that’s exactly what we did, first lapping 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. Then, we enjoyed equal pleasure from the tougher yet still amazingly accessible accomplishments from Micky Galliano, very much giving Mucca’s main room the vroom we had expected & now adored. Plus, with stage showing after showing by those magnificent Mucca go-go dancers, resplendent in blond bob wigs in celebration of the “Raffaella” theme of this event, we hardly needed to leave the main room space, such was our complete captivation for this colourful & complete clubbing colossus. So, with a massive thank you to Diego, his top draw team, to our Bello’s Danny & Micky & to everyone involved in this Mucca magnificence that delivered resplendent rapture in Rome…”
DM says of guest D.J. Jamie Hammond…
Terrific talent Jamie Hammond first came to our attention a couple of years ago when a sudden meteoric rise saw his name in the frame for a whole host of clubs & events in the capital, a residency slot at Friday nighter Onyx soon spring boarding him to other openings, including Heaven’s “Popcorn” & even slots for awesome afterhours Beyond, some next to his pal & Popcorn playing partner, Alan K. But while Jamie made a substantial splash on the scene, it seems he has, like many other new names, suffered from the close knit & dare we say, closed shop syndrome that promoters seem to follow & adopt in the capital, established names consuming the lion’s share of gigs in the more mainstream clubs & the alternative scene having their our bunch of beatmasters, all of which has left Jamie tintering on the edge of greatness. However, with his gigs at Popcorn & Mucca, that along with a string of other gigs far & wide, including The Week in Brazil & Pacha around Europe, as well as a selection of gigs at clubs off the usual gay circuit in the capital, Jamie is certainly keeping his hand in on the D.J. game, while balancing a second career as a personal trainer in with his hectic life schedule.
So, while last year saw a plethora of podcast productions, each very much echoing the Jamie style of sound that is progressive & uplifting by nature, he jumping between the two genres with consummate ease, 2012 has seen a slight slowing of compilations, just two in fact, one devoted to his Popcorn residency & to the Royal House party, while the other & the one we are honing in on here, to the magic of Mucca. Indeed this superb sixty three minute mix reflects the slant towards the more Eurobeat come tribal sound that seems to go down so much better on the continent, the Roman’s certainly lapping up Jamie’s sets in this style with gusto, host venue Qube always packed to the rafters whenever he plays in the so-called “Elektro Noise” main room, a space that is second only to our beloved Area of all the clubs we have visited in the world. And with this compilation creation of his, you can certainly sink into the fabulous feel of a dervish on the Mucca dancefloor, Mr Hammond drawing us in with a disco dance classic remixed & then keeping us glued with a brilliant blend of those tribal, progressive, uplifting & euphoric beats that very much transport us right back to the Roman capital, that & soaking up a superb Jamie set as we have done on so many occasions. So, if like us, you can’t make it to Mucca for the season swansong, then the best next thing is to press the play button as you select Jamie’s Mucca devoted dream of a podcast at direct link http://d-jamie.podomatic.com/entry/2012-03-06T13_53_06-08_00, while a run through some of his other mixes is also very much in order. (DISCO MATT)