Posts Tagged ‘Paul Coals’
With much promise posed ahead of its “A New Beginning” event and with plenty of talk about Covert both championing change across the capitals clubbing circuit, was Saturday’s party the proof of the pudding in the eating, what was our verdict on this gigantic gathering and how much more did we learn about this clubbing change concept.
There can be little doubt that the clubbing scene in the capital, certainly as far as big style clubs are concerned, has very much been in the doldrums recently, the weekly, monthly & occasional event calendar being dominated by just one group & the usual set of brands. And will some view this as a good thing, the problem we have with it, particularly of late, as that feeling of same old same old, the same D.J.’s the same venues, the same faces, a regurgitated repetition that has, quite frankly become boring. Indeed the current sorry state of affairs has been a couple of years in the making, many competitor brands either pushed to the sidelines or pushed out of business entirely and with little in the way of replacements from the protagonists of this sordid situation, save for a Friday night clubbing concept that is wrong on so many fronts, we are left unenthused & unexcited about a pastime & activity that used to fill our weekends, wall to wall. Yet that said, while Vauxhall is clearly in the monotonous, same old, same old doldrums, there is plenty more happening, if but on a much smaller scale, a swing out to Shoreditch finding a hip & happening melting pot of parties, East Bloc the most dynamic deliverer, brands such as DISH, SOS, & Gutterslut drawing on clubbers from far & wide, proving that there is life beyond Albert Embankment & South Lambeth Walk.
However, in the eyes of clubbers, Vauxhall is still seen as their mecca, even if it is not quite the dynamic draw it was a few years ago, although with the likes of Colloseum & Hidden hardly used, it pretty much leaves just three full on club spaces, naturally the two Orange Nation ones, Fire & Area and Crash (now known as Union). But wait a minute, what about Covert we hear you say, a venue that used to trade under the name of Factory but was brought by a tight knot group of investors who, when re-constructing the site last April brought Orange Nation into the picture, the initial idea being to let them both manage the place & increase the clubbing offer & variety. Yet while the plans were all well & good in theory, with just one genuine addition in the form of Deelooded, in the short space of 10 months, Orange Nation let what was supposed to be a sophisticated & stylish club venue run down into rack & ruin, the planned works to finish the venue never materialising and, quite shockingly, the group reneging in financial & other promises, leaving the investors with little choice but to take Covert back under their control. But with much more happening in the background, it seems that these investors now have the bit between their teeth, with plans to the driving force behind the re-invigoration of the clubbing scene, both & Vauxhall & London as a whole, their first event to hail this marvellous movement, their “A New Beginning” event.
So with this exciting event and the prospect of something fresh, new & enticing on offer, despite health issues, we simply couldn’t miss this Covert cavort, not least that with a D.J. line-up extending deep into double figures, club promoters, scene figureheads & clubbing friends aplenty, it was one of those mustn’t miss meets, although with our planned arrival for the VIP reception thwarted by a deep disco dose, it was around 11.30 when we arrived, to be greeted on the door by a warming welcoming committee that included heavenly hostess Chrissy Darling, promoter Alex Erfan & Covert’s manager, the terrific Tom Fuller, he having wisely jumped from what we predict as a sinking Orange nation ship. However, on missing the reception, we had also missed Pier Morrocco’s set, although caught a moment with him before he sped off to XXL, we then quickly diving into the club to get out of the cold, a further warm greeting by Steven Sharp sealing what was a perfect start to this “A New Beginning” shindig. And with Steven giving us a guided tour, the upgrading & the finishing to the venue was clear to see, the shabbiness that Orange Nation had allowed to creep in, all but eradicated, noticeable differences including fabulous floor coverings in both the main room & the second space, new laser lighting, new ceiling coverings, a totally transformed upstairs area with sumptuous seating, but moreover the subtle touches to trimmings, bar fronts & the like making the place look finished & fantastic.
However, the most impressive transformation was in the second space, the D.J. booth having been moved downstairs, elevating the feel & the atmosphere amazingly and making it a dance room in its own right and it was here where we bumped into the first of a flock of familiar D.J. friends, Ben Jamin preparing for what turned out to be one of a whole host of superb sets in this space, this very much a bit of a home-coming for Ben, as it was he that was part of the Crash team towards the latter years and this Covert second space, for us, echoing the former quite noticeably. But the D.J. faces from the Crash days & Vauxhall both past & present extended to many more, Guy Williams, Brent Nicholls & Alan X three of a whole host of others, not just this his second space, but back in the main room too, a real brilliant blast from the past, Terry Bryan, pumping up the pace of the party perfectly. Indeed, with the initial slow trickle of arrivals ballooning before our eyes, given our delicate state of health, we retreated towards the safety of the bar area where we bumped into pals Peter & Fabio, our evening just getting better by the minute, the list of friendly & familiar faces lengthening with every passing moment, Dave Cross, Tom Marchant, Louise Port, Nicholas Montenegro, Paul Coals, Tony Bruno and, naturally, Tom Fuller, just a measure of exactly how refreshingly friendly this glorious gathering was turning out to be and certainly what our recent Vauxhall clubbing experiences had been missing.
But the night was still young and with Jamie Hammond in charge of the main room tunes now, we were looking forward to prolific performances from Lovechild’s own Tony English, he failing to disappoint with a sterling set, while with Paulo Moreno, Alan K, Fat Tony, The Oli & The Sharp Boys still to come, this Covert “A New Beginning Event” was certainly living up to its billing, the vast array of D.J. talent, some inextricably linked to that other Vauxhall based clubbing group, proof that Alan’s promise to give D.J.’s the opportunity to play when & where they want, was bearing fruit right before our eyes. So, sinking into the rest of our slightly shortened stay, we traded main room for second space, outside for in, spending some time catching up with Alex Erfan and talking about plans moving forward, both for Covert and for their wider scene plans, some so exciting that we are itching to share, although have been sworn to secrecy. We also took advantage of the upstairs space, joining Peter in resting & escaping what was now a packed & pulsating main room, Paulo Moreno delivering delectable doses of dance delight, while we traded health issue notes with peter who, it seemed, was also going through a tremendously tough time. That said, it was great to be out clubbing again, this our first foray in March and a better choice & place to mark what, given our personal circumstances, was quite a milestone, we couldn’t have made, although with our energy levels sapping & the comfort of home calling, we graced our exit not long after 4 a.m., leaving behind a club that was very much alive, kicking & looking great in every way, not even an ounce of enticement for us to visit our old Sunday morning stomping ground, a small measure of just how times are changing.
So you can pretty much guess what our verdict on “A New Beginning” will be, this very much the huge success that the team had hoped for, a slow(ish) start soon transforming into a truly tremendous turn, a party full of positives in every respect, from the atmosphere & ambiance to the finished feel of the venue, from the style & sophistication oozing from this smart multi faceted space to the amazing additions to equipment, fixtures & fittings and from the depth of D.J. talent, all coming together under one roof in support of this marvellous new clubbing movement, to the party people themselves, all who exuded an air of relaxed & enthralling enjoyment, we not having seen quite so many smiling faces in one club for a very long time. Add to all that, a real sense that the tide of clubbing change that had been promised in so many words, was swinging into action and we walked away from Covert happy with what we had seen, but with plenty of anticipation of what is to come, this event the first building block in a number that will surely build a solid foundation for Covert to them achieve its aims & aspirations beyond its own borders, all for the greater good of the capitals clubbing circuit. Indeed, with the wraps already being pulled off their new Friday night club “Foundation”, plus a new Saturday afternoon clubbing concept on the cusp of creation, there is already much to celebrate in terms of new brand blood, we hopeful that this will kick-start others into action, maybe even collaborating with Covert for the greater good of the capitals clubbing circuit, we raising a glass to Alan, Paulo, Alex, Tom, Steven & the whole team for showing the others how it should be done & what clubbing is all about. (DISCO MATT)
Hailed as “A New Beginning” for the capitals clubbing circuit in an event that brings together like minded club owners, promoters, D.J.’s & scene figureheads, we dive into the dynamic detail of this magnificent meet with commentary & links a-plenty.
Having effectively stood back and watched the splendid scene that was London crumble before our eyes, the once dynamic diversity yet inclusivity that was its strength, like a hair shorn goliath left whimpering & weak, well in certain quarters at least, it certainly seems that the success story that was the mecca of gay clubbing in the capital, Vauxhall, has, over the course of the last two to three years, ultimately been the downfall of the majority of big brands & their bashes. Indeed, with victims extending to biggies Matinee, SuperMartXe, & Lovechild, along with a myriad of others that were quashed before even finding their feet, we remained mainly blasé as to the cruel intentions & devious domination tactics that, following our very recent expose features, made us realise just how much damage, upset, upheaval & misery Orange Nation have meated out to individuals, promoters, D.J.’s, scene workers and the like. And when this despicable behaviour, masterminded by the head of this greedy group touched the lives of close friends of ours, we felt it was high time to speak out, our initial post “Finding Our Favour Faltering” (still a worthy read at http://discomatt.com/web/?p=7152) this controversial yet fact filled feature coming right on the back of a momentous power shifting occasion that saw the supposed new(ish) jewel in the Orange Nation, clubbing crown, taken away from them by the owners & investors in this Vauxhall venue.
So, having made our feelings felt across an equally faltering scene and having received rapturous applause for our brave move to speak our mind, especially given the reputation for bullying & strong armed tactics by that greedy group, it seemed the co-owners of Covert had also had enough of the competition crushing, dominance and thoroughly rotten way that Orange Nation operated, also making a stand and, with an upper hand firmly in their grasp, set about laying down the aims & achievements for championing the much needed change the clubbing circuit had and still is craving for. And while we have gone into greater detail on this marvellous movement in our preview, “Championing Clubbing Change” (out at direct link http://discomatt.com/web/?p=7390), the intrinsic part of this change the team at Covert are championing, is to engender an atmosphere of fair play across the scene, to create a more even playing field where toes are not trod upon, where promoters don’t feel threatened & where D.J.’s can play where and when they want without fear of reprehension, something which has plagued this fine profession, and particularly in Vauxhall, for far too long. So, with this cornerstone of change gaining momentum, the first step for Covert is to celebrate what they decided to call, “A New Beginning”, a special event aimed at converting their words into action and bringing together like minded individuals that, like the driving force behind this change, one Alan Adams, were as deeply passionate about making the scene a better place for everyone involved.
And so “A New beginning” was born, the date of Saturday 18th march quickly decided upon as the appropriate time to pitch their exciting proposition, while with much negotiating with promoters & D.J.’s, the event has fast become something quite spectacular, with no less than nineteen D.J.’s playing across a party that will start from 11 p.m. and run through till a planned 9 a.m. finish. So, what are the names in the frames and what can you expect from this “A New Beginning” event. Well, first & foremost, it is very much a new beginning for Covert, the team having tirelessly worked to upgrade the venue and finish what should have been finished by the departed Orange Nation, months ago. And having been shown around just a week ago, the transformation compared to our last visit in November is pretty remarkable, new stylish furniture, fixture & fittings making the upstairs VIP area feel genuinely like one, while with new lasers, lighting, roofing & flooring, plus all the finishing touches to trimmings in the main room, Covert is very much ready to deliver on the promise we were party to ahead of its opening last year. But it is the second space that has seen the biggest transformation, the awkward positioning of the D.J. booth put right and giving it an air & atmosphere, for us akin to the iconic Crash club, but with the style & sparkle that is very much a statement Covert can shout from the rooftops now. So, rather than feeling a little let down by the venue, as we were when we dived into Deelodeed last November, then the floor in the second room ripped & ragged, doors damaged, toilets scruffy and a sense that it was being maltreated, clubbers heading to Covert for this “A New beginning” event will surely be impressed with what they see.
However, what they will also be impressed with is the vast array of D.J. talent on duty this Saturday night, a roll call of residents from Vauxhall clubs past & present, all coming together in the spirit of the marvellous movement to champion change on the clubbing circuit, Alan having secured the services of a richly diverse & dynamic pack of players that each bring their own individuality, style & substance to the show. And the nineteen names, well from Pier Morrocco, Paul Coals, Terry Bryan & Jamie Hammond holding the early main room reigns, the second space sports Ben Jamin, Gianni Morriso, & Guy Williams from midnight till 3 a.m., Lovechild’s star resident Tony English following Mr Hammond in the main room, with Covert’s own Paulo Moreno & main man Alan K carrying proceedings into the early Sunday morning hours, while from Crash days of old in a reunion which is not be to missed is Brent Nicholls & then Alan X in the second space, this space also seeing Tony Bruno, while the real thrill is the inclusion of names that are very much associated with Orange Nation of past & present, The Oli, Fat Tony & The Sharp Boys all playing out in the main room, while Tuesday morning club Desire promoter Steven Geller also hits the decks, the stop press news (although yet to be confirmed) that both Gonzalo Rivas & Paul heron will also be making an appearance. So, with a truly diverse genre of sound across these nineteen scene stars, it would be difficult to single out a particular style or indeed D.J., however, Mr Moreno has produced a podcast especially for this “A New Beginning” event, one well worth a listen & more by going to http://djmorenooctober.podomatic.com/.
As for the event detail, “A New Beginning” takes place this coming Saturday (16th march) at Club Covert in Vauxhall, doors opening at 11 p.m. and the event running through to a planned 9 a.m. finish, while for press, VIP’s and other distinguished guests there is a pre-party reception from 10 p.m.. And to mark this special event occasion, the Covert team have decided to donate all profits from the night, including the whole door and bar take to the worthy cause that is The Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH), one very much close to Mr Adams’ heart, a planned raffle throughout the course of the evening hoping to boost the bounty they will be bestowing on GOSH. So, by either paying the flat door tax fee of £10 or by buying an advance ticket via http://clubtickets.com/gb/2013-03/16/covert-presents-a-new-beginning, you will be making a charitable contribution as well as being part of the clubbing change Covert is championing. Plus with a D.J. line up so dynamic, this looks set to be not just an exceptional event. But the real talk of the town, so one surely you cannot miss, the team echoeing our sentiments when they say “…Covert is shifting up a gear and we want you to come and celebrate this exciting new phase with us. DJ line-up is impressive enough, combine that with a few stunning surprises we have planned and you know this will be a night you would not want to miss…”. Add to all that, hosts Chrissy Darling, Sylvia Rebel & the one & only Dior on duty, you will be guaranteed a warm welcome & then heaps of hospitality that sould certainly seal the deal, more detail should you need it, out via the events page at https://facebook.com/events/431518406929706/, while, health fit or not, we will be stepping out on Saturday to soak up the starting point of this clubbing change we are equally passionate about, so if you see us please come say hi, naturally making sure you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
With a potential podium place position in our Y.E. club review round-up, we had no hesitation in once again choosing PLAY>TIME as our Friday “Pick Of The Day”, not least that our premier protégé player, Zach Burns, is out to play. But with so much more on offer, go check out the event detail, a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while we produce a précis preview come 2012 review then propel the PR beneath.
Having amassed both accolades & awards within the first few months, there is no doubt that 2012 has been a purple patch year for PLAY>TIME, this Friday phenomenon having gone from strength to strength, the brilliant blend of barnstorming beats from scene top D.J.’s with the plethora of porn stars & gogo’s that grace the PLAY>TIME podiums, pretty hard to beat. Indeed with the clubbing competition all but fading into the background, the previous ruler of the roost, Onyx, having been absorbed into A:M, promoter Jay Roberts can be very pleased with his PLAY>TIME lot, excursions abroad having featured in this prolific party’s year, while Friday’s is by far & away the busiest night for host venue Lo-Profile, the jewel in its weekly scheduling crown very much in the responsible mix for the resurgence in the popularity of clubbing in Soho. And with PLAY>TIME being one of just two clubbing constants in our 2012 calendar, we have witnessed both that pluming popularity and a whole host of enthralling & entertaining evenings, meaning that it has every chance of being placed on one of the top podium places in our yearly review round-up, we ashamedly open about the fact that it is right up there with our favourite forays, perhaps just one, an awesome afterhours, topping this terrific turn.
So while the combination of sexy sounds & saucy shows works for many, it is simply the sounds that tend to float our boat, no surprise when you consider some of the star D.J.’s that have graced the PLAY>TIME decks this year, Nick Evans, Paul Heron & Steven Artis three that have floated our boat, although if we were to choice our podium threesome of the year (maybe a hint to our Y.E. music review of the sets of 2012), the superb Nathan Six is one, a scintillating set back in September that saw us make a rare stay virtually to the end of the event, with a rousing, uplifting & euphoric exhibition that tick so many of our beats boxes. Yet for so many of the myriad of the PLAY>TIME meets we made during 2012, it was Steve Pitron that propelled this party to the podium position it is sure to succeed, a score of Steve sets drenching us with sheer sound delight, not to mention a mound of our trademark tears, only second to our outbursts at Beyond, while this fabulous Friday frolic for us will always be about the brilliant Zach Burns, a terrific talent whose 2012 has reached heavenly heights. Yet while we have stood proudly on the scene sidelines , watching our “Premier Protégé Player” grow in stature with a series of London & international residencies come guest slots, like Nathan, he is one that always manages to keep us at PLAY>TIME till the dying minutes, his stunning set in May as huge highlight that is sure to soar Mr Burns up our Y.E. set chart. And taking of both the Y.E. and the year, ahead of his performance at PLAY>TIME tonight, Zach has released his “House Sessions 2012 – Top 12”, a better accompaniment to this précis preview of PLAY>TIME’s year we couldn’t wish for, one you should get into your collection without delay by going to http://djburns.podomatic.com & clicking on the download button, while of you can’t wait for that, head to permalink http://djburns.podomatic.com/entry/2012-12-28T09_03_18-08_00 where you can stream this towering twelve track timepiece that showcases Zach’s top tunes of 2012 (review on its way).
Well that’s our précis preview planted, but what about the PLAY>TIME promo? Well, this is what Jay & his team have to say about the brand and about tonight’s bash…
“….Every PLAY>TIME Friday from January to December bears the stamp of its remarkable creator, Jay Roberts. Just reviewing what Jay and PLAY>TIME have done this year is astounding! Friday nights are unthinkable without it. However, with Jay hopping around the globe looking for the tastiest boys he can find for you to unwrap during 2013, he is leaving his hosting duties to a man also beloved by night crawlers and Lo-Profile denizens, Martin known to many PLAY>TIME followers, while he also knows exactly what it will take to get all of the rascally rabble frisky and festive!
And taking festive, we reckon that by now, you have drained the eggnog, you’ve seen the family, you’ve decided what items to re-gift and it’s so cold, you are planning your next beach visit. In other words, Christmas is over, bring on New Year’s Eve! And tonight (Fri 28th Dec), that is exactly what PLAY>TIME is doing and we are doing it first. Start with us on Friday night and who knows where you will end up come Monday night? Come for the exotic drinks. Come hug a hot boy rather than giving the boss another handshake. Come twirl under the lights as bright as a cloudless Spanish night.
So who will be up on the boxes tonight?, Well, The wildly popular PLAY>TIME go-go boys! If their clothes get any skimpier and their moves any more suggestive, they may graduate to being porn star guests accidentally and you don’t want to miss that! But you won’t want to miss the cherring tunes from Paul Coals who kicks of this party, while one of our best resident D.J.’s takes PLAY>TIME to a heavenly higher level from1 a.m., Zach Burns’ set one to savour and not to miss.
Let PLAY>TIME be the doorway to your weekend fantasies and dreams for the New Year!…”
….and the dinky detail?…
A Gaydar Club Experience
Door Tax: £8 before 12 p.m. / £10 after 12 p.m.
So, as we sink into our sofa for a third successive night, we reckon you should be upstanding, sorting your outstanding outfit and heading to Soho for this fabulous final Friday fling of 2012 for the top notch PLAY>TIME, leaving us to simply say, “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
Modelled as the modern day derivative of the likes of Famous Five & Universe and finding itself in its third summer on the scene, As One in the hands of promoter Steven Sharp continues to bring together clubbing communities from far & wide, this latest collaboration combining some big brand hitters that certainly signals a new era for this magnificent meet, we delving into the detail of the magnificent marriage of capital clubbing circuit minds.
When we look at the rather mundane, monotone & monopolistic bigger branded clubbing scene that we find ourselves within here in the capital, we all too often see in-fighting between clubs & their promoters, competition crushing & strong arm tactics by the powerful players pushing many once popular parties to the wall. And it isn’t just the minnow meets that get this unsavoury shove from the heavyweight hitters, but some of these so called big shots also take the hit, SuperMartXe one of the most notable recent casualties, while in a quest to run the show, the phrase “…cutting off your nose to spite your face…” regularly springs to mind, although all this said, we can still count on a clubbing circuit that offers vivacious variety even if, in the whole, it does come from just one or two organisations. Therefore, reading between the lines, as we are sure you are already doing, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that we are pointing the finger unfairly and in some ways we probably are, especially given the encouraging development that is about to take place before our very eyes this weekend, when the marriage of club & promoter minds brings together brands that would never have been considered as comfortable bedfellows.
So what the heck of we talking about? Well As One of course, the colossal clubbing combo that was created close of three years ago and has since seen successive seasons tweaking the original fabulous formula, mixing up a bevy of brands in its quest to offer the clubber on one-stop shop of the best that the scene has to serve up, both in terms of diversity & depth. And when we look back across this clubbing combo’s short(ish) history, they have certainly done that, brands included in the past extending to Beyond, Lovechild, Megawoof, Trannyshack, The Men Who Fell To Earth, CasaLatina, Lo-Profile, Orange, Trade & Onyx, a marriage of minds that has successively & successfully secured its position as one of the busiest & best clubbing events on any given bank holiday, the “all roads lead to” label which often gets attached to Beyond, very much the byword for As One too. And this is sure to be the case come Sunday (26th Aug), when it slots into the bank holiday schedule just after WE party & before the second Beyond of the weekend, it following a pattern that, this year, has worked like a dream and is sure to do again, host venue Fire giving way the whole complex to As One, we expecting a couple of brand inclusion surprises to add to the ones already confirmed.
So, who is involved in As One this weekend & what can you expect? Well, following the inclusion of Trade for the last two events, it having proven a runaway success story in the marriage of clubbing minds, the mothership as she is known is back, along with its brilliant bedfellow Orange, those now infamous Orange/Trade parties immediately springing to mind, not least on Christmas Day last year as well as their show stealing sorties at As One on NYD. But with the inclusion of a real scene huge hitter for the first time, the internationally famous Salvation, As One’s credentials are getting a big boost, this collaboration coming not just as a very pleasant surprise but one which many quarters of the capitals clubbing circuit will take heart from, perhaps a sign that those roses have been smelt, that the wakeup call has been heard and this marks a new era in co-operation or, at least, comfortable co-existence. Then, to add to Salvation’s inaugural As One appearance, Tonker is welcomed with open arms too, promoter Tim Jones thrilled to be involved and sure to pull in many of his regular punters to play, while Trannyshack is back in the As One fold too, a better spread of clubbing genres the team behind this creative collaboration couldn’t have wished for, virtually all tastes catered for, musically & otherwise, the current team carrying on the lofty legacy born out of casual conversation between Craig Elder & Steven Sharp and is now, without question, the biggest clubbing collaboration on the capitals clubbing circuit calendar.
With the theme of this latest As One outing being “Legends of London”, the team tell us that “…each of the selected brands has been rulin’ the scene for longer than they care to remember – but each brand has developed and changed to fit with the times and remained current and cutting-edge whilst others have fallen by the wayside…”they going into further detail on the contributors to this colossal collaboration as follows:-
For 13 years Salvation has reigned supreme as the most glamorous club party on the London scene. With a discerning house music policy and international pedigree having toured many of the world’s greatest cities and venues, few clubs can match Salvation’s history.
‘The Monday Morning Phenomenon’ has transformed from an after party in Surrey Quays to a behemoth brand and London’s leading Sunday night club party for the gay community. Bringing together a friendly crowd of house music lovers each week Orange is the longest running weekly party still running weekly events after almost 14 years.
The original ‘all night bender’ Trade was the first legal afterhours in London, and since ceasing weekly parties at the legendary Turnmills has continued to evolve, always a cutting edge, forward thinking super-brand, taking over unique club spaces in London for unbeatable pop up parties and the infamous annual birthday events. Trade has been running spectacular parties for 22 years.
Taking place every Friday at the London gay scene institution The Eagle, Tonker operates under the mantra of ‘Booze, Cruise & Tunes’ serving up the hottest bear crowd in London for coming up to 9 years.
The UK’s favourite gender-bending, pop-tastic weekly Wednesday get-together for the last eight years, featuring the crème of London’s tranny DJs and scene celebs plus regular special guest performers.
all this vindication as to the depth & diversity that we touched on earlier, the D.J. line-up across just these five brands making rapturous reading, names such as Nick Tcherniak, The Sharp Boys, Gonzalo Rivas, Fat Tony, Pier Morrocco & Tasty Tim that exude both experience & entertainment to exemplary ecstasy, while with a cast that extends to Tim Jones, Paul Coals, MisWhite, Lady Lloyd , Gabriele Cutrano, Dusty O, Rosco, & Lee Yeomans, there will be no shortage of superb sounds to see each & every room packed to the rafters with revellers. As for the club expanse itself, we are told to expect “…unique décor, music, dancers and live performances from each of the brands, coming together to offer five different zones under one roof…”, while Tonker’s Tim Jones informs us that they will be hosting the Lightbox & further states that “…Tonker is excited to bring our unique blokes party to As One – expect a very sexy crowd of ‘guy next door’ meets your favourite dad or uncle and rugby player! We will serve up the best in eclectic music from DJ Tim Jones and Paul Coals taking you on a roller coaster journey from Disco to House to Mashup and Progressive Beats…”. And talking of beats, you can get a flavour of what to expect, well from Fat Tony in the Orange room at least, by checking out his specially devoted podcast, well worth a download/listen at http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2012-08-21T09_07_15-07_00.
Now need we say much more apart from running through the detail on this As One “Legends of London” event which takes place this coming Sunday (26th Aug) at Fire in Vauxhall, doors opening at 11 p.m. & the event running through to an advertised “superlate” finish, we suspect around 7 a.m., the extra Beyond opening its doors across at Area at 6 a.m. But back to As One and advance tickets are still available priced at £18, on sale online at direct ticket link http://orangenation.clubtickets.com/gb/2012-08/26/as-one, while you can grab one in your hand by visiting Soho outlets Prowler, Clone Zone & 50, as well as asking across the bar or of the hosts at any of the Orange Nation events this weekend, so Onyx, A:M, Beyond, Later & even WE, but very much at Gravity tonight (Thurs 23rd) as this audacious afterhours is the official As One pre-party. But, suffice to say, entry will be available on the door on the night, but expect to pay more, while if you grab one of the marked flyers, a £3 discounted entry up till 1 a.m. will apply, while in terms of hosts, Hrh Minty will be flying the Orange flag alongside Salvation’s Andromeda, plus an as yet unannounced special VIP host (watch this space), more info, should you need it, out at http://orangenation.co.uk.
So, with this looking like being THE roadblock event of this August Bank holiday, we will be in the thick of the action reporting it all via our nibble size review tweets which you can tune into live at http://twitter.com/discomatt, so if you see us, then come say hi, but make sure you don’t miss out & in so doing “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
While the untimely passing of its promoter came as a shock to all, it comes as no real shock that Steve Elliott’s successor was announced as one Oliver Mohns, DM delving into the detail of this announcement, as well as plans this old hands at the promotions game has in store for this brilliant brand, along with details of the first two events Mr Mohns will be masterminding, but not before we pay our own personal yet belated tribute to the much missed Mr Elliott.
Having had our own hands full with ongoing health issues, we have nevertheless have been very remiss in only now getting round to reporting on the untimely & premature passing of one of the true gentle giants of the global clubbing circuit, the shocking & sad news that Salvation’s prolific promoter Steve Elliott was lost, broken to us back on Friday 30th March while we were doing what he always did best, clubbing & socialising with friends & familiar faces. And while tons of tributes poured in at the time from right around the world, we were (and to be honest still are) in such shock over his passing, that we have, until now, been unable to put proverbial pen to paper. Indeed, due to insular issues, we even missed the tribute event to Steve, which took place at Salvation London’s hallowed turf of a home, Cafe De Paris, one which (we are told) was packed the rafters with revellers in remembrance of this much revered man. And it was quite fitting that the party was titled “The Show Must Go On”, as knowing Steve as we did, that would be exactly what he would have wanted to see and we are also certain sure that he would be equally pleased that the reigns of the colossal clubbing legacy he has left behind, be passed onto his very close & dear friend Oliver Mohns, a prolific promoter in his own right, who has been inextricably linked to the brand since its early days, having represented & D.J.’d for Salvation both here in London & on the global stage that this club has played to.
But before we look to the future of Salvation in Oliver’s hands, we want to take the opportunity of sharing our own tribute to Steve through a sequence of sentences reflective of the times we spent by his side & savouring the splendour of , not just Salvation, but other ventures in his hands. Having hit the clubbing trail of a number of years, it was only in 2008 that we got to know Steve, our fledging club reviews having thrusted us into the scene spotlight, Mr Elliott being THE first promoter to not only welcome us with open arms, but treat us effectively as clubland royalty, his generosity knowing no bounds & his hospitality equally exceptional. From Salvation soiree’s here in London at The Hippodrome & Koko, we also adored every moment of the meet when we, along with Salvation tour, hit Berlin in October 2010, Steve once again proving the prolific promoter & heavenly host that we had come to know & be-friend, while we were only too pleased to offer our full support to other ventures of his, which included both “Famous” & “Scandal”. But away from his promoting duties, we were also very privileged to spent stints socialising with the enigmatic & engaging individual, Barcode Vauxhall being a regular haunt whenever he travelled up to London from his west country home and, as fond the memories of seeing this magnificent man in action at Salvation will remain in our minds, it is those handful of times we were drinking, laughing & dancing by his side at Barcode which we will treasure the most. So, it may be severely belated, but this is our brief personaltribute to Steve who is sorely missed by us & many many more people for sure.
So, with the Salvation show going on, Steve’s successor Oliver Mohns will be, this coming Sunday (8th July) be in the promotional driving seat for his first ever event for the brand, although as we have already hinted, he is an old (and we should say a successful one at that) hand at the promotions game, having been responsible for bringing Spanish superclub Matinee to London back in 2006 & steer it through four subsequent seasons of its own success, while he has also held the helm at afterhours club A:M, brought his own brand Matador to the fore and will be the first to admit that he still adores & craves for the promotions game. However, Oliver is also an accomplished D.J./producer who, like Salvation, has played the world stage, Mr Mohns having touched on all corners of the globe from behind the decks, his recent D.J. career having added the likes of Brazil & Mexico to a long list of European, African, Australian & Asian destinations that litter his considerable C.V., the contacts he has collected & connected with during this time, pretty much unrivalled by anyone we know. So, with a set of credentials that speak considerable volumes, that and the fact that he was so close to Steve, we concur with many, that Salvation is certainly in safe hands and with the upcoming “World Pride” event, Oliver will not only be looking to continue the success story that is Salvation left to him by Steve, but to stamp his own mark on the brilliant brand.
Oliver, who cheekily calls his succession as “Salvation 2.0”, has revealed that his plans for the brand, some which will manifest themselves this Sunday, include “…expanding and enhancing the current brand, bringing it straight up to date with modern clubbing goals & expectations while still remaining true to its roots…” that wealth of international & clubbing connections we have deluded to seeing him “…continue with the current Salvation all star D.J.’s, like Pier Morocco, Miswhite , Paul Coals, but will now include big name international DJs to the list. Salvation will also be open to unprecedented international growth…” Oliver very much building on the sound blocks that Steve Elliot built for the brand, but propelling the Salvation party experience to an even broader global audience. In addition, he is keen to follow the direction Steve pointed Salvation here in London, not only continuing to cement the connection with Cafe De Paris, but to also to “… transform the seductive and exclusive Salvation VIP room into the ‘Boys Boudoir’ which will be a small club within in a club and hosted by some of the scenes best known club and web brands…” Gigolo sure to play its part as it did in the last two Salvation soiree’s here in the capital. Oliver is also at pains to stress that with the deployment of “…popular door hosts and the cream of London’s gay scene DJs., Salvation 2.0 is an upgrade to the original Salvation with the aim of making the club an accessible yet game changing club brand once again…” confirming that it will “… return to London as a bimonthly t’dance at its ancestral home…”.
And so this Sunday (8th July) marks the first event on the new era of Salvation (2.0 if you like) as Oliver presents “World Pride” to the capitals clubbing circuit, those plans of Oliver’s not only manifesting themselves in the D.J. line-up, Pier Morrocco, Paul Coals & MisWhite (our lovely Emma) fyling the regular Salvation D.J. flag, but Mr Mohns will welcome to the decks, Belgian based pint sized powerhouse Andrei Stan, who brings a clubbing repertoire that includes residency’s at the famous La Demence in Brussels, Splash in Rome & Nation in Mexico, while London is also a familiar playing ground, Andrei have played here for Matador, Revolver & A:M on many occasions, added to which he has additional residencies back in Brussels to add to all these. And his uplifting energetic & euphoric style of sound will suit Salvation superbly, very much dovetailing in with Pier, Paul & Emma, as well as Oliver who will be taking his turn too, terrifically, while with Salvation’s own creative director Raul Gonzales & his RG couture team panning some spectacular stage showings, added to which, the Cafe de Paris VIP Area will be once again become a guest POP up club this time in the hands both Gaydar & Room Service, along with a pack of porn-stars in the newly named “Boys Boudoir” which we are told will be complete with lush double beds and, plenty more to pander to your every need, the music in the hands of our own Italian bello, Alessandro Londra. But it doesn’t stop there, oh no, as Oliver has also brought back the infamous & fabulous “PSP” (post Salvation party), which will be hosted by Lo-Profile on Soho’s Wardour Street, Pier Morrocco being joined by Milano man Alessandro Maragoni, residencies at the city’s “Hero” & “Barbarella” clubs having propelled him there, while this will be his first foray in London, but judging by what we have seen & heard, it won’t be his last!
So what of the detail of both Salvation & PSP?, Well, to recap, the former’s “World Pride” event takes place this coming Sunday (8th July) at Cafe De Paris, doors opening at 5 p.m. and the club running through to a planned 1 a.m. finish, advance tickets on sale both online at http://gaypartix.com/parties/LONDON/SalvationN/ and via Soho outlet Prowler & venues Rupert St & Profile, priced at £15 (booking fees apply) while you will be able to pay on the door but expect to pay more. As for PSP, again to recap, it takes place at Lo-Profile, just a hop skip & jump away from Cafe De Paris, kicking off from midnight on Sunday (or as we prefer to call it, aero o’clock Monday), running through till 3 a.m. entry £10 on the door or £6 with a wristband which can be purchased either at Profile or at Salvation itself, further info on PSP available at http://facebook.com/events/109395312537433/, while a trip to Salvation’s page at http://facebook.com/salvationuk should fill in any gaps we have left. And while we may have announced our supposed summer sabbatical, there could be every chance that we make a flying visit to both events, if only to lend our support to Oliver, as we always did to Steve & in so doing, finally pay tribute to Mr Elliott’s passing by celebrating the capable & safe hands in which this brilliant brand has found itself in. (DISCO MATT)
After a year cutting a significant stride on the global clubbing circuit, the superb Salvation returns to its spiritual home, London’s Café De Paris, with a prolific party that will surely dazzle & delight, Disco Matt delving into all the detail of this dynamic draw, including podcast page links & much much more right here, right now
Oh times they have changed on the capitals clubbing scene, Sunday afternoon/evening clubbing having, like the merry-go-round on a funfair, come & gone before our very eyes, the trends towards this so called “t-dance” slot waxed and waned over the years, recent attempts to rekindle the penchant for these party pitches falling on relatively deaf ears, T.T.D. just one example of what could so easily have been but never was. However, with the history books crammed with clubs making this sacred Sunday slot their playing ground, including greats such as D.T.P.M. & Factor 25, there is no doubting the dancing devotee’s draw to this day in the diary. But while many have tried & some have succeeded superbly, in reality there is only one name in our prolific picture frame when it comes to t-dancing on a Sunday, Salvation the king, the queen, the prince, the jack & even the ace of the clubbing pack of cards, historical home Café De Paris part of that perfect package that made this brilliant brand the sumptuously spectacular & stand-out Sunday session that it became. Indeed, over the years Salvation has also played its joker card on New Year’s Day on many occasions, again proving that it still has the dynamic draw it had way back when, this coming Sunday (1st January) looking set to prove that point once more.
So, Salvation is back on New Year’s Day and back to its spiritual soiree home, Café De Paris in central London, the glamour, the opulence & the sophistication that is every inch this brilliant brand and, for us, shows Salvation at its best, this following a resplendent return back in November for the clubs 13th Anniversary, which by all accounts (sadly we were missing in injury action) was a sell-out sensation, putting Salvation firmly back on the clubbing calendar map of meets. And it is on the back of this return that promoter Steve Elliot & his terrific team have decided that they want to share all that Salvation style & sophistication with us once again, claiming their rightful place under the New Year’s Day spotlight, as they have done on so many occasions in the past, Mr Elliot exclaiming that “…if disused cinemas or cramped railway arches send a shiver down your spine, then pull on your snow boots, head up to Leicester Square and step into our winter wonderland…” Salvation shrugging off the pretender to its NYD t-dance crown which unashamed bravery, Steve adding, “…who wouldn’t want to ring in the Olympic New Year 2012 in style and at the most exclusive party of the season to boot, London’s brightest & best…”, Salvation once again determined to strike with its soiree splendour in scintillating style.
With that prolific picture painted, what is actually on offer at this Salvation NYD?, Well first & foremost, the crafty & cheeky Mr Elliot is keeping much of the plans under wraps, although Café De Paris as a venue speaks volumes in terms of those words, style, sophistication, opulence & elegance that, if you have not been there before, will hit you from the moment you step through those doors. And we cannot wait to swish down that double staircase once again, without doubt the most exciting entrance to a club we know. That aside, Steve is sure to pull out all the stops on production & effects and given the incredible effort thrown into parties, not just here in London, but right around the world (and we are taking global folks), Salvation having touched on destinations during 2011 that include places near such as Paris, Rome, Amsterdam & Athens, or as far as Australia, South Africa, & Brazil. But 2012 is very much the focus this time round and, given Steve’s reference to The Olympics, we are surmising that this will come into play somewhere within the production, while the “Winter Wonderland” element will also give a clue towards the dynamic decor that is sure to play a part in proceedings, Raul Gonzales’s delectable dancers & displays a big feature of this fabulous frolic, added to which the meaty men for Manhunt will be adding the extra eye-candy that any party of this nature needs, Steve cementing our thoughts by saying “…come revel in dazzling dance shows, stunning visual performances, top DJs, state of the art sound, lighting & effects, plus London’s sexiest men, all to make sure your New Year gets off to a big bang!…”.
Now if that isn’t enough to convince you, then the music definitely should, as Salvation serves up one of the tastiest tight knit teams we know, Steve drawing on the skilful strings of his dream D.J. residents in the form of Oliver M, Pier Morrocco, Paul Coals and (no Salvation party would be the same without her) our very own foxy female Miswhite, each one playing their part in pumping out uplifting, euphoric & energetic house music for which Salvation & any decent t-dance should be crammed full with, so euro & Spanish beats will be pushed aside in favour of hands in the air dance delectations that will surely lift the roof of Café De Paris on Sunday. But don’t just take our word for it, as two of Salvation’s star turns have laid down compilations in celebration of this NYD delectation, Oliver M first up with his aptly named “A Year Of Dance”, this 107 minute marvel kicking off with the truly tremendous “Bitch Lady” followed by “Pressure”, both setting the scene for a prolific podcast reflecting the tons of tunes Oliver has been treating Salvation audiences to around the world during 2011. And we find a D.J. right back at the top of his game too, Oliver having put his club promoting activities to one side, concentrating on his D.J.’ing which has borne considerable fruit, Brazil, Mexico & even the USA on the cards for 2012, while appearances for La Demence & a plethora of parties in his homeland Germany have littered his diary this year. So, his podcast, one which has raced up clubbing website SeenQueen’s download chart is well worth grabbing at http://soundcloud.com/ldnbear/salvation-nyd-2012-a-year-of,
However, our second Salvation pick had to go to Miswhite, our Emma pulling out a corker of a compilation which, just like its producer, is a podcast packed with excitement & energy and give a huge hint of what to expect from this pint sized powerhouse on NYD, so is an essential listen ahead of Sunday by going to http://miswhite.podomatic.com/. Then, of course, there is Pier Morrocco, a D.J. that has never failed to impress us on all fronts and continues to cut a significant stride with Salvation now, just as he did in those halcyon fe De Paris days 10/12/13 years ago, although these days, he balances D.J.’ing with a hectic mile high club career, that along with regular trips across to Moscow, all meaning that we are still waiting for a Salvation devotion from him, but a superb selection of his spinning sounds can be found at his podcast page via http://piermorrocco.podomatic.com/. But if all that wasn’t enough, the social soiree splendour, Gigolo, will be part of proceedings too, looking after the VIP room (more on that in an Extra Bites post) and bringing with them the truly towering talent that is Zach Burns, the man that moved us magnificently when the brand launched earlier this year & has since proven the jewel in the Gigolo crown, very much stealing the show at the clubs “Cumback” event earlier this month. So it comes as no surprise that he has pressed a podcast for the occasion and one which, yet again, makes our decision of which to include in our 2011 top ten chart such a difficult one, a listen at http://soundcloud.com/djzachburns/dj-zach-burns-gigolo-salvation, letting you into the saucy & sexy disco dance sounds world that will be the Gigolo VIP room in his masterful musical hands at Salvation on Sunday and a set you won’t want to miss.
So now you are convinced surely??!!, meaning all that’s left for us to do is run down on the detail, this Salvation New Year’s Day Spectacular taking place this Sunday (1st January 2012) at Café De Paris on Coventry St in the heart of London’s West End (closest tube Piccadilly Circus), doors opening from 6 p.m. & the clubbing running through to a planned 1 a.m. finish. Now, with the early bird tickets sold out, the £15 advance tickets are selling pretty quickly, meaning a visit to http://gaypartix.com/parties/LONDON/Salvation/index.htm should be sooner rather than later, although should you prefer to pick one up in person, then Soho’s Prowler store is the exclusive destination to head for. But for those that really want to splash out & be treated just that little bit more specially, the VIP option for just £5 more at an incredibly reasonable £20 is well worth considering, not least that this gives you fast-track entry, free coatcheck & access to that Gigolo “Spunktastic” Salvation VIP room/balcony. Then add in the hugely handsome host that is Alex Londres, one of Brazil’s biggest & best performers and you are guaranteed one of the warmest welcomes in the world, not forgetting the opportunity to embrace that elegant entrance down the two tiered Salvation staircase that cannot be beaten, more details on this exceptional event available at http://salvation-london.com.
With nothing more to add, we leave the final flurry of whimsical words to Salvation’s Steve, who say’s “…come and join the biggest London Circuit Party that spread the music of Salvation in over 60 countries around the world and swing from the icy chandelier this New Year’s Day…” as we will be, so in doing so, if you see us, come say hi, that along with making sure you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
Having been at the forefront of the march towards gay acceptance in the capital, Barcode was one of the first brands to offer a venue where the windows weren’t blacked out, where as gay’s we didn’t feel as though we were lepers in a social & clubbing community that was still frowning on our activities. Having launched Barcode as a brand back in 1995, a massive leap forward for Troy Weir’s creation came in 2006 when, at long last, the Vauxhall clubbing scene had a venue where they could drink, socialise & club, all under one roof, the opening of the second Barcode Branch on Albert Embankment being meet with critical acclaim, making it an instant success. And such was the popularity of this place, Barcode Vauxhall quickly established itself as one of the premier London gay hotspots, attracting the cream of the social scene along with a top notch set of resident D.J.’s across a host of specialist events & regular nights that have seen Barcode stand the test of time.
Finding ourselves in the thick of the action from day one, we have seen much change in this vivacious venue and have also celebrated with it as it turned one, two three & four years charming the clubbing community, as the fifth glorious year is upon us, we couldn’t let the moment pass without, at least, as dinky devotion to this incredible insituation that was at the core of our very own incarnation. So, let’s take a look at this brilliant bar/club venues anniversary celebration which takes place tonight (Sat 16th July) from 9 p.m. onwards, both the front bar & the back club rooms sporting some of Barcode Vauxhall’s favourite star D.J.’s, while the team have plenty of surprises up their sleeves for their 5th anniversary antics, which in their own words promises a prolific party as they say, “…We might have aged a little, but still know how to do IT! This time it’s going to be huuuge. Expect great music from our djs – they’re gonna throw some serious tunes until you give up… But we want to amaze you, so this time be ready for some serious production!…”
So, with music being the main attraction, the team are calling on some of the best in Barcode’s business, the near legendary Gonzalo Rivas heading up a team & sure to play the main set in the club space from 1 a.m., mixing up plenty of classics from across the venues five year history, with some of the latest sounds to hit the dancefloor. And having just last week sent a new podcast to press, celebrating his showing at the massive WE “Heroes” event two weekends ago (available at http://gonzalorivas.podomatic.com/), this on top of some terrific turns at Beyond in recent weeks, the man is definitely on fine form meaning his set for this birthday bash should show Gonzalo at his barnstorming best. Joining Mr Rivas will be Elliot J Brown, a DJ who has played regularly for both Soho & Vauxhall Barcode’s right across its combined 20 year history, Elliot kicking off proceedings in the club bar from 11 p.m., while Hugh Stevenson, hot heeling it from Lo-Profile, will pick up from Gonzalo at 4 a.m. taking you through to a super late finish.
Up front, the Barcode team will be showcasing the promised production for this 5th anniversary birthday bash, with extra special decor, lighting & effects, while the music couldn’t be in better hands as the cheeky monkey that is Steven Artis kicks carries this party deep into Sunday morning, no doubt mixing in plenty of birthday beats old & new. Having been a busy boy with other projects of late, it’s great to see Steven back where he belongs & we are sure to expect a new podcast from him following this party (hint!) while his extensive archive collection of compilations are worth a visit at http://stevenartis.podomatic.com/. Joining Steve is Paul Coals, another Barcode regular who be kicking off the front bar music mixing from 9 p.m., Paul still smarting from a spectacular showing for Salvation just last weekend at Summer Rites in Shoreditch park, so sure to sparkle with another superb set that will go down a storm. Add to that, the chance that some special guest will be popping by and maybe mixing up the music a little, a host birthday drinks offers that form part of the extended happy hour (three in fact), as the team say “…as a special THANK YOU for 5 amazing years we will be having HAPPY HOUR UNTIL MIDNIGHT!!!!…” added to which there will be that “…Special production for the birthday with laser show, pyros & CO2 cannons…” that we hinted towards, all making for one exceptional event not to be missed. (DISCO MATT)
Having just about a week ago lamenting on the wonders of park festivals passed, we find ourselves in the same boat, looking back & then looking forward as one of our favourite festivals from a good ten years makes its welcome return to the summer scene. But pushing back the clock, when Summer Rites was rocking our world, it seemed that park festivals were going from strength to strength, a whole succession of post Pride parties having been held in Brockwell, Victoria, & Finsbury park(s), while Clapham Common had also featured. And it was the Brockwell days that saw Summer Rites rise to ascendency, the first event still living in our memories, not least when we clubbed & cavorted to the Warriors sounds of Wayne G in the Brockwell park lido with close companion of the time, D.J. Chris Reardon., while the likes of Ultra Nate were performing on the main stage, oh the memories!!
Yet, as good as Summer Rites was, a tide change that saw park parties become less & less popular, not least due to a run of years when the famous British summer reared its rainy head, very much dampening festival organisers’ causes, outdoors was swapped for indoors, while Pride itself ditched the park format in favour of the central London square scenario, perhaps on the strength of Soho Pride which had become the darling of the festival scene in the capital. However, with two years of success under its belt, Lovebox has spurned a resurgence in the penchant for a park party and when news hit our desks that Summer Rites was to return, we suddenly looked forward to a season full of alfresco antics, obviously crossing lots of fingers for that famed weather to hold, serving up plenty of sunshine rather than rainy Sunday’s. But whilst we cannot guarantee the weather this coming Sunday (10th July), what we can promise is a party to re-emulate those halcyon Summer Rites days, with a whole host of dance tents, entertainment & everything else that goes with partying in the park.
So, what’s on the Summer Rites “Remixed” table then? Well, for this “…boutique gay clubbing festival…”, quite a lot actually, as the organisers have gathered some of the big name brands to support the host of locally based Shoreditch showstoppers like Gutterslut, Meat, & Pony Step. And there are some pretty big names in the frame too, international mega club Salvation spearheading an impressive line-up of dance & entertainment tents that also includes bear brand XXL, gender bender brilliance “Trannyshack” & the indie trendsetter, Popstarz, not to mention other supporters that include The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, represented by their night “Kimono Krush”, while Shoreditch bar The Joiners Arms, along with gay boozer The George & Dragon lend their support to the refreshment tents & stands, as well as having their own spaces to flaunt their entertainment wares. But the involvement doesn’t stop there as Shoreditch’s finest & most talked about club of the moment, East Bloc, will play an intrinsic part in proceedings, while Century Club’s “Sunday Happy Day” will lend a helping hand, this on top of a special “Bootyliicious” bus that should prove a real draw.
But, before we drill down on some of the detail, here’s a message from our sponsors, or more appropriately the organisers who say about Summer Rites “Remxied”, “…This is a festival orchestrated by the creators of the authentic gay alternative festival, Summer Rites, and the iconic street party, Soho Pride. Both have kept the London gay community grooving & moving for the last two decades & now the gang are digging deeper for a big balsy summer smash…”, the further adding, “…set in Shoreditch between Old Street, Islington & in part of the historic East End of London, where fashion, music & art combine, it will be right at the heart of a place which is recognised as London’s most vibrant district. The festival will feature dance arenas, an open stage, a boogie bus, multiple bars and much more…”, they concluding that “…form the intimacy yet frivolity of Shoreditch park from midday to 10 p.m., the party doesn’t stop as “Encore” the official Summer Rites afterparty will continue from 10 p.m. to late in a nearby warehouse…”.
Now that gives you a flavour of what to expect, but what about the detail between the lines? Well, first & foremost, Salvation will be hosting that main open stage, the club showing how it’s done with the kind of spectacular production for which they have become famous for. And promoter Steve Elliot together with his terrific team, will be drawing on the dance direction of Raul Gonzalez who will turn out a truck load of performers, artists, acrobats & the like, to compliment the delectable D.J. line up that includes stars covering the clubs 13 year history, Luke Hope, Pier Morrocco, Miswhite & Paul Coals, along with Elliot J Brown & Howard Turner. But it doesn’t stop there as, prolific P.A. (in our view, the best in the business) Peyton will be centre staging the performances, while Andromeda & the Twisted Dreams dance troupe will also feature. However, Trannyshack will also get their main stage say, with the best in worldwide drag artists & off-beat/unusual shows, a D.J. line-up to delight that will include gender benders Tasty Tim, Munroe Bergdorf & Lady Lloyd, along with Trannyshack queen, The very Miss Dusty O, who will be performing a rare live show that simply cannot be missed.
Main stage aside, the other highlights for us look like being the East Bloc tent, where the wayout & whacky Gutterslut will feature, along with Tom Stephan’s magnificent monthly meet, Meat, which will no doubt be riding on a wave crest after their party just hours before. With D.J. stars including Per Q.X. Nic Fisher & Miss MC Crystal flying the Gutterslut flag, while Meat main man Tom Stephan will play an exclusive set alongside East Bloc residents James Phillips & Borja Penna, while the likes of A Man To Pet, Miss Krystilina, Amber Swallows & Ma Butcher will beef up the bravado, all meaning this should prove a dynamic draw. But the boogie bus, hosted by Bootylicious, just has to be sampled, while XXL will definitely have their bear say, although we hope not to hear the phrase of last weekend in there, “I Want My Porridge!”, although we are sure there will be no shortage of bears looking for their goldilocks. However, with so much else on offer, the variety & choice couldn’t be better and very much reflects just how vibrant the Shoreditch scene has become, Summer Rites “Remixed” celebrating this scene diversity in the best possible way, meaning there is a place to lay your clubbing hat, whatever persuasion or whatever type of clubber or cavorter you are.
Right, let’s cover off the detail and remind you that Summer Rites “Remixed” takes place this Sunday (10th July) at Shoreditch Park from midday till 10 p.m. This is a ticketed event, with all the £15 early bird tickets having been sold, so only advance ones priced at £20 now only available online by going to the official website. http://summer-rites.com. However, you can also purchase your entry in advance by popping into Prowler in Soho or across at Expectations on Great Eastern St in Shoreditch, while you can also pay entry on the day, but make sure you have the readies & not the plastic, as they can only accept cash payments. Now, as for directions, visiting the website is your best option, although Shoreditch Park in is the heart of Hoxton, so your nearest tube is Old St, while a whole host of busses can take you close. And if you can’t get online, you can always land on your favourite venue or outlet, who have plentiful stocks of the special Summer Rites programme brochure which, like here, tells you pretty much everything you need to know, including a map of the park & the local vicinity to save you scratching around for an A to Z. And, don’t forget “Encore”, the official afterparty, plus a gathering at East Bloc that will take you deep into Monday morning, all these details also available at http://eastbloc.co.uk.
So, with this brilliant boutique gay clubbing festival looking like THE place to be & be seen on the scene this Sunday, we will be there to report on & review it all, so if you spot us then come say hi, but make sure you don’t miss out on what looks like being the sensation of the summer, making sure you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
When we were making our gingerly steps out onto the clubbing scene some twenty years ago, Gay Pride celebrations in the capital were somewhat different to what they are today, our first ever foray being down in Kennington Park, a reasonably sedate affair which was followed by successive years at Brockwell Park, Clapham Common, Victoria Park & Finsbury Park, the big baby being Hyde Park when Pride in London was at its peak. However, sustaining such large park style events & keeping everything free proved a battle the organisers were never going to win. Add to that the surge in popularity & size of competitor pride events in Cologne & Madrid and in the last three/four years Gay Pride in London has become a shadow of its former self, although with the staging of post parade celebrations in Trafalgar, Leicester & Soho Square(s), have seen it regain some of its status in the yes of the public, the central London locale of the celebrations, taking in the gay village of Soho, seems to work well, although it has to be said that the previous park cohesion has been replaced with a more fragmented offering.
Now whilst there is no doubt that we do miss the fabulous dance tents that used to feature large in the park celebrations, we have also enjoyed the replacement dance stages at Soho Pride on a few occasions and there is no doubt that when it comes to London’s current Gay Pride set up, of the three designated square set up’s ,the dance stage is our favourite by far. However, with the this arena being consigned to Leicester Square last year, a whole load of excuses being waged by Westminster Council & the police as to why Soho Sqaure couldn’t be used, while sponsors The Orange Group made the most of a bad job, it wasn’t a patch on the dance stage’s natural home, many complaining about the overzealous security & lack of facilities, plus the feel that everything having seemingly been implemeted & orchestrated by Gay Pride’s organisers at the last minute. That said, we had a terrific time, not least being treated to a back stage pass & in so doing, hooking up with many of the D.J.’s & Orange Group top brass, this outstanding organisation digging deep into its own pockets to support Pride both morally & financially.
So, with London Gay Pride 2011 literally days away, but with there being somewhat of a hush surrounding this year’s festival, we can celebrate in the fact that not only do we have Soho Square back, but the dance stage will once again be hosted & sponsored by Fire. And furthermore, with a whole succession of peripheral parties across the weekend, it seems that London Gay Pride 2011 looks like being dominated by the “Outstanding Orange Offer”, as no less than twelve separate parties will be hosted by the group, making them the biggest single contributor to the Pride festival, Craig Elder & his terrific team very proud to play a prolific part in Pride this year. So, with so much activity, on the clubbing front at least, we thought it only fair to devote a special Weekend Focus post to all things Orange, showcasing their outstanding offer, focussing on club nights Onyx, A:M, WE Party, Beyond, Later, Orange & Open, as well as looking at The Fire Dance Stage, which centre pieces the weekend.
So, while the Orange offer actually starts this coming Wednesday (29th June) with Patrick Lilley’s Work, then continues on Thursday (30th June) with both Deuces at Area & & Gravity at Fire, it is the “I A:M Onyx” party that gets our first full focus, the clever play on words indicating that Onyx will be going head to head with afterhours A:M, spreading across the three rooms of Area on Friday 1st July, very much the group’s main pre-pride affair and combining the tip top talents from both clubs for one night only. And looking at the line-up, it seems we will be in for a magnificent musical treat, as the main room will very much be an Onyx/A:M head to head, with Onyx residents Lee Harris, Jc Christopher, Jonny M & new promoter Verity Mayes squaring up to the might of Gonzalo Rivas & D’Johnny from A:M, making for a lavish line up, especially given given the club is open for just eight hours (we make that 70 mins each!), while it seems to be Onyx business as usual in the other two rooms, regulars Lisa German & Ariel tearing up the terrace with their tech & electro house, while Tasty Tim commands the chapel room ably assisted by Jason Price & James St James, all serving up pop-tastic tunes that make this room the popular place it is. Add to that the Onyx influence of fire eating displays & drop dead gorgeous go-go’s, while the dynamic David H adds the A:M percussionist touch to proceedings, while hosts Chrissy Darling & Glendora share the spotlight both on the door & inside the club, steering you through this spectacular showcase from start to finish. And what of that start?, well this Onyx/A:M head-to-head kicks off from 10 p.m. this Friday (1st July), with the club running through to an advertised “superlate” timing. Advance £5 tickets are on sale online at http://clubtickets.com, while if you get yourselves on the guest list by going to http://gayguestlists.com/onyx, it’s a mere £1 before midnight, while for others its £2 before & £8 after.
Onto Saturday and daytime gives way to the Fire Dance Stage in Soho Square, probably looking to prove itself as the most popular of the three, it coming as no surprise that The Orange Group will be digging deep into their reserves to serve up a colossal combination of D.J. stars & P.A. artists, this Soho arena famed for offering the best in open air clubbing, the intimate yet absorbing atmosphere of the square perfect for this post pride parade celebration & the whole proceedings in the superb & safe hands of tip tip promoter Steven Sharp. Now, having been given exclusive access to the line-up for The Dance stage, we can confirm here & now that, in terms of the D.J performances, Steve Pitron & Mikey D will be playing a special back-to-back set, with other names in the frame include Fat Tony, The Oli, D’Johnny, Jamie Head, & Jonny M, with the likelihood of further names & back-to-back sets, while The Sharp Boys will be closing proceedings around 8 p.m. As for the P.A.’s, Sonique has be confirmed and there will be an extra special guest appearing, although this is very much being kept under wraps, but we are hedging our bets on it being something to do with the word “Stronger”. Plus, we have been reliably informed that prolific percussionist David H will be on hand, along with a host of other artists to compliment the D.J.’s sets. So, with a line up like that & much more surprises in store, the Dance Stage arena will be packed with post pride party goers, although as the capacity within Soho Square will need to be limited for safety reasons, we recommend you get there early, as experience from previous years means that post 4 p.m. you will expect to find a one in one out situation, especially as entry is free, although the organisers do urge you to dig deep & make contributions however big or small, to ensure that London’s Gay pride remains a free festival. More information on this Fire hosted dance stage event can be found by going to http://freclub.co.uk &/or http://pridelondon.org.
Then, when dusk turns to dark, the choice widens to three, between “official” post pride party, Liberation, the chunky & hunky Bear Necessity & the Spanish Sensation WE Party, all things Orange very much catering for all clubbing tastes. So, let’s look Liberation first, this post pride party taking place at Fire this Saturday (2nd July), kicking off extra early at 8 p.m. with a special “Smirnoff Garden Party”, this brand one of the main pride 2011/2012 sponsors & hosting this alfresco offering across the extensive Fire outside space, with expertly made drinks served by the specially selected Smirnoff team, while relaxing ambient music will both serve as a welcome interlude from the frenetic action of the Fire Dance stage, but will also allow you to draw breath before the heated up post pride action inside, which kicks off from 11 p.m. And the Liberation line-up is very impressive, probably the strongest yet, showcasing some of the capitals best talents across four very different & diverse rooms. So what’s on offer?, well the main room will be spearheaded by Fire residents Mikey D, The Sharp Boys, Fat Tony & Lee Harris, while the second space will have a definite Onyx “Pop”, feel to it, residents Tasty Tim, Jason Prince & James St James joined by Gaydar Radio’s Alex Taylor. Then across in room three it’s all about RnB, as Queer Nation’s Big John Freeman Jeffrey Hinton & promoter Patrick Lilley take charge, the fourth space given away to the very cute Ku Bar boys & resident jock DouGuim. Plus, Fire have secured two terrific P.A.’s, Elloitte Williams, famed for the massive hit “Pride (A Deeper Love)”, while Sharlene Hector will also perform her hit “Sunshine Into My Life” and we are also told to expect a very special guest. So, with diversity very much the name of the game & Liberation attracting the glitterati of the Pride Festival, Fire looks set to host Pride’s best “official” party yet, advance tickets available online only at http://fire.clubtickets.com/gb/2011-07/02/liberation-pride-party priced at £12, with door entry at £15, those doors opening to the main event from 11 p.m. & the night running through till 6 a.m.
Across at Area & it’s about chunky, hunky & funky action as big brand Bear Necessity rolls into town for a Pride special party , welcoming special gust Nick Tcherniak to the main room decks, he being joined by Bear Necessity London resident Micky Galliano, while over in the chapel room it will be all about Tonker, head honcho Tim Jones taking turns spinning the sounds with fellow bear brute Paul Coals, while Bruno Knight’s 21st Century men will be spilling the brawn, a line up of the hottest bear god go-go’s gyrating in the many podiums across both rooms, while a special stage show should set the whole event alight with action & compliment the touch tech & dance music. Add to that special host for the night, the attractive Andy Garcia , aka Dr Woof, along with a special pre-party at Tonker on Friday (1st July), Megawoof’s Tim Mcloone taking to The Eagle decks, and the all-in package advance tickets priced at just £14 are already selling like hot cakes and are available at http://clubtickets.com/gb/2011-07/02/bear-necessity-london-pride, while if you choose just the main party at Area, which kicks off at an early 9 p.m., then the £10 options are also available, while entry will be available on the door, but for more. Now, as the venue will need to prepare for the massive Beyond “Super Pride” party, Bear Necessity will run until 5 a.m. & not into Beyond as before.
However, despite these two amazing attractions, both which should draw their own crowds, there is no escaping the fact that the big party of the weekend (we reckon the second biggest) will be WE party, which, following the massive roadblock sell-out of “WE Candy”, is expected to be a repeat, this “WE Heroes” event having created a real buzz literally days after the last party. And for good reason, as it is clear this brilliant brand has taken over from where SuperMartXe left off, The Coronet proving both a popular & perfect home for the huge lighting, laser & stage installations that WE has become renowned for. So, whilst we are expecting amazing things from this latest party in terms of the stage shows & all the effects that will surely make it one of THE most prolific parties of the Gay Pride weekend, it is the music which should make this “Heroes” happening a real winner. So who can you expect to marvel you with their scintilating sounds?, well it goes without saying that Spain’s best import, Carlos Gallardo, will be making a rapturous return, WE party never quite the same without his inclusion, while he will be joined by our very own Italian Stallion, Pagano, who plays for WE in the capital for the first time & should go down a storm, especially as he seems to excel on the big stage, London WE residents Gonzalo Rivas & D’Johnny completing the current line-up. But the really exciting news for us, is the inclusion of PA Shawnee Taylor, who will no doubt be performing her massive new release “Stronger”, a track that has quickly established itself as the Pitron/DM anthem and is spreading across the dancefloors of the clubbing world like wildfire. Now, given the positioning & size of this event, we expect it to be a complete sell-out, which means you need to grab your tickets fast, advance £18 ones available online at http://wepartylondon.com, similarly priced tickets on sales at Soho outlets Prowler, Clone Zone, 50 & Solarstation, as well as The Yard, Rupert St & Profile Bar(s). However, if you leave it to get in on the doors, which open at 11 p.m., then expect to pay more & be prepared to get there early as if the last event was anything to go by, the queue will be massive, this latest WE party running through to a planned 7 a.m.
Now, as we head onto the next & what looks like the biggest party of the weekend, we suspect that many of you WE party goers will want to head to Beyond too, the terrific team headed up by Tom Fuller having laid on transport you from The Coronet to Area, the convoy of coaches leaving from 6 a.m. & setting you down at Area, all for the very reasonable price of £5. But here is the real deal clincher on this, as that £5 & coach trip will not only get you free coatcheck for up to two items, but it will also gain you fast track entry into the club, the Barcode side of this Beyond “Super Pride” party set aside for coach arrivals only. However, you will need to be in receipt of a ticket for Beyond, advance online ones at £15 available at http://area.clubtickets.com/gb/2011-07/03/beyond, while the usual outlets in Soho (see above) have tickets on sale too. However, for those of you that don’t manage either, then never fear as £20 ones will be on sale at WE, so keep your eyes peeled for Tom & his team.
So to Beyond, all roads surely leading to Area come Sunday morning (3rd June), the road slightly widened as the club once again joins forces with Barcode to make this a super sized “Super Pride” event. Now for those of you that missed out on Beyond “Super Size” on the last Bank Holiday weekend, then prepare to be amazed & impressed with all that extra space both inside & out, Area’s & Barcode’s frontages combined to make one huge alfresco hangout from the hectic happenings inside, while the usual Beyond three dancefloors will be increased to five with the addition of Barcode’s front & back spaces. In terms of the D.J. line up, we can confirm that the following Beyond all stars will be present, the main room spearheaded by Steve Pitron, he joined by Mikey D, The Sharp Boys & Gonzalo Rivas, while The Chapel Room will sport Paul Christian & D’Johnny, The Terrace space most likely the domain of Jamie Head, The Oli & Fat Tony. However, with the additional two spaces next door to consider, names in the frame include Alessandro Londra, Ariel, Onyx’s promoter Verity Meyes & Beyond promoter Jonny Marsh, although as yet no news on any Barcode D.J.’s. Now, it has to be said that we are far from keen with the idea of a club promoter also D.J.’ing, especially as in this case, Beyond’s super size will need its promoter in the spotlight, but we suspect Mr Marsh will be drawing on additional talent to compliment the line-up, so watch this space for news on that. However, what you can expect of this “Super Pride” event is “…more space, more music, more dancers, more effects, more everything!..,” and Beyond itself will be digging into its own pockets to donate £1 per person to Pride, to keep this festival free. As for the detail, Beyond opens its doors at 6 a.m. the club running through till 1 p.m., online tickets available at http://area.clubtickets.com/gb/2011-07/03/beyond, priced at £15, along with sales at Prowler, Clone Zone 50, Rupert St & The Yard in Soho & Barcode in Vauxhall, a reminder of this & last minute detail on both Beyond & WE “Heroes” coming your way via an Extra Bites post later this week.
Next up in the all things Orange Pride weekend line-up is Later on Sunday afternoon (3rd July), who roll out one of their infamous “Funfair” parties, this Pride devoted one sure to be popular, especially if the sun is shining. With the team turning out all those fabulous funfair rides, some in miniature scale, the helter skelter is sure to prove a winner again, while the extensive outside space will be packed with revellers who will want to take respite from a sequence of parties already counting seven. But there will be no rest for the wicked inside, as promoter Jay Sharp leans on his towering residents team to turn out truck loads of tech toned tunes, with dollops of dance to delight, D.J.’s The Oli, Paul Martin, Jamie Head, & D’Johnny, sure to pack out the place, advance £8 tickets on sale online only at http://fire.clubtickets.com/gb/2011-07/03/the-later-funfair-pride-party, while entry on the door is priced at £10, although discount stamps will be on offer at Beyond, so make sure you check with Area’s door staff before you head across to Fire. Plus, all Later entrants will be able to get their hands on a free (yes free!) ticket to the “The Only Way Is Orange” Gay Pride closing party.
So that neatly moves onto Orange who, after hosting some of the biggest & most successful Bank Holiday parties this year, have been invited to officially close Gay Pride proceedings this coming weekend, opening their doors on Sunday (3rd July) at 11 p.m., the club running for a massive eight hours until 9 a.m. on Monday morning, promoter Steven Sharp & his team pulling out all the stops to make sure this is a party for Pride to be proud of. And looking at the D.J. line-up, there is lots to savour, the main room masterminded by the famed Orange “Citrus All-Star” residents Paul Martin, The Oli & The Sharp Boys, although the duo of Fat Tony & Tonnic should prove a crowd draw & pleaser too. Add to that shows from Elektra Paris & her dance troupe, while the gregarious Glendora will no doubt attract a flock of followers as she hosts like no other. But it doesn’t stop there as the Orange RAW room will be on duty too, original residents David Jimenez & Gonzalo Rivas welcoming extra special guest Nick Tcherniak to the fold, Nick making his second appearance in this special space. As for entry, it seems that if you make it to any of the Orange Group parties across the weekend & keeps your eyes closely peeled for special free entry passes, then this closing party will prove as a massive thank you for supporting the group & Pride itself. However, if not then £10 advance ticket are available online at http://fire.clubtickets.com/, while a limited number of £5 tickets will be handed out at the Fire Dance Stage post parade celebrations, standard Orange entry prices of £12 before midnight & £15 thereafter applying.
However, whilst Orange officially closes the Pride weekend, it isn’t quite over as Tuesday morning madness Open makes a rare return to London afterhours clubbing for, in the words of the promotions team, “…the party to end all parties!…” and we highly expect that it will, especially for those that don’t have any work commitments on Tuesday (5th July), the club opening at 5 a.m. & running through to an advertised “superlate” timing, which in translation probably means 11 a.m., while this party is also aimed at those scene workers how have toiled away across the weekend, Open giving them an opportunity to let their hair down, now the hard work is behind them. As for the D.J. line up, well none other than Gonzalo Rivas will headline the neat & tidy team of talents, Mr Rivas treating us to a “classic” set that will no doubt include a mixture of the vast genre of sounds within his amazing armoury, while The Sharp Boys, George & Steven, who incidentally are co-promoting this event, will also feature, with guests yet to be announced, but possibly to include DouGuim & Fat Tony. Entry to the club is just £3 before 7 a.m. with a flyer, while for scene staff with suitable I.D., it’s just £2, the Open team out on the streets of Soho on Monday night, handing out special discount flyers, more info available at http://freclub.co.uk/gayparties.
So, that’s The Orange Group’s biggest Gay Pride weekend yet in a nutshell, well not quite a nutshell, more the most comprehensive guide you will find anywhere and testament to the fact that this clubbing company is making a massive contribution to London’s Pride Festival, both in terms of offering clubbers a complete experience from Friday through Tuesday & very much underpinning this “Outstanding Orange Offer” which includes some of the capitals best clubbing brands & artists. Therefore, it goes without saying that we will be joining Craig Elder & his team across this prolific Pride weekend of clubbing & hope that you will also “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
We really do adore a t-dance style soiree, but Salvation’s “The Future” event was always going to be more than that, this second foray at Koko in Camden, on the cards at least, looking like a smash as well as creating a splash on the spring bank holiday scene, meaning it simply had to be on our schedule, especially given the history of this heavenly happening. So, despite our thoughts being miles away on matters in South Africa, we made our way up to this Sunday soiree and a liaison with cougar clubbing pal Stephen, along with close companion Brent Nicholls, but with both of them running late (as usual) we headed into Salvation on our tod, entering Koko’s main arena to a warming welcome from Industri mates Jeremy & Andrew, we immediately catching up on news before our cougar clubber arrived, the four of us sinking into the Salvation splendour just in advance if the stunning stage show to come. And from our elevated spot on one of the many tiers to this Koko venue, we had a brilliant view of proceedings below, the dancefloor brimming but not packed, but the tremendous tunes from pint sized Salvation resident Miswhite, packing a considerable punch, her uplifting beats & euphoric energy eruptions definitely hitting the mark with the considerate crowd.
But it was the stage show & the exceptional effects that was going to really make this Salvation something extra special, three massive LED displays dominating Koko’s stage, a huge Stargate style ring of steel surrounding the centre, together with some simply stunning laser lighting, exploding into action after a planned few moments silence that grabbed everyone’s attention perfectly. And with the reveal over, the drop dead gorgeous go-go dancers delighted, dressed in Tron style costumes that certainly caught the eye, not least ours when we got a sneak post show look backstage, while upfront incumbent D.J. Paul Coals continued where Miswhite had left off serving up some superb Salvation style sounds, very fitting for this galactic gathering that, with that stunning stage setting, very much lived up to its 22nd century billing. Finding ourselves back out front, we returned to our lofty spot, where a succession of familiar faces frolicked with us, including the marvellous Minty with pals David & Stuart, D.J.’s Joe Publik, Andrei Stan & Oliver M and the natty Naomi, who’s “Emperor” adorations in our direction left us gasping with laughter & others in amazement of her continual approaches, all this while Brent Nicholls snapped whole slugs of this Salvation splendour in his wonderful way. So with more still to share on the stunning stage dominated Salvation showing, its “…ready, steady, go for the review…” (DISCO MATT)