Posts Tagged ‘Pier Mills’
If there was ever a city to really capture our imagination in such a way that it left us floating on a cloud nine for much longer than we can remember, it was Antwerp, the diamond capital of the Benelux region of Europe and a city steeped in history. Having spent Christmas Day (well Eve & Boxing Day too) submerged in its charms, the substantial snow fall that left the streets & roof tops looking more festive than we could have dreamed for made for an even more enriching experience, however, being on duty along with London’s Lovechild crew, the proverbial jewel in our Antwerp crown was the city’s finest clubbing venue and one that has established a solid reputation, not just in its home city & country, but right across Europe. Connecting with a whole host of major brands from France, Spain Germany & even right here in London, has made it a hotbed of activity and a must visit when in Antwerp, especially on a Saturday, part of the reasons for our rapid if but reactive return.
We kind of fell for Red & Blue on our first visit in December, a little like we had done for the city and one of its inhabitants, the club impressing us from the moment we set eyes upon it, a very stylish affair with sumptuous lighting & decor, intermixed with a brick & steel industrial feel that reminded us of the glory of Fabric back here in London. With multiple levels surrounding the main dancefloor, an ample stage and an impressive D.J. booth, back dropped by a bank of screen’s Red & Blue oozed quality rarely seen in the capital, indeed quite a few clubs back home have followed suit on its style, places like Cable & Fire having adopted the brick look in attracting appeal. So, with this amazing Antwerp venue having attained such greatness in our eyes on just one visit, a return visit was always going to be on the cards, although quite so soon we were not expecting, the emotions we found ourselves caught up within finding plans were made within days of arrival back in London just after Christmas, the question remaining of our return, was it too soon and did it contribute to our almost average Antwerp experience?
With such an unforgettable start to our mini European tour, taking in the French capital with our Parisian pal Leomeo, then riding the crest of this wonderful wave with La Demence in Brussels, our return to Antwerp and to Red & Blue was filled with much anticipation, not least for the reasons we have already gone into, so stepping through its doors at just turned midnight and into the smart & stylish club space would have done a lot to disappoint, this attractive & appealing venue immediately delivering to expectation. Having easily negotiated the entry procedure, handled by the most engaging staff we had seen in out travels thus far, we found Red & Blue as we had left it, a sparkling & sumptuously affair already brimming with hopefuls intent on savouring the extent of the “I Wanna F***” event that was about to unfold. So, winding our way up to the top bar, from where we could get the best view of the rapidly filling dancefloor, we grabbed some energy boosting refreshments, suitably arming ourselves for this sex fuelled and music mounted magnificence.
Finding a space just right of the D.J. booth, a spot that have found our favour during our first visit, but then we tend to find purselves close to the D.J. booth whenever we go clubbing, in the capital or otherwise. Yet from this part of Red & Blue, we had probably the best view of the stage, or the various podiums around the place and, of course, the D.J. booth, a quick glance up confirming we were in the majestic musical hands of resident D.J. Elof De Neve, the man pumping out a superb selection of euro-style beats, uplifting vocal sounds and tech house drenches that had the dancefloor delirious with his selections, podiums topped with bare chested guys gyrating, the Red & Blue lighting & effects already at full tilt and the screens behind Elof flashing up images of the club and of the “I Wanna F***” brand for all to see. And see was now the operative word, as a further glance up towards the D.J. booth saw us connect with the effervescently bubbly & beautiful J.d Cerronez and then with Elof himself, both recognising us in an instant, invoking a hop skip and jump round past the stage & up onto the elevated position next to the D.J. booth to say our hello’s, both J.D. & Mr Neve embracing us like long lost friends, we feeling right back at home and as though we had never been away.
What followed can only be described as one of those purple patch moments in clubbing, an hour or so of excited exuberance in the company of J.d & co, seeing us “Doing The Disco Matt”, trading dance moves with the select bunch we found ourselves with, not to mention masses of moments of hilarity with Mr Cerronez, the music matching these priceless & magical minutes perfectly, the terrific talent Elof treating us to a storming selection of scintillating sounds, barnstorming beats & vocal infused euphoria that would put many a Matinee D.J. to shame. Indeed, the roof short of lifted off Red & Blue when he picked out one of our favourite tracks of now, Danny Verde’s vivacious remix of Blake Lewis’s smash “Till We See The Sun”, sending us into a spinning frenzy and the atmosphere in this “I Wanna F***” inspired event, stratospheric. With the first of a few stage & podium shows also adding to the fantastic feel, Spanish porn stars Ivan Alonso & David Korben making a sex fuelled impact with their steamy encounters, their muscled & hairy torso’s entwined in horny activity that certainly helped raise the blood pressure a notch or four, it seemed our encounter was going from strength to strength.
So now our Red & Blue experience was well underway, Elof & J.d especially helping towards this being one exceptional event to remember, but then entered Spanish guest D.J. Luiggi, who from the start of his set seemed a little out of sorts, a guy that, having topped a recent competition back home in Madrid, should have, on paper at least, been prolific in his performance, yet his apparent lack of enthusiasm, coupled with his evident struggle to capture the imagination of the Red & Blue crowd. Indeed his tough espaniol tainted tunes failed to ignite the same reaction as Elof had before, resigning us to return to our first found spot down on the dancefloor, which was distinctly thinning before our eyes. And with the euphoria of Elof’s scintillating set wearing off fast, with the sudden realisation that the usual in-bound final D.J. Ruben Winters, would not in fact be present, the slot having been given up for another “I Wanna F***” guest, on this occasion Frenchman Pier Mills, what was an astounding outing in this amazing Antwerp club, suddenly became almost average, we in fact wandering whether we would be able to stay the distance until the 7 a.m. finish.
With Elof & J.d melting into the night, along with a sizable amount of what had been a packed out Red & Blue, by the time it was Pier’s turn to ascend to the decks, the dancefloor was, at best, a quarter full, Mr Mills’ task to hold the event together an uphill one. However, his attempts to keep it on the rails was very commendable, the sudden spark of energy that had been missing in Luiggi quite evident in Pier, even the music more accessible & rousing, although grabbing our attention was always going to be difficult, our now virtually complete anonymity only broken by a familiar London face who had clearly spotted us around in Vauxhall or the like, all other traces from our Christmas visit markedly absent. So, with this rather uninspiring end to our second visit to Red & Blue, we took our leave of this stylish & sophisticated spot, wending our way back to our hotel to gather our thoughts on the evening and reflect on some of the heavenly highs and the lamentable lows on what could have been another rapturous Red & Blue re-encounter, but ended up being an almost average Antwerp outing.
Having spread our wings across into Europe in recent months, there is no question that we hold Red & Blue in high regard compared with the handful of other clubs we have visited, the whole feel & atmosphere of the club quite special and the people involved equally so. In Elof De Neve, the Red & Blue team have a terrific talent of a resident D.J. and his performance on this occasion once again impressed immensely, definitely further elevating him in our estimation and, as we hinted before, someone who would put many a Matinee D.J. to shame, especially with the truly tremendous set we had the privilege of witnessing. Yet, Elof aside and the exuberance of J.d Cerronez discounted, the rest of this “I Wanna F***” event failed to inject sufficient enthusiasm in us, the succession of stage shows that delivered plenty of x-rated action but didn’t quite impress enough, the performance by D.J. Luiggi, in our estimation, lack lustre and uninspiring sealing its fate. Add to that the absence of a couple of familiar faces, Ruben Winters especially being missed, and we were left with the conclusion that maybe our return visit was too unplanned & too soon, although thanks have to go Elof & J.d for that perfect purple patch moment that will live in our memory for months. (DISCO MATT)
Welcome to the second of our new “Preview The Review” reports and this time our fresh felt bite sized reflection of Red & Blue’s “I Wanna F***” party, we coming away with mixed feelings & reactions, summing up the event as follows…
Our return to Antwerp and to Red & Blue was filled with much anticipation, so stepping through its doors, into the smart & stylish club space and into the majestic musical hands of resident D.J. Elof De Neve, immediately delivered to expectation, this terrific talent treating us to a storming selection of scintillating sounds, euro beat based but vocal infused euphoria that would put many a Matinee D.J. to shame. Plus with the bubbly & beautiful J.D. Cerronez in attendance, our night couldn’t have got off to a better start, we feeling right back at home and as though we had never been away. Then enter Spanish guest D.J. Luiggi, who on paper should have been prolific, but in practice failed to perform in the eyes of the crowd, he struggling to capture their imagination as his tough espaniol tainted tunes failed to ignite the same reaction as Elof had before. Add to that, a succession of stage shows that delivered plenty of x-rated action but didn’t quite impress enough, final French D.J. Pier Mills had an uphill battle to keep the party on the rails. So, with much conjecture on the bulk of this bash to come, yet mixed in with plenty of praise for our resident dynamic duo, “…its ready steady go for the review…” (DISCO MATT)