Posts Tagged ‘Shawnee Taylor’
With our second weekend back on the scene stealing much of our time, we find ourselves looking back on the previous one & the days around it, as London’s Gay Pride looks set to dominate our latest That Was The Week That Was report, we hitting the ground running, with more activity on one week than we had for a sizeable chunk of June. So let’s no delay you anymore as we reflect on what was most definitely a purple patch period of partying.
Thursday’s of late have certainly been proving to have become the start of the weekend for many, it being no exception for us this week, as we headed down to Room Service for the WE “Heroes” pre-party, also taking in another pre-party at the same time, Room Service’s at Circa to be exact. And finding ourselves back in our feet meant we were also in review mode, capturing the whole evening in our reflection, “Pitron Posse Packs A Punch”, which kind of says it all, so worth look if you haven’t or another if you have, at http://discomatt.com/web/2011/07/reviews-pitron-posse-pack-a-punch-room-service-we-heroes-pre-party-thursday-30th-june-bite-size-review/, while the night marked the first of our march towards a Pride weekend in London that we won’t forget. With both Steve Pitron & Kris Di Angelis treating us to a superb soundtrack of towering tunes, Jodie Harsh & her team certainly know how to throw a prolific party and this time was no different, while news of the Ibiza launch, which went down a storm, was the icing on a resplendent Room Service cake. Watch out for another pre-party this coming Thursday (14th July), as they entertain Brazilian bash Casa Latina & keep checking http://clubroomservice.com for the new look website coming your way.
Part of the reason why Thursday’s seem to have become the new Friday’s again is due to Gigolo attracting more & more people out into Soho, David & L.a. Hart having established this gathering in response to the success of Room Service, pitching their party against the former that has since seen the two sit as comfortable bedfellows among a scene circuit that sees many jumping between the two before laying their hat on one or the other. Throwing a Pride pre-party of their own, picking on Peyton to head up this magnificent meet, was just the attraction they needed, a packed out Lo-Profile reflecting on one of the best Gigolo’s yet, Messrs English & Fisher sorting the sounds spectacularly, Tony turning up the musical heat with an inspired & uplifting set, while Gutterslut guy Nick gave Gigolo that East London edge that played into the hands of the Hoxton lot that love his grooves, With their themed nights continuing, the Hart boys turn out another treat this week, as Terry Vietheer & Jamie Head “Go To It”, more details on this & all Gigolo gatherings available at http://gigolodisco.com.
Moving to Friday and we found ourselves back in Soho for the third night in a row, this time taking in a splendid set from new(ish) boy in town, Brazilian beaut Junior Moura sorting the sounds at Profile Bar, while we engrossed in plenty of socialising with Steve Pitron, Naomi Ruiz & co, an exceptional evening of fun & frivolity ensuing with floods or familiar faces aplenty swinging by to say hi, while we were in our own floods of hysterical laughter at Steve’s naughty antics. And whilst there were pre-pride parties aplenty across Soho & Vauxhall & elsewhere, the mood was very much more Brazilian at both Profile & Lo-Profile, a special “Carioca” inspired Society tempting us downstairs, the delectable DouGuim setting this social splendour alight, while fellow countryman Leandro Kloppel continued to fly the Brazilian flag of banging beats. But Profile was enough for us, Mr Pitron pushing our delicate iron lung to its limits, a planned drop-in on Onyx shelved in favour of a respite, indeed with , top notch D.J’s on duty every Friday & Saturday, with one of the friendliest bar teams we know, plus a food offer to rival many eateries in town, as well as 2 4 1 drinks offers, a Sunday lunch that is unbeatable value, as well as their Tuesday “Steak Night”, this is one bar you simply have to swing by soon, full & further details out at http://profilesoho.com.
Onto Saturday and London Pride 2011 was in full swing by the time we arrived at Soho Square about 4 p.m., the parade over & done with, the main stage at Trafalgar Sq having attracted considerable numbers, while the streets of Soho were crammed with revellers, our choice to head for The Fire Dance Stage & the heavenly hospitality of Craig Elder, Tom Fuller & the rest of The Orange Group team. And with a succession of superb back-to-back sets, as well as two P.A. performances, the second from Shawnee Taylor no less, belting out “Stronger” then “Live Your Life”, we played witness to one of the best square Pride parties we had seen, our review “Exciting The Iron Lung”, reflecting just how amazing it was, so worth a look at to http://discomatt.com/web/2011/07/reviews-exciting-the-iron-lung-london-gay-pride-2011-the-fire-dance-stage-saturday-2nd-july-full-size-review/.
As The Pride Saturday for many continued in the streets of Soho, all eyes were pointing toward WE “Heroes” at The Coronet, although we preceded our planned trip there with a romp around Barcode Vauxhall, a night that became a huge part of the purple patch period or partying that we deluded to, the phrase of the weekend becoming “I WANT MY PORRIDGE”, which was cause for much hilarity, screaming, shouting & running (you had to be there!), our third review of this wonderful weekend give you a Bite Size idea of our antics on Albert Embankment, out at http://discomatt.com/web/2011/07/reviews-i-want-my-porridge-junior-moura-plays-profile-barcode-friday-1st-saturday-2nd-july-bite-size-review/, also combining our previous nights shenanigans with Steve at Profile Bar. However, whilst the world & his wife went to WE, we were so tired out from mummy bear chasing goldilocks, we had to return home & rest for the following morning, instead sending our “Secret Squirrel” undercover reviewer into the thick of the “Heroes” action, our caped crusader reporting back on what proved to be a resounding success, not quite the sensation of “Candy”, but by far the largest party of the weekend, Coronet filled to capacity, Pagano & Carlos Gallardo apparently stand-out as was Shawnee Taylor’s P.A. performance. But don’t take our word for it, check out over “Secret Squirrel’s” take on this WE wonder at http://discomatt.com/web/2011/07/reviews-pumpimg-pride-party-we-heroes-saturday-2nd-july-bite-size-review/, while WE will be back for more this August Bank holiday, the place to watch for more info as it breaks being http://wepartylondon.com.
So Sunday dawned and there was now only one place to be, all roads once again leading to Beyond, who had joined forces with barcode for a second time, cresting another super sized event, this one aptly called “Super Pride”, it turning out to be just that. And while we didn’t grace its doors till turned 7 a.m., it seemed everyone had got their bright & early as Area & the extended outside space was absolutely rammed, each of the three rooms of the traditional beyond side of this super sized space buzzing with brilliant beats, the likes of The Oli, Fat Tony, Paul Christian David Jimenez & Gonzalo Rivas doing the business. But, as usual, it was the main room that stole the show for us, first Mikey D delighting us with scores of superb sounds, although it was Steve Pitron that sent us over the top and into floods of emotions, a real tear jerking moment towards 10 a.m. requiring us to seriously get a grip as what we were witnessing in this, probably our best Beyond of the year yet (and there have been loads!!), just the thought that we were there but were so close to not have been so, enough to erupt our emotions, although the string of Steve sounds did their own job of pushing over the edge, so scintillating was his set. Indeed with such a lot to say, we laid down our first Full Size review n over two months and for good reason, one which you can catch at http://discomatt.com/web/2011/07/reviews-rapturous-return-erupts-emotions-beyond-super-pride-sunday-3rd-july-full-size-review/, while Beyond stretches its magic far & wide, a world tour which saw them feature on the La Demence cruise, continuing this Saturday in Paris, with Brazil, Spain & Greece still to come. Plus they are on the radio each Sunday morning, then pushing the envelope each week in Area, http://jonny-m.co.uk/beyond, the site to keep your eyes peeled for news on this brilliant brand.
While our weekend was drawn to a premature end, having over pushed those still healing bones, it was far from it for many others, first Later at Fire with its “Funfair” theme bringing out the alfresco adorer, while so many who had been partying since Friday, continued unabated right through till the early evening when Booster took over. Naturally S.L.A.G.S/Chill-out had their say too, the sun shining enough for the famed “Grassy Knoll” to fill out, while a much better (funny that!) Dame Edna Experience made it an entertaining early evening, having got plenty of stick for missing the Pride main stage the previous day. Back to Booster and it clearly benefitted from the Pride effect the roll from WE to Beyond, to Later & then to Romain Lopez’s lure, Orange then carrying a near capacity Fire main room deep into Monday morning & the raptures of RAW. With Steven Sharp’s club night seemingly riding a never-ending wave crest at the moment, it was a shame our legs couldn’t carry us there, but August Bank Holiday will be a must, if we don’t make it before, more details of Orange & other gay parties at Fire available at http://fireclub.co.uk/gayparties.
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday kind of took a hit following such a huge weekend, the usual hangouts reporting quieter numbers than usual, even a student filled Popcorn not quite the same as previous weeks, our “Secret Squirrel” having left early as it really wasn’t for him.Tuesday has always been a bit of a dead duck and this week was no exception, although it dawned with a Pride special Open at Fire, very much giving all those scene workers & others who couldn’t party across the weekend, the opportunity to do so, numbers filtering across for Popcorn and whilst never busy, it did better than usual. As for Tuesday night, it seems that “Candy Boys” at Candy Bar keeps sticking at it, while Mr Ryder’s strip shows pulled in a plume of punters. As for Wednesday’s, with no Industri, Barcode having closed its doors the previous week, Shinky Shonky at Ku-Bar & new(ish) night, Everything Taboo at Shadow Lounge, to hit with retro style sounds & clubbing, while Patrick Lilley’s Work, having found new residency at Fire in Vauxhall continues to pull in the people of colour & their admirers. Useful websites for these outings include http://popcorn-heaven.com, http://ku-bar.co.uk, http://eaglelondon.com, http://thehadowlounge.co.uk & http://patricklilley.com.
Now to some news and to The Shadow Lounge first, which closes its doors this weekend (Sun 17th July), but not before a party to wave farewell to the old look of the venue. Yes, don’t panic folks, it’s not closing for good, but for a serious make-over, we being told it’s a little more than the nip & tuck we thought it was, the builders having already started this week, in places away from prying eyes, although it seems eyes have been straying onto those builders bums & other bulges (if you know what we mean!!). As for Saturday, Andrew Elmore see’s everyone off with stacks of latest hits, floor fillers & reams of remixes, while apparently, if you fancy the look of a piece of furniture & can carry it home, tables & all seem to be up for grabs and free at that. With their website getting a new look too, keep your eyes peeled at http://thehadowlounge.co.uk for that all important detail regarding the re-opening.
To another Soho institution that has closed for good. Barcode having been sold to the highest bidder, in this case Freedom, who, rumour has it, will be turning this trendsetter of a venue spot into a private members club, (boo hoo!!), we suspect for our breeder brethren to bask within. And having not been able to give Barcode a fond farewell, the way the transition from one owner to another was handled being a bit cock eyed to be honest, and given the 15 glorious years Barcode Soho has been not just contributing to, but making the scene a much stronger place, it was a crying shame that we couldn’t celebrate its achievements with a right royal send off. However, with Barcode Vauxhall still going, we won’t say strong, but like its former sister, playing a vital role in the gay bar/clubbing scene, this Saturday (16th July), marks its 5th Anniversary, so good reason to celebrate. We will be giving it a mention in our upcoming Best Bites & Short Shouts weekend newsletter, so watch out for that, while details on happenings on Albert Embankment can be found at http://bar-code.co.uk.
So, as we begin to round-up our weekly report, it’s time for our moment, track & tweet of the week, although having been so busy, we are finding it difficult to choose our favourite moment as there were so many, from the raptures of Room Service, the delights of The Dance Stage & the bravado of Barcode. But whilst the phrase is an easy one, “I WANT MY PORRIDGE” going down in legendary history, while our numerous “iron lung” incidents also proving classical, the moment has to go to Beyond when two tracks caught us with our emotional pants down, “Starry Eyed” & then “You’ve Got The Love” leaving us with eyes flooding & poor pal Andrea looking really worried. It was real emotion alright & many thoughts were flowing over us, but it is only Steve (& possibly Mikey) that can do that to us.
As for our track of the week, as hefty those two were, our vote simply has to go to the incredible “Pressure” which was with us pretty much every step of the way this week. With a number of versions knocking around, it is the original version by Nadia Ali, Starkillers & Alex Kenji that gets our vote, having been played at Room Service, Profile, Barcode & Beyond. No so much a dancefloor smash, its melodic rhythms & those sultry vocals very much hit the mark & while it has missed our “Summer Scorcher” list, will definitely be an “Autumn Anthem” and fighting for a top ten position in our year end chart which looks like being the most hotly contested of any so far. Check this terrific track out in full 6 minute glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=NKfcg85fhTU.
To our tweet of the week and after trawling through the 45 live Nibble Sized review posts we popped onto our Twitter page, the one that just about stands out over some real gems is one we sent to someone else (we won’t say who but you can probably guess), it stating simply “…oh!! The iron lung!! What are you doing to us? I WANT MY PORRIDGE!!…” this painting a magical picture of a truly memorable weekend that we will remember, probably for ever. Now, as if we need to remind you, if you want to catch our live commentaries this coming weekend (Sat 16th & Sun 17th July) at Casa Latina & Lovebox, then log onto http://twitter.com/discomatt, as we could have a repeat performance of Pride weekend on our hands.
Now, we finish with our usual reminder saying that you that that if you want us to shout out for your favourite bar, club or event that rocked & rolled in the coming week, then link into us via our main Facebook page at http://facebook.com/discomattlondon and plaster our wall with your details or then drop us a line now at firstname.lastname@example.org. As we have hinted towards, this weekend will see us down at for Casa Latina & the on Sunday we will be across at Victoria Park for Lovebox, but will be back before then, rounding up the seven days from 8th to 13th July, so watch out for that. (DISCO MATT)
There is no denying that a succession of Spanish clubbing brands have each made their own impression upon the London scene, Matinee making a huge splash back in 2006 when it launched to an unsuspecting public at Area in Vauxhall, a long line of prolific parties proving its worth. Then when SuperMartXe was added into the mix just two years ago, it seemed super sized clubbing was taken to a new level in the capital, very much a match to the might of their spectacular showings back home. Indeed such was the impact & appeal of SuperMartXe, that nearly all its competitors ending up being swallowed up in its wake, as it continued to surge a swathe through the scene, hardly faltering along its wonderful way. But then enter stage left, new gigantic gathering WE party, short of stealing the spotlight from SuperMartXe as well as its venue, The Coronet in E&C, marking an immediate march on its competitor with a launch last December which wooed & wowed while the former floundered.
With promoter Victor Pallas & the London team eating further to those SuperMartXe strides at the beginning of the year with their awesome “Attacks” outing, then sinking a further nail into the coffin of its competitor in the capital with a “Broadway” hit emulating the hugest hit that the NYC stage strip could boast, it now seemed plain sailing for WE . And, when these two big brands chose to go head-to-head in May, it seemed the writing was on the wall & there was only going to be one winner, WE’s “Candy” colossus packing out The Coronet like we have never seen before, the stage shows, lighting & effects, and even the magnificent music that had been brought to question at “Broadway”, scored superbly, making for simply stunning spectacle.
So, with WE back in Spain still sparring with SuperMartXe for Madrid’s popular Pride festival, here in London the road was clear for WE to shine in the Saturday spotlight with the next chapter in their book of brilliant bashes, the “Heroes” themed event, surely to ride on the success of the last & prove a winner once again. So, how did it turn out? and was it the smash that “Candy” proved to be? Well, with a sapping schedule sinking our WE partying plans out of sight, we sent our “Secret Squirrel” undercover reviewer down to The Coronet, and having reporting back on this heroic happening, this is what he had to say…..
“…WE Party on Pride day, well you wouldn’t need a first class honours in Gay Scene Studies to work out that that was going to be a smash! And arriving around midnight to meet friends, I was not at all surprised to find all the queues really long! However, with customary WE party efficiency, this did not translate into a long wait and so I was soon in the club, which was totally heaving. Even the VIP balcony seemed stretched to capacity and was oven-like, which meant that the only area to take a breather was the outside smoking area.
After the initial warm-up period, the entertainment proper started with a fanfare of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for A Hero” as the curtain rose to reveal a galaxy of superheroes and super heroines gyrating on a Gotham City inspired stage, emblazoned with comic book ‘Kapow!’s and ‘Boom!’s and lasers projected out, like they had come from the Batmobile. It must be said, however, that whether they were not Bonnie fans or were too young to remember 80s male-models-turned-undercover-agents TV camp classic “Blow Up”, most of them, the gloriously blond bewigged Henry Romero apart, seemed less enthusiastic movers to this overture than Mr DJ Pagano himself, who was thrashing around the DJ booth like a man possessed.
That uncertain opening apart, the dancing and the music settled into the superb show that we have come to expect, which the crowds lapped up, despite the infernal temperatures that only a Batman villain could have dreamed up. Full kudos must go to the dancers for putting up with the heat, especially those wearing the tightest of rubber face masks! One of the highlights of the show was a brilliant PA from Shawnee Taylor, who had earlier rocked Soho Square in the afternoon, reprising her show with “Stronger” and “Live Your Life” amongst other show-stoppers. With the torch being passed from Pagano to Carlos Gallardo, the music continued to impress; despite the heat, leaving the dance floor was hardly an option as like the crowd seemed hypnotised into dancing delirium by these 21st Century Pied Pipers. When I left around 5.30, more to avoid massive queues at the end than anything, the club was still going strong, its superpowers undiminished.
So well done to WE party, for another huge success, the true heroes of the night were the DJs, the dancers, the organisers, the staff and the divine Ms Taylor, all I can say is “Holy Mackerel!”, can’t wait for the next one!…”
Well, it certainly seems that WE party has captured the clubbing capitals imagination and in this latest impressive incarnation, has proved the penchant for a prolific party, The Coronet showing many other venues a clean pair of heels when it comes to hosting a spectacle of this size. When we look at the current offer across the scene, WE party definitely stands out loud & proud, yet whilst it has seemingly crushed the competition in its mammoth march to steal the spotlight, we cannot escape the fact that what it offers, the exceptional effects, the majestic music, the spectacular stage installations & the awesome atmosphere, have set new standards on the scene. And it seems the views of our “Secret Squirrel” have been vindicated by many, the prolific P.A. from Shawnee Taylor, the scintillating sets from Carlos Gallardo & Pagano, highlights for hoards, although with the heat of this happening a repeat problem that has plagued previous parties needing attention, there is still more to do to make this brand unbeatable. However, given the staggering numbers through the door, one run superbly smoothly by the terrific Tom Fuller & his team, it was no surprise that it was hot, hot, hot in there and with the next August Bank Holiday event looking like the hottest ticket in town already, it will be one WE wonderment we will definitely want to witness. (DISCO MATT)
In all the years we have been attending Pride festivals in London, there has never been quite the excitement & anticipation of a post parade party like this year and whilst it is true that we miss the park proceedings that dominated Pride in the nineties & early noughties, the gatherings in Soho Square have become quite special. Indeed, it was this very place that, just three years ago, we played witness to one of the best parties in our Pride history, on this occasion a Sunday rather than a Saturday & for Soho rather than London Gay Pride, we spending much of an amazing afternoon & exceptional evening in amongst the action both front & backstage with fabulous friend Brent Nicholls, the day hardly having been matched since, well in a Pride sort of way anyhow. And, while we had a terrific time just a year ago, when the London Pride Dance Stage was soak up the lion’s share of our afternoon again, having been switched from Soho to Leicester Square, the ambience & action didn’t feel anywhere near as good as previous years, the intimate & theatrical feel of the former completely missing.
So, when the superb news came through that The Dance Stage for 2011 would once again be in Soho Square, furthermore hosted by Fire, but even better orchestrated by one of the best promoters & front men we know, Steven Sharp, we were wanting for little more. Yet there was much more to come, as not only would two of our favourites being going back-to-back in a headlining set, but the dream of a P.A. had been lined up, both the set & the performance likely to leave us in our trademark pool of tearful emotions. With the full line-up & that P.A. confirmation hitting our inbox just the night before, as the day dawned, the realisation that we were in for something truly special began to sunk in & as we prepared ourselves for the journey into Soho the emotion of it all overcame us in a-typical style, but with best foot forward we made our way to our destination, arriving via a whole load of diversions at Soho Square just turned 4 p.m. With the music already booming out across the area and the outside of the square buzzing with activity, we found our way round to the back stage entry and in search of fabulous friend Tom Fuller who was on scouting duty in the energetic & exemplary way that only he knows best.
With Mr Fuller clearly busying himself around the square, we were graced by the presence of none other than Craig Elder, who immediately escorted us into the back-stage area, the atmosphere in & around the Dance Stage already electric and D.J.’s Lee Harris & Jonny M having just assumed the decks for the first back-to-back set of this exceptional event. With Steve, Celso & Mikey having arrived just in advance of us, we had a momentary catch-up before checking out the front of the stage area, the familiar figure of Chrissy Darling standing proud in the crowd & attracting plenty of attention, adding to the amazing atmosphere, hoards of revellers lapping up the heavenly house tunes of the duo behind the decks. But with more hello’s to say, including D’Johnny who had not long finished his superb set, along with perfect pal Paul Vlad, the man who had been a real lynch pin in the set up of this spectacular stage in the square, having worked tirelessly since the early hours & now very much part of the stage management team that was already making this an outstanding outing. But the familiar faces kept coming, first Naomi Ruiz who was preparing to dive into the dancing spotlight stage front with a gaggle of gorgeous WE Party go-go’s, while Trade’s Mark Williams was in close call, as was prolific percussionist David H, Lovechild & SMX resident D.J. Tony English, although it was the sadly missed Alan K that grabbed most of our attention, we thrilled to bits to see the man back in the thick of the action & seemingly enjoying every minute of it.
Heading out into the main dance arena with both Steve & Celso, we quickly found fellow friend Andrea with her usual harem of hunks around her, we also falling on clubbing partner & cougar loving pal Stephen, we quickly deciding that this was the spot to lay our hat for a while, Steve’s work colleague & all round lovely lady Jess bounding up to say hello, Brazilian beauty Bel also in close call & whistling her tweets away as only she can. But, while we found ourselves in such captivating company, it was the music & the stage that was going to be the focus of our attention, the first hour literally flying by as we darted back & forth between the front & back of the arena area, The Oli & Fat Tony following on from first P.A. Sonique, who injected her own enthusiasm on proceedings, Steven Sharp doing a brilliant job of keeping the energy & pace of the afternoon going with rousing announcements over the microphone. However, we were inevitably waiting for what was to prove the set of this Soho Square shindig, the pulsating performance of Beyond boys Steve Pitron & Mikey D, polished off with a perfect P.A. that was made of dreams.
So, with six o’clock marking the start of that spectacular set, we assumed position backstage, as first Mikey D ascended to the decks, quickly followed by Mr Pitron, both selecting sounds that were hitting our sweet spots, hits like “Pressure”, “The Music In My Soul”, “Live Your Dreams” & “You’ve Got The Love” finding fabulous favour with the cavorting & considerable crowd that had gathered around the stage, Bel joining us in a mini “Doing The Disco Matt” session as we found our stride for the first time in weeks, although exciting the iron lung quite a bit. With the dynamic duo’s prolific performance going from strength to strength, we felt the further anticipation of the arrival of the star P.A. building relentlessly, plenty of fevered activity around us signalling the appearance on Shawnee Taylor, the back stage area suddenly filling with Orange Group personnel wanting to get their slice of this vivacious vocalist, some a little too overzealous in their approaches, while we stood back in our corner, soaking up the remainder of the scintillating set of both Mikey & Steve. And with a call coming across “…are you ready Matt??…”, it was the classic track “Here Comes The Rain” that truly elevated the audience & the square in advance of Ms Taylor’s towering track, this Pitron anthem rounding off an hour of sheer musical bliss that was going to be difficult to top.
Now the stage was Shawnee’s and with a rousing welcome exciting an already euphoric square full of revellers, she set about sending the crowd skyward with her truly tremendous & heavenly latest hit, “Stronger”, we feeling that surge of emotion that had been building up inside all day, well for the last few weeks to be honest, still pinching ourselves that we were mere metres away from the artist that was behind the latest Pitron/DM anthem that was already rocking dancefloors across the world. With Tom Fuller now by our side, resplendent in his cowboy hat & WE party t-shirt, Craig Elder also in close call & Shawnee right in our line of vision, the next few minutes of magical music literally pulled on our heart strings, those joyful tears welling up in our eyes, fortunately shrouded by our dark sunglasses, this live rendition the pinnacle of our amazing afternoon. But it wasn’t over, as she quickly followed up our tip top track with another of her own anthem’s, the uplifting & absorbing “Live Your Life”, Shawnee now well into her stride & proving what a powerful presence she had on proceedings, indeed with both Craig & us declaring in unison the plain, simple yet aptly expressive word “…amazing….”, we couldn’t have summed up her showing in a more precise & perfect way.
With that spectacular hour or so having impacted on us immensely and with Shawnee back stage & sinking into the spontaneous champagne reception to toast her terrific turn, it was The Sharp Boys that were to round off this delectable Dance Stage day in the London pride 2011 spotlight, we holding back from the flock of followers that were craving to get their shot & slice of Shawnee, rather waiting for friends Steve & Cellos to emerge from swarm around her. And, with post square commitments south of the river to now direct our attention on, but with George & Steven playing a closing set to savour, the choice of whether to stay or to go became tricky, the temptations of partying in Soho with pal Stephen also presenting itself, we eventually choosing the Pitron path that was to herald yet another captivating chapter in our already wonderful weekend that has started two days before & was nowhere near finishing yet.
Having chosen to once again devoted the majority of our time across the main day of London’s Gay Pride festival to The Dance Stage, we definitely walked away contented with our lot & far from feeling we had missed out. Indeed with so many superb sets from a collection of D.J.’s that also included a prolific performance from new Fire girl Verity Meyes, plus with news that The Dame Edna Experience had called in sick, leaving the main arena in Trafalgar Square on somewhat deflated finish, ours couldn’t have finished on a more heavenly high, as not only did the boy wonders Steve Pitron & Mikey D treat us to a magnificent sixty minutes of magical music, but Shawnee Taylor was the perfect P.A. for this outstanding occasion, the plaudits surely having to go to Mr Pitron for sowing the seeds of her showing in Soho Square & pulling on his experience & contacts in making the booking possible, so someone we cannot thank enough for making our dream day come true. But Steve & Shawnee aside, further special thanks have to go to Craig Elder for his incredible hospitality, to Tom Fuller for his tireless work to ensure the smooth running of the square, while the biggest thanks & acknowledgement going to Steven Sharp, who proved the most fantastic front man to this Dance Stage spectacle that will remain in our memories as probably the best yet. (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)
With our focus on all things music right back where it belongs, we are speeding our way through the colossal catch up that we promised we would complete by the end of this month, although for chapter three of four, we pause to take a slightly self indulgent look at the music from our most favourite club, now of all-time. There is no doubt that Beyond now reigns supreme in our twenty or so years on the clubbing circuit, the club also sporting some real superstar D.J.’s, a handful who are also accomplished producers, but talents that never fail to entertain us week in week out, whether on our spot in the main room, under the mirrorball in the chapel space, or treading the terrace rooms boards. So, with a handful of these Beyond stars having recently released tracks & compilations, it seemed appropriate to, in effect, proverbially kill two birds with one stone by combining our catch up with that slice of self indulgence.
So where do we start with this Beyond inspired catch up?, well with a D.J./Producer & music industry figurehead that has been part of Beyond from day one, that being back in 2001 when it launched as a one-off party following the Purple In The Park festival, but quickly established itself as an amazing afterhours, slotting into Sunday morning at The Colosseum in Vauxhall. And with the rest pretty much history and with scores of stars having trodden the beyond boards since, there is however only one person that can say he was there from the start, Steve Pitron being that man, we having marvelled at this man’s music from the heady days of Crash where he was also a main room resident. But while we have so many magical memories from Beyond at Colosseum, it is in its current home, Area, that we can count on some of the best times had anywhere in the world & in Steve superb musical hands, our infamous spot seeing week after week of emotional rollercoaster rides as Mr Pitron plunders us with one terrific track after the next. And you only have to see the reaction of the packed beyond main room to realise playing witness to a true legend and someone that remains at the very top of his gain some ten years on
And this year has already seen Steve lay down a truly awesome compilation in “Afterhours”, which we never thought would be equalled or topped, although with the release of “Summer 2011 Vol 1”, Mr Pitron seems to have at least equalled the former, if not exceeded it, 79 minutes of magnificent music that include tunes cherry picked from his stunning sets at Beyond. Opening with The Shapeshifters track “Waiting For You”, one that guarantees a joyful yet tearful reaction from us every time, the rest of this captivating compilation turning up track after track that transport us right to our spot at Beyond. Then with Bob Sinclair’s “Fuck The Disco” leading to real gems in the form of “Offshore”, “Starry Eyed”, “Stupiddisco 2011”, & “You Will Remember”, all having made it into our top ten tracks of 2011 and vying for top spot. And in this prolific Pitron podcast, it seems we may have another chart topper, so one we cannot recommend as an amazing addition to your collection by going to http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/ & scrolling down to “Vol 1”.
Now to another Beyond all star who has also been delighting us at Area for many a moon now, but who, like Steve, goes back to the days of Crash, albeit in the latter years, plus is a terrific talent who occasionally plays back-to-back with Mr Pitron, we having been treated to truck loads of terrfoc turns by Mikey D, both with Steve & solo, from sets at brilliant Beyond to their joint showing at the launch of Brazilian brand The Week in London last year, while Mikey’s solo performances at Later, Onyx, Room Service & Society never fail to hit the mark, very much proving him as one of the scenes most sought after stars. But like so many of its all-star residents, it is at Beyond when Mikey really shines, obviously at Area in London, but also on tour, he have featured large in their world tour last year, this despite, like Steve, keeping down a high powered job in the music industry that has recently precluded him from making as many appearances at Beyond as we would like, although when he does, he proves that the wait has been worth it, as what do they say? “…cream always rises to the top…” and Mikey certainly does that.
And when it comes to compilation releases, Mikey also keeps us waiting, a pretty long time in some respects, having released just one last year. However, what a corker it was, “Get Lifted” only being just piped to the post to topping our 2010 compilation chart. So, after another Dower drought, we were really excited when news hit our desks of a new release, indeed Mikey forwarding us the kink with the words, “…something to help with the recovery Matt…”, this latest podcast entitled “Heavy Baby” showing us a more tech house side to Mikey’s music and one that has seen him storm sets at Later recently, also reflecting how much depth there is to his sound style. And, having given the mix a full play, it quickly grew on us, not least as the departure from the Dower norm is a refreshing one, which, given the current domination of our earwaves by another, is a welcome alternative that we can easily see getting airplay when we are fit enough to spin around London’s roads again. So, get a feel of what’s filling Mikey’s playlists at his residencies across the capital right now, go grab “Heavy Baby now at http://mikeyd.podomatic.com/ as we know you will crave it too.
Right, let’s take a track interlude, the first of five in fact, and one that stormed straight into our top ten of 2011 so far, served up by probably our artists of the year too, as Pink Fluid seem to be able to do no wrong, the brilliant “Bitch Lady” neatly followed up by the spectacular “So Much Love” which, like the former, is given the creative Craziba mix treatment that makes it an absolute corker. Not yet spotted in D.J.’s live set playlists, this is definitely one of our “Summer Scorcher” tips, the full length version out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=kDkA-_-o8ak and one we are hopefully will be out in force next weekend, especially on the beyond dancefloor.
So let’s head to our next Beyond all star resident and one who continues to play an intrinsic part in making the chapel room the popular place that it has become, Sean’s style of future, funky & tech house very much hitting our mark. But he occasionally gets to warm up proceedings in the main room, employing a slightly more uplifting edge to his tech tunes that makes him a popular choice for the promoter. Beyond aside, Sean remains pretty busy both domestically as well as internationally, annual pilgrimages to Folsom in San Francisco, added to appearances in Rome, & Madrid, the latter seeing him play there at the forthcoming pride weekend, while on a personal front, 2011 has been a brilliant one for Mr Dickson, who tied the knot with long time partner Mike Springett, making his inclusion here very much a celebratory one, as well as a well deserved entry. But it is Beyond where we continue to enjoy Sean at his best, especially when we get the chance to dance under that chapel room mirrorball, of course after enjoying with him a characteristic “Hifi High Five” and when he treats us to his fabulous version of the classic “Get Busy” which still wears extremely will with age (a bit like us!).
As for his podcasts, or should we say “Hifi-casts”?, well Sean never fails to impress with his virtual monthly releases in the now long running “Deep House” series that has very much stayed the distance, pretty much taking over from his club dedicated compilations, whether it be for Beyond or to mark his worthy inclusion in the Orange “RAW” team. Indeed, since we last gave Sean a mention in a newsletter of ours, we find ourselves choosing between three offerings in May, aptly named “The Take Off”, “The Orbit” & “The Landing”, very much taking you on his so called psychedelic house journey (and a good one it is too) while his latest mix, “Deep Fried”, probably edges it for us and is symptomatic of Sean’s current style. And with play/download figures stretching into the 1000’s just nine days after posting on his podcast page, it is clear you agree with us that this is a worthy addition to any deep house collection, one which you can grab now by going to http://hifiseandj.podomatic.com/, leaving us to say, Sean, we dedicate this devotion to your future happiness now you have made an honest man of the marvellous Mike.
Onwards to a duo that have been at the cutting edge of the music & D.J. circuit scene for as long as we can remember, The Sharp Boys having travelled to every corner of the globe, their productions having made it to the playlists of some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as being included in main stream compilations on the shelves of the largest record stores in the world. Add to that a whole host or regular residencies across the capitals clubbing circuit, which include Orange, Popcorn, Later, Trade, The Egg and, of course, Beyond and it is clear The Sharp Boys are very much a tore de force on the scene, remaining as popular now as they were when they made those first gingerly steps in the infamous Trade “lite lounge” back in the mid nineties. With one half of the duo, Steven Sharp holding down considerable club promotions duties, not least Orange & now Open, he will also be masterminding proceedings at the Fire dance stage next weekend, while no mention in this Beyond dedicated music newsletter would be complete without hailing his terrific work as promoter of this awesome afterhours, Steve still sorely missed, having very much shown the way for his successor.
Turning to The Sharp Boys studio works, while we have needed to wait a couple of months for their latest “Sharpcast” it has proved well worth it, as the boys have pulled a real corker out of the bag, “Episode 9” kicking off with the truly awesome “You Will Remember” by Michael Gray, a track that could well be our top tune of 2011, albeit that it was brought to our attention by another, while with Stefano Noferini featuring large on this magnificent mix, we particularly liking the boys’ mash up of the magical “Move Your Body”, there are more treats in store on this 73 minute marvel, not least Craziba’s “Donuts & Stew” and the D Ramirez hit “Jump To It” and this is yet another accomplished compilation to add to the stable of others, which you can grab by going to http://sharpboys.podomatic.com/. But the boys are also renowned for producing top quality tracks, their recent release “Dansen” still stand-out, while new projects in the making include remixes of Jose Nunez’s “Are You Ready” & Champagne’s “My Love Is Real”, this on top of their “Sharp Tools Vol 6” which you can grab at http://selektedmusic.com/.
Time for another track interlude and this one has been rocking the dancefloors for quite some time, although this 2011 version is even better than the original, Mark Knight stamping his authority on the classic “You’ve Got The Love”, originally recorded by Candi Station, although this particular version the creation of Florence & The Machine, getting that 2011 twist that gives it an edge over the former. With a whole load of download options & having been included in a prolific podcast that we simply can’t put down, you can check out the track right here at http://vodpod.com/watch/6299122-youtube-mark-knight-vs-florence-and-the-machine-youve-got-the-love and transport yourselves straight to the Beyond main room, while it will come as no surprise when we say it is another of our top ten “Summer Scorcher’s”.
Back to our Beyond residents and next up is Berlin based D’Johnny, a Swede by birth, but a dynamic D.J. who has been part of the London clubbing scene for many years, having first come to our attention during those halcyon Saturday’s at Barcode Soho when he used to play back-to-back with fellow countryman & our super Swede, Per Q.X. However, while Per engrossed himself in the alternative scene out east, Johnny forged ahead with residencies, primarily for The Orange Group, having played for virtually every brand within their extensive family, from Gravity through Later, A:M to Orange and, of course, Beyond, Mr Cermann the only resident that has played in all three rooms at Area, that fact alone testament to the diversity in his music, which ranges from uplifting & chunky, through tech to deep house that makes him one of the most versatile talents we know. Add to that, regular appearances for Lo-Profile as well as for Barcode, Johnny jetting across to the capital virtually every weekend, and he remains as busy as ever, also having played for SuperMartXe & now being a feature of the massive WE Party brand here in London & now in also Madrid.
When it comes to studio works, Johnny is no slouch either, laying down compilations to mark his live performances, although we have to look back to December last year to find one dedicated to beyond, although it is quite special. As for more recent recordings, there are rich pickings that cover virtually every club he plays in the capital, Johnny marking his inclusion in the Orange “RAW” team with a mix from his back-to-back set with “RAW” original David Jimenez, a collaboration that has also worked like a dream in Beyond on more than one occasion. However, since we last gave Johnny a mention, he has produced no less than four mixes, two in this month alone, the first taken from his prolific performance at Saturday morning sensation A:M, on 11th June, when he mixed in those uplifting & accessible beats with the tougher tech tones he is better known for, while it is his Later recording from the following afternoon that does it the most for us, as it is pure & unadulterated D’Johnny delight, the mix flowing fabulously and very much reflecting how comfortable he is with his lot at Later. So, to get your slice of this Swedish sensation and his Later creation, go now http://djohnny.podomatic.com/ and while you’re at it, dig into the Johnny archives for three Beyond devoted compilations.
Now we move to a man that even sends D’Johnny’s versatility into the shade, as Gonzalo Rivas has been there & done it all, contrasting a residency at the techno fuelled Trade with that of the Salvation in his early career, while in more recent times he has played for virtually every club we can think of, stand-out residencies including those for Orange &, you guessed it Beyond, Gonzalo having recently traded spots in the chapel room for regular appearances where he rightfully belongs, under the main room spotlight. Furthermore, no special Beyond bash is quite the same without his inclusion, Gonzalo pitching his performance to match the magnificence of this majestic main room, while fast forwarding to a Monday morning, he is equally outstanding for Orange, but toughing up his offering to meet the “RAW” requirements. But the examples go on & on, he impressing us immensely wherever he plays, Later, A:M, Lo-Profile, WE Party, As One, Lovechild & Gravity all benefitting from this truly towering talent & his dynamic diversity. But his appearances across the clubbing circuit don’t stop there, as Mr Rivas has toured just this year with both Lovechild & Beyond, as well as playing back in his native Spain, his career behind the decks showing no signs of slowing down.
And we guess that such feverish activity means that something has to give, it being close on four months since we have been treated to a podcast, although his last offering “Deep Fried” from March, very much reflects the superb sounds he plays at his long standing Orange RAW residency, Monday mornings pretty much belonging to this beatmaster, So whilst this mix is a must for your collection which you can grab at http://soundcloud.com/gonzalo-rivas, we go back even further to January when he laid down a compilation for Lovechild’s “Snowball” party, Gonzalo picking on many of our favourite producers, including Tom Novy, Lizzat & Voaltaxx, Miguel Picasso, David Penn and in doing so, once again demonstrating that dynamic diversity for which he has become so well known & such an in demand D.J..So, whilst we await his latest podcast with bated breath, if you haven’t yet added this Lovechild compilation to your collection then do it now by going to http://gonzalorivas.podomatic.com/.
Now let’s get back on the track trail and another one that has been added to our “Summer Scorcher” top ten list, another that was brought to our attention by a Beyond all-star who has since included it in that podcast that we can’t put down. Unequivocally uplifting and euphoric in its composition, “Diamonds In The Sky” definitely has the Antoine Clamaran style of sound to it, this prolific producer having remixed the TV Rock & Hook & Sling hit superbly. Featuring the vocals of Rudy, we cannot wait to be standing on our spot in Beyond when the inevitability of its inclusion will send on yet another one of those emotional rollercoaster ride, this very much challenging the current DM/Pitron anthem & one you can catch in fill Clamaran remix glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=25N2jv21zPg.
Right, onto our next Beyond D.J., although this individual is none other than the clubs promoter, having taken over the role from Steven Sharp back in November last year. Jonny M is probably known to many as the man who headed up Friday night club Onyx, although in his position as director of events for The Orange Group, he has his fingers in lots of pies, this sometimes detracting from his duites at Beyond. However, recently weeks have seen a shift change in all this, a new Onyx promoter allowing Mr Marsh to focus more on beyond, he also taking up the occasional slot behind the decks, whether it be in the terrace or the main room(s). And Jonny is a reasonably accomplished D.J., having started out down in Brighton, making a name for himself with the city’s biggest gay clubbing group, Aeon Events, better known as Wild Fruit, offshoot Rebel a regular slot for him, while he has also played for Matinee up in London, as well as featuring in more than a handful of Onyx parties, along with a slot or two for Later.
Whilst we are not fans of promoters D.J.’ing in their own clubs, a trait that seems to be a regular occurrence in Orange Group events particularly, what it has done in Jonny’s case, is produce a podcast dedicated to Beyond which is crammed full of main room style sounds that make this a very credible compilation. With the “Doing The Disco Matt” 2011 theme “Now Or Never” & the fulsome “Hide You” by Sandy Rivera two of many fabulous floor fillers, this “Wonderland” mix, dedicated to the event of a same name in March this year, is definitely a worthy addition to any Beyond collection and on which you can download via http://jonny_m.podomatic.com/, while you can also grab some of Jonny’s previous mixes there too.
To our final Beyond all-star for this that catch up chapter devoted to the club and to a talent who impressed us from the moment we heard him play, way back when in Orange and has since been hitting our musical sweet spots whenever we get the chance to move & groove to his superb sets. Having very much stole the show at Lovechild’s “Makin Hay” event last June, Oli’s inclusion in the Beyond residency team was a foregone conclusion and whilst he occasionally plays in the main room, it is in the terrace where he really shines, Mr Bell very much loving the energy & vitally of the space. Indeed just a few weeks ago, we soaked up one of the most spectacular sets of his in a long time, dancing from start to finish, Oli mixing in classics with latest hits that made it an absolute winner. A product of the vinyl era, he still has a considerable collection and was famed for the so called “Vinyl Room” sessions at A:M, along with fellow enthusiasts Paul Martin & Jamie Head, while The Oli has also played for brands including Later & Gravity, while no special Bank Holiday Orange session is quite the same without his inclusion. With a varied career including working for Trax Records in Soho, as well as coaching hockey, Mr Bell’s talents show now bounds
As dynamic behind the decks as he is, The Oli has also been pretty busy laying down a succession of compilations of late, we feeling a tad guilty for not including him in our music newsletters for quite a while. So, making amends right here right now, we kick off with his “Promo Clubcast” for Gravity, just on 60 minutes of massive dance hits, very evocative of his style for this Thursday night frolic, neatly followed by his “Funky Weekender” mix, a brilliant blend of disco tipped classics with an updated edge, along with plenty of funky fillers & samples that rank this as one of our favourites of his. However, we then come to his “Never Too Late” podcast and one inspired by the club Later, this collection of tunes bursting with energy making it truly stand-out, Oli remarking “…I that haven’t enjoyed making a podcast as much as this for ages…” and it definitely shows. That said, we cannot conclude our look at Oli without including his latest mix and one lifted directly from his set at, of course, Beyond from two weekends ago (while we were laying in hospital), a performance packed with some of our favourite tracks, along with other gems, highlights including “Enjoy The Ride”, “You Will Remember”, “Pressure”, “Cross The Line” & “Move Your Body”, along with a handful of heavenly acapella inclusions giving added dimension to this prolific production, which made it straight into our collection and should to yours to by going now to http://theoli.podomatic.com/.
To our fourth track inclusion and another one that has made it to our top ten “Summer Scorcher’s” list, the truly terrific “Lift Me Up” having the Disco Matt musical mark all over it, uplifting & euphoric vocals by Michelle Weeks combined with the funky beats of its creator Cambis making it a sure fire hit in our books. Now, while we prefer the full-on club remix by Cambis & Felix, one which is available on a number of download sites, the dub version is pretty credible too and one that gives you a fantastic feel of just have fabulous this track is, so well worth a listen at http://youtube.com/watch?v=oObmxsLJxEM, while that club version can be found on that podcast we can’t put down.
So, by now you are probably wondering exactly what this podcast that we can’t put down is. Well, we kind of take you back to where we started as just seven days ago we were given exclusive access to Steve Pitron’s “Summer 2011 Vol 2” podcast, in the expectation & excitement that it would include some of the tracks that he had been pushing our way in the weeks following the release of “Vol 1”, as well as treating us to these tracks during his sets at Beyond. And we were not to be disappointed in any way, Steve somehow outshining his previous podcasts with this 114 minute marvel which is packed full of towering tunes that have left us breathless in admiration of this colossal creation. To list every track, each one deserving attention, would fill far too much space and we can’t even lay our hat on one track as being an outstanding favourite, although at a push it probably would have be the new Pitron/DM anthem which ends this magnificent mix, so one that just scrapes our vote. However, with the four tracks we have picked out for this newsletter included on this prolific podcast, you can probably gather just what sort of an influence this mix has had on us since its release, while it seems it has also captured the imagination of thousand’s, download figures in the first day alone way in excess of 3500. So if you are not one of those, then make sure you become a “Vol 2” addict by going to http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/.
Now, we simply had end with that Pitron/DM anthem we have been talking about and whist it seems that the world & his wife have jumped on this track, some wanting to take ownership of a record that looks set to the THE “Summer Scorcher”, like “Release Me” which has DM’ name all over it, so “Stronger” does too. And, while we missed Mr Pitron playing it for the first time at Lo-Profile two weeks ago and then at Beyond the following weekend, we simply cannot miss out this one, especially as vocalist Shawnee Taylor will be performing the track at WE Heroes this Saturday (3rd July), probably leaving us in a pool of tearful emotions. So, as we recover from our accident and feel “…stronger than yesterday, stronger than what it will take & stronger than what they say…” we cannot think of a more appropriate track & way to finish this beyond inspired “Colossal Composition Catch Up” than with a link to this towering track which is out in full club version glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=jKu1xXY9ESo.
Right, that is definitely it for this third chapter, we now looking forward to the fourth which will be a whistle stop tour of over twenty D.J.’s/producers and their latest works, thus brining you bang up to date in the most comprehensive way. So, in the meantime we hope you like our Beyond inspired choices here, leaving us to say, “…sit back, select those sounds, turn up the volume & let them play, as music is the answer…”. (DISCO MATT)