Posts Tagged ‘The Oli’
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)
What was a brilliant brand and a fabulous favourite of ours, is fast losing both is brilliance and its favour with the twelve hour “Midnight” mould breaker that is effectively laying this colossal club to a first four waste, we once again, yet for the last time, looking at why & how Beyond is being broken when it needs no fixing.
Of the myriad of meets, the catalogue of clubs and the bounty of brands we have come across in the close on twenty years we have been circulating the clubbing scene, not just here in the capital but across in continental Europe, as well as back home in South Africa, there are of these meets, clubs & brands, a figure that must run into the thousands, just a handful or two that we would class as truly legendary in our clubbing lifetimes. Back home it would have to be Cape Town’s Bronx, while in Europe, Muccassassina in Rome, Red & Blue in Antwerp, La Demence in Brussels & Salvation in Barcelona top our legendary continental tree. And while there are clubs further afield as yet untouched by our visiting hand, we look to the capital for a the rest, Factor 25, DTPM, Action, Fiction & FF, while of all these, there are two that sit above even this pronounced party parapet, both Sunday morning afterhours and both accounting for a seventh day of the week wondrous loss to the normality of straight minded Sunday life, each contributing to a run lasting from 1993 to 2012, with just a year or so break in 2006/7. Naturally, Trade is one of the two, Lawrence Malice’s legendary creation without doubt at its brilliant best in the Turnmills era which stretched from 1990 to 2003, while the other, one that wrestled the magnificent mantle for our mothership of clubbing as THE best club of all-time can only be Beyond, it dominating the 21st century like no other club, yet close on twelve years after its inception, is in serious danger of losing its title back to Trade.
So why this falling in favour and what is causing the brand breakage? Well, to answer those questions with qualification, we need to look back to Beyond, two, three or even four years ago, when having risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the split with former host venue, the Collosseum as well as on the back of a fall out between the then joint promoters. Finding its feet within weeks of securing its new home, the amazing Area, Beyond very much entered its most prolific purple patch period to date, a run of events spanning 2008 through 2010 securing it as not just the most popular outing on the capitals clubbing circuit, but gained a reputation overseas, even though it had yet to play out in continental Europe and further afield. And during this period, the format of Beyond hardly changed, a solid residency of stars ensuring its popularity never waned or the need to change was not an issue. Indeed, with Steve Pitron, Mkey D & Alan K masterminding the main room and David Jimenez, Hifi Sean & Paul Christian sorting the sounds in the second space, Beyond was very much at its brilliant best. However, the real magic for us was in the terrace room, where the delightfully debaucherous & decadent feel of clubbing on a Sunday morning played out the most, The Sharp Boys, The Oli, Jamie Head & Fat Tony often outstaying even the main room revellers right up to the midday finish, while that main room lighting the exceptional effects, the trademark ceiling rockets and scores of sterling sets from Mikey, Alan &, particularly an always precision perfect Mr Pitron, earned Beyond its all-time best club status.
Yet, despite all this, the then new promoter, Jonny Marsh, decided in 2010 that Beyond was destined for bigger and better times, not just in London but overseas, his aims to share the brilliance of the brand not just in other capital cities of the world, but in festivals & tours, this programme marking measured successes in Paris & Mykonos, although not that much more, The Week in Brazil playing host just once, Beyond showing its singular hand at Sydney Mardi Gras, while the La Demence cruise and the XLsior festival will go down as Beyond’s best international expeditions. However, back in London, the virtual constant tampering with the format, swapping and changing the D.J.’s at the drop of a hat, the continual desire to throw special events and the theory that by changing & shifting the show around would keep it fresh, actually put many of its earlier years fervent followers off, while this went virtually unnoticed by the promoter and his team, as for every regular they lost, another transient party goer would replace, meaning the bottom line figures didn’t look much different, but that whole fabulous feel & marvellous magic that had been Beyond, was slipping & sliding significantly. But, with Steven Sharp steering a stormy ship into calmer waters, Beyond, for a while at least, regained some of that magic it had lost, although with knee jerk axing & changing of promoters becoming the norm across the group, like Later & A:M, Beyond was an inevitable victim, a situation that has existed now for the last two years.
So that brings us pretty much up to date, although in 2012, while we continued to support our then most favourite frolic of all, our stays were merely extended to Steve Pitron set performances (which will always remain special for lots of reasons) and not much more, the charge laid at our door that it was only his house music we were interested in, but the true fact being that Beyond was not a patch of the party that it was in the years before. Indeed, another element in this equation was the decimation of the scene Saturday schedule , much of which lays at the doors of Orange Nation, meaning there was little to feed our desire to party before Beyond, even the protagonists of this sad Saturday story not replacing their crushed competition with ample or sufficient alternatives. And that brings us neatly to this “Midnight” format, one that was originally devised, like “Super Size” & “Ice”, as simply specialist & one-off events to satisfy increased clubber demand that bank holidays & the like dictated. However, more deviously, this “Midnight” format was also used as a weapon against brands such as Matinee & SuperMartXe, that competition crushing attempt to pitch this afterhours party right into the thick of the Saturday schedule, a place were Beyond in our view, simply doesn’t belong. But with no competition left and no real big parties remaining, excepting WE, Beyond is now simply being used to fill that very gap its timings switching & fixing created, 2013 already proving that as in the last eight weeks, there have been no less than five “Midnight” events, all the current promoter being able to say on the subject is “…we like to let people party for longer…”, a weak response to our critiscm of how this format is being used & abused, if ever there was one.
What we simply cannot understand with the current use of the “Midnight” muddle, is that rarely is the chapel space open before 3 a.m., while a wait till six or even seven is required before the main room swings into action, leaving just the terrace space which, in the hands of one Anna Iwinska, is tortuous tech house terror that wouldn’t be out of place in Berlin’s Berghain, while this week’s zero o’clock start sees an absolute unknown, Daniel Braggins, kick off this once spectacular show. But the favour faltering & all-time status sinking story of Beyond doesn’t rest just at the door of the now maligned “Midnight” format, but the whole atmosphere & feel of the club, the staff nowhere near as friendly as before, the security imposing & sometimes acutely invasive, while the promoter, who we would expect not only to take charge, show himself throughout and generally be the face of the club, is rarely seen after 8 a.m. And while some order has been restored with the once steady resident star line-up’s, we cannot help but feel (without mentioning names) that square pegs are being pushed into round holes, just one example being that certain D.J.’s can be seen playing in all three rooms, whereas each space always did and should have their own distinct sound, these individual’s styles actually no different from one room to the next. However if we are to believe the bullish banter of the clubs promoter when he say’s “…I’m loving the atmosphere at Beyond this year so let’s all raise the roof, take it to the next level and keep it at the top of its game…” those very words a contradiction in terms, as if Beyond really still is at the top of its game, where is that next level? Plus, while he adds of Beyond, “…not just London’s but the world’s best afterhours…” we are seriously casting doubts as to whether it can still rooftop shout that status.
So, with NYD looking like it was our last Beyond and with the winds of clubbing change about to sweep the scene, thus putting this once awesome afterhours amazement’s home in a pronounced & precarious position, we not only fear for Beyond’s future, but reckon that soon Trade will recapture that title as our top club of all-time it lost back in 2001/2, leaving us to simply lament on the magical memories Beyond brought us, both in those halcyon Colloseum days and that purple patch Area period. (DISCO MATT)
First there was a month of free clubbing and now there is a month of seventh day deals, Orange Nation following on from their January offer with a February one that focuses on its Sunday soirees, we delve into this deal as well as reporting on the latest news of Later, Orange and new to the group, Society.
When it comes to clubbing, if there is a day in any given weekend that we have always leant towards, it has been a Sunday, the hedonistic days in the nineties when so much was going on, made this seventh day of the week a rich playing field for us party heads that were, still out from Friday. Yet, with so much on offer, the likes of Trade, Sherbert, DTPM, Nutz, Salvation, Factor 25, The L.A., F.F., Warriors, Medikation and many more, you could literally bounce from one party to the next and go from the early hours of Sunday morning right through till Monday lunchtime. Indeed, as the century turned, the offer was still pretty strong, relative new kid on the block, Orange, first setting its stool out in Rotherhithe, but soon moving across to Vauxhall and what was, at the time, nothing more than an empty dusty archway. Yet those early days of Orange in Vauxhall were the epitome of the decadent and naughtiness sensation that came from clubbing on a Sunday and into a Monday, the dusty floors, the makeshift coatcheck, the self built D.J. booth (well hardly a booth) & the basic laser lighting made it quite magical and a period in our clubbing that ranks with some of the best and we will never forget. But Sunday mornings in Trade which filled our early years, evolved to Beyond which has dominated Sunday’s since, the Colloseum days between 2001 & 5 still the most hedonistic, made even better by the advent of Later in the, by then, fully fledged venue Fire, continuing the tradition that the seventh day was all about going clubbing rather than going to church.
Yet while we consider we have seen the best of Sundays in that purple patch period during the nineties & naughties, today’s clubkids can still enjoy their seventh day on the dancefloor to the full, perhaps with less choice than we had, but nevertheless, a chain of clubs that easily sees them party from the early hours of Sunday morning through to late Monday morning, the mini circuit of meets concentrated in Vauxhall. And it will come as no surprise that both Beyond & Later are still in the picture, as is Orange, while relative new kid on the block, Society, completes a quartet of clubs that, under the Orange Nation (ON) umbrella now also make up their newly launched “Sunday Pass”, an offer that runs for the whole of February, fixing the entry price to just £20 for the four clubs or £15 for three. So what exactly is the deal, well the ON team tell us, “…Continuing on from our free clubbing in January, your Orange Nation gives love back to its clubbers as we bring you in February, “The Sunday Pass”. We have long been a firm believer in the rulin nature of Sunday clubbing, after all, we were born on a Sunday night at Orange many years ago!..” adding of the pass itself, “…this incredible February offer will get you a jaw dropping joint entry into your favourite Sunday parties…”. And quite simply, for £20, you get entry to Beyond, Later, Society & Orange, while by dropping Beyond, your Sunday Pass price also drops to £15, pretty good value when you think that standard door charges for the four add up to £38 (at least) and one you can grab each week of February by either upgrading your entry on the door of Beyond or Later, or by going online to http://orangenation.co.uk, it’s as simple as that.
So with “The Sunday Pass” sorted what of the news on Later, Orange & Society. Well, let’s deal with the first two first and we are so pleased to hear that these superb Sunday soiree’s are going back to their roots, returning to the winning formula’s that have made them so popular over the years. Later gets a re-injection of uplifting, chunky & heavenly house with The Oli back every single week and special guests such as Emma J White & Marco Gee brought in to re-ignite the daytime disco energy into this enthralling event. As for Orange, well we reported a while back on Fat Tony taking over the promotion of the club and his desire to bring back the fun and the accessibility that always made Orange so popular, Plus with Glendora back and the RAW room rolled out too, Tony is definitely making his mark on what he considers as his baby, not least that he was involved right back in the Rotherhithe days and has played for the brand ever since. To Society then and many will recognise this as a party from the Profile paddock, although following the sad demise of this Wardour St wonder, a significant slice of the team have switched on ON and Society has now become “The Sunday Society”, having launched just last weekend (Sun 3rd Feb) and returns this with Lee Harris & Zach Burns on the decks and while many t-dance delectations in Area have quickly fallen on their swords, we reckon Society will be given a good go & run, more detail on this new addition to the ON family out at https://facebook.com/SocietyProfile, wile for more news on Later, head to https://.facebook.com/LATER.INFO.
Well, we may still look fondly back on our Sunday’s clubbing back in the 90’s & 00’s, but the one thing we didn’t have was a deal like “The Sunday Pass”, so giving credit where credit is due, we say horary to Orange Nation for serving up this Sunday special offer, one well worth grabbing if, like us, you love your Sunday clubbing. (DISCO MATT)
While we make no secret that Beyond has become our favourite club of all-time, having wowed our world for over ten years now, recent developments have left us in dismay over some of the mixed messages that are marring its magnificence, while come Sunday (3rd Feb) all that will be brushed under the carpet as Beyond’s first big bash since NYD looks set to be a sell-out success, we reporting on then recommending this brand & it’s “Pervert” party.
Having devoted reports, features, recommendations & reviews to this brilliant brand, pretty much speaks for itself, while we have propelled related podcasts, music and the clubs resident D.J.’s on scores of occasions in our time, all an indication of the love and passion we have for this awesome afterhours (we use that word for good reason), as since day one back in 2001, we have been probably one of the biggest & longest lasting supporters, fans, fervent followers of this Sunday morning (also used for purpose) meet. Indeed, having formed friendships with flocks of D.J.’s, scene faces, scene workers and pure party people, this captivating club, for much of its history, stood for everything that was great about clubbing. From the Colloseum period, through to its current reign over Area (and no other brand or event feels the same here for us), a purple patch period between 2009 & 2011 chalking up tons of terrific turns, during 2012 and particularly in the last two to three months of the year, it seems to have lost some of its spark, So, our once weekly visits have become far less often and when we do make it down,, they are short & sweet (for some far too short), no one’s fault but ours, we just seem to be finding our favour faltering. But more than that, what was recognised from the off as a pure afterhours party, has shifted its timings as often as the wind changes direction, leaving us scratching our head as to what the promotions team are attempting to achieve.
Beyond, without doubt remains at the top of the capitals gay clubbing circuit pile, it having built on the solid foundation of its early years competing against Trade, quickly becoming THE place to go after the previous parties pale, this “all roads lead to” reputation played out virtually weekly, Area having proved the perfect venue for this awesome afterhours. And our clubbing memory banks are brimmed with magical moments, not least from the band of superstar resident D.J.’s that have graced the club’s decks over the years, The Oli, Jamie Head, Hifi Sean, Fat Tony & The Sharp Boys right up there as considerable contributors, while that purple patch period we talked about was pretty much dominated by Alan K, Mikey D & Steve Pitron, Alan always playing the final main room set, while Mikey & Steve would swap around, we & masses of other never getting tired of seeing the same trio week in, week out, it was monotonous, it was simply magically stunning to soak up their scintillating sets. And when you look at Trade for example, their main room line up hardly changed each week, Malcolm Duffy starting, Steve Thomas next then Alan Thompson, Ian M, Tony De Vit & Pete Wardman, while as a couple of the characters fell out their places were filled, but the D.J. format hardly ever fiddled with.
Yet in the last couple of years and in 2012 particularly, the Beyond powers that be have insisted on messing with the magic, introducing an effective rolling D.J. roster, while the year also saw Alan K finally throw in the towel, for reasons we won’t yet go into detail on, while poor Hifi Sean, who for us, was the epitome of everything the was charismatic & compelling about the chapel space, was ditched due to inter promoter politics. But the upheaval didn’t stop there, oh no, The Sharp Boys removed from the roster by the current promoter, they being told “…their music didn’t fit with Beyond…”, shocking in the extreme, especially when you take into consideration that they were playing the club in the Colloseum days and, with the exception of Steve Pitron, are (or is that were) the longest surviving residents. Indeed, talking of promoters, very much like the club timings, they have changed like the wind over the last three years, we’ve had Steven Sharp twice (the best in our opinion), Jonny Marsh, Mauricio Ortiz & most recently Ben Kaye, while as we go to press with this post, our ear to the ground information (not confirmed we must stress) is that Ben is due to be replaced by JJ Clark. And as for these “Midnight” parties, which in late 2012 & for nearly the whole of January became the norm, well they are the single most confounding contributor’s to the mixed messages that are marring the magnificence of Beyond, The Orange Group seemingly falling back on the brand to fill a gaping gap in their Saturday schedule, rather than launch a new night, a move that may perhaps re-emulate those heady & hypnotic days of Juicy & Horizon.
Yet, all that said, we feel that Beyond has been the savour of the nation of clubbing brands that make up Orange (Orange Nation – The Orange Group), as 2012 has seen virtually all of them falter, some more significantly than others. Onyx has all but disappeared & As One has gone into hibernation, CasaLatina seems to have ceased to be, while A:M has been subject to what we see as a muddled make-over affecting numbers, Orange a place on its prolific past. Even Gravity has seen a switch of venues, in effect downsizing form his former home Fire, Later’s “Nu Direction” promising, well until the promoter that made all the marvellous changes was, once again, sidelined, Beyond however remaining buoyant, often brimming, its popularity seemingly unblemished despite a distinct movement away from Vauxhall. So, as much as we have our own issues, one thing is for sure, this awesome (and it truly is) afterhours beats every other club we know in London & on the continent hands down, meaning that while we remain uneasy with recent developments, Beyond simply cannot escape our positive spin, our resounding recommendation and, more than anything else, our acknowledgement that, clubbing in the capital, when this brilliant brand is on fantastic form, doesn’t get any better. And we highlight suspect it will be at its best this weekend, when it entertains Matinee goers & many many more for sure, with its “Pervert” party.
So what can you expect from this spectacle? Well, we concur with the promoter, Ben Kaye, when he say’s “…this is biggest weekend on the gay scene calendar since NYD…” and given the explosion of events, Beyond looks like it will have rich pickings as there are at least three other big events apart from Matinee, that will no doubt converge on Area on Sunday morning, although with it being the official afterhours for the Spanish superclub’s latest London outing, Beyond sharing the “Pervert” pin for its party, so will probably also replicate some of the production & dancers from the Fire foray. However, the D.J. line-up is pure Beyond, the main room looking good (well great actually) as it seems the team may have sensed some of our discord, Steve Pitron & Mikey D appearing consecutively from 6 through till 10 a.m., while The Oli is back in the terrace too, the full line-up picture completed by Rob Sykes, David Jimenez, Maze & Masters and (sharp intake of breath) Anina. Plus, the promoter tells us that the team are “…welcoming back JJ Clark to Beyond, who you will be seeing a lot more of in the coming months…” perhaps deluding to what we said earlier, while a whole host of others, including James Marsh on the door & the amazing Altina Ha on VIP duty and new addition John Brooks who, following the sudden closure of Profile/Lo-Profile, switched swiftly and now seems to be involved in Gravity, Beyond, Later & A:M, while he has brought brand Society with him, one that launches in Area this very Sunday evening from 6 p.m. As for Beyond’s doors, well they open at 4 a.m. this Sunday (3rd Feb), advance tickets available online at https://orangenation.ticketabc.com/events/beyond-official-mati/ as well as at the usual Soho outlets, all at an inflation busting £10, while entry will be available on the door, but expect to pay more, further info available via https://facebook.com/beyondclub and on the events page at https://facebook.com/events/203328906476042/.
Now, given our pre-Christmas planned commitments, we won’t be back at Beyond, our stay of absence extending and almost unheard of six weeks, while we leave it to Ben Kaye to round off our recommendation when he says, “…don’t miss the best after hours in London on the weekend that the whole of London seems to be going to…”. (DISCO MATT)
With Orange getting a freshly squeezed citric shake-up, new promoter Fat Tony taking the helm from tonight (Sun 13th Jan), we simply had to land our “Pick Of The Day” on this clubbing institution, all the event detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while after our own party précis, we share the Boyz interview with Tony beneath.
Of all the clubbing brands that are fill out the capitals clubbing circuit calendar currently, Orange has to be the most enduring, a full fourteen years & counting seeing it still reign supreme on a Monday morning, although like many, it too has faced some challenging times in recent months. Indeed, when previous promoter Steven Sharp bowed out in favour of steering A:M & Later, Orange took a bit of a nose dive, its numbers dwindling and its direction wavering, a lack of promotional drive & enthusiasm partly to blame, the awful (and they were) advertising artwork pieces a sign that something was not right with this citric splendour of a weekly shindig. So, to the rescue has come Fat Tony, the man who was at the epicentre of its launch back in the heady days of Rotherhithe and in all the times since, he an indelible part of the D.J. residency line-up, so very much the man in the know when it comes to harnessing the historic highlights of this heavenly happening into the winning formula that used to see Fire rock towards Monday lunchtime, packed to the rafters. And with the recent success of his club Deelooded, plus the excellent work he has achieved with Gravity, handing him the Orange reigns is the best news this club has had in months, Tony very much wanting to recapture some of the magic of this Monday meet, his interview with Boyz magazine revealing all.
What’s it like taking over the reins of Orange?
For me, taking over the promotion of Orange is like coming home. I was involved right back at the start with Craig in Rotherhithe and have played at all the various incarnations and venues since
What are your thoughts on where the club is now & where you want to take it?
After 14 very successful years it has been left to its own devices a bit and is very much seen as the final destination, the last party of the weekend. I want to give it some love, rebuild and restructure the night to restore it to a prime destination club in its own right, an event that is fun, something special and unique. However, I am not kidding myself, it’s still a Sunday night/Monday morning party but I want to change it from somewhere you shouldn’t be, to somewhere you should.
What about the music?
The constant of Orange has always been the music. The main floor music is Orange; it is the brand and will be the very best in fresh & funky house, big tunes, glorious disco samples and stuff with real zest. The D.J.’s will include existing resident The Oli who is one brilliant form at the moment and Orange regular Hifi Sean, plus names like Tom Stephan, as well as loads of exciting new guests. In room two we will be doing different things, RAW will still be part of it and sometimes we will hand over the space for people to do their own thing completely, like Verity Mayes & Bryony Masters with their party, “Shame”.
Is anything else new?
I want to add fun back to the night, so the fab Glendora will be back with her own unique brand of special hostessing magic, plus there will be special guest P.A.’s and all sorts of surprises. A great club night should drag you through the front door, whirl you around the dancefloor, throw you up to the roof, bring you back down again, bounce you over the bar and then home with a huge smile on your face. My vision of Orange is a club for everyone, whether you’ve been out all weekend or just getting started.
So we reckon, with a promotional attitude and game plan like that, Orange will soon feel the force of this freshly squeezed fat style recipe, tonight the start of juicer citric splendour to come and we will be watching developments with a keen eye and even laying our hat on this happening sometime soon. (DISCO MATT)
Having dived into our last dance of 2012 within its wonderful walls, the New Year could only commence with a rapturous return to the brilliant Beyond, it’s “NYD Super Party” very much proving the spectacular new season start that we hoped it would. But what made this first 2013 capital clubbing circuit colossus so captivating & which stars of the show shined the brightest?
For as many years as we can remember, we have spent New Year’s Day on the dancefloor, when we were younger, partying right through from New Year’s Eve, while in the period when we worked in the industry & in hospitality, we would always ensure that 1st January would be our day to party, often working the previous evening when many would have preferred it off. Indeed there would be nothing that would get in the way of what has become as much of a tradition as the rituals we follow over Christmas, even the distance from previous Essex & Kent county bases, not enough to stop us from being London bound and ready to party, sometimes into the following day. But it is New year’s morning that holds the most magical memories for us and while we can remember the days of Trade on this day with fond reflection, since the turn of the century it has been Vauxhall rather than Farringdon that has seen the lion’s share of our New Years Day dancing devotions, Matinee holding sway for one year, while what has become the biggest and, in our books, the best brand not just here in the capital, but across the globe, has dominated proceedings. And while we may have missed out in 2011, for reasons we won’t go into, we were right between 2002 & 6 when it reigned supreme at the Colosseum and then at the truly awesome Area for 2008, 9, 10 & 12, meaning making Beyond for the first morning of 2013 was a foregone conclusion.
Now some would think that returning to the same club & venue within two days would be a little like overkill, although while we would agree in the vast majority of cases, when it comes to the brilliance of Beyond, we could probably succumb to its splendour from Sunday to Saturday, if that were ever possible, while there have been periods when we have turned up at its doors on a weekly basis. And that is a reflection of the regard in which we hold this heavenly happening, as we have said, the brand in our books the best by far and has become an all-time favourite, it having had a massive effect, not just on our clubbing exploits, but in our very way of life, many of the close friendships we have forged having been formed as a result of this outstanding outing, while every time we pull our keys from our pocket, both Beyond fob & chain is a resplendent reminder, not that we need to be, while it extends to other personal parts of our existence that, for good reason, need to remain confidential. But you get the gist of what we are saying, So Beyond as a brand and as a club is right up the top of our tree and one that, during 2012, has seemingly gone from strength to strength, confounding its challenges, continuing to make its mark both in London & internationally, while, given what we have said, it will come as no surprise that it scooped 2nd & 3rd spots in our annual club event review, only beaten to top spot by the phenomenal WE “Formula 2” party.
So, having dived into our last dance of 2012 within its wonderful walls, that “Music Is All You Need” on the Sunday scoring second to WE, the New Year could only commence with a rapturous return to the wonderful walls of Area, although with expectations high following that scintillating Sunday at the magical mercy of a stunning Steve Pitron set, plus with knowledge & experience that NYD parties are not just packed, but roadblock affairs, we were already resigned to not being able to dance on our spot with the usual vigour. And arriving not long before 6 a.m., we found a main room wall to wall with revellers, it taking us an age to get down to our hallowed turf, otherwise know at “the spot”, although the D.J. booth was our destination, The Sharp Boys in full flow, captivating the crowd with a truck load of towering tunes, while Smalls was sorting the exceptional lighting & effects as only she can do best. However, having been out at a fantastic NYE house party & then to a friends to crash, we were not in our usual club clobber, our dancing boots & adjustable jeans already much missed, not least that it was hot, hot hot, meaning that both a drinks dive & a dip into the open air was in order. Soon leaving Steve in the crowd, the terrace was calling where we found Edna waiting, like many, at the bar, just one person serving making our start not the best, the music completely out of synch with what we would expect in Beyond, it better suited to Berlin’s Berghain.
It was therefore the main room that we were heading back towards, after that much needed cool down of course, the place packed, some would say over packed with party people, our eventual return to our spot finding it brimming with Brazilians, relegating us to a secondary spot further into the floor, this, on top of our tired disposition from lack of proper pre-club sleep as well as our uncomfortable attire, we were not feeling the party at all, an awkward rebuff towards our fellow party animal & fab friend Peter, not going down well at all. And with both Steve Pitron & Mikey D having started their back-to-back set, you would have thought we could have shrugged off these inhibitors to our fun & frolicking, but not at all, even beautiful Brazilian Bel unable to lift a sagged spirits, the sardine style of this super party not helping either. But, with a head tap from Mr Pitron stirring something inside us, we forced ourselves back onto our spot, which was nothing short of standing only room, Mikey’s selections of both “Naturally & “Let The Sunshine” making their mark and waking us up to the realisation that this would be a prolific party in the making, yet would never quite reach the delightfully dizzy heights of the “Misc Is All You Need” meet of two days previously. Plus, with the space on our spot spreading before our eyes, it seemed that others had felt our vibes and were making room, meaning it was now time to engross ourselves into this euphoric event.
With Steve & Mikey trading tremendous tunes, we had well & truly shrugged off shady start, rather soaking up their superb sounds with gusto, Steve leading the way with a scintillating string of selections which included “She Loves”, “Pressure”, Fusion” & “Time”, it was clear that he was aiming this sector of his set sections in a classics direction, Mikey following suit with similar sorts of sounds, the crowd lapping up every terrifically tender morsel of their magnificent music, this very much the place to be. But with Mr Pitron sending us off to the bar for refilling refreshments, heading into the chapel found it also packed & pumping, D’Johnny deep into his tech toned turn, clearly finding favour with more than just a fervent fan base & flock, while given the strange sounds that we had encountered in the terrace earlier, we thought better of checking it out for now, rather heading back with our provisions and into the roomy respite of the main room D.J. booth. And it was here where we would finally feel the enormity of this event, the view from the privileged position seeing a sea of splendour before us, while an unexpected yet welcome boost was to come our way, very much giving us a further spring in our heavy booted step and sending us smiling back to our spot, even our impromptu door duty not stopping our ever increasing enjoyment & excitement which was helped along by friends & familiar faces, including the marvellous Mauricio Ortiz, Mark Williams, Peter Graham, Beyond’s promoter Ben Kaye and, of course our brilliant Brazilian’s Bel & Celso, Mr Moura looking after his two visiting friends who had found themselves back in London a little earlier than planned, but who were clearly amazed by Area & the brilliant Beyond bash.
Now nothing was going to stop us from partying deep into New Years Day, Steve sending us skyward with more mesmeric music mixes, “Beautiful Lie” and “To The Moon & Back” hitting their heavenly mark, Bel’s boisterous with their beats, her cocktail dress the loser in this bravado, the arm lining hanging precariously from its former position, while we kept getting draw into door duty as the security switches left the out of bounds corridor unattended to the virtual constant advance of party people in the habit of using this exit to gain access to the toilets. However, in amongst all of this extracurricular activity on behalf of Beyond’s operations team (Craig Elder & Tom Fuller please note), Mikey’s marvellous music & Steve’s spectacular sounds were delighting us enough to easily compensate, Mr Pitron’s picks possibly pointed in our direction on purpose, his knowledge that both “Symphony” & “Strange Fruit” were sounds that were well & truly rocking our world, the former fabulous enough, while it would be the latter that sent it delightfully delirious, its breathtaking beats leaving us in a head in hands pose on our sacred spot, this phenomenal piece of progressive come tech tune tower, once again leaving us magnificently mind blown, just as we had been two days before when Steve had sampled in “Sunday’s At Heaven”, the singular “Strange Fruit” stunning enough on its own. Yet, as gigantic it was, this selection would mark the final few of a back to back performance to savour for scores of seasons, the dream team of Mikey & Mr Pitron giving way to special guest Pagano, but not before Steve serenaded this enormous event with the heavenly “I Heart You”, proving the perfect curtain call to his scintillating showing.
With our Italian stallion now in control of the tunes, the post Steve set bravado was about to begin, playful photographer Nico arriving to add to the about to ensue tickling frenzy, we sent squealing down the corridor by both him & Steve, not once, twice or even three times, but for a full ten minutes of constant chasing, only to be saved by Steve’s bailing out of this Beyond bash. So we were now free to take a wander, the terrace our target at The Oli was stirring up a set storm, crammed with classics that proved a welcome break from the main room madness, he on fabulous form and holding a considerable crowd, who like us, were enjoying every musical minute. But with a sense of devotional duty towards our Italian stallion, it was back to Pagano’s pumping progressive parade we headed, Bel in a boisterous
mood, ducking & diving to Francesco’s barnstorming beats, even though they were far removed from her preferred genre of uplifting & upfront house, indeed with the lack of vocals right through his two hour showing, the music policy of Beyond was being tested to the limits. That said, with the room still packed & pumping at the close of his set, as it was at the beginning, it was clear this New Year crowd were up for anything, the atmosphere amazing, Smalls sorting the effects & lighting exceptionally as always, even our usual “throw in the towel” time of 10 a.m. passed with hardly a blink, such was the terrific time we were having, not least those magical minutes up in the booth with the Sicilian superstar who was showcasing some of his most recent & prolific productions and even played a request, “That Disco Fever”, sealing the delightful deal on our magnificent morning.
So what was our final verdict on this first foray of 2013 and did it deliver as expected or fall short in style & substance? Well, while it didn’t get off to the best of starts, not down to the door we have to say, Mark Williams a star player here, while the security check was pitched perfectly, and not really that we (literally) couldn’t swing a cat or bust a move, as we were expecting it to be a roadblock situation, even though in reality, at times it was too busy. No, the shaky start was down to the fact that found ourselves in a funny frame of mind & mood for the first hour or so, our awkward & uncomfortable attire not helping, while the monstrous music in the terrace room definitely put us off our stride. To say it was awful was the biggest understatement of the century, the D.J. looking like she was the only one enjoying it, certainly not the style we would expect from this let alone any Beyond room, while fortunately her replacement, The Oli, restored the superb status quo in this space, evoking magnificent memories of old and what, for us at least, the terrace is all about. However, what the early awfulness the terrace turned out, was totally outweighed by the wonder of Beyond’s main room, the D.J.’s, from The Sharp Boys through to Fat Tony & all between, proving just what the superstars they are, the music very much doing the talking, well along with the exceptional lighting & effects, down to the sterling work of Smalls, the stage showings, as good as they were, always going to play second fiddle to all these other prolific players.
As for our stars of the shows?, Well Pagano was right up there, even if his set, with a complete & utter lack of vocals, wasn’t really our Beyond bag, The Oli’s superb classics serving a huge highlight, while the simply stunning back-to-back Mikey D & Steve Pitron performance not only won the day, but proved just what a prolific dovetailing playing partnership they make and how much part of the Beyond furniture they have both become, both as a joint playing partnership and as individuals. Indeed, in terms of New Years Day, we cannot remember not one in the last five or six, when they haven’t been part of the playing picture, so when you consider that, until virtually the eleventh hour, that Steve had been left off the list, was simply shocking, although sadly symptomatic of the lack of proper promotional planning & organising that has become apparent of late, while we remain mystified by the now weekly “Midnight” meets that seem to have turned Beyond more Saturday than Sunday, surely & hopefully not the direction the club is heading. That said and having shrugged off that shaky start, Beyond sparkled with both style & substance this New Years Day, the scintillating sounds from the string of superstars speaking the loudest volumes of all, while the captivating company & the myriads of magical moments certainly made it a spectacular new season start, even though it had a hard act in the final Beyond of 2012 to beat. So did it better that bash?, a definite no, will it live in the memory banks?, a possible maybe, will we be back next NYD?, a very most likely, is Beyond still the best club ever?, a resounding yes, yes & YES (DISCO MATT)
Well the podcast cat is finally out of bag as we share our 2012 top ten chart that marks the final feature in our four part music review of 2012, we keeping the substance short and allowing the listing to do the talking in a year where podcast music was the biggest & best answer to our problems.
Having kept you in suspense over our number one track of 2912, we haven’t quite done the same with our podcast announcement, part three (direct link ) having revealed our premier podium position production, although given the expanse of that last special review feature, you may have missed it, so we thought it only right & proper to issue the chart separately to make both the winner and the other nine that made it to our top ten of 2012, crystal clear. But having lauded the spoils of victory on Steve Pitron in our last post, we will give the others at least some house room, even though, as you will see below, he swept the podium place board, a one to four podcast placing party fell foul to the amazing Adam Turner, whose “House Of Summer 2012” was, in reality the only considerably challenger in a year dominated by our dynamic deliverer of divine dance delectations. As for our remaining entrants, well Zach Burns hit second spot in our podcast producers top five, this the stand-out session from eleven others in 2012, while Mikey D made it into the studio for the first time in a year to rock our world with “House Music All Night Long” that secured a three week run in Oct/Nov as our “Podcast Of The Week”, The Sharp Boys, The Oli & Elof de Never all making it to this prized pick of ours, beating of a long list of others to make it into our top ten.
So, we said we would keep this final part of our music review brief, rather let our 2012 top ten chart speak the volumes, while, we finish by simply paying a tremendous tribute to each & every entrant across this four piece review for making our year one of the best for music ever and in so doing, proving that “Music Is The Answer” (DISCO MATT)
- Steve Pitron – “WE Formula 2”
- Steve Pitron – “Summer 2012 Part 2”
- Steve Pitron – “Jan 2012 Session”
- Adam Turner – “House Of Summer 2012”
- Steve Pitron – “Summer 2012 Part 1”
- Zach Burns – “House Session 23”
- Mikey D – “House Music All Night Long”
- The Sharp Boys “Disco Cafe Pt’s 1, 2 & 3”
- The Oli – “Later Birthday”
- Elof de Neve – “Matinee Easter Mix”
And here are the podcast page &/or soundcloud sites where you can grab your copies, http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/, http://djburn.podomatic.com, https://soundcloud.com/adamturnermusic, http://mikeyd.podomatic.com, http://sharpboys.podomatic.com/, http://theoli.podomatic.com, http://soundcloud.com/elofdeneve
From the backwater of Bermondsey to the vibrancy of Vauxhall, the scene’s longest running & surviving weekly marks fourteen years of citric clubbing splendour tonight (Sun 11th Nov) meaning that the orbicular outing that is Orange simply had to make it to our “Pick Of The Day” choice, all the event detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while we mark this outstanding occasion with our own overture beneath.
What started out as an alternative to DTPM and amidst a time in the capitals clubbing history when partying outside the usual Friday or Saturday night parameters was very much vogue, the then cavorting minnow that today is not just the longest running weekly club on the scene, but is undoubtedly the recognised & symbolic starter of the clubbing organisation we now know as Orange Nation (formerly The Orange Group). And while the beginnings were very humble indeed, Bermondsey the initial backwater choice and a traditional pub at that, the switch of suburbs proved the crowning glory & catalyst for Orange and all the other club brands that were soon to follow, A:M, Beyond, Gravity & Later, like their citric commandant, surviving while many others have fallen by the wayside, the likes of Salvation, Factor 25, Sherbert & Warriors all having made their Sunday mark but have disaperead into complete capital clubbing circuit obscurity. Yet through passionate promotion, a fervent & faithful following plus an indelible list of incredible ingredients that have remained part of the clubs award winning recipe through its history, Orange has not only survived, but for a substantial slice of its existence, thrived, meaning by marking its 14th birthday, there is much cause for citric champers celebration.
So, having adopted the name for his now considerable conglomerate, the Nation’s head cheese, Craig Elder, remains as fond of the brilliant clubbing brand that is Orange as he was when it all started fourteen years ago, Craig remarking that “…Orange is very special to me, it’s where it all started, back in a small pub in Rotherhithe called the Prince of Orange…” this clearly the inspiration for the club’s name, while he continues, “…I am very proud that it is now London’s longest running weekly party and although it has evolved so much over the years Orange remains at the forefront of cutting edge house music, and even in these days of economic crisis it just amazes me how our loyal crowd just keep coming every Monday morning, proving that London is indeed a 24 hour city…”. And Craig is spot on, both with his reference to the music of Orange and that, more than any other afterhours on the capital’s circuit today, it exemplifies everything that is indulgently addictive about a club that week in week out re-writes the rules to the conformist start to the working week. Indeed, having succumbed to the club’s citric splendour on a score or more of Sunday’s, it has been Monday morning, sometimes afternoon before the routine reality has taken over, Orange still being able to achieve this fabulous feeling fourteen years down the line.
Therefore, it seems wholly appropriate for us to sing the clubs praises from the rooftops as well as make it our pick of the day, and in so doing, share some of the event detail with you here, this “14 Glorious Years” event cracking open the celebratory champagne from 11 p.m. tonight at Fire, the home that is the cornerstone of it & its owning organisation Orange Nation. And while we could go into our own oratory Orange event detail, there is surely no-one better than its most prolific promoter to date, the superb Steven Sharp, to let you in on what this captivating club means & what this exceptional event will deliver when he say’s “…Orange is an incredible thing, a perfect combination of people and house music, love and history, future, friendship and fierceness that has proved its place in people’s hearts and as a founding father of the London scene. This Sunday brings together true DJ legends that we are proud to call our residents, representing this city with that unique, forward thinking and uplifting Fire main room soundtrack that has put Vauxhall on the map. Celebrate 14 years with all of the Orange family including Tonnic on live vocals, historic hosts and promoters, and most importantly – you, the children of this fine fruit!…”
And those D.J. legends, well it’s The Sharp Boys, Fat Tony, & The Oli, George & Steven playing a classics set, special guest Paul Heron joining forces with Oli for a one-off back-to-back set, while no Orange celebration of this stature would be complete without the iconic playing & performing partnership that is Tony & Tonnic. But it doesn’t stop there, oh no, as RAW returns with one half of its founding duo, David Jimenez, he joined for another back-to-back set showing by D’Johnny, while we are sure the thoughts & well wishes of all the team, Orange customers & cavorters, as well as ourselves, reach out to Hifi Sean who was very much looking forward to being part of partying proceedings tonight, but remains laid up in hospital following operation complications, you surely joining us in wishing him a speedy recovery. While Sean will be sadly missed, other fabulous & familiar faces from within the Orange family will be there, hosts Hrh Minty, Louise Port & Danny Boyce looking after you both inside & out, while the terrific Tom Fuller masterminds the Orange operation including the door, which as we said, opens at 11 p.m., the club running through till a planned finish of 7 a.m. Monday morning, entrance on the door just £5 before 1 a.m. (£10 after). And with special birthday presents for the Orange faithful (are you one?!), drinks priced at just £2.90, shots at £1, and an exclusive membership offer that includes free entry to all Orange Nation clubs during January, all up for grabs before 1 a.m., early is definitely better than later, more info if you need it out at http://orangenation.co.uk.
So, with a resounding attendance recommendation as well as wishing Orange a very happy 14th birthday, we both concur with as well as leave some of the last words to Craig Elder who say’s “…I want to thank all the DJs and loyal fans that have supported us over the last 14 years, making Orange the Monday morning phenomenon it is. Here’s to the next 14!…”, definitely hip hip hooraying that & finishing by simply saying, miss this birthday bash and you will definitely miss out, so make sure you “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)
In celebration of the outstanding Orange occasion, two of the clubs original resident D.J.’s Steven React Sharp & George Sharp Mitchell, better & more simply known as The Sharp Boys, have laid down a special podcast production that gives more than a hint of what to expect from their equally special “classics” set tonight, so one not just for your collection, but a wonderful way to get you into musical mood for tonight’s birthday bash, download/stream options a click away at http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/2012-11-07T10_18_51-08_00. Music Is The Answer! Go There!
Sunday afternoon clubbing south of the river has never looked quite so good, as its seems that Later is proving to be one of THE clubs of the moment, the considerably capable promotional hands of Steven Sharp having taken this daytime disco in a wonderfully “Nu Direction”. And with today’s event well under way as we go to press, George Sharp, D’Johnny & Later fave The Oli on the decks, it simply had to make it to our “Pick Of The Day”, all the detail a banner click away opposite or an image click below, while we devote our deliverance on the clubs new promoter & his plans beneath
If there was ever a club that coolly, calmly & collectively has been making its mark week after week, month after month & year after year, its Later, the daytime disco that has been bridging the gap between the brilliance of Beyond & the outstanding Orange, the razzmatazz that these two often exude, tempered by the no fuss rather fabulous fun & frolicking that this afternoon delight has been delivering since it opened its doors back in 2004. And while there have been a handful of occasions when special soirees have splashed the scene, the “Funfair’s, the “Boat Partiers” & the “Birthday’s”, generally Later has just quietly gone about its barnstorming business, for a sizeable chunk in the hands of promoter Jay Sharp Vokins. However, just a handful of events ago, another Sharp assumed control of this disco delight, one Steven React Sharp to be precise, a D.J./Producer & Promoter that has a prolific pedigree behind him and one that has successfully steered a whole host of clubs & brands, let’s see, Orange, Beyond, Royal House, A:M and now Later, Steven’s whole persona & procedure in promoting the most hands on & refreshing we know, meaning that he is considered as possibly the most safest pair on hands in the Orange Nation (the group behind Later) armoury.
So what does Steven have in store for Later? Well, while it is clear he wants the club to head in a “Nu Direction”, we highly suspect that he will be drawing on many of the qualities that have made this daytime disco the delight that it has been for the eight years of its history and while there can be little doubt that Later’s fortunes have pitched & yawed in this time, we have every confidence that, like A:M has responded in his hands, Later’s fortunes will be going only one way and that is up. Indeed, there is a similarity between the two clubs in his hands, that being that Mr Sharp is profoundly passionate about letting the music do the talking, while his keen eye for detail, his unstinting energy in pushing & networking his clubs and that hands on nature he adopts during events, having paid dividends for A:M on so many levels and is sure to do the same for Later too. Plus, we know of no better man when it comes to commissioning creative & eye catching artwork to promote clubs, while his inventiveness for theme ideas, tag lines and capturing the moment is one of many strengths Steven shines, so many examples from Orange, Beyond & more latterly A:M, standing him head & shoulders above his contemporaries.
With music clearly being the focal point of immediate & intermediate plans for Later, Steven is subtly shifting the emphasis towards that, introducing some new names to the clubs residency D.J. team, La Gosse & Marco Gee just two examples, while he is also naturally relying upon individuals that have not only cut their cloth here, but have themselves proficient pedigree for party propulsion, The Oli, Jamie Head, D’Johnny & George Sharp all exceptional exponents and ones that Steven is keen to keep in place, while after the initial few weeks of the “Nu Direction” programme, we have it on pretty good authority that he has some special party events planned, not least with the upcoming festive season which is just a matter of weeks away (scary thought). But within this programme of directional dynamism is a cornerstone of consolidation as well, this week’s event being just that, as Steven welcomes three Later veterans (am sure they won’t mind being called so) to the decks, as of going to press, George Sharp having already kicked off proceedings, while D’Johnny is the filler in the superb D.J. sandwich, although not just a filler but a full on Later favourite, that also being true of The Oli who is one of the clubs originals, having played at the very first party and the vast majority of one’s since. And while the nights are drawing in, the outside temperatures are dipping, you can guarantee that the infamous Later garden will be geared up for the season slide into winter, while inside the dancing action & D.J. deliveries will be as hot, hot, hot as ever.
So, all in all its clear that Later is on that up and is very much becoming a Sunday Soiree Sharp Style and we cannot wait to not just report but get back to review this daytime disco delight with a deluge of delicious delectations. (DISCO MATT
While we may not be there each & every week, it is pretty much a certainty that when Steve Pitron is playing, we will be right on our spot savouring the enormity of our favourite afterhours, this Sunday having been one such occasion when a terrific two hours of heavenly house music & audacious antics simply had to be review recorded for playful posterity.
There is little doubt in our minds that this has been a desolate year for reviews, our minds having been occupied with all sorts of other matters, both family & personally, meaning our focus on both clubbing & reporting on it, has ground to a virtual stop. Indeed, our stepping out on the scene in 2012 has not been a patch on the previous year (and year’s) although there has been one constant, if not quite so frequent, being a brand that seemingly continues to ride a wonderful wave crest compared with others who have come crashing into shore during this period of austerity we find ourselves within. So, while there has been much doom & gloom to distract us from our duties, come a Sunday in the hands of our favourite clubbing colossus, combined with the music magnificence of the master of this morning make-out, we have been able to escape the entrapments of our woes & worries, sinking ourselves into the brilliance of Beyond and the splendours of a Steve Pitron set on more than a few occasions this year. Plus, with our weekend already having been dominated by horrific happenings just days before, it was definitely time for some enthralling escapism of the dancing dervish kind, this awesome afterhours having outstandingly obliged before and was set to do just that again.
Having missed out on a Friday frolic at The Roof Gardens & a Saturday shindig at Fire, with us sleeping through a similar amount of alarms, it was looking like we were about to make it three, although something stirred us both physically & emotionally to step into Sunday with a sense of satisfaction, knowing that the winning formula of Beyond & Steve Pitron was the lift we were looking for, especially after a nightmare ridden three days of sleep that had left us feeling languid & lacklustre. Plus, with Steve taking the six till eight slot in the main room, we were always going to feel it too tempting a prospect to resists, this on top of a handful of heavenly new house tracks which we were dying to hear play out in Beyond, having witnessed their wonder just the previous Friday at Play>Time, while the gagging order on the details of these dance devotions was strictly in force meaning we would have to be quite guarded with our usual enthusiastic nibble size tweets. But, while we were initially planning to remain incognito, our arrival was greeted by a number of familiar faces, not least Peter & Fabio to took it on themselves to tag our presence, the proverbial cat now very much out of the bag, a further flood of familiar faces including Craig Elder, Ben Kaye, Tom Fuller
However, the one face we were not expecting to see, plus the guy we had let down with our previous club outing absences, was Zach Burns, his arrival on our spot at Beyond catching us a little by surprise, although pleasantly so, his playful antics set to be a big part of our terrific two hours even if there would be one other that would dominate this department. So, with a pitstop for refreshments over & done with, our return was welcomed by Peter who had been summoned by Steve to act as a search party, we seemingly already missed on our spot, even though it was mere minutes. But with the status quo restored & Zach in playful mood, pinning us into the corner, an inadvertent spillage left a considerable puddle to wade through, we remaking that it seemed our waters had broken, perhaps producing twins of the REC kind (you had to be there), while further excitement erupted our emotions as the greeting swung into action and to top it all the much anticipated appearance of the “lady in the loft” left us laughing & splitting our sides, Steve the only one to put two & two together. But it was the music that was to carry us to new & heavenly heights, Mr Pitron in fabulous form, choosing those tunes we had hoped he would, the ace in his pack of playing tricks reducing us to joyful tears, head in hands as its enormity erupted our emotions. But with plenty more on offer, not least the marvellous “My World”, the stupendous “Sun Rising Up” in 2012 remix form, & the hypnotic “Heat Of The Night”, we were certainly being treated to a pseudo Steve “Summer 2012” rundown, although it would be the stunning “Sotto” with its exploding horn effects that would really tip our scales.
Time was now absolutely flying by, such was the terrific time we were having, loads more familiar faces showing themselves on our spot, including the adorable Alfie as well as the D.J.’ing duo of Alan K & Paulo Moreno, both playing straight after Steve, although it was Mr Pitron that was grabbing most of our attention, a barrage of cups & other objects being playfully lobbed over the Beyond main room D.J. booth in our direction, even Peter & Fabio looking surprised at all the tom foolery. Mind you, with screams of MAAAATTTT also coming in our direction, & Bel’s boisterousness overflowing, we were having a wail of a time, even Zach joining in on the fun, grabbing us in an impromptu waltzing dance hold & spinning us around on our spot as the main room master selected the marvellous “My World”, this Taito Tikaro dream of a dancing devotion receiving a rapturous reception, as had the whole of Steve’s set, the lighting in the hands of Smalls at its brilliant best & even a barrel load of exploding effects making this feel much more like the Beyond of old. But like all the best things in life, this terrific two hours came to an end all too soon, Messrs Adams & Moreno taking Beyond on a more intense & full-on banging beats direction, Alan’s new track selections floating our boat for a while, but the Moreno influence not a patch on Mr Pitron’s pulsating performance, meaning it wasn’t long before we called it a day, retiring to the rest & relaxation of our bolt hole home to reflect on yet another magnificent morning in the hands of one of Beyond’s best.
In a year where we have seen plenty of downs & not near enough ups, there is one certainty that is sure to make us feel good about ourselves, at least for a while and it is the brilliance of Beyond and while the club has had its fair share of knocks this year, it continues to lead the way on the capitals clubbing circuit as the most popular & successful brand by a long shot. And in the hands of new promoter Ben Kaye, we look forward to promising times ahead for our most favourite of clubs, the linking up with Deviate just gone & a big bank holiday to come, while Beyond continues to make an impact overseas, having played its part at The Circuit festival in Barcelona & climaxes XLsior in Mykonos this weekend. But its back here in London that Beyond seems at its best and, despite the doom & gloom of the economy, this colossal club continues to pull in the punters, the winning formula that is the magnificent music in the hands of the dream team of D.J.’s, while having been meddled with more than we would like, is still the best of any club we know. With key players that include The Sharp Boys, Paul Christian, Alan K & Fat Tony, Ben has an enormous amount of experience to draw upon, we hoping that the likes of Hifi Sean, The Oli & Jamie Head will once again become the permanent resident fixtures they always were & should be. However, there can be no denying that, regardless of a handful of also ran’s in the weekly line-up, Steve Pitron is one of the most formidable forces to be reckoned with, the crowds reactions to his scintillating sets speaking for themselves, while he never fails to tip our emotional, physical & mental scales superbly, the entertainment he emits enthralling & the feel good factor fabulous, meaning that two more terrific hours, just like the ones this week, we couldn’t ever wish for. (DISCO MATT)