Posts Tagged ‘The Sharp Boys’
With much promise posed ahead of its “A New Beginning” event and with plenty of talk about Covert both championing change across the capitals clubbing circuit, was Saturday’s party the proof of the pudding in the eating, what was our verdict on this gigantic gathering and how much more did we learn about this clubbing change concept.
There can be little doubt that the clubbing scene in the capital, certainly as far as big style clubs are concerned, has very much been in the doldrums recently, the weekly, monthly & occasional event calendar being dominated by just one group & the usual set of brands. And will some view this as a good thing, the problem we have with it, particularly of late, as that feeling of same old same old, the same D.J.’s the same venues, the same faces, a regurgitated repetition that has, quite frankly become boring. Indeed the current sorry state of affairs has been a couple of years in the making, many competitor brands either pushed to the sidelines or pushed out of business entirely and with little in the way of replacements from the protagonists of this sordid situation, save for a Friday night clubbing concept that is wrong on so many fronts, we are left unenthused & unexcited about a pastime & activity that used to fill our weekends, wall to wall. Yet that said, while Vauxhall is clearly in the monotonous, same old, same old doldrums, there is plenty more happening, if but on a much smaller scale, a swing out to Shoreditch finding a hip & happening melting pot of parties, East Bloc the most dynamic deliverer, brands such as DISH, SOS, & Gutterslut drawing on clubbers from far & wide, proving that there is life beyond Albert Embankment & South Lambeth Walk.
However, in the eyes of clubbers, Vauxhall is still seen as their mecca, even if it is not quite the dynamic draw it was a few years ago, although with the likes of Colloseum & Hidden hardly used, it pretty much leaves just three full on club spaces, naturally the two Orange Nation ones, Fire & Area and Crash (now known as Union). But wait a minute, what about Covert we hear you say, a venue that used to trade under the name of Factory but was brought by a tight knot group of investors who, when re-constructing the site last April brought Orange Nation into the picture, the initial idea being to let them both manage the place & increase the clubbing offer & variety. Yet while the plans were all well & good in theory, with just one genuine addition in the form of Deelooded, in the short space of 10 months, Orange Nation let what was supposed to be a sophisticated & stylish club venue run down into rack & ruin, the planned works to finish the venue never materialising and, quite shockingly, the group reneging in financial & other promises, leaving the investors with little choice but to take Covert back under their control. But with much more happening in the background, it seems that these investors now have the bit between their teeth, with plans to the driving force behind the re-invigoration of the clubbing scene, both & Vauxhall & London as a whole, their first event to hail this marvellous movement, their “A New Beginning” event.
So with this exciting event and the prospect of something fresh, new & enticing on offer, despite health issues, we simply couldn’t miss this Covert cavort, not least that with a D.J. line-up extending deep into double figures, club promoters, scene figureheads & clubbing friends aplenty, it was one of those mustn’t miss meets, although with our planned arrival for the VIP reception thwarted by a deep disco dose, it was around 11.30 when we arrived, to be greeted on the door by a warming welcoming committee that included heavenly hostess Chrissy Darling, promoter Alex Erfan & Covert’s manager, the terrific Tom Fuller, he having wisely jumped from what we predict as a sinking Orange nation ship. However, on missing the reception, we had also missed Pier Morrocco’s set, although caught a moment with him before he sped off to XXL, we then quickly diving into the club to get out of the cold, a further warm greeting by Steven Sharp sealing what was a perfect start to this “A New Beginning” shindig. And with Steven giving us a guided tour, the upgrading & the finishing to the venue was clear to see, the shabbiness that Orange Nation had allowed to creep in, all but eradicated, noticeable differences including fabulous floor coverings in both the main room & the second space, new laser lighting, new ceiling coverings, a totally transformed upstairs area with sumptuous seating, but moreover the subtle touches to trimmings, bar fronts & the like making the place look finished & fantastic.
However, the most impressive transformation was in the second space, the D.J. booth having been moved downstairs, elevating the feel & the atmosphere amazingly and making it a dance room in its own right and it was here where we bumped into the first of a flock of familiar D.J. friends, Ben Jamin preparing for what turned out to be one of a whole host of superb sets in this space, this very much a bit of a home-coming for Ben, as it was he that was part of the Crash team towards the latter years and this Covert second space, for us, echoing the former quite noticeably. But the D.J. faces from the Crash days & Vauxhall both past & present extended to many more, Guy Williams, Brent Nicholls & Alan X three of a whole host of others, not just this his second space, but back in the main room too, a real brilliant blast from the past, Terry Bryan, pumping up the pace of the party perfectly. Indeed, with the initial slow trickle of arrivals ballooning before our eyes, given our delicate state of health, we retreated towards the safety of the bar area where we bumped into pals Peter & Fabio, our evening just getting better by the minute, the list of friendly & familiar faces lengthening with every passing moment, Dave Cross, Tom Marchant, Louise Port, Nicholas Montenegro, Paul Coals, Tony Bruno and, naturally, Tom Fuller, just a measure of exactly how refreshingly friendly this glorious gathering was turning out to be and certainly what our recent Vauxhall clubbing experiences had been missing.
But the night was still young and with Jamie Hammond in charge of the main room tunes now, we were looking forward to prolific performances from Lovechild’s own Tony English, he failing to disappoint with a sterling set, while with Paulo Moreno, Alan K, Fat Tony, The Oli & The Sharp Boys still to come, this Covert “A New Beginning Event” was certainly living up to its billing, the vast array of D.J. talent, some inextricably linked to that other Vauxhall based clubbing group, proof that Alan’s promise to give D.J.’s the opportunity to play when & where they want, was bearing fruit right before our eyes. So, sinking into the rest of our slightly shortened stay, we traded main room for second space, outside for in, spending some time catching up with Alex Erfan and talking about plans moving forward, both for Covert and for their wider scene plans, some so exciting that we are itching to share, although have been sworn to secrecy. We also took advantage of the upstairs space, joining Peter in resting & escaping what was now a packed & pulsating main room, Paulo Moreno delivering delectable doses of dance delight, while we traded health issue notes with peter who, it seemed, was also going through a tremendously tough time. That said, it was great to be out clubbing again, this our first foray in March and a better choice & place to mark what, given our personal circumstances, was quite a milestone, we couldn’t have made, although with our energy levels sapping & the comfort of home calling, we graced our exit not long after 4 a.m., leaving behind a club that was very much alive, kicking & looking great in every way, not even an ounce of enticement for us to visit our old Sunday morning stomping ground, a small measure of just how times are changing.
So you can pretty much guess what our verdict on “A New Beginning” will be, this very much the huge success that the team had hoped for, a slow(ish) start soon transforming into a truly tremendous turn, a party full of positives in every respect, from the atmosphere & ambiance to the finished feel of the venue, from the style & sophistication oozing from this smart multi faceted space to the amazing additions to equipment, fixtures & fittings and from the depth of D.J. talent, all coming together under one roof in support of this marvellous new clubbing movement, to the party people themselves, all who exuded an air of relaxed & enthralling enjoyment, we not having seen quite so many smiling faces in one club for a very long time. Add to all that, a real sense that the tide of clubbing change that had been promised in so many words, was swinging into action and we walked away from Covert happy with what we had seen, but with plenty of anticipation of what is to come, this event the first building block in a number that will surely build a solid foundation for Covert to them achieve its aims & aspirations beyond its own borders, all for the greater good of the capitals clubbing circuit. Indeed, with the wraps already being pulled off their new Friday night club “Foundation”, plus a new Saturday afternoon clubbing concept on the cusp of creation, there is already much to celebrate in terms of new brand blood, we hopeful that this will kick-start others into action, maybe even collaborating with Covert for the greater good of the capitals clubbing circuit, we raising a glass to Alan, Paulo, Alex, Tom, Steven & the whole team for showing the others how it should be done & what clubbing is all about. (DISCO MATT)
Hailed as “A New Beginning” for the capitals clubbing circuit in an event that brings together like minded club owners, promoters, D.J.’s & scene figureheads, we dive into the dynamic detail of this magnificent meet with commentary & links a-plenty.
Having effectively stood back and watched the splendid scene that was London crumble before our eyes, the once dynamic diversity yet inclusivity that was its strength, like a hair shorn goliath left whimpering & weak, well in certain quarters at least, it certainly seems that the success story that was the mecca of gay clubbing in the capital, Vauxhall, has, over the course of the last two to three years, ultimately been the downfall of the majority of big brands & their bashes. Indeed, with victims extending to biggies Matinee, SuperMartXe, & Lovechild, along with a myriad of others that were quashed before even finding their feet, we remained mainly blasé as to the cruel intentions & devious domination tactics that, following our very recent expose features, made us realise just how much damage, upset, upheaval & misery Orange Nation have meated out to individuals, promoters, D.J.’s, scene workers and the like. And when this despicable behaviour, masterminded by the head of this greedy group touched the lives of close friends of ours, we felt it was high time to speak out, our initial post “Finding Our Favour Faltering” (still a worthy read at http://discomatt.com/web/?p=7152) this controversial yet fact filled feature coming right on the back of a momentous power shifting occasion that saw the supposed new(ish) jewel in the Orange Nation, clubbing crown, taken away from them by the owners & investors in this Vauxhall venue.
So, having made our feelings felt across an equally faltering scene and having received rapturous applause for our brave move to speak our mind, especially given the reputation for bullying & strong armed tactics by that greedy group, it seemed the co-owners of Covert had also had enough of the competition crushing, dominance and thoroughly rotten way that Orange Nation operated, also making a stand and, with an upper hand firmly in their grasp, set about laying down the aims & achievements for championing the much needed change the clubbing circuit had and still is craving for. And while we have gone into greater detail on this marvellous movement in our preview, “Championing Clubbing Change” (out at direct link http://discomatt.com/web/?p=7390), the intrinsic part of this change the team at Covert are championing, is to engender an atmosphere of fair play across the scene, to create a more even playing field where toes are not trod upon, where promoters don’t feel threatened & where D.J.’s can play where and when they want without fear of reprehension, something which has plagued this fine profession, and particularly in Vauxhall, for far too long. So, with this cornerstone of change gaining momentum, the first step for Covert is to celebrate what they decided to call, “A New Beginning”, a special event aimed at converting their words into action and bringing together like minded individuals that, like the driving force behind this change, one Alan Adams, were as deeply passionate about making the scene a better place for everyone involved.
And so “A New beginning” was born, the date of Saturday 18th march quickly decided upon as the appropriate time to pitch their exciting proposition, while with much negotiating with promoters & D.J.’s, the event has fast become something quite spectacular, with no less than nineteen D.J.’s playing across a party that will start from 11 p.m. and run through till a planned 9 a.m. finish. So, what are the names in the frames and what can you expect from this “A New Beginning” event. Well, first & foremost, it is very much a new beginning for Covert, the team having tirelessly worked to upgrade the venue and finish what should have been finished by the departed Orange Nation, months ago. And having been shown around just a week ago, the transformation compared to our last visit in November is pretty remarkable, new stylish furniture, fixture & fittings making the upstairs VIP area feel genuinely like one, while with new lasers, lighting, roofing & flooring, plus all the finishing touches to trimmings in the main room, Covert is very much ready to deliver on the promise we were party to ahead of its opening last year. But it is the second space that has seen the biggest transformation, the awkward positioning of the D.J. booth put right and giving it an air & atmosphere, for us akin to the iconic Crash club, but with the style & sparkle that is very much a statement Covert can shout from the rooftops now. So, rather than feeling a little let down by the venue, as we were when we dived into Deelodeed last November, then the floor in the second room ripped & ragged, doors damaged, toilets scruffy and a sense that it was being maltreated, clubbers heading to Covert for this “A New beginning” event will surely be impressed with what they see.
However, what they will also be impressed with is the vast array of D.J. talent on duty this Saturday night, a roll call of residents from Vauxhall clubs past & present, all coming together in the spirit of the marvellous movement to champion change on the clubbing circuit, Alan having secured the services of a richly diverse & dynamic pack of players that each bring their own individuality, style & substance to the show. And the nineteen names, well from Pier Morrocco, Paul Coals, Terry Bryan & Jamie Hammond holding the early main room reigns, the second space sports Ben Jamin, Gianni Morriso, & Guy Williams from midnight till 3 a.m., Lovechild’s star resident Tony English following Mr Hammond in the main room, with Covert’s own Paulo Moreno & main man Alan K carrying proceedings into the early Sunday morning hours, while from Crash days of old in a reunion which is not be to missed is Brent Nicholls & then Alan X in the second space, this space also seeing Tony Bruno, while the real thrill is the inclusion of names that are very much associated with Orange Nation of past & present, The Oli, Fat Tony & The Sharp Boys all playing out in the main room, while Tuesday morning club Desire promoter Steven Geller also hits the decks, the stop press news (although yet to be confirmed) that both Gonzalo Rivas & Paul heron will also be making an appearance. So, with a truly diverse genre of sound across these nineteen scene stars, it would be difficult to single out a particular style or indeed D.J., however, Mr Moreno has produced a podcast especially for this “A New Beginning” event, one well worth a listen & more by going to http://djmorenooctober.podomatic.com/.
As for the event detail, “A New Beginning” takes place this coming Saturday (16th march) at Club Covert in Vauxhall, doors opening at 11 p.m. and the event running through to a planned 9 a.m. finish, while for press, VIP’s and other distinguished guests there is a pre-party reception from 10 p.m.. And to mark this special event occasion, the Covert team have decided to donate all profits from the night, including the whole door and bar take to the worthy cause that is The Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH), one very much close to Mr Adams’ heart, a planned raffle throughout the course of the evening hoping to boost the bounty they will be bestowing on GOSH. So, by either paying the flat door tax fee of £10 or by buying an advance ticket via http://clubtickets.com/gb/2013-03/16/covert-presents-a-new-beginning, you will be making a charitable contribution as well as being part of the clubbing change Covert is championing. Plus with a D.J. line up so dynamic, this looks set to be not just an exceptional event. But the real talk of the town, so one surely you cannot miss, the team echoeing our sentiments when they say “…Covert is shifting up a gear and we want you to come and celebrate this exciting new phase with us. DJ line-up is impressive enough, combine that with a few stunning surprises we have planned and you know this will be a night you would not want to miss…”. Add to all that, hosts Chrissy Darling, Sylvia Rebel & the one & only Dior on duty, you will be guaranteed a warm welcome & then heaps of hospitality that sould certainly seal the deal, more detail should you need it, out via the events page at https://facebook.com/events/431518406929706/, while, health fit or not, we will be stepping out on Saturday to soak up the starting point of this clubbing change we are equally passionate about, so if you see us please come say hi, naturally making sure you “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
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)
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)
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
Having commenced the year with a colossal classics celebration, our first dervish dominated by a performance of prolific Pitron proportions, who would have thought that our concluding dancing day would find us soaking up a set so spectacularly similar & stunning, Steve once again at the epicentre of our excitable cavorting, the club on both occasions being Beyond, this final fling of our year proving the most emotionally enthralling epilogue to 2012 we could have wished for, but what made this the most momentous Beyond meet of the month, possibly of the year?
When it comes to traditions we have many, our lives driven by orderly actions & organised schedules, while, on particular days of the year, we follow rituals with religious zeal, Christmas Day an example where without our beloved Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, we would never feel or be the same, our nearest & dearest sometimes painfully aware of that organisation & order we demand, alarms reminding us of activities that should be instinctive and we very much a fish out of water when attempting manage either meets or trips on a wing & a prayer. And when it comes to clubbing, we are the same, impromptu appearances very rare indeed, while those certain days & times of the year demand exacting event attendances, New Year’s Day probably our most fastidious, when a collection of constants have reigned supreme over our clubbing cavorting, one brand standing head & shoulders above the rest in this regard, having been part & parcel of our New year’s Day morning’s for the best part of the last decade. But more recently it has also been the club where we have delighted in our last December dance of the passing year, meaning we end the old & start the new as we have left of and then mean to go on.
We are, naturally, talking about Beyond, the spectacularly scintillating Sunday morning meet that has, virtually single handily, re-written the afterhours rule book, in what had, previous to its launch in 2001, had been pretty much uncharted territory, only Trade breaking the night-time clubbing norm, as colossal a club Laurence Malice’s meet was, it never amassed anywhere near the broad appeal that its Sunday successor did and has. Indeed, while Trade’s music policy never really shifted from tough tech, well apart from a little lite lounge injection here & there, Beyond has always catered from a diverse dynasty of dancing devotees, the three spaces of its former home, the Colosseum, and its brilliant base now, the amazing & atmospheric Area, serving up a superb spectrum of sounds to suit a wide range of house music tastes. And this has been the core of Beyond’s staggering success, a brand that has trodden far more international steps than its predecessor, has scooped annual press & publication awards that stretch deep into double figures, while with its “all roads leads to” reputation, the broad appeal & unrelenting popularity of this phenomenal party never ceases to amaze us.
So, while we had, just a couple of days before, announced that we would be cancelling all remaining clubbing commitments for 2012, this following an awful incident on Christmas night, a mound of messages of support, phone calls & texts, all combined to sway our steadfast stance, the phrase “…don’t let THEM ruin your plans…” ringing in our ears while the telling blows that combined to confound our cancellation choice, firstly a marvellous message that included “…they might shove you to the ground & rob you, but nothing keeps us beyond regulars from the dancefloor..” and secondly, the statement that Steve Pitron has always stood us to, that being “…only pressing family issues or if you are on your death bed are valid excuses for missing Beyond…”, meaning it was a “…what time?!…” text that invoking an excited reaction and a 5.30 pickup that delivered us to Area’s doors and into the hands of our favourite club of all time, for an emotionally enthralling epilogue come last dance of 2012. And with a warm greeting from Minty on the door, it was clear Steve was anxious to get the main room party going, he losing us in the queue, although with a somewhat unfriendly security search over, we were soon in and, like Mr Pitron, eager to get going, dispelling the dismal memories of the Christmas night incident, although painfully aware of the wave of questions & comments that would come. But with the likes of Ben Kaye, Smalls, Bel, along with an arriving & excitable Peter, we were in captivating company and what lay ahead would prove to be three hours of monumental music & masses of fun-filled frolicking to elevate this to one of the best Beyond’s of the year/
With the signal to get the main room going given, Steve speedily set about heavenly house music hat-tricks, one after the other, as a cavorting pre New Year crowd that was expected to be thin on the ground, packed out the main room as though it was a special event, bare torso muscle men up on the podiums and faces a-plenty passing us by and even joining us a bevy of Brazilians including the marvellous Mhardeen, the delectable Dudu & the fabulous Fabio. But plenty others made our morning magical included Dan Kelly, Mark Williams, James Brewer, Summer Doll Nguyen, & Dorin Andrei, all gloriously greeting us, while in greeting terms, no-one can quite top Jamie Head, we catching him while out on the terrace trying to post an Instagram shot of Steve & Smalls, this after the first of many tickling chases, although from an unexpected source, mark Williams the pranking perpetrator. However, inside was where all the emotionally enthralling & exciting eruptions were going to take place, Peter in playful mood, pinning us into our spot corner & riding our leg, much to Mr Pitron’s delight, while the man himself was masterminding some mesmeric music, a mixture of classics, classics re-hashed, 2012 big hitters & new tracks, sending us stratospheric, highlights including “Stay”, “Some Kind Of Rush”, “Got To Be Strong”, “Can’t Stop Me”, while sheer yet scintillating surprises were floor filler favourites from yesteryear, “Souk” & “Acapella” that went down an absolute storm.
Now, the awful Christmas night end that had been plaguing us was all but dissolved, rather the magical music, the prolific people and the amazing atmosphere were taking centre stage in our thoughts, stints on our spot swapped with privileged position next to our premier player (haven’t called him that for a while) Mr Pitron’s performance proving not just pitch perfect but actually nothing short of phenomenal, it clear from the expressions on his face and his body language, that is was right in the zone and enjoying every minute. And the party people down on the dancefloor were lapping up every second of his stunning set, their arm waving, whooping & whistling reactions speaking their own volumes, while we were in heaven in the D.J. booth with our mixing master & with lighting & technical genius Smalls, the times we have spent with them in this privileged position across the year, magical 2012 memories highlights, this morning being no different, while it was also clear Mr Pitron was in playful mood, the inevitable tickling frenzies leaving us squealing & squirming as both he & Smalls pinned us in the sound cupboard. But Peter was to add to all this bawdy bravado too, more leg riding lunges leaving us on the exciting edge, while others joined in on the joviality, Mhardeen, among many more chasing & attempting to tickle us (we are a sensitive soul), while it would be the terrific Tom Fuller that would temporarily rescue us, a respite in the chapel space giving us time to take stock for the final stint of Steve’s set.
And what a stint it proved to be, yet more classics intermixed with 2012 anthems amassing an awesome Area atmosphere, the lighting at fabulously full tilt and with Eleckta Paris & her dance troupe on NYD preparation duty rest, the music was the majority of the talking, news having reached us that both Hifi Sean & Jamie Head had nailed prolific & pulsating performances in the chapel & the terrace respectively. But it was the main room performance we were concentrating on and while an early showing of the towering “Timebomb” had been the only Steve selection to tumble our tears, the main protagonist pick in his armoury would leave us wonderfully weeping, the brilliant “Beautiful Lie” catching us off guard gloriously although it would be the spectacular “Symphony”, neatly followed by the simply stunning “Strange Fruit”, interestingly on its first play in a Pitron Beyond performance, that would leave us breathless in emotional eruptions, recapturing the superb spine tingling sensations we had succumbed to on hearing both of them within Steve’s WE Formula 2” podcast. “Symphony” & “Strange Fruit” stunned, the rest of our stay at this prolific party was a bonus, The Sharp Boys arrival & welcomes another filler on top of the friendly support we had received all morning, although with Steve’s set over and a final tickling frenzy done, it was time to wend our weary way home to reflect on, what was without doubt, one of the most monumental meets, not just of December, but of the year.
Well what can we say to add to all that? Well, in brief, a stunning Steve set, an awesome Area atmosphere, a flock of fantastic friends, mesmeric music and exceptional lighting effects, all combined to make this a morning that only delectable dreams are made of. Yet this is the epitome of Beyond, it never failing to deliver delightfully in all departments, it standing head & shoulders above the capital circuit clubbing competition in every wonderful way. And to attract the kind of numbers just a two days before the New Year and on the cusp of one of the biggest Beyond bashes on the calendar, is proof of the pudding in our humble pie opinion, that it is every bit as popular now, as it was this time last year, and the year before that and the years before that. What the founder of this phenomenal weekly afterhours outing, Craig Elder, has created is a club that we can safely say ranks as one of the best on the globe, our experiences of scores of others both here in London & abroad, suitably qualifying us to make this considerable claim. But while La Demence, Muccassassina & Alegria come close, Beyond in our books is the best and so to spend our last dance of 2012 in its hands, adding to the myriad of meets this year alone, very much proved the most emotionally enthralling epilogue that this review reflection title suggests, the final few words having to go to a Pitron performance of epic proportions that, like this colossal club, could, no will possibly, probably, definitely turn out to be top of our Y.E. tree. (DISCO MATT)
It will be starting 2013 as it means to go on and is ended 2012 as it has done for the whole of the year, at the top of the capitals clubbing circuit game, Beyond once again making it to our “Pick Of The Day” choice for today (Sun 30th Dec), all the party promo a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while we edit the event info after ticking the turntable troops beats boxes beneath.
While we cannot wait to wave goodbye to 2012, ringing the New Year in with our traditional trip to what has, without question, become our favourite club of all time, given the circumstances that condemned our Christmas Day clubbing plans, we had decided to cancel all commitments until our trip to Paris for Scream on 5th January, a mound of messages of support, some positive thinking & the world wise words from a fellow clubber, all combined to chase away our down in the dumps disposition. Then when we realised we could end 2102 on a heavenly house music high, a terrific team of turntable troops barnstorming Beyond, no doubt with a bevy of brilliant beats, we quickly came to the conclusion that to stick to our cancelled clubbing schedule plans & principles were doomed to dissolve into thin air. So who has swayed us so?, the simple & honest answer to that question being the dream team of D.J.’s on duty at this latest Beyond bash, Hifi Sean sorting the superb sounds in the chapel from 1 .am., while a switch to the terrace at 3 finds Jamie Head in his preferred Beyond place, no doubt serving up another scintillating set to follow on outstanding one last week. But it will be our spot and a three hour Steve Pitron main room performance that will further lift our sagging seasonal spirits, he sure to tickle our tunes tastebuds with a ton of terrific tracks, many that will tumble those trademark tears, while we reckon come 9 a.m., there may be actual tickles to add to the showings of “the cups”, all this while The Sharp Boys steer the Beyond supporters & soundtrack through till the midday finish.
So, in the knowledge that we have put forward a convincing case for you to join us on the Area dancefloor, here is what Beyond’s promoter Ben Kaye has to say about this “Music Is All You Need” event…
“…I really hope everyone had a great Christmas, ate enough over the holidays, got all the gifts they wanted and everyone’s stockings were suitably filled – one way or another; and if by going by my own past experiences are some of you getting a little bored, contemplating going out before NYE especially if you are off work?! Well….. This Sunday Beyond is open at Midnight; regular as clockwork for our regulars; or a great excuse to burn off the calories you possibly gained over xmas…” he adding “…I personally love the atmosphere at this particular Beyond so if you are in London, come and experience the Beyond magic, we are open from 12 midnight and the lady at the door will be Hrh Minty while Elektra and her delectable dancing team are working hard preparing for our NYD superparty, so have been given way to the music on this one occasion…”
And given both Ben’s & our boosting of this Beyond bash, all that’s left to say & do is to share the events page with you, http://facebook.com/events/191006581037940/, the clubs page, http://facebook.com/beyondclub and the official website, http://orangenation.co.uk, while if we can cancel our cancelled plans, you can too, so see you on the dancefloor shortly, safe in the knowledge that you will “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
Turkey & all the trimmings devoured and nothing much to watch apart from repeats means that there is only one chrimbo choice tonight (Tues 25th Dec), that being the clubbing institution that has become an Orange outing to break the boundaries of Christmas conformity, this enthralling event our “Pick Of The Day”, all the detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while we extra bite on the bash beneath.
In all the years we have been stepping out on the scene, if there has been one day in the clubbing calendar that has broken the boundaries of conformity more than any other, it has been Christmas Day, the time when the masses spend time with family, cook the traditional turkey, eat indulge and the flop, even falling asleep among the myriad of repeats, like Morecombe & Wise, The Two Ronnies & Victoria Wood, while its Eastenders, Doctor Who & Emmerdale that does it for others, that and tucking into a sumptuous supper before cracking open the tin of Quality Street. But while we cannot miss out on our Christmas fix of Strictly Come Dancing, its other dancing that we have on mind this festive season night topper, that being the institution that has become a trip to Fire, in the case of this year to a outstanding Orange outing that has all the hallmarks of a heavenly happening to round off what has already been a captivating Christmas Eve & Day, probably the best this decade and even millennium.
So what’s on offer should you want to shun the Christmas pudding & stodgy supper in favour of a fabulous frolic at Fire, Well, this is what we had to say in our Orange Nation Festive Focus….
“….Let’s crack (or is that cracker) on and head to Christmas Day (or night actually) as the institution that is Orange swings open its doors, flying in the face of conformity, dragging you away from the comedy repeats on the Beeb and giving you an outstanding opportunity to work off the excesses of the day. And while the promotions team claim “…let’s face it, you’ve been very bad this year so Santa won’t be coming anywhere near your chimney, so screw the turkey, let’s go to Fire!…” perhaps an excessive amount of clubbing during 2012 being their point, although we doubt you have been that naughty but will want to indulge in a little post dinner decadence while others fall asleep over that traditional Christmas supper. But we much prefer the promotions tack when they say “…Join together under the shining star of Orange with your London family this Christmas Day at our annual institution, and live the alternative nativity scene that didn’t make the gospel. Kings (& queens) travel far and wide to the stable of Fire where it all began, for a festive celebration like no other…” and if previous year’s experiences are anything to go by, then it will be a pumping & prolific party to plunder, Orange standing on its own two feet this year rather than previous chrimbo combo’s with that other Christmas institution Trade.
Well, what will this Christmas Day delectation deliver?, well citric sound splendour from start to finish as the D.J. line-up is pure Orange old school, The Sharp Boys, & Fat Tony on deck duty, while another original resident makes a special festive appearance, Gonzalo Rivas jetting in from his home & base of Valencia in what will be the first of a string of showings that include Beyond, A:M & WE Party, although he cannot contain his excitement for being back behind the Orange (potentially RAW) decks on Christmas night, so much so that he has laid down a special compilation to mark the occasion and one you should go grab without delay by clicking on http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2012-12-20T08_37_46-08_00 while his set will definitely be one to savour. However, with the party kicking off at Fire this Tuesday (25th Dec) at 11 p.m. and the event running through till 7 a.m., plus with the potential of not just one but two rooms of fun, the D.J. set length maths dictate that the so called “…special guests…” will be required for duty, likely includee’s being Verity Mayes & playing partner Bryony Masters, while if they are in town, both The Oli & Paul Martin may be called up, the prospect of all these spinning stars sorting the Christmas night sounds surely too much to resist. So, having netted your hook, line & sinker, all we now need to say is go grab your advance tickets now, online at https://orangenation.ticketabc.com/events/orange-2-2-2-2-2-2/ still priced at just £10 or you can pay on the door although expect to pay more, further event info, is out at http:/facebook.com/events/424553537610538/…”
So, who’s up for a party tonight?, we are for sure this every much a DM institution as any, plus with no play on Boxing Day due to work commitments, we will be making the most of this festive fanfare, beckoning you to come say hi if you see us out, making sure that you “Go There! Be There!”. (DISCO MATT)
If there was ever an organisation to come up trumps over Christmas, it is Orange Nation, a superb selection of spectacular showings that sparkle & shine bright throughout the coming Christmas week, we focussing on Orange “The Christmas Day Institution” & A:M Ultra’s “Boxing Day Blowout”, while short shouting for no less than six other glorious gathering’s, a New Year Golden Ticket touting and an Orange Nation Christmas present of free clubbing in January mini mention.
As we find ourselves on the cusp of Christmas week 2012, we look back to the same time last year and a calendar of events that was every bit as plump as the turkeys that will no doubt be making it to dinner tables across the land come Tuesday, although with Christmas falling during the week this year rather than over the weekend like last, the 2012 festive season reality is that the lack of two additional bank holiday’s means that for some (like us) it’s just two days off from work making for leaner clubbing cavorting. Yet there will be plenty of others that will have either been granted or will be taking the whole week off, meaning there will be a penchant for partying, the clubbing circuit in the capital certainly not failing to deliver, especially if you head into the world of Orange Nation, the clubbing conglomerate that is responsible for brands such as A:M, Beyond, Gravity, Later & Orange, a host of events carrying you from Christmas Day to N.Y.E. meaning we thought it only right to propel their parties in a specially devoted festive focus which we have aptly called, “Christmas Cracker Of Continuous Clubbing”, honing in on two of the big Christmas events, but also giving a mini mention to the myriad of others. And with 2013 just over a week away, we will also take the opportunity to hint towards 1st January in what will once again prove one of the biggest clubbing days of the year, while we cannot forget the special Orange Nation Christmas present of free clubbing in January, no scrooge at large here.
So let’s crack (or is that cracker) on and head to Christmas Day (or night actually) as the institution that is Orange swings open its doors, flying in the face of conformity, dragging you away from the comedy repeats on the Beeb and giving you an outstanding opportunity to work off the excesses of the day. And while the promotions team claim “…let’s face it, you’ve been very bad this year so Santa won’t be coming anywhere near your chimney, so screw the turkey, let’s go to Fire!…” perhaps an excessive amount of clubbing during 2012 being their point, although we doubt you have been that naughty but will want to indulge in a little post dinner decadence while others fall asleep over that traditional Christmas supper. But we much prefer the promotions tack when they say “…Join together under the shining star of Orange with your London family this Christmas Day at our annual institution, and live the alternative nativity scene that didn’t make the gospel. Kings (& queens) travel far and wide to the stable of Fire where it all began, for a festive celebration like no other…” and if previous year’s experiences are anything to go by, then it will be a pumping & prolific party to plunder, Orange standing on its own two feet this year rather than previous Chrimbo combo’s with that other Christmas institution Trade.
So what’s on offer? Well citric sound splendour from start to finish as the D.J. line-up is pure Orange old school, The Sharp Boys, & Fat Tony on deck duty, while another original resident makes a special festive appearance, Gonzalo Rivas jetting in from his home & base of Valencia in what will be the first of a string of showings that include Beyond, A:M & WE Party, although he cannot contain his excitement for being back behind the Orange (potentially RAW) decks on Christmas night, so much so that he has laid down a special compilation to mark the occasion and one you should go grab without delay by clicking on http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2012-12-20T08_37_46-08_00 while his set will definitely be one to savour. However, with the party kicking off at Fire this Tuesday (25th Dec) at 11 p.m. and the event running through till 7 a.m., plus with the potential of not just one but two rooms of fun, the D.J. set length maths dictate that the so called “…special guests…” will be required for duty, likely includee’s being Verity Mayes & playing partner Bryony Masters, while if they are in town, both The Oli & Paul Martin may be called up, the prospect of all these spinning stars sorting the Christmas night sounds surely too much to resist. So, having netted your hook, line & sinker, all we now need to say is go grab your advance tickets now, online at https://orangenation.ticketabc.com/events/orange-2-2-2-2-2-2/ still priced at just £10 or you can pay on the door although expect to pay more, further event info, should you need it, out at http://www.facebook.com/events/424553537610538/.
Then, the following night, another afterhours institution that has gone through a significant transformation during 2012, holds its “Boxing Day Blowout”, A:M Ultra flying the Orange Nation flag, given that it’s a Wednesday and Onyx, which would normally occupy this slot, has all but disappeared from the capitals clubbing circuit, in a way a victim of its own success, like a tormented city trader having burnt itself out after a hectic three seasons at the top of the Friday tree. However, while to the naked eye, Onyx is no more, with an inside track along with informed information, Onyx has actually been absorbed by A:M, which under the superb steership of none other than prolific promoter Steven Sharp, has gone all “Ultra” on us, shifting & extending is previous afterhours status into the realms of nightime clubbing too, this traditional Saturday morning meet becoming a Friday frolic aswell. And given the souped up size & substantial standing with the Orange Nation weekly clubbing/event schedule, it seems wholly appropriate that A:M “Ultra” has been granted this much prized Boxing Day slot, Mr Sharp pleased as punch that he has landed this cracking Christmas schedule stocking filler for his club, he remarking to us that “…Boxing Day has always been a traditional favourite party night to celebrate with friends and an excellent opportunity to dance and burn off any inches from Christmas Day excess!…” especially for those that didn’t make it to Orange the previous night.
As for the event, the first big “Blowout” piece of news is that A:M “Ultra” once again switches from his native home Fire, moving across to splendid sister (and in our opinion the much better suited) Area, Steven also revealing that the venue “…will be transformed into a snow setting, with all new decor, new visuals & loads of pyrotechnics to make the party GO BANG!…” we concurring that there is no better place than Area with its superior lighting, layout & atmosphere to push these plans to prolific prominence. And Steven is pulling out all the team stops, hostess with the mostest HRH Minty, with her little elf helpers Danny Boyce & Louise Port all on duty & handing out mince pies and Xmas sweets, while the D.J. line up oozes A:M from its main room pores, the star studded line up including Jamie Head, Gonzalo Rivas, D’Johnny and newish resident players Matt Bogard & Ania, all playing “…playing the contemporary supercharged house…”, the sounds extending to a second space where Onyx takes pop music charge in the heavenly hands of Tasty Tim & DMS. So, with a line up like that, this is sure to be the billed “Boxing Day Blowout With A Bag”, Area’s doors opening this coming Wednesday (26th Dec) at 10 p.m. and the vent running through to a planned 8 a.m. finish, advance tickets available online at https://orangenation.ticketabc.com/events/m-3-2-2-2-2-2/ priced at an early bird (still available) £10 or the standard £12, while with an ad/flyer it’s that same standard price on the door till midnight or £15 without & after, this surely an Xmas disco diary must, especially if (unlike us) you have Thursday off.
So those are the two Orange Nation Christmas week headline events, but what about the rest? Well on Thursday (27th Dec), the team point you in the direction of Room Service who hold a pre-party for WE “Vogue which takes place on N.Y.D., this followed by Gravity at Covert from midnight until 8.am. Then moving to Friday (28th Dec) A;M “Ultra is back and back at its home Fire, doors opening at 11 p.m. & the club running superlate (translated as post Saturday morning dawn), while just fifteen or so hours later, awesome afterhours Beyond rolls out yet another of its infamous “Midnight” meets, that is from zero o’clock on Sunday 30th Dec) running through till another superlate billing, we suspect 10 or 11 a.m. Then completing the Christmas week picture is Later, which itself is on the move for a one-off Sunday daytime disco dervish at Covert, making this a perfect hop, skip & jump from Beyond at next door Area, proceedings kicking off at 11.30 a.m. & the club running through till 7/8 p.m. details of all these events due out at http://orangenation.co.uk. Then, after a resting respite on New Year’s Eve, the “Golden Ticket” trio takes charge, Beyond NYD, WE “Vogue” & Orange “WE Afterhours” the £40 combined ticket package which is brilliant value so worth a mini mention now, this terrific ticket combo available online now at https://orangenation.ticketabc.com/events/new-years/ while details of what it offers is up at http://facebook.com/events/128980950589187/, while watch this space for special New Year Focus features on Beyond, WE & Orange, as well as an Extra Bites post on Beyond “Midnight”, all coming up later this week.
So, spending Christmas week on the Orange Nation dancfloors is truly a seven day prospect & affair for some, while work commitments look like restricting us to that institutional tradition that is Fire on Christmas night, although we wholeheartedly support all seven soiree’s as prominent places to be seen on the scene this festive season, meaning you should “Go There! Be There!” (DISCO MATT)