Boa squeezes in
Boa-Redux , a new after-hours club housed in an old movie theatre at Dundas and Spadina, opened over the holidays and already has good buzz. Unlike other legal after-hours venues, Boa doesn't have a bar and serves only water and energy drinks. It doesn't really start filling up until after 2 am but stays open very late into the next morning. The owners are going for a mixed gay and straight crowd, a strategy that seems to be keeping the shady tough-guy segment away and the atmosphere friendly and relaxed.
The sound system is very good even though it hasn't been fine-tuned yet. The Guvernment main room may have a competitor for big-room sound quality.
Last Saturday featured the Heels On Wheels tour, bringing two female DJs, K-Swing and Sandra Collins . Though I'm not a fan of either's style, I will say they both performed well and seemed to be having a great time behind the decks.
K-Swing's nu-school breaks set was more mellow than you'd expect for a DJ spinning after last call, but here the pre-3 am slot is just a warm-up. Collins followed her with a set of progressive and a bit of trance that got the crowd into party mode.
Nice to see a club trying to raise the bar for late-night partying. Hopefully, they'll try starting a Friday night and expand the musical mandate, too.
Checked out a new lounge on College called Fuse last Friday. It's a cozy little space, less upscale than many of the surrounding venues. Last week it hosted a party called Reach , which matches UK and trad American garage. Didn't hear much UK garage from DJ San Frandisco , but the crowd didn't seem to mind.
The promoter was pleasantly surprised that the party was well attended - pushing the sounds of 2-step and UKG in Toronto hasn't always been an easy job.
Thymeless is a very Kensington Market type of bar. The menu boasts Greek, Jamaican and Canadian food, a reflection of the owners' various backgrounds, and the crowd is a similarly random mix of market types. It looks like a low-key grungy bar, but right in front of the pool table is a huge stack of speakers better suited to a room three times its size. It seems DJ Dread , the Jamaican side of the management and the resident DJ, has an affection for lots of bass when spinning roots reggae, dancehall and old school.
It's not drawing much of crowd yet, but the wall of speakers may end up attracting creative promoters looking for virgin territory.