The Sunnyside Pavilion is one of the most beautiful venues in town - a garden that's open to the stars but surrounded by walls and full of flowers. Last summer it didn't get much use for dance parties since the team behind RNB Productions had split up. Thankfully, this year the remaining half of RNB has teamed up with Milk for a series of deep house parties under the open skies. Last Friday they brought Dimitri from Paris to the Pavilion, where he played a long set of mainly disco, with a bit of house, funk and even some reggae classics. He seemed to be concentrating less on mixing than he usually does, sometimes deliberately letting tracks play to the end before starting the next. You'd think a house music crowd would have problems with this, but they cheered during those brief breaks in the music.
The garden was rammed with more people than I've ever seen there before. The smoking ban has made open-air venues like this even more attractive - smokers don't have to leave their friends to tend to their addiction while non-smokers aren't trapped in a room.
Unfortunately, a mix-up with the venue meant that there weren't nearly enough washrooms to deal with the size of the crowd. One look at the massive lineup for the facilities and it was clear why so many boys were going outside to water the trees.
The promoters promise that there will be more washrooms for the next event.
With the closing of Club 56 , the eclectic group of promoters that called the Kensington Market dive home have are looking for new venues. SuperheavyREGGAE already had a head start since they've been throwing occasional jams at the nearby Thymeless for a few months now. Last Saturday the move was made official, and the small Greek/Jamaican bar was packed with roots reggae fans. The back patio now has some speakers, which, combined with the smoking ban, made for a very crowded backyard.
This time around the night had a special guest, Roots Radics Sound , who, contrary to his DJ name, played more dancehall than roots reggae. Doubt that most of the regulars minded, but the energy level in the room did bump up a notch when residents Friendlyness and Jeremiah stepped up to the decks. As usual, the live sax by I-Sax added a special touch, although he knows the tunes so well that it usually takes a few songs before you notice it's live.
Saturday night at Surface , Phatblackpussykat threw a deep house jam with kind of a strange concept - the Secret Sessions . There wasn't much (if any) flyer promotion, but they still managed to fill the room, despite the all-local performer lineup. It helps that Phatblackpussykat has a history with this room, from back when it was known as Foundation . The venue was pitch black, but I think Nick Holder was on the decks for most of our visit. The front patio of the club was packed, and it now has a DJ booth outside. DJ GaDJet is the Saturday-night patio resident, and despite the crowded space, he still managed to get a small dance floor going.