A tale of two clubs
Stopped by Roxy Blu Friday for a live appearance by deep house vocalist Stephanie Cooke . I noticed that they've moved the DJ booth to the south wall and changed the layout of the club. There were varying opinions as to whether the change is a good one, but it seems to improve traffic flow and makes the place seem bigger. Unfortunately, the energy just wasn't there this night, and neither were the numbers, so it's hard to evaluate the impact of the changes. The new DJ booth on the patio is working out well, though, especially after the smoking ban. Jason Palma and Paul E Lopes were killing it out there with some very nice disco, funk and house. The renovations are well timed, since the club is due for a makeover and revitalization. There's also definitely increased competition, particularly from nearby Tangier .
For those keeping track, Tangier is run by the guys behind Garage 416 and Bump N' Hustle , a team who at one point were throwing Roxy Blu's biggest parties and who were originally in negotiations to buy Roxy themselves. When the deal fell through, they ended up with Tangier and moved their parties over there.
Because they're both angling for the same crowd, Roxy has started throwing parties outside of the deep house scene, a move that's been bringing much-needed new faces into the venue but is also changing what the club is known for. At one point, people went there specifically to hear garage, Afro-Latin, jazzy house and classics, but now you can find techno, hard chunky house, drum 'n' bass and other genres, depending on the night.
The competitive situation was apparent this week. Roxy Blu never really filled up, even though promoters Phatblackpussykat are usually quite consistent.
Meanwhile, down the street at Tangier, the new Friday night run by the guys behind the legendary Twilight Zone didn't do so well either - the doors were locked just a little past 2 am.
This isn't the only scene in town where two clubs are pitching to the same crowd. Every new venue that opens is trying to woo someone else's target audience. The interesting part will be watching to see who's still open this time next year.
Put up your Dukes
It's hot outside, so it's beach party season again. Since half the Promise team is out of the country, some thought there might not be any more Sunday sessions on Cherry Beach , but word on the street is that they're still happening, though not necessarily every week. You also won't find the sound system at the same spot as in the past - it's now at the other end of the beach and much farther back from the water, in the trees, where the sound is less likely to reach the noise-sensitive residents of the Island.
One of the advantages of the new spot is that the party's been able to go later and pump up the sound louder. Got there just after night fell to find a decent-sized crowd still there. The Dukes were rocking out with one of their trademark fast-paced eclectic sets combining tech-house, breaks, techno, house, electro and anything else they can mix in.
It was a good little shindig, and it's worth keeping an ear to the ground to hear about the next one. There's something really nice about a free outdoor party that's outside the capitalist system and isn't sponsored by a beer company.