No pot of Goldie
You have to feel for promoters when their headliner doesn't show. In most cases, the deposit is lost, along with the plane fare and the hotel room. On top of that, attendance usually suffers when a sign posted out front says the big name won't be performing. Fortunately for the people behind Loaded , System Soundbar 's Saturday-night drum 'n' bass party, d 'n' b superstar Goldie 's absence didn't have too negative an effect on attendance. In fact, if you didn't know better, you'd think everyone came to hear labelmates DJ Digital and MC Sharpness .
Musically, DJ Digital did a decent job, although his sound wasn't as inclusive as Goldie's. But his mixing was tight, and Sharpness worked pretty hard at getting the crowd fired up.
System Soundbar's decision to replace its long-running house night with drum 'n' bass was a gamble, but so far it appears to be paying off with good numbers and a friendly, cheerful crowd who like to drink. There's a lesson here for other clubs and promoters: identify a hole in the market and fill it instead of trying to compete with dozens of similar nights that draw the same crowd.
Drink up the Hooch
For those who aren't really into big-room d 'n' b, a weekly Friday party at the Hooch explores the more melodic and soulful side of the genre. Last week many were saving their energy for Goldie, so it was a bit slower than usual, but some decent dance-floor action was still going on. For those junglists wondering where all the girls went, they're at the Hooch dancing to melodic house-influenced d 'n' b.
As long as there's last call, there'll be places to go afterwards. Over the past few weeks, the after-hours scene has seen some changes. A few weeks back, 99 Sudbury hosted its last dance event. This time it's for real; the space is rented for the next year as a set. The sound system will be moving to an actual club (the space formerly known as Crybaby ) in the near future. It'll be interesting to see if these guys can adjust to normal bar hours.
Saturday night, police busted a long-running after-hours spot on Spadina. According to several reports, many patrons were searched and some arrested. This isn't something most people consider when going to a less than legal event, but it's always a possibility.
A certain space on Dundas was rumoured to be closing two weeks ago, but it was still going strong last weekend, so it's still an option if you know how to find it.
For those out late during the week, one long-running operation that's actually a family business is fairly notorious among those who work in the bar industry. It's closed on weekends, which is probably why it's been able to survive for so many years. The owner seems unconcerned about the implications of writing about the spot in the press, but in the interest of keeping it running, we'll leave out the address and encourage you to ask around if you really want to find it.