Low turnout for Jay-J
Boa-Redux has always had problems filling up the club on Fridays, at both its new and old locations. While it's had some very busy nights here and there, attendance has been surprisingly inconsistent, even when a relatively big-name talent is on hand.
Take West Coast deep house DJ/producer Jay-J. You wouldn't have known he was a major name from the small handful of partiers who showed up last Friday. The club must have had some idea it'd be a slow night and curtained off much of the space to create a club-within-a-club.
Thankfully, Jay-J is a versatile DJ who was able to adjust his vibe to suit a mellower night than he likely expected when he got off the plane. He played a sexy but low-key set that perfectly suited the room's intimate vibe.
In situations like this, it's difficult to account for the small turnout. On the one hand, there didn't appear to be much promotion, and the Friday events haven't built up enough momentum to attract people on their own. Of course, it could also be that Jay-J's brand of mellow deep house isn't the draw it used to be, which is entirely possible looking at larger trends in the club scene.
Problems at 99
The week before his gig in town at 99 Sudbury, Morgan Geist confided that he was nervous about the event. Last time he played there he got the distinct feeling that the crowd the venue attracts isn't familiar or interested in the weirdo disco obscurities that he DJs these days, and he was worried that once again he'd be playing to people who wanted to hear much harder and faster records.
Sure enough, it looked like at least half the crowd late Friday night was bewildered by his eclectic selections, a suspicion confirmed by the immediate response Toronto expat Jeremy P Caulfield got when he mixed out of Geist's last disco tune into his first minimal tech-house track. It must be disorienting to travel to another city to play a gig for a crowd that doesn't really want to hear you.
To be fair to the Black Market guys who booked him, his name on its own wouldn't draw nearly as many people as the warehouse party itself does. Still, let's hope that next time he gets booked into a smaller venue more suited to his vibe.
Caulfield, though, fared quite well at this space, despite the skipping turntables that have plagued everyone's set there lately. One of the problems with makeshift DJ booths is that they tend to be unstable.
Next week is the last party ever at 99 Sudbury, so they probably won't find a solution to that annoying glitch.
Another party in an unconventional location last Friday took place at what appeared to be a karaoke bar during normal hours, around the corner from 99 Sudbury.
Jermaine Brown was working the turntables during our visit, dropping some funk and soulful house to a small but up-for-it crowd.
While house music may no longer rule the club scene, it's nice to see it reclaiming non-club venues, even odd ones like this.