The weekend after NYE is traditionally pretty quiet in the club scene, but the low number of events this year meant that most of them were quite busy. This was the story at the Drake Underground Friday night, where the folks behind Diamond Life brought in Detroit electro producer Goudron for a live performance alongside Diamond Life resident DJs Vanessa F and Alex W .
Goudron has managed to resist the allure of the laptop, and instead uses two tables full of samplers, effects and modified electronic toys to churn out noisy electro-funk breaks embellished with dissonant screaming synth solos.
Setting up his gear in front of the stage allowed the audience to actually see what he was doing, which helped make the electronic performance feel more live. It also gave him room to indulge in a bit of audience participation; at some points he handed some of his homemade devices to the dancers to play with.
Goudron's got an interesting sound that's rooted in Detroit electro but not nearly as derivative and retro-minded as some. It's a little too fast and jerky to inspire smooth dance moves, but then again, indie kids aren't really known for their ass-shaking anyway.
Before and after his set, Vanessa F and Alex W played some weirdo disco, new wave, electro and some punky dance music that was a little easier to dance to but less edgy.
Got to the Boat before midnight on Saturday but found a huge lineup outside trying to get into Shake A Tail , a night of 50s sock hop favourites and juke joint blues. We walked up the street and found another huge lineup outside Supermarket and at least as many people in front of Andy Poolhall .
When we finally made it back to the Boat, the line was much shorter, and it only took about five minutes to get inside, where we were greeted by a packed, sweaty barful of kids dancing to music recorded long before they were conceived. While most of the tunes were from the 50s and early 60s, some 70s rock would occasionally drop as long as it had enough classic rock 'n' roll references to sit well next to the old 45s.
The party was in full swing when the lights suddenly went on and the music stopped; a patron had passed out in the middle of the dance floor and needed to be attended to. Paramedics arrived quickly, and the party continued without any other glitches.
Timeless reggae at Thymeless
To kill some time while waiting for the lineup outside the Boat to shrink, we had a couple of pints at Thymeless , where the Zion Gate crew were throwing their monthly roots reggae bash. While not as packed as some of the neighbouring clubs, it was still fairly busy, drawing an eclectic audience of reggae fans. The wall of speakers pounded out that earth-shaking bass as the dance floor slowly filled up. Lots of smiling faces and some sweet tunes.