Traditionally, there aren't many decent club events in the couple of weeks before New Year's Eve, but a few promoters always take advantage of the lack of competition to throw Toronto a few curveballs. Thursday, December 21, Pink Mafia brought the Happy Mondays DJ set to Footwork , a gig that could easily be filed in the unexpected category, considering the band has only sporadically been an actual entity since its implosion back in 1993.
Stories have circulated about a new album, but without a release date or label, people aren't holding their breath. Original drummer Gary Whelan and new guitar player Kav Sandhu have been doing DJ gigs to try to keep the world interested, but given the band's notorious history, it's no surprise that Whelan wasn't able to make it into the country.
Curiosity and nostalgia are powerful motivators, though, so although the club was far from full, a reasonable number of bodies came out. Sandhu has some history as an indie dance DJ and promoter in the UK, but without the Happy Mondays connection it's doubtful that anyone would care. At times it felt like a UK-centric 90s retro party, which was entertaining for a minute or two. Mario J and Kenny Glasgow checked out the night, but it's unlikely that they came away from it with any mixing techniques or tracks worth trainspotting.
New Year's news
After playing a rock gig out in Parkdale, we jumped in a cab to get to the Social in time to catch the last half of Philly hotshot Diplo 's DJ set. He was throwing down a kaleidoscope of genres for the dance floor, changing up the vibe every 15 minutes or so.
As you'd expect, some tangents went over better than others, but if you didn't like what you were hearing, all you had to do was go to the bar for a drink, and by the time you got back to the dance floor he'd be on some other tip.
Took a break from the action downstairs to go up to Spin Gallery , where B9 Productions and Brooks Events had brought in Ron Trent for a night of soulful deep house. The turnout was respectable but not sweat-dripping-from-the-ceiling busy. As usual, Trent was bouncing back and forth between hands-in-the-air classics and spacey deep tracks.
We ended the night down the street at NYE Fuck Yeah , a three-room loft party in a warehouse off Dufferin. There was chaos at the door, most of it because intoxicated partiers were trying to bluff their way past the door without paying the cover charge, overwhelming bouncers attempting to keep track of who was outside smoking and who was trying to sneak in.
The situation only got worse when it turned out the surprise mystery guest was Diplo and a considerable lineup formed inside to get into the room where he was holding court. These are minor complaints, though; it was a good, messy party, with a wide variety of music and moods spread throughout the building.
Gypsy Co-op shuts down
Over the holidays, long-time Queen West fixture Gypsy Co-op suddenly closed down, eliminating the last traces of the late-90s boom of small clubs that gave a home to underground music that didn't fit into the club district. It will be missed.