The last time I went out on NYE in London, I swore afterwards would be the last time I went out on NYE in London.
I had gone to The Egg, for my sins. It was fairly horrendous, from the obnoxious door staff, to the stink of shit in the room downstairs – the only one playing appealing music, the large volume of sweat pouring off the ceiling upstairs, the total lack of air conditioning, dodgy as fuck security and a fair portion of dickheads. Not to mention the £60.00 entrance I paid. What was I thinking?
So this year we went out on NYD instead. I left it to my dancing partner to choose where to go, long overdue her turn as I keep getting my own way, and her choice was Fuse NYD Part 2 at The Laundry – chosen for reasons of music.
London was gloriously quiet as we arrived into Paddington Station – we had nearly a whole tube to ourselves. A great evening to film an end of the world scenario in the capital of the world.
I’ve always been a massive fan of what the Fuse guys do, ever since I accidentally saw Enzo Siragusa, ooooh maybe 10 years ago now. A few months later, I’d stumbled also into 93 Feet East not knowing what the place was, with a couple of friends, one of whom was so innocent that she had never been to a nightclub before. It was an eye-opener for me, let alone her. But the underground house sound was captivating, and I wanted to go back straight away and enjoy it properly.
Approximately ten years later, I finally managed it.
We arrived in the light rain to a small queue outside. Small in length – yet still somehow took around 30 minutes to get us in thanks to very limited staff on the door. And then we queued a good 30 or 40 minutes to put our coats in. Sigh.
Not the best start, but we grabbed a beer and headed to the back of the dancefloor. I could be wrong as we never got close enough to work out who was playing, nor did I see any set times, but I think Seb Zito was playing at that point, with some nice grooves, perfect for a dancefloor which was steadily filling.
Then there was a little beer-soaking incident which was rather annoying and for a brief moment I wondered if we should cut our losses and head to Studio 338 or similar.
But we stuck with it – the music was so damned good that it was worth any teething problems.
That said, I didn’t like the venue. Well, I did and I didn’t. It had a charm to it, it was probably the better of the warehouse-style venues that I’ve been to in London, but it was shambolically run and very understaffed in key areas – with seemingly no understanding of the flow of a nightclub. Also disturbing to see a loop of cable hanging from the ceiling for a while in the bar area, that looked rather dangerous. They did eventually fix it.
The sound quality was acceptable – it was loud enough and clear, although one knows from other nightclubs how much more depth there is in the tracks played – and also when stood near the cloakroom, as I had to do for quite a while at the beginning and end, it was vibrating quite disturbingly.
I have no idea what the hell was going on with the lights. They had some very bright red lamps often shining, the rest of the lights seemed to be switched off as the night went on, or on very low wattage. Maybe they broke. Towards the end, the room was almost black, making it close to impossible to see anyone if they weren’t next to you.
It does seem to me that Fuse almost play on the back to basics idea, so whilst this kind of venue suits the music style, there clearly are improvements that The Laundry need to make if they are going to become an established venue. But it has potential.
I feel like I’m complaining too much – one of the unwritten rules of dance music is that you mustn’t complain, you must always lick arse, everything is amazing. Except EDM. You are allowed to complain about that.
But there are absolutely no complaints about the music. And if the music is right – then anything else becomes a minor infraction.
From start to finish the music the music was top notch. All DJs impressed, generally in an understated way, just playing straight-forward underground house tracks. One particular highlight was Riccardo’s Lapiuta – which will surely grow in stature as more people hear it.
tINI was probably my favourite DJ of the night. I’ll quite happily watch her head bob up and down with the music. Occasionally her selections were a little mournful, perhaps unexpectedly so for NYD celebrations – then she would occasionally play something unexpected, like the late 90’s classic samba house track who’s track I’ve totally forgotten – albeit it does sound a tad cheesy now. It almost worked a storm.
And when the lights went on at the end, tentatively at first, the whole night made total sense, as you could see the array of characters from all different kinds of backgrounds, many from London – a more predominantly English crowd than my other recent nights out, yet so many aspects of society were mixed there, dancing together, mostly smiling.
Sure, the lack of organisation on the venue’s part did grate on me, hopefully they will improve matters for future nights they are holding – it certainly isn’t without potential. But musically, this was easily the best night out I’ve had this year. And better than most last year.
It certainly won’t be a decade until my next Fuse night out…although I am definitely too old for Sunday partying with work on the Monday. Roll on bank holidays.
For the whole experience, I’ll give it a 7 out of 10.
Next up I wanted to go see Ricardo at fabric before I start my month-long detox. But it doesn’t look like I have a willing dancing partner (damn you January) so maybe Ben Klock at fabric in March. I’ve never seen him before, I’m not sure if he is my kind of thing but I do quite fancy a techno stomp for a change.