Thursday, January 01, 2004

I rang in the new year at Zouk with Sister Bliss.

At least, that was my intent. I ended up spending most of the night not in Zouk, but instead of the other two clubs that make up the complex - Phuture, which played progressive house, breakbeats, and trance yesterday night, and Velvet Underground, the club for the more mature crowd (read: over-25) which plays soulful and latin house every night. I usually don't go to Velvet if I can help it, as I can't take that kind of music very well. But in any case, I was with friends, and I was following them wherever they wanted to go as there were HUGE amounts of people in Zouk. The dancefloor was packed and no one could move, and I wasn't about to go in there to have my enjoyment of the music crushed by my hatred of crowds.

I don't know who played in Phuture last night, but I had a great time whenever I was there. I couldn't categorise the music, and quite frankly, I'm a little sick of having to define which tracks fit into which genres so that I know whether I, or my friends, will enjoy them. I do keep on trying though - it's my personality, it's the kind of person that I am, to always try and list and categorise things. (That reminds me. I haven't made my resolutions yet!) They played Beastie Boys' Fight For Your Right To Party and Layo & Bushwacka!'s Lovestory, one of my all-time favourite tracks, as well as the big single of summer 2002, just when I left London.

I did finally go to Zouk in the end to catch Sister Bliss's last hour. It was good progressive house and while I hardly recognised any of the tracks, I was just going crazy, having been unkindly restrained from listening to her music for the rest of night prior to my going in there! The sound system in Zouk is so much better than in the other rooms, with any bass just rocking the place. (Of course, as I've said before, it's not that good for trance, but for last night, it was perfect.) One of the tunes that I did recognise was Bliss's very own Sister Sister which was damn freaking good, pardon my French. Once that tearing wail kicked in (much like a banshee), I just screamed my head off and danced like a maniac. And I might add, I wasn't the only one.

I was dancing (or 'phreaking', as my friend likes to put it) with a friend with whom I hadn't formally met until last night although we'd been e-mailing thanks to Friendster. I had fun, he had fun, although I did have some worries about what he would think, given that earlier on in the night, I wasn't really dancing with anyone. "The difference between US education and UK education," he said. He was right. Although my retort to that later was, "It just takes a while for us to warm up!" Trust me, mein freund. I - along with any guy I so choose - can teach the rest of the crowd just what dancing really is about.

Sister Bliss ended off with a mix of Born Slippy that I didn't recognise and then the local dude came on. I loved his set, although admittedly, he played a lot of big tunes, so that doesn't mean that his mixing and style are good, just that he dropped the crowd-pleasers. Anyway, he played, among other things, Eurythmics's Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These), Sander Kleinenberg's Work To Do, Massive Attack's Safe From Harm (YESSSSS!!!!) and Layo & Bushwacka!'s Lovestory (twice in one night and I still hadn't got enough).

Funny moment: When the cameraman for the club was looking for good footage and came up to my friend and I, asking if we were going to kiss. I turned my head away, mouthing "What? OMG??!" and my friend, thankfully, told them, "No, we'll just dance." His reply, "Come on! Do it for the camera! Do it for Zouk!" Erm. Sorry. Nope. So, in the end, the cameraman went away, but came back after the night was over, asking if we could say, "Happy New Year and see you next year!" for the camera. So we did.

The night ended at 0500 h. I had been at Zouk for six hours. And it had been an awesome night, despite being tormented by a friend's SMSes about the pulsating, thumping trance that was being played at another club nearby, and being subjected to an hour of soulful house. It wasn't the way I would have planned my NYE, but I did get to know some people better, and I had a wicked time.

May I misbehave more this year.

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