Friday, November 18, 2005

Club Post Part 1

Its almost the weekend again, and no matter how much resistance I put up, I wll end up sooner or later in a club somewhere at 3 in the morning, shirtless, my hands way up in the air as yet another song remixed by the Freemasons is cranked out at the club. It is what I do, and its what is expected of me. After all, I am a party bear and need to uphold my status as such on the scene. This has got me thinking about the (sometimes disturbing) hierarchy that exists on the London scene. As with every social group, there are the haves and have-nots, and I always equated going to a club like going to a film premier. You have your A to D-List celebrities, media types, photographers, and your spectators.

A lot of gay guys in London are here because they choose to move away from places where they were less accepted, and therefore are looking to belong to something. I think that’s the reason why many of them want to feel exclusive. Of course, sex, drugs and money are the main driving factors, so the closer you are associated with one of them, the higher up the chain you are.

Club Owners and Promoters

These are the film directors and producers if you will, the people that make it all happen. Some promoters are very visible on the scene, they are out all the time, making sure they have their ear to the ground, making sure that they know the scene queens and that in turn the scene queens will keep coming to their venue or club night. A good promoter always has a little flyer in his hand, maybe carrying concessions to what is admittedly an over-priced cover charge to begin with. There is a good portion of guys that are out every weekend and you need that core audience to keep your place full week in, week out.

Of course promoters are very high up the chain, they have the power to get you kicked out, they have the power to save you from getting kicked out, they can manage to get you on the guest-list. If you’re lucky enough, they will let you go to that little private room in the bar to snort something with them instead of having to qeue up with the rest of the masses at the toilets. Everyone knows who they are, a lot of guys want to be their friends, but they usually keep most at a distance.

There are also the club owners whose clubs have become so successful, that no one actually sees them on the scene at all. There aren’t that many in this category, but these guys usually rely on their promoters and door staff to do the work for them, to put in the face time. If we stay with the film analogy, the owner is the producer, finances the whole thing and sometimes is well known, the promoter is the director.


The guys I feel the sorriest for on the scene sometimes, are the DJs. On the surface, the most glamorous person in the club is the DJ, after all he is the one who can make or break a night by the choice of music. They also have exclusivity locked down, if you are a DJ in London, you can pretty much guarantee free entry into every club around (with the exception of one ‘big boy’ club which I won’t name), free access to drugs, free drinks, the whole lot.

A good DJ is one who knows how to play for the masses giving them some recognizable songs, yet is smart enough to play newer, more credible tracks in order to keep the respect of the more seasoned hardcore clubber in tact. You know the clubber that subscribes to music magazines and thinks he knows what the next hot song is, the one who pesters the DJ in his booth all night long with requests.

If you have a bad reputation as a spinner, then a bit of your glamour goes away, even if the venues still hire you. The scene queens love a good DJ to talk about, but they love a really awful one to moan about even more.

So why do I feel sorry for these guys, well its mainly because they are the ones that people tend to go after the most. If you want instant star status, you date a DJ or Promoter. Everyone will ask them for a guest-list spot, just because they chatted them up during their set. I’ve known a couple of DJs who refuse to date anyone on the scene as a hard and fast rule. Also, they get caught up in club politics more than anyone else, if you DJ for more than one promoter, or if you are DJ / Promoter, then you have to make sure that all sides are happy.

End of Part I, I will come back with a few more over the weekend.


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