REVIEW: The Secret ‘Illustrious Society’

The Illustrious Society, 3 May 2014 9pm-4am Secret Location, West Yorkshire

In a small Yorkshire town, hidden in the depths of an old industrial mill is a best kept secret. A party held once a month, showcasing the best DJ’s holding an intimate event of approximately 200 people.  What is also special about this place is the unusual decor, it resembles a small boutique indoor festival. The strangest, yet most amusing entrance to a room has to be a foam vagina, once you climb through you enter a chilled out area with floor cushions to get make yourself comfortable. Laser lights dance off the faces of the party goers, and as I look up I see handbags suspended from the ceiling. The main dance area is a large room with plenty of space to dance around and an extended bar area to the bar with a somewhat Caribbean feel serving a limited selection of cocktails as well as spirits, beers and cider. Perhaps the most interesting room of all, which houses the more chilled out of the dj’s, is home to an enormous dining table, set with plates, cutlery and flower arrangements aptly named The Board Room. The dj is in the middle of the table and chairs offer seating to those that need a break from the dancing or somewhere to roll a cigarette.

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This room is also where the activities take place.  At this Illustrious, which was the second one, there was a pass the parcel and archery.  The first Illustrious had a coconut shy! Prizes for the pass the parcel were somewhat unusual, only adding to the humour and included a bottle of amaretto, a gay porn book, a bag of rice and for the winner a fresh trout….yes you did read that correctly! It is a well kept secret, with invitation only, hence the name. All attendees had made an amazing effort with their steam punk and tweed outfits, knowing full well the policy of ‘no effort, no entry’. These clubbers were a grand set of people, full of fun without the knob-headed-ness you normally get. It was also noticeable that although some were locals, there were people who had come from Harrogate and over the border of Lancashire from Burnley and Manchester and even the Lakes.

You could almost be mistaken to think you were entering an awards ceremony as you approached the door of the venue.  After walking under a huge stone archway into the mill complex you then walked up a red carpet, with real fire lamps at either side.  Attention to detail is everything here, even down to the tickets, made from wood!  I have to mention that the security staff were also great, there to keep you feeling safe (not that you felt unsafe in any way) but in no way intrusive or threatening.

If I had to be picky, the only down side to this venue is the portaloos.  Although I guess it did give the clientele an opportunity for a cigarette whilst they waited….however, if it was raining I do not think everyone would have been as happy to do this.  Some of the attendees wore huge dresses and corsets to fit in with the theme and I can only imagine they struggled with the limited space within a portaloo!  However, if this is the only downside then heck! they are doing well.

Dj’s on the night included: Frank Lawson https://soundcloud.com/ralphlawson , Gemma Furbank https://soundcloud.com/gemma-furbank , Simon Dean, Richard Fowler in the main room.  The Board Room was hosted by The Vinyl Miners and DJ’s included Bodie, Kenny, Red Tin Dave, Banana Dave 

Here is what one DJ, Gemma Furbank had to say: “Honestly, had such a top night! The Steam Punk was top notch, wicked venue, wicked set of DJs, awesome atmosphere and crowd!  x”

The organisers responsible for Illustrious, I have been told, are taking a break now for the festival season….but will be back in August. Let’s hope they are, as it would be a shame to lose a gem such as this! B signoff

The biggest problem with dance music today

“When I think back on the first music I was into when I got into dance music in the early 90s, a lot of it was pretty embarrassing, cheesy (by 90s standards) and generally shit. That’s what happens – you get into the obvious, predictable, and most easily available sounds first and then when you find your feet, learn who’s who, you start to explore what else is available below the surface. I would say that’s the same no matter what genre of music we’re discussing.

“So while there may be millions of kids around the world currently having a great time dancing to the commercial pop music that dominates the main stages of the key electronic festivals, I would argue that a substantial portion of them will eventually migrate towards the other stages where the real electronic music is being played. Music that you can dance to in the safe knowledge you’re not going to have your night ruined by a fucking cake landing on your head.

“To conclude therefore – I have no issues with the way things are.”   John Askew

Read full article here

The Festival I NEED to go to: Burning Man, USA.

 

night of the burn

With Spring fast approaching, it has got me all excited thinking about the up and coming festivals I have booked for this Summer.  Which got me thinking once again about a festival I have to attend in my life time.  I recently learnt about The Burning Man, Nevada, USA.  The cost currently appears to be in the region of $380 .  Obviously with the cost of flights of say approximately £600 I’m going to need to save for this for some time.  It is not the type of thing I can impulsively decide to attend.  So, what is it? A week long festival of music, and what can only be described as a truly hedonistic event.  It promises to offer art of all forms, you cannot buy anything apart from coffee and ice.  You can however trade.  You must bring things with you to trade and this is all part of the charm of this wonderful event. From what I have read pretty much everything goes on here.

at the playa believe

Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert (also known as “the playa”) to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever.  This seems like the ultimate festival to me.  The thought of thrusting myself into a week event where money is not a factor and you can reconnect with your roots is the ultimate for me.

starport carnival of light

 

From the research I have done, it is would seem that no matter how many pictures I put on here, or how I describe the event, there is just no way that anyone can get an true representation of what the festival truly is or what is actually is like.  the only way to do that, is to go.  I am just a little worried that once I have been to this festival that nothing else will ever compare.  Imagine going to the ultimate festival and not being able to beat it…..I reckon I would deal with it 😉

Have any of you been?  If you have I would love to hear about your experience.

http://www.burningman.com/

B signoff

End of clubs as we know them?

http://m.vice.com/en_uk/read/ten-ways-to-improve-clubbing-in-2014

Its not too often that I will ‘cut and paste’ another bloggers post into my own, but I must admit when I read this I have nt agreed with someones comments so much for a long time. Just like the pub trade, the club trade is in danger of dying.  I am lucky to belong to a  social circle which includes underground dj’s which hold their own nights.  The cost of the nights are reasonably priced, alcohol is cheap at around £2/£2.50 and the music is always great.  The venues are carefully selected usually just outside of the city, ensuring we don’t get trouble makers coming in off the street.  It’s no surprise that the organisers are also responsible for holding free parties in the area.  It’s these people that know how to keep the spirit alive. You can turn up, dressed in whatever you like, dance however you like and do whatever you like, as long as you want to party and have a good heart.  Not like majority of city mainstream clubs where if your face does nt fit then you are not getting in.  Not that I would be bothered, as usually these are the clubs where the bouncers are like something off Judge Dredd which causes the ultimate ‘on edge’ atmosphere and you cant get into the toilets because they are full of people checking themselves in the mirrors.

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B.