After crimping my hair, donning a gold catsuit and applying impressive false eyelashes, I felt it was time to unleash this white version of Foxy Cleopatra onto the world. I was of course, getting ready for Paul Van Dyk’s monstrous six hour set at Gatecrasher Birmingham, marking the release of his latest album, “VONYC Sessions 2010”. It was, shockingly, my first time seeing Mr Van Dyk, it was also my first time at that club since Gatecrasher bought and refurbished it in 2008.
The Works, (what it was before Gatecrasher) was the first club I ever went to. Sixteen-years-old, and what a club to begin on. After dreaming about this hedonistic world for years before actually experiencing it from the inside, it lived up to, and exceeded, my expectations. Even after six years of clubbing, The Works remained my favourite venue. I was intrigued to see what Gatecrasher had done to my beloved club.
We arrived around ten o’clock and I sidled up to the VIP queue. The important-types with the clipboards couldn’t find me on the guest list, but after me smiling a lot and offering them the confirmation email (God love smart phones), without any trouble I got my gold “Posh VIP” wristband.
My initial thoughts of the club, was that it was a lot more luxury than The Works. The Works was very neon and spaced-age, GB was more reminiscent of a 1970s disco. There were so many rooms, and stairs and different VIP areas, it was a little confusing where you were allowed to go and where you weren’t. One of the side rooms, the Arkade, was really nicely done out and there were booths which you could sit at without having to pay for them! A refreshing and generally unheard of luxury in clubs nowadays. Unfortunately, though, you could tell that Gatecrasher opens its doors to a more commercial (and I hate to sound like a snob, but chavvier) crowd the majority of the time, by the damaged seats and vandalised tables. It’s a shame as it made much of the club seem a bit tired, and considering it’s been open in its current form less than three years, it’s disappointing.
The cloakroom was cheap. The drinks weren’t. After Ibiza prices though, anything under double figures is acceptable. Everything seemed to be one standard price, regardless of whether it was a beer, alcopop or branded alcohol and mixer, so either what you were buying was overpriced or reasonable.
The crowd was a funny one, I’d say over half the crowd were students, who frequented GB no matter who was on, and in all probability, had no clue who PVD was, but then you had the die-hard Crasher kids, who after fifteen years of boshing Ecstacy, looked a bit sorry for themselves, and interestingly were pretty much the only ones donning cyber clubwear. All that aside, everyone was really friendly, happy and just out for a good time. I saw no egos and no aggro, which is always welcome on a night out.
JFK was playing when we arrived, only to move over for the man himself at midnight, and what an entrance it was. There were exploding cannons of shiny things, pyrotechnics, smoke machines and fit-inducing lasers. It was all very epic, and all very exciting. As JFK had started quite hard, there was no other way for PVD to go, except to continue on this tempo. I was concerned that, although I do enjoy trance, I might get bored, especially with it being only one DJ for the majority of the night. I need not have worried. Mixing new anthems with old classics, he kept the dance floor moving relentlessly, if the crowd started flagging, he’d just drop another disgustingly good tune. All the old classics got played, including Delirium “Silence”, which, as I pointed out on the night, always gets said to be overplayed, but this was in fact the first time I had heard it in a club, and, overplayed or not, is amazing. He’d drop the occasional cheeky house tune too, including Steve Angello’s “Knas”, which reflects the tone of his latest album.
PVD Set Opening
The night was full of those hands in the air, spine-tingling, euphoric moments. My first time seeing Paul Van Dyk, and I completely understand what the fuss is all about. He is without a doubt an amazing entertainer and a very, very talented man. This was the best night I had been to in years, and it’ll be a hard one to top.
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