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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Cocoon at Building Six 30/11/2013

Sven at Matter back in 2009/10 was just a match made in clubbing heaven and when Matter sadly folded and became the dross that it was in the intervening years, there was a hole.  A big hole.

Maybe like the dreams of a perfect world of global peace and an economy that would always grow, circa the turn of the Millenium, it was just one of those brief moments of a utopian life, cruelly taken away with a return to reality.  Sorry but you cannot have things that good.

However when LWE announced that they had gone into partnership with the O2 to bring us Building Six, excitement grew and I knew it would not be long before they announced Sven would be back.

And they did.  Saturday 30th November 2013.  Shit.  I was going to Manchester that day for the Rugby League World Cup Final with my Dad.  But I like a challenge.  5am wake-up, 7am train to Manchester (though closer to 8am by time it arrived, some upturned eyebrows from fellow passengers when I ordered a rose wine on the train at 8am).  I will write a separate blog post about Manchester so all I will say is that it was a great day out and I have to say Manchester is a brilliant city and thoroughly worth a visit, a really good vibe, really buzzing and clearly a place on the up.  Though Old Trafford is a dump.

So I got the last train to London, a little tired, slightly drunk, wondering how the heck I was going to do another 12 hours.  With a ticket for seat number 63 on a carriage with only 62 seats, I decided that Virgin Trains owed me a comfortable ride so I squeezed past the standing drunks onto 1st class and floated my way to London, dreaming of the night ahead.

LWE have developed a reputation for putting some exciting events on, in interesting spaces with some superb acts/DJs, but often the logistical thinking seems somewhat lacking.  Every time I have been to one of their events there has always something to moan about (I’m from up north – we are only happy when we moan so forgive me), I shall get it out of the way.

Firstly, the queues.  We had to be in by 1am, I assume this is something to do with their license but this is pretty strict.  On the plus side it does create a good atmosphere getting everyone there at a reasonable time.  But with most of the crowd arriving at the same time it was a long time to wait to get in.  And then another long time to queue to put my coat in.  Many people apparently were not able to put their coats in - why was enough cloakroom capacity not afforded?  Did they think only half of the crowd would bring a coat in winter?  Ridiculous.  Get a calculator.  And some more coat hangers.  Oh yeah and more cloakroom staff – hell maybe even a second cloakroom!

Also, a friend had her phone stolen and someone on the dancefloor had her purse taken from her.  I know there is little promoters and events staff can do to stop thieving scumbags and this an issue all venues and parties suffer from in London, but more could be done to make people aware of the problem of thefts - fabric make it very clear to all that there is a problem.  Overall the thieving problem in nightclubs does seem to my ears and eyes to have lessened over the last year thankfully but I am not in receipt of statistics and this is based only on what I see and hear.  Be careful people.

All ventures do have issues at the beginning and as long is such issues are tackled over time, then Building Six will without doubt be a tremendous success.  Especially attracting the likes of Cocoon.

Onto the important bit...

It was so good to be back there.  The soundsystem is exactly the same as it was in the days of Matter and boy have I missed it.  Is there a more powerful club soundsystem in the world?

For the 4th or 5th consecutive visit I totally forgot about the existence of the second room.  A couple of friends did pop in and said there was some really good house music being played.  But for me it was all about the main room.

First up within the time I was there was Mathew Jonson.  He has produced some absolute classics in the past though in recent years I have perhaps not been so keen on some of his productions (though still very good – and I did find space for the below track in my most recent DJ mix) but I was suitably impressed by his performance.  I was in various queues and trying to find friends for most of his set so didn’t get on the dancefloor during this time.


Joris Voorn is another who has made some amazing tracks and remixes – his remix of Dark Flower is one of my favourite ever productions.  But then I have seen some pretty uninspiring DJ sets from him, admittedly on the internet - I think this could have been my first time of seeing him live.  He was really good, he did play a good set to warm up for the main act and again I would be happy to see him again.  Not especially keen on the tricks and wizardry but that is just me being a bit of a music purist.

Then onto the man who really does let the music do the talking, the main DJ, one of my two greatest DJ heros ever.  Sven Vath (sorry Sven I cannot be bothered to find the umlaht on my English keyboard).  The suspense in the build-up to Sven, such an adored character and DJ is always immense as it was for my first Cocoon experience in 2004, and in this ultra-powerful club this was certainly no exception.

Sven started off playing some nice warm-up house, before slowly travelling into some really dancefloor pounding techno but keeping it to his style, with some trance hands-in-the-air moments too.  I was captivated, I was transfixed.  I hardly moved away from the dancefloor for any reason.



But it ended way too quickly.  Again I assume a matter of licensing, we managed to get one more tune then I thought I heard a rumour of two more hours but alas the staff were not having it.

And then onto the pain in the ass to get out – not allowed to use the toilet at the end, the 45 minute queue for a coat and then having to wait around until 715am for the first tube – why close a club at 6am when there is no way for anyone to get away from the complex until well over an hour later?  Did anyone see any taxis?  Bad logistics again.

One thing that we all commented upon was how good most of the crowd were, a friendly and very-up for it crowd, sure a few idiots but that is par for the course, lots of lovely people.

This was my best night out of 2013 by quite some way.  That there were so many imperfections but yet 4 days later I still have a huge smile on my face shows just how sensational it was.  There is room for improvement and I am confident that Sven’s assumed appearances in 2014 will take it up another level.

Cocoon and Sven – back where they belong.