With the impending closure of one of London's most recognised and cherished venues, Canvas (The Key & The Cross also hosting their last ever parties on New Year's Eve & New Year's Day, making way for the bulldozers as a result of a huge regeneration plan in King's Cross), the last Secretsundaze event to be held at Canvas was bound to have a special meaning for a lot of party-goers, regular fashionistas and Secret Sundaze resident dj's alike.
From starting the Secret Sundaze cult 6 years ago, Giles Smith, James Patterson & Kristophe have undoubtedly led the way when it comes to hosting Sunday daytime parties… where they have led, others (well… many others), have followed.
From the first parties being held in pubs and smallish venues around East London, and no more than last minute text messaging (to avoid all the legality issues involved) in the way of advertising, its not hard to see why one of the biggest home-grown clubbing success stories of recent years has been the rise of the Secretsundaze parties.
Building their unswerving reputation on bringing in guests from the most exciting corners of clubland, from the likes of Steve Bug, Luciano, Guido Schneider, Matthias Tanzmann, Dan Ghenacia, Carl Craig and Ricardo Villalobos, have all helped build the charasmatic and award-winning formula to one of Londons most treasured clubbing creations. ("Best Club Night" by readers of Time Out in London and awarded the accolade "Club of The Year" in the January 2006 edition of Mixmag.)
Bidding farewell to the atmospheric & decadently-decored warehouse spaces of the four-rooms of Canvas… with delectably NYC-style disco and soulful house, London-style acid house, nu-disco, cutting-edge techno and deep house flavours, the Secretsundaze crew didn't fail to disspoint.
The mouth-watering line up spread over four rooms provided us with Château Flight, D'Julz, and SS residents Giles Smith & James Priestley. Room 2 offered us a five-hour set from NYC's Shelter host Timmy Regisford - "Timmy's always been in our thoughts so we're chuffed to get him," adds Patterson. The Key's foyer of Lasermagnetic Ballroom Daniel Wang & Maurice Ulton. Aswell as London legend Norman Jay and Terry Farley.
On arrival into the Canvas yard around 11.00pm, the 'butterflies in your belly' took flight when the sounds from inside the club became prominent - deep end bass and techy grooves immediately drew us closer to the warehouse walls like rats from the Pied Piper of Hamlin… all fairytale simalies being flatterned by the reasonably large queue… all evidence pointing to the fact that the night was indeed going to be, if not already- packed.
The Secret Sundaze parties are well known for their loyal followings of hedonistic London partygoers and it made a nifty change to see a crowd of fresh faced and non-spangled casualities that you sometimes come to expect to see at various nights. The Secretsundaze crowd know their stuff musically, that's for sure, and when the beats of Stuart Patterson drop in in the Faith Room - the atmosphere is buzzing to relentless heights. In the Secret Sundaze Room, the Parisian men of the moment Château Flight grace us with their incredible set of "dark disco" inspired tunage - making the mood reach dizzy peaks of frenziedness. On first glance, the décor was pretty thin on the ground in the Secretsundaze room.
However, it was clear there was no need for any other decoration when your confronted with SecretSundaze's legendary gigantic, glittering disco ball hanging from the centre of the low-ceiling!
Punters were fixated on the centerpiece and throughout the whole night people's hands were striving to touch and behold the almighty ball, rotating like a trophy and holding everyone's gaze like a hypnotic jewel. Although at times the rooms became a sea of elbows… making it somewhat tricky to rock your socks off.. you cant hold this against the organisation of the night. Outdoor smoking areas on the terraces were a welcoming bonus and were a place to gather your thoughts, reminisce & make new friends. London legend Norman Jay MBE (don't cha know) was warmly welcomed back into The Key to a club he so fondly loves playing at and is saddened by it's appending closure. However, Mr Jay certainly didn't let this taint his set… rolling out all the stops when it came to a perfectly crafted set of old and new soul, funk, reggae, disco, hip hop & house and all manner of good grooves in between.
At times throughout the night it felt the dj's and the music were lacking some kind of energy and drive - beginning to become a bit humdrum with a couple of sets that were rather lack-lustre in terms of cutting edge. However, this certainly didn't diminish the overall result of the night which seemed to be an all resounding success.
The natural progression for Gile and James launching the Secretsundaze label means we can expect "a quality label that pushes new exciting talent. Something which we have always done with our bookings at the club." we certainly don't doubt it. secretsundaze Vol.1, is already out now combining quality mixes from all time classics and upfront twisted tunes that convey the personality of the parties over the 6 years.So while the Secretsundaze era waves goodbye to the hugely successful London landmark that is, Goods Yard (Canvas, The Key, The Cross), here's hoping that the event which is deservedly rapidly gaining institution status carries on and takes London's clubbing scene into the next chapter...