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Sunday, 10 May 2009

Hustlaball 2009 - Club Review


It comes as no surprise that we have dabbled in the daringly darker side of the scene, you know the sort of thing, damp and dinghy basement venues where sex (shock, horror!) was the by-word of the day (and that’s just where we used to work!!), but stretching back over the years, the scene has been littered with those sorts of places, when gay activity was pushed underground, in most cases literally, some more risqué than others but most if not all failing to survive the test of time. So, the thought of an upfront, above ground & overt event evoking everything that was, how did we say, daringly darker & sexy, would attract such attention and dare we say a massive dollop glamour & glitz to match, would be a surprise indeed.

However, that’s exactly what Hustlaball has created, not only has it developed a reputation for being deep, dark & overt, but it has, along the way, attracted all the trappings of everything you come to expect from a glamorous gAylisting event, star studded scene faces and star studded studs, in this case the crème de la crème of porn stars, creating a truly compelling combination that is unrivalled amongst equals and all in not an underground, dark & dingy basement, but only in one of London’s bigger clubbing venues that has sported such great events such as Action, Factor 25 & more latterly Gay Roller Disco, to mention just a few.

So, it goes without saying that we weren’t going to miss this one and with the prospect of a special signing at Prowler by porn director & larger than life glamour puss Chi Chi La rue, with her gaggle of porn stars, including Johnny Hazzard, Steve Cruz & Matthew Rush, followed by a superb pre-party at Soho’s favourite social sanctuary, Rupert Street, with non other than the magnificent Mattias (woof, woof!) controlling the D.J. decks this proved to just the warm up to the main event we were hoping it would be. With Hustlaball videos playing out on the big screens and gorgeous go-go’s gyrating on the bar, the night went off with a bang, not least caused our friend Franck (you know, the one from that infamous trip to SuperMatXe) creating mayhem with us & other pal Terry meaning poor old Mattias didn’t know where to put himself (don’t ask), but then with sex & seductiveness being the theme, why not!!

With our entrance to the main event pretty much guaranteed and with talk of it being a sell-out, we made our way round to the Renaissance rooms, just after midnight, being greeted at the V.I.P. entrance by the lovely Marky B, who always gives us a welcome to rival any, although it seemed on this occasion he had his hands well and truly full controlling the gigantic guest list. However, we were soon inside and in an attempt to drop our belongings in the V.I.P. coatcheck, were, instead, sent in search of the main drop off. Mind you, it gave us the opportunity to not only take a wander round the venue, but also get lost in the maze of corridors and openings, winding round and finally reaching our destination. With our jacket safely stored away, we were main room bound squeezing through & past the already brimming Hard On! room (well, no raunchy party would be without it), spotting D.J. Hi-Fi Sean in charge of the decks. Having said hello to him among a bunch of other friendly faces, we eventually made it into a packed to brimming main space, full of an amazing mix of horny hunks, leather clad lads, muscle mary’s & glamorous gAylisters, all rubbing shoulders in superb style.

Making our way through the crowd, we spotted more familiar faces, including Gabriele Cutrano (who was due to D.J. later), Stewart Who? (who had already done so) and Clone Zone pals Rob & Keith. Then, swinging right round the dancefloor we bumped into Ian from Industri and close friend Stephen, who, like many, had their eyes fixated on the main stage as proceedings were getting underway. With porn star after porn star being introduced by the M.C. coupled with an interesting live performance by Massive Ego & Polly, drenched in pyro technical and lighting heaven, followed by a series of sexy and seductive stage shows, some truly eye popping, others involving implements we can only imagine in use in the bedroom (anyone use a melon as an erotic sex tool?) but each & every display making a real impact with the crowd, each artist bringing their own dimension of horny hedonism to the room. All that was left round off the amazing atmosphere were progressive & raunchy sounds which were delivered by a collection of D.J. stars including Mattias, & Leomeo, although for us the music, particularly mid event, didn’t quite do it.

Being distinguished guests of chief organiser Alex Erfan, it was the V.I.P. room where we really wanted to be, so finding our way to the entrance, we showed a special wristband and were released up the stairs and into the exclusive space. With our late arrival much of the laid on canopies, champagne and other goodies were long gone, but the scene celebrities certainly weren’t, with the likes of host Jodie Harsh, legendary pin-up Aiden Shaw, dance troupe team leader Chris Geary, Hard On! heiress Susie Kruger & U.K. pint size porn star Christian Torrent, together with cuties, hunks & others who had forked out the considerable cost of this exclusivity, it felt really special up there. And with the prospect of attendance of all the porn stars to entertain, some ascending the bar to display their delectations, this was definitely going to be the place to be. Looking across to the D.J. booth, we spotted the trim & taut torso of Phil Hewson, busy laying down some incredibly uplifting funky, chunky & tough tainted tunes that had us captivated from the moment we made our entry. It was fair to say that we weren’t the only ones, with a whole bunch of blokes dancing away adding to the already amazing atmosphere, his set proving a real highlight of our evening, indeed of our weekend.

And it was this space where we continued to see out most of the remainder of our stay, only occasionally sinking downstairs round the main floor & the Hard On! room, both continuing to pump with activity, but the draw of Phil’s phenomenal playlist, which was, for us, head & shoulders over the rest, kept drawing us back with incredible regularity. With his awesome 3 hour set over, the fun continued with scene star Brent Nicholls taking up the reigns where Phil had left off, entrapping us with favourite tune, one after the other, seeing out our Hustlaball happening in superb style. But with other clubbing commitments, time was against us and we had to tear ourselves away to further exploits across Vauxhall.

So, was Hustlaball the huge success expected? And what was our take on the tantalising temptations? Well, it is fair to say that from the numbers alone, the answer to the success question has to be yes and indeed with the amount of familiar faces we came across, it was clearly the choice of many over the more mainstream offerings. This may account for the fact that brawn & porn still attracts and mixing it in with a bit of glam & glitz does prove to be the winning formula, so rather than pushing sex & seductiveness behind tightly closed doors, but shouting it from the rooftops seems to be the way to go. And it certainly worked, not least reflected in the huge amount of publicity & sponsorship the event attracted.

As for the tantalising temptations, it was clear that much was on offer with revealing shows and plenty of raunch, but for us, they served merely to interrupt our dancing & socialising. If you were into sexy shows you were definitely in heaven, but we seem to have grown out of it and found them quite boring (getting old & prudish? maybe!) coupled with the music in the main room that never really set the space alight. However, in the Hard On! room, the winning formula of this club won out, being the most popular space of the night, although for us, it was the upstairs space that was the winner. Having moved on from our daringly darker side, we savoured the sanctum of the V.I.P. lounge, yes a select crowd, but the gAylist crowd we have come love & enjoy rubbing shoulders with, but as we so often say “music is the answer” & it was here with a massive performance by Phil Hewson, that made our night extra special, so Hustlaball, you have a winner here. (DISCO MATT)

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