It was a mixture of good fortune and fate that landed me in Copenhagen of all places. My Danish friend Julia had been on my case about going up to visit, taunting me with such mentions as the Roskilde Festival line-up and of the beautiful inhabitants of the city. As luck would have it, a promoter by the name of Gelu happened to stumble into an Untamed Youth party back during the World Cup madness in June, had a blast and sparked up contact soon afterwards. A hustle here and a hustle there, and a few months later I found myself taking a walk on the wild side of this highly civilised part of the world.
When I had previously asked Nick Matthews to describe Gazelle’s gig last year at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse, he replied simply with an all too knowing smile, “mad bru”. This was more than enough to instill all kinds of apprehension and excitement. The Jazzhouse name is steeped in history dating back to 1961, and in a way you can almost feel it walking down the plush red carpeted stairs. These days the live Jazz goes on until midnight, after which the floodgates open and the party people start pouring in. I found it interesting to hear that the Jazz side is government subsidised, as it would otherwise be difficult to upkeep even in a first-world environment.
The two DJ’s preceding me on the big night were Flip and Soulshaker, playing an elegant mix of rare disco edits off mostly vinyl, new and old, from Social Disco Club to Chic. The sound, lighting and live visuals were all top drawer, but the main revelation for me was the crowd reaction. They just lapped up the disco. Nowhere in South Africa can you find a dancefloor of that magnitude going at 115BPM past 1am, obviously excluding dubstep or hip-hop… All about the groove! Naturally, I was in my element.
My set started at 3, supposedly prime time by Danish partying standards. I picked up the tempo accordingly with a signature ‘Baby I’m Yours’ and later on snuck in a Soulwax creaser or two. What is this, electro music? The transition was a little startling at first, but the dancefloor changed gear and carried through to 5am. I was humbled to receive great feedback after; the VJ for one seemed intent on holding/embracing me against my will. Fun times.
In case the mischievous MCBN faithful is holding out for more scintillating info, the Danish Viking blood does indeed do wonders for the figure! The Danes are also a very happy and hospitable bunch of peeps. It was an amazing experience and huge thanks to my excellent host Julia and to Gelu, Lotus and Jean who made it all possible. In Arnie’s finest words, I will be back.