D.T.F (Wednesdays) @ Epping Hotel: 12th Dec 2012

On December 12, 2012, in Epping Hotel, by James Tran

An event called D.T.F – There’s no beating around the bush when it comes to promoting to the lowest common denominator amongst humans. I mean, what has the world come to in that we have to use such terminology to promote an event? It disgusted me, but the hilarity of this event name was good enough to get me to commit. I cleared Thursday out, called out a local friend and off we went – here we go!

1AM crowd

D.T.F Wednesdays @ Epping Hotel

A local Wednesday night in the Epping region.

Essentials:
Opening Hours
Unknown – 3AM(?)+

Address:
58 Beecroft Road, Epping, right opposite Epping train station

Parking: Plenty of parking around.

Venue Website: http://www.eppinghotel.com.au

Event Website: http://www.fb.com/DTFepping

Promoters: Self promoted

Occurrence: Every Wednesday

Dress Code / Door Policy
Almost everyone was wearing a t-shirt. I think I counted only two other people wearing a collared shirt, so this is quite the norm for this local hotel. Girls are still a bit dressy so its alright. No shorts, singlets or thongs though

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:
Free entry all night.

Guestlist: N/A

Cloak Room: None

Tonight:
Assessment Time
: 12:15AM – 2:30AM

Outside Line: No line outside

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Heaven @ Helm Bar: Saturday 11th Feb 2012

On February 11, 2012, in Helm Bar, RnB, Top 40, by James Tran

A non-Asian night out for Martin and I, so here we go!

One of the many couples tonight

Heaven @ Helm Bar, Darling Harbour Sydney
Assessment Time: 12:40AM – 3:00AM
Opening Hours: 8:00PMPM – 3:00AM
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 1 wheat road, darling harbour. It is located between Pontoon Bar and Sydney Aquarium along the water. You can hear the music blasting out as you approach. There is no real easy way to get there by car, you simply have to walk it.
Venue Website: http://helmbar.com.au
Event Website: http://www.facebook.com/HeavenSaturdays
Promoter Website: http://www.goldlabelevents.com.au
Occurrence: Every Saturday since it opened 2011. Tonight is their 1st year of survival. Hurrah! Always a good sign.

Outside Line: No line when we got in at 12:40AM
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats allowed. No dress code was encouraged at the door, but most people dressed sensibly. There were some hen’s nights and birthdays here so there were some girls and guys dressed really well mixed with people dressed casually who were more laid back. The website stated that no sport shoes or t-shirts/hoodies were allowed. All I can say is that there were no hoodies.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 for us as a full charge. This was a big step up from the $15 they had when they first opened. Anyway, you can still get $15 entry if you submit a guestlist and arrive at Helm Bar before 11PM.
Guestlist: submit to info@goldlabelevents.com.au . Birthday packages available for guestlists of 25+ people.

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A venue I’ve always wanted to visit. I made plans, cleared the night, and tonight was the night. Here we go!

Dance podium area

Saturdays @ “The Club” Nightclub, Kings Cross, Sydney
Assessment Time: 12:30AM – 2:00AM
Opening Hours: 21:00PM – 05:00AM
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 33 Bayswater Road, Potts Point, Sydney. 
Venue Website: http://theclubsydney.com  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theclubsydney
Event / Promoter Website: Self promoted
Occurrence: Every weekend. 
Outside Line: There’s two lines, one for re-entry and one for ‘first time’ entries. Our ‘first time’ line took about 5 minutes, while re-entry was only a few seconds. Security were pretty lenient on scanning. 
Dress Code / Door Policy: Being situated below Hugo’s, one would believe the dress code would be strict, but it suprisingly isn’t. T-shirts and hats were allowed for guys and so were singlets  allowed for the ladies. There is a simple explanation for this later on. 
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Tonight was $25. 
Guestlist: you may enquire within at info@theclubsydney.com but we are not sure if you are guaranteed a response. 
Inside: Walk past the counter to enter the common pre-club hangout area where you can either move onto the main room, a side room, the bathroom or the outdoor smoking courtyard area. The side room is quite small and has a small DJ set on a table, with lounges and a small bar staffed by 1 person. Bathroom to the left and main room on the right. The first set of steps takes you to the main bar area, which is basically: big long bar on the left, with lounges around the whole floor. There is even a darker corner of lounges on the far left. Continue walking and approach the second flight of stairs, which leads you to the main dancefloor. The area can hold about 200-300 people easily and if you watched the video, our first reaction was “wow”, just seeing this big space snugly hidden underground from the outside view. Big giant disco ball overhangs while there is a large podium/stage area with not 1, not 2, but three dancing poles. That is pretty impressive. It is no surprise to learn that this place was a former strip club.

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Another birthday, and the birthday girl has been convinced by a promoter into going to Soho. My honest opinion was to not go here (she was an rnb lover), but I didn’t press the issue – didn’t want a bad venue choice be blamed on me – so lets go!

club stamp - the usual suspects

club stamp

The Usual Suspects @ Soho
Assessment Time: 11:15PM – 2:45AM
Opening Hours: Unknown (I think it opens pretty early at 9PM and closes at 4 or 5AM??)
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 171 Victoria Street, Potts Point (It’s a few places down from the rear Kings Cross Station exit.
Venue Website: http://www.sohobar.com.au
Promoter Website: Self Promoted – http://www.usualsuspectsblog.net/
Occurrence: Every Saturday
Outside Line: There was no line when we approached.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats allowed, casual is okay and is the norm here. So much so, singlets are okay as well inside. That’s for the guys. Girls are all usually in their nice one piece dresses hey.
Guestlist: info@sohobar.com.au
Inside: Walk through the hallway to enter the main bar on the ground level, where lounges are on the left and right. Keep walking through to the main dancefloor to hold about 100-200 people. Elevated dance podium at the back of the room. DJ at the front, some lounges along the far end walls and behind the DJ. Go back and upstairs to the second main dancefloor with a smaller floor for about 30-40 people and bar in the same area. In surrounding rooms are other reserved rooms for parties and various lounges to chill out. Also a smoking area upstairs.
Cloak Room: None
Bar Prices / Line: Didn’t drink tonight. An attempt to get water upstairs was aborted after waiting about 10 minutes upstairs. It was much easier to get drinks downstairs as downstairs there were two bars.
Eviction Count: None seen
Music Style: Primarily House / Electro downstairs. Upstairs is also dominantly house but also some RnB and Party tunes mashup. Someone off the street would probably like upstairs better. Some good party tunes were being played upstairs later in the night.
Crowd & Ratio: Dominantly young Caucasian crowd. Ratio is pretty even during peak, or seems like it anyway. I don’t remember thinking at all that tonight was a sausage fest. The guys and girls are pretty friendly here if you talk to them nicely. Girls are pretty good-looking I dare say.
Entertainment: None
Atmosphere: Downstairs downstairs is pretty club-like: Dark, lights, loud and crowded, but there is enough room for everyone. People kept within their own circles or to themselves. Upstairs there are perhaps a few more lights (LED lights that is!) and combined with the mirrors around, makes more for the atmosphere. The crowd here was also more jubilant and into it – singing along to songs and what not. Unlike downstairs though, there is much less room to move around, and the floor is sticky most of the time. Yick. Mind you, the dancefloor areas are roughly one third to one half of the floor area – the rest are made from rooms scattered with lounges and chairs.
Video: 
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crowd upstairs

crowd upstairs

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Fridays @ Ladylux Nightclub: 29th October 2010

On October 29, 2010, in House, Ladylux, by James Tran

Intent on going to Empire Hotel tonight but it was dead as – there were already cleaners cleaning the place up! Strange for only midnight. Random promoters for Ladylux give us free entry passes on the street, so the matter of ‘what venue do we go to next?’ was pretty much sorted out – here we go!

Robin Hood with M's Russian Commisar hat

Fridays @ Ladylux Nightclub, Kings Cross Sydney
Assessment Time: 12:10PM – 01:45AM
Opening Hours: 9:00PM or earlier ~ 03:00AM (facebook page states 06:00AM, but Dj set list lasted until 2AM.. so I wouldn’t know to be sure)
Lockout: No lockout.
Address: 2 Roslyn St, Potts Point (Kings Cross), Sydney.
Venue Website: http://www.ladylux.com.au
Promoter Website: Appears to be self promoted
Occurrence: Every Friday and Saturday is open. Saturday are the more heavily promoted nights while Fridays rarely get a mention.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Casual ok. Half the guys wore casual t-shirts while the other half wore collared shirts. Girls were mostly in dresses. Hats were allowed. I was dressed up as Robin Hood with feather hat.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $10 is the full cover charge. We were given promoter cards on the street to get free entry all night. A very fair deal here.
Guestlist: Submitted via the website. The existing link at time of writing is at http://www.myguestlist.com.au/mgl/ccp/ladylux/index.html
Inside: There’s not much of a giveaway that the entrance is of Ladylux. It’s just a doorway in the side of a building with 2 security guards outside. As you walk inside, there is a private VIP room to the immediate right. I didn’t go in there, but I would be making an educated guess based from the outside walls that it would only hold about 10 people. Continue walking past a small lounge area on the left – as you look around note the wallpapers – white with fuschia-coloured flowering patters on the walls. Continue to the next small area which is the bar. Once you reach the bar you are now at the edge of the dancefloor, which takes up probably two fifths of the entire floor area of the venue. DJ corner in the far right. The dancefloor area is about 5-6 people width by 15-20 people long. There are sofas along both sides of the dancefloor as well. At the far end wall are a set of lights that flash around looking pretty. The video below will walk you through the setup.
Cloak Room: No cloak room. Well I didn’t ask, but I didn’t see any signs indicating presence of a cloak room.
Bar Prices / Line: I didn’t drink tonight, but lining up would set you behind 2 or 3 other orders.
Music Style: Primarily Commercial House and Electro. The occasional RnB mashup song thrown in as well. I quite liked it as I knew the songs and people were singing along to it. Songs were mixed well without complaints.
Crowd: Almost entirely Caucasians, all young 20’s or teens. From the people we spoke with, backgrounds were a mix of locals and backpackers who mysteriously ended up in here. The ratio was about 35% women 65% guys. By the time we left at 2:00AM, it was almost all guys.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment.
Atmosphere: It’s pretty dark in here. The entire first half of the place (lounge areas) have been decorated with various Halloween things hanging from the ceiling and what not. Pretty cool. However, even before you notice the decorations, the first thing that hits you is the pungent smell of the whole place. It kind of smells like a mix of dried up alcohol spilled on the floor combined with the results of a very poor urinal flushing system, or someone peeing all over the entire place. It wasn’t powerful enough to scare you out of the club, but at various points throughout the night your nose would be wondering… ‘What on earth is that smell?’. Kind of like when I was in India – the yucky smell was always there in the main cities, but you tolerated it. People wise, the dancefloor itself always had people on it, so there was no need to feel lonely. Most kept to their own, there were also a few drunk guys as well.

Video: Walkthrough: Starting at the cash register – walk through the lounge area, bar area and dancefloor. (12:11AM)

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Video: 360: Dancefloor from the corner where the DJ is (12:30AM)
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A friend’s birthday tonight, and my first time to the popular Candy’s Apartment on a Saturday – here we go!

Candys Apartment - Best photo I could get of the main dancefloor

Candys Apartment - Best photo I could get of the main dancefloor

Saturdays “Shake Shake Shake” @ Candys Apartment (Potts Point, Kings Cross, Sydney)

Assessment Time: 01:30AM – 03:50AM
Opening Hours: Early – 5:00 or 6:00AM
Lockout: No lockout
Address: 22 Bayswater Road, Potts Point (Kings Cross) Sydney
Venue Website: http://www.candys.com.au
Promoter Website: Self Promoted
occurence: Open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and probably Sunday as well. Tonight’s review is for Saturday.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Pretty much anything is allowed, including dirty sneakers. Just don’t look drunk or cause trouble. It took about 10-15 minutes of lining up outside, and another 5-10 minutes lining up in the stairs to get inside. I didn’t exactly time it but its an educated guess.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $20 standard. $15 on guestlist before 10PM. $15 after 2AM for everyone.
Guestlist: carol@candys.com.au – see website for updated guestlist details.
Inside: Tonight the entire place was open. Walk downstairs underground to enter the rear of the main dancefloor to hold 100 or so people. DJ on the far left. Upper lounge and dance area that runs on the left alongside the dancefloor to the DJ area, where you can also dance next to him/her. Bar on the right of the dancefloor. Lounges behind the dancefloor, and behind the lounges is the backroom and second bar area, where it is close off on smaller nights.
Cloak Room: $5 for all items.
Bar Prices: Didn’t drink tonight, though the line didn’t seem that long. No longer than 5 to 10 minutes to get a drink from the backroom. I would say the same for the main bar as well.
DJs: Slappin’ Plastic, Brojo le Fro, Ember, Smokin’ Brojo Mekhael, Teez, Diskoriot, Black tie Dj’s, DJ Frostii, We Can Solve Mysteries.
Music Style: Each DJ had their own different styles. The underlying style was house music, whether it be mixed with rock songs such as Chop Suey or recent house songs such as Barbara Streisand. It was definitely good enough and thumpy enough to dance to.
Crowd: Mostly caucasian crowd. Mostly young 18 and early 20 year olds.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment
Atmosphere: Dark and loud throughout the club. It was pretty mush packed on the main dancefloor the entire time we were here. The backroom didn’t receive as much attention, but half the time there was someone dancing there. It got pretty smelly in the backroom after someone vomited. The crowd here was well into the music back in the main room, and even one of the DJs was into it, drinking and taking in the crowd.

The backroom - Candys Apartment Sydney

The backroom was open tonight - Candys Apartment Sydney

Video: Walkthrough – Side to the front DJ area. Jump into the front of the dancefloor through lounges to the backroom.
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Video: 360 of the Main Room Dancefloor 
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My friend is here tonight, and I haven’t been, so I take M and Daz with me in the quest to not only visit all the clubs in Sydney but also to go forth in the search for the best chocolate ice cream in Sydney, haha, so here we go!

Dancefloor @ Coogee Bay Hotel Sydney

Dancefloor @ Coogee Bay Hotel Sydney

Saturdays @ Coogee Bay Hotel
Assessment Time: Midnight – 03:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown – 03:00AM
Lockout: None
Website: www.coogeebayhotel.com.au
Address: Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee, Sydney
Dress Code / Door Policy: Casual was ok tonight. Sneakers and hats allowed. Half the crowd wore t-shirts, the other half, casual collars. Only a handful of people including us were nicely dressed. I certainly felt very well dressed as I walked in tonight.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free tonight, but these guys have the fingerprint scanners installed. I get worried when a venue has this technology as it would only mean violence has occured here before.
Guestlist: None tonight. It was a regular Saturday, and the Coogee Bay Hotel does its own promotions.
Occurence: Every Saturday bar special events where entry fee applies.
Inside: The actual club is just one section of the whole complex – similar to how The Albion is setup. Walk in and the live band room is on the right, sports bar on the left. Keep walking in to enter the large beer garden at the back, and bistro on the left. On the right is the club. In the walkthrough video below, we walk from the entrance straight into the club. The clubbing room itself has a wooden dancefloor to hold about 100-150 people comfortably. Some lounges around the surrounding carpeted areas. It feels a little bare, but the whole place is dark, so you eventually forget about the barebones setup. 
Cloak Room: None
Bar: Did not buy from the bar tonight. However throughout, the line was about 2 people deep. Expect at least a 5 minute wait.
Music: Non-Commercial House, Dubstep, Rnb/pop mashup.
Crowd: Mostly young people here. Teenagers and early 20’s. A handful of people in their 30’s as well, who have come for a bit of a dance after dinner I guess. Pretty much everyone here was caucasian, and probably locals. I would not imagine a non-local making the trek all the way out here on a regular night.
Entertainment: No MC, no podiums. Just the DJ and dancefloor, and some UV lights
Atmosphere: It was busy throughout the whole night. It never got too packed, so you could always have room to dance. Sometimes it got close to squishy but nothing to worry about – you could dance somewhere else – the dancefloor was large enough to accommodate – people danced on surrounding carpet areas as well. Pretty dark in some places around the floor but lighting keeps the floor itself well lit.
Evictions: I saw 2 dudes in total kicked out for being drunk. One was ready to start a fight on the dancefloor. The other was throwing TAB betting sheets all over the sports room and pretended nothing happened when questioned by security – paper littered all around him – hilarious.
Video: Walkthrough
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