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FF:Reloaded
@ The Glasshouse
The Old Mermaid Theatre Building
Puddle Dock
Blackfriars
London EC4 3DB

Capacity: 1,000

+44 (0)774 337 1050

ff website - very nice compact and clean website this with fascinating info about the resident djs.
Confused messages and
poor launch.

Three Rooms:

Hard

Up&Coming DJs

Eclectic Sounds

 




Here's what Paul, the new promoter of FF:Reloaded said in the preview press release:

"Elemental presents the relaunch of the legendary club ‘ff’...

FF:RELOADED - BACK WITH A VENGEANCE

A new incarnation of the fabulous ‘ff club’ is going to throw open its doors on the 21st June, 10pm to late.

Relaunching as ‘FF:RELOADED’, the club will offer a heady mixture of music and visuals for its customers.

There will be 3 rooms of cutting edge and progressive sounds ranging from uplifting, to deep, dark, hard, and just damn right sexy. Not forgetting its roots, a proportion of the music will be from the hey day of the original club, providing a new unique and enjoyable clubbing experience.The original DJ line up will be on hand, including Blu Peter, Mrs Wood, EJ Doubell and Hugo’sland. In addition, new up and coming DJs will be performing regularly. For the launch party Jafar, Jason Joy and Olly will be joining us. In addition, there will be live diva-esque vocal backing to some tracks by the fabulous ‘Sativa’.

Paul (the promoter) said "We didn’t just want to duplicate the old club as it has already had its day. After Mark Lang decided to close it in 1996, the scene was left with little choice for its punters that partied on sundays. But maintaining its core values of a fun night, excellent music and the slightly chaotic nature of the original club, we can offer our customers both old and new something that is not currently on the scene at present".

Blu Peter said about FF:RELOADED: "I am really looking forward to playing with Mrs Wood again. We always played well together, particularly at ‘ff".

Mrs Wood said: "The original djs always worked well together and created the unique sound, this will be just as cutting edge and create a place where anything can happen!" "I find the London club scene a little boring at the moment, it all seems to be more of the same, you go out and know exactly what you are going to get, which is not what we want is it?"

In association with SceneChange, we will be the first club to premiere their new lighting projection system called the ‘Hippotiser 2’. Providing realtime graphic generation and manipulation, and movie integration. The system is unique in its field.

FF:RELOADED will be at The Glasshouse in Blackfriars on the 3rd Saturday of the month for an initial four experimental events.

The initial pricing for each event will be £10 with a flyer or advance tickets and £14 on the door.

Advance ticket sales are from our web site: http://www.ff-club.net are in partnership with TicketWeb, the premier ticket service."

FF was a legendary London club of the 1990s. Despite what many think, FF stood for "First Friday", even though the club was held on Sundays! The club has been resurrected using the original line-up of DJs, plus new up&comers, with the aim of keeping the old vibe, while updating the club for the 21st. Century. The fundamental goal, I was told, was to be different and unpredictable. I went along in eager anticipation.
Launch Night Review...
June 21st. was the shortest night of the year, but for the promoters of ff:Reloaded it must surely have seemed like the longest! "If you build it they will come" may work for baseball, but it hasn't worked here. There were enough people at this launch to sustain a good atmosphere in one room, not three, and indeed one of the three was closed. The poor attendance was partly down to a confusing image for the club and what it represents. For instance, it claimed to be offering something different, yet played on the heritage of a club long closed. The music policy was not "mainstream" for a gay club, yet the featured DJs were those which headlined six or more years ago at the old ff which was at Turnmills. Then there's the name: using a past club's name with their DJ line-up, but then claiming that this was NOT an attempt to re-launch that club. Further, the original club was held on a Sunday, yet the new one is slotted into the most popular period of the weekend, Saturday night.

The target audience was clearly the gay market, but there are groups within that market. Who exactly was expected to come? Was it the old ff crowd? One clubber I spoke to before the launch night who went to the old ff said that if it wasn't at Turnmills then it wouldn't be "ff". Another said "most of the ff clubbers are probably dead now." Another old ff devotee I met afterwards didn't even know about the launch and wondered whether it had been advertised.

If not the old ff clubbers, for which the name had meaning, (and who seemed to feel that this offering could never match the original) then who? The curious? Those who had heard of ff but had never been. Well, this might work once - on the launch night, but surely isn't enough to keep them coming back, as surely they would be disappointed, as The Glasshouse is certainly not Turnmills. Many people I spoke to during or after the event didn't feel that The Glasshouse was the right place. One commented that it reminded him of a school disco. Another said he disliked the security staff whose constant observation was too "in your face".

If not the old ff crowd, or the curious, then who? People who had never been to ff and had never heard of it or couldn't care less? If them, then why call it"ff"?

Further disappointment must have been caused for those who went to hear the featured original ff dj line-up. Surely in the original club these djs played consecutively? If so, why put Mrs. Wood on in one room, and EJ Doubell in another at the same time, forcing people to have to choose between the two? The result was that they chose EJ Doubell, and Mrs. Wood's excellent, very interesting and energising techno set was played to an almost empty dancefloor.

Matters were not helped by there being stiff competition for the pink pound with a popular live PA at G-A-Y and the very popular Action, (at a venue holding 3,000) at the same time as the launch.

What's the point of a "launch" night? Well fundamentally, it's to get good press coverage and good word-of-mouth going in order to get more people there next time. All the stops should be pulled out for a launch, both in terms of pre-launch publicity, and on the night, in order to build up expectations and to deliver on them. Charging people £14 to come to an unfamiliar venue and try something new seems inconsistent with this objective, and, unfortunately the stops were not all pulled, the message was confusing or failed to get out altogether and if ff was "reloaded", it was loaded with blanks!

This is an effort where the promoters should take serious stock of what they're trying to do, why and for whom, and re-think it.
Second event: 19th. July...
Billed as a Pre-Pride Party, Boys Vs Girls (Blu Peter and Hugo'sland Vs EJ Doubell and Mrs. Wood), it should perhaps be titled "Throwing Good Money After Bad." I'm rarely wrong... but maybe this time? Let's see. Have special marzipan hat just in case.

The above was written before the event. Reports indicate that the second event attracted about thirty customers, and an attempt to view the club's website today (August 12th.) led only to an error message.

As a result my marzipan hat has been returned to the fridge.
 
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