Monday, July 10, 2006

"I love the Nightlife! I love to Boogie (in Glasgow)!"

What a weekend. I'm still tired. And it's not that I did a ton of drinking and partying. But it was busy. Friends (Diane and Rik) came through Perth Friday and we were up late drinking and eating some nibbles. Since Andy and I decided not to repeat last year's fun in the sun by spending the weekend with 70,000 of our closest friends at the T in the Park music festival, we went, instead, to spend the weekend in Glasgow with them.

After a lovely French bistro dinner, the four of us hit a nice pub for drinks and check out what clubs we should hit. We were given flyers for other cool, funk, R&B, neo-soul spots too. So we were going to have a good time regardless.
Slowly, I'm learning that Glasgow has quite a scene for black music. Various venues support and celebrate new and creative ventures blending disco, funk, soul, gospel, latin, house, drum and bass, house, US garage sometimes with live vocals, horns, and percussion. There are equally interesting terms to describe these new dancefloor sounds: soulsa, dancefloor jazz, souljam, discojuice.
In the end, we headed to the Favela club for some salsa and Afro-pop dancing.

I thought it interesting that the club would be named after the term for a Brazilian slum neighborhood. I saw it as the possibility to hang out in a non-glitzy, maybe even dodgy, gritty spot to have a truly organic experience.
People, THIS was the place!! Black folk (African and Diasporic) were doing their thing. Fine brothers were out and about. More than that, this was an extremely mixed crowd (Persian, Middle Eastern, Asian, African, European)---more so than ANY club I've ever been to ever.
And what a crowd: there were the Hen parties (British bachelorette parties <----and the women always have to be dressed some outrageous, trashy outfits to attract as much attention as possible); gross OLD, wrinkly European men out with their extremely young, Black escorts for the evening (watching them nearly made me puke). Some of the more pathetic people were these women who pretended to have too much to drink and wanted to try the moves they taught themselves after watching a hiphop video on MTV. One woman finally gave up trying to make her pancake ass bounce anad reverted (I kid you not) to doing some RiverDance jig...while dancehall was playing.

Of course, there were the amazing syncopated booty movements by some women (black and white) who really knew how to work their ass and legs to the nastiest of dancehall. I envy that kind of sexual power--you cannot take your eyes off of them and they make it look so effortless. Still, I'm sure some men watch that and think she might pull a move in bed with them and snap his pee-pee off with one twist of her groin.

The most pathetic were these men and women who moved en mass, all members of some salsa club. You can always spot these people. Although they are technically individuals, they moved together as an organism--not an independent thinker among them). Moreover, no matter what was playing the DJ played (hiphop, Congolese music, etc) the entity had to danced their newly learned, heavily processed salsa steps. God forbid they stopped dancing salsa to just shake it a bit to some Destiny's Child song.

What I mean by "processed" salsa is that it's nothing like what any person would dance in Latin America. Real salsa doesn't look anything like that! Sadly, much of what is taught in Europe and the US that passes as salsa is really some strange ballroom aberration with a lot of hands running up and down the womans body, minor aerobics to emphasize how long and shiny the woman's hair is, followed by the stare-down competition between the couple to demonstrate how sexy they look, which then leads to a long succession of at least 25 quick spins of the woman to emulsify her dinner in her stomach, and of course, to end with the heavily exaggerated dip.
What I find so funny is that if any of these idiots tried to head to Cuba, Puerto Rico, god forbid, the Dominican Republic with those moves, they would be stabbed in mid ballroom traditional spin.

Anyway, Favela was wonderfully diasporic. People in attendance were a beautiful racial and ethnic mix. The DJs played a wide variety of music-African, Soca, Latin, Reggae, Reggaeton, Ragga, R&B and Bhangra. We danced our share to hiphop (not the best), dancehall, soukous, and all this other African music I have never even heard of! Yeah, that's the fucking spot!
After dancing, we headed back to their apt. and did quite a bit of political, historical arguing on slavery, and religious/economic domination of empires throughout time. By 4 a.m., the sun started to come up and we decided to call it a night.

The next time, we'll have to check out some of these other funk and soul venues. It's great to know there's some really interesting clubs partying.


At Jul 11, 2006, 3:44:00 AM, Blogger girlblue said...

So what exactly does "T" stand for?

At Jul 11, 2006, 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Peggy Brunache said...

J, "T" stands for Tennents (a beer company. According to the festival's website: T in the Park was established when DF Concerts, one of the UK's leading concert promoters, teamed up with Scotland's favourite pint Tennent's Lager, who had a history of supporting the Scottish live music scene in the late 1980s. DF Concerts had for some time been considering the development of Scotland's first large scale, multi-stage music event to act as an annual focal point for the music scene, and Tennent's were keen to further increase its support of live music.

At Jul 12, 2006, 1:31:00 AM, Blogger Madgirl from the favela said...

Peggy my dear.
i can't avoid noticing the name of the bar that you guys went to.... i thought it was funny -- should i say prejudicial or even racist? - that they call "favela" a place where you found our diaspora... don't you think it's interesting that the place where Black people go to is called favela???? I felt like, on one hand they know that in Brazil most Black families are unfortunate and poor enough to live in those places - and even when they don't, these are the stereotypes - on the other hand, isn't weird that they call "favela" to a place where they play latino and Black music???
just thinking... i thought it is at least curious that you found something named like this in Glasgow... It seems that not even in Glasgow Black people can go to a different place!!!!! Damn it!


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