Standing from a distance, I heard the owner of Ku Dé Ta snarl, “Queue in a straight line or don’t get in!” to a scrambling bunch of the who’s who in the industry. I wasn’t appalled by his behavior; as a matter of fact, I applauded it. In nightlife, to survive among snooty divas, freeloaders and poseurs, one has to stamp one’s authority and that man means business. The sprawling 14,500 sq ft. club perched 200 meters on Marina Bay Sands adds weight to his authoritative spit. A friend of mine, W, told me that the owner should have been nicer; but W is a chronic freeloader. Realize this my friend, most of the time, you deserve the treatment you get.
In this line of work, it is easy to be unconsciously dragged into just this kind of snooty lifestyle. The newest addition to Singapore’s clubbing circuit, Filter at Gallery Hotel, is a case in point. The members-only club gives priority entry to hot chicks, high-spending men and certain hand-picked others. I was invited to check out the place, and once inside, club manager J was talking to me about furniture configurations, the amount of bodyguards, the targeted ABC clientele and how everyone is a VIP. When did clubs become about just dollars and looks? What happened to the music?
Speaking of music… On the night of Brodinski and Michael Mayer at Zouk and Velvet respectively, a 22-year-old local kid came up to me on the dancefloor and asked, “Who’s playing tonight?” My eyes grew wider than her humongous nostrils and I replied, “Check the flyers.” If I hadn’t been feeling so nice, my actual reply would have been more like, “Which hand would you preferred to be slapped with?” Clubs don’t go to you, you go to the clubs. Did you just wander in by mistake? Are you drunk? Get away from my face!
Since it seems to be the musically ill-educated who are filling the clubs, I fear for the newer establishments. Avalon at Marina Bay Sands (opening early next year) is no exception and if their two-day music festival was any indication, it’s obvious the kind of crowd that they were after: EVERYONE. Major Lazer, Flo Rida, Make The Girl Dance and Steve Aoki were there to satisfy the young and eager “I just want to get smashed” crowd, while Chemical Brothers and Above & Beyond attracted the overworked and underpaid “I am too old for this” posse. What this means for the future I’m not sure, but at one point O said to me, “You must lighten up and party like the rest of us.” My reply? “If music ain’t your anchor, your party can set sail.”