Thursday, 13 May 2010

I left my last post promising you to upload parts of my expedition diary soon, so here it is...

But before you read on, know that this won’t be one of my typical climbing blogs, and may include thoughts of a random, seemingly unrelated personal nature.

Climbing is great, it’s my favourite thing in the world but it is not my whole world! There are many other things I enjoy, and many other things that I feel make my life more complete. Hopefully the following posts might give you a little look at the life of James – just another random person on this planet, rather than James – the climber...

One of my other main loves in life is music and dancing – there is something I find very special about a room full of strangers instantly being transformed into friends when the lights go down and the bass goes up. Dancing is also one of the more efficient ways to burn calories, and in my opinion is certainly a lot more fun than running 10k every day. Before my expedition, I had no idea what musical opportunities would emerge whilst I was away, and so assuming the worst, I decided the “sensible” choice would be a weekend of decadence and debauchery in the party capital of Europe! My music tanks would be well topped up, i’d be at fighting weight for the fun to come and also ready to sleep on a rather lengthy flight... Enjoy ;)

Monday 29th March - 2010
Its 9am on Monday morning and I have just come home from a club called Goldengate. Partying in berlin is crazy, there are so many options, so much good music, so many people, and the partys go on and on and on – and when the normal parties end, people go to the Goldengate! It is basically a very grimy and dirty building under one of the metro lines. Its cheap to enter, cheap to drink, plays good music and is full of people who dont care to much about anything else

So lets start from the beginning, but before I continue I should apologise in advance for any “questionable” writing skill or glaring mistakes in the following lines. Whilst I feel pretty good, how I actually look from an outsider’s viewpoint is still up for debate, and so the same probably applies to my writing and choice of words. Oh well, at least it might be amusing to look back on...

So yes, Thursday...

I arrived in Berlin, with heavy bags and tired legs. Meeting friends old and new at a metro station at around 11.30pm, we all walked together back to their house which was fortunately not too far away. Thursday night had always been marked down in my mind as a night to sleep, but the guys had other ideas and excited talk of partying filled the air. I decided I had to motivate, if for nothing else but the sake of group dynamics. I looked online at the listings for the various clubs, and saw something at first I could not believe – Laurent Garnier, possibly my favourite DJ of the moment, was playing at a club called Watergate, one of the coolest, trendiest clubs I really wanted to visit!

Motivation was no longer a problem, quite the opposite in fact ;) We got ready, went out and found Watergate. On arriving at the club there was a group of very well dressed, trendy looking people talking with the door-men. There were two guys, two girls, all good looking, the kind of people who normally push past into the VIP section but not tonight! They actually got turned away! This made me a little concerned for our chances of getting in and I began to worry that the club might already be at capacity! I need not have worried, as on reaching the door-man, he simply asked us for the name of the DJ, and on replying LG, we were let right in!

This was my first experience of Berlin clubbing, and I liked it! It’s not about what you dress like, or how much money you have - just all about a love of the music :)

As could be expected, Laurent played a great set that was both long and eclectic. Watergate has a very powerful soundsystem, and when when I first entered the club i was blown away by the intensity of the Bass – It really made the whole place vibrate! The music started off as minimal Techno before moving in standard Techno, and then getting really crazy!

First LG dropped some hard drum and bass tracks, which I actually really like in small doses. He played about 4 tracks back to back from this Genre which really energised me and found me bouncing up and down like a mad man ;)

The style then changed to more funky, with lots of trumpets and other Jazz inspired sounds. Latin style followed the funk, which is a sound I like a lot and always gets my hips swinging ;) (if you want to get a better idea about this type of music listen to the track “la Mezcla” or any sets by Luciano

After latin came the style I really like Laurent for at the moment, the smooth vocal inspired remixs. Some of my favourites are Everything in its right place, a Radiohead track and The End, by The Doors

At around 6.15, we started to talk about leaving to save some energy for the rest of the evening. I knew LG had more gems he was just waiting to play, so decided on staying for 4 more tracks, after which I promised the others we could go. My fingers were crossed for something truly special to finish the night on, and Laurent did not let us down as the 4th track he played after deciding to leave was probably his most famous track ever – “the man with the red face”. What a brilliant way to end the night!

But that wasn’t quite the end, one last thing that is worth mentioning is the amazing floating river terrace attached to the club. As we went downstairs to retrieve our coats, we noticed it was light outside and decided to spend just a few minutes sat on the terrace, enjoying the early morning sun. This has to be one of the best views of any club in the world, and with a slightly fuzzy head it seems even more perfect...

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