Elegance @ Moso Moso Manchester 23rd February 2008
Review - T2 Bad
The latest instalment of the monthly R&B night Elegance was billed as DJ BLZ’s Birthday Bash and the launch of the Elegance website. The policy for payment into Elegance has been notoriously complicated with a blistering array of deals that sometimes resembles one of the restaurants menus!! Thankfully this time gaining entry wasn’t the baffling experience that one has become used to and which has become a hallmark of this fledgling event.
Due to decreasing numbers, the admissions prices on the door and for tickets and have been slashed by up to 50% which is a fairer reflection of the value of Elegance.
There is still an array of pricing structures that the promoters have put in place to maximise their turnover, but at least the pressure-on-your-pocket has been eased somewhat with prices now ranging from an early 1980’s style £2.50 up to £7.00 depending on whether you are a member, buy tickets in advance or pay on the door.
When I arrived, there certainly didn’t seem to be a birthday feel or atmosphere to the night. The visual capacity of the venue has been reduced with the rear part of the restaurant now closed to make the place a lot smaller which certainly helped with the feeling of emptiness that I have experienced on occasions at Elegance. The night was a bit hit and miss early on, with the 80 or so people who were in attendance seeming reluctant to get their groove on and this wasn’t helped by the Disco sound system which sounded OK but kept cutting out.
DJ GTI played a mixture of 90’s Soul and R&B which didn’t really engage the crowd. DJ Leaky Fresh followed but struggled to reverse the feeling of malaise which was now in danger of becoming entrenched. During the mid-part of the night the trusty DJ Tag Team of Tuff DT and De’lite managed to arrest the downward trend and suddenly Elegance burst into life and finally started to feel like a party and not before time as 2am was fast approaching!! They also played 90’s R&B mixed in with a few up-front tunes.
DJ BLZ then took to the turntables and kept the vibes flowing in parts but not in others. The stand out part of his set had to be when he gave his regular sermon about the virtues of Elegance, announced the launch of their website and restated that at Elegance anything goes and then to everyone’s amazement he played the POP record "Let me think about it" by Ida Corr v Fredde Le Grand!!! Everyone seemed as stunned as I was because Elegance is billed as an R&B night and the track that he played is totally, absolutely POP and was out of keeping with the people who turned out to Moso Moso!! The "Hand-Bag-House" POP record was hastily removed after a couple of minutes and replaced by Amy Winehouse’s remix of "Valerie" which had some of the clubbers in raptures especially a friend of mine called Valerie, and left others totally bemused!!!
Moving swiftly on, MC Sensi then took to the microphone and called for everyone to come to the front where he sang a Jamaican version of Happy Birthday to you for BLZ. The birthday boy was then presented with a modest cake with lighted candles and then the music restarted. The crowd ebbed and flowed to and from the dance-floor for the remainder of the night which was now in its final throes. But at last and to everyone’s delight DJ BLZ played an Old School Funk mix which had the remaining few doing formation dancing. There were also four Old School Jazz dancers lead by DJ Tiny G who were strutting their stuff in an arena made by the crowd in the middle of the dance-floor which was reminiscent of a 1980’s All-Dayer.
Personally, I thought the night could have done with more of this earlier, because along with the set by Tuff DT and De’lite these two aspects were the only real highlights of a long evening.
Soul Control Verdict:
As announced by DJ BLZ during the night, Elegance is only 7 months old and is still finding its feet and they seem determined to continue with the event which is admirable. Many of the earlier problems with Elegance have now been resolved, but there is still some way to go yet and hopefully this will happen in the not too distant future.
Soul Control Rating: