just how difficult does it have to be to find a place to dance on a saturday night in johannesburg? based on my experience this past weekend, very.
seeing that we’d taken the trek out to montecasino so i could be guest dj on jacaranda fm, i decided that we needed to make a night of it. in l.a. i would be out at some party maybe once a week, or at least a few nights out of the month. i’d spend an age dressing up outrageously, pack my spinning toys and go and play with a lot of very creative, crazy other burners. here in johannesburg, i seem to be living someone else’s life. a very staid, boring someone else! i never seem to go dancing anymore. i don’t spin as much any more (more lately, but still not enough).
anyway, once done with the jacaranda interview, we head over to kai thai for supper. ok, but not great, food. i break out the red bull i have in my bag. ready, set, go. we head over to wakamata, a club recommended by a few people. unfortunately, they’ve got some hip-hop event happening. i have finally headed out of my house to find some dance house, and they’re playing hip hop! i feel like i’m deflating fast. we head upstairs to a restaurant whose name eludes me know. they’ve got a live band playing “o lare, ohoh…”. their tiny dance floor is pretty much packed. we contemplate the floor for a minute, but decide we’re forcing the issue.
after much uhm-ing and ah-ing, we decide to head over to rosebank and try out moloko. i’ve heard about the place from a number of people. on joburglive it’s described as “The slick, power suit community at play.” and it is. it’s still early so there’s no one around, yet the very pretty model type wo-manning the velvet ropes, gives us a very snooty appraisal before deigning to let us in. she laughs as i call her on it. inside, it’s all black on black, niche lighting to go with it’s niche market. the place to be for the BEE set. we pick a seat against the wall only to have a guard point out that this area is “reserved”. o-kay! we get a drink as the place starts filling up fast. finally the music bumps up a notch, and we hit the dance floor for a few minutes even though the music is kinda old-school. i’m still in search of some phat, progressive house beats. not here, at least not now.
i head to the bathroom where i have to clean the previous fashionista’s piss off the seat. if you’re too good to put your ass on the seat, at least have the decency to clean up your mess! but oh wait, i forget myself! someone else is expected to clean up after. jeez! we promptly depart and decide to check out latinova upstairs. the music sounds pretty pumping, but the guy at the door is officious and the cover is R150! i am obviously way out of the loop! who has the the kind of money to frequent places like these?
as we head to my car, we decide to check out the capital. i’m trying to figure out what the scene is, while the doorman tells me that it’s a “private function”. it takes me a minute and then i realize that this is the monthly lesbian bar a few of my girlfriends have threatened to take me to. it is obvious that we don’t belong here. if i were on my own, i’d check it out, but instead we head round the corner and downstairs where the doorman directs us. the music seeping out the door sounds pretty decent, so we opt to pay the R70 cover. inside, almost everyone is hip, black and at least half our age. the music at least, finally hits the jackpot and we hit the dance-floor and get down. this lasts about 45 minutes and then seemingly irrevocably, it switches to hip hop. we at last decide to admit defeat and call it a night.
it’s about 01h30 and between the two of us, we’ve spent between 6 and R700 on the evening. maybe next time i’ll roll up my carpets, crank up the music, and get down to house. at my house.