Sandwiches Bar & Lounge, 7 February
When a small dark man by the name of Tayo stepped up to the decks in the club section of Sandwiches, I was surprised to see he was barely visible over the top of the his equipment. Although small and slightly timid looking, he possessed a certain confidence with the vinyl under his fingers, so I was disappointed when his initial switching from one record to another did not escalate into anything more creative or impressive.
Perhaps it is my ignorance of the Breaks style of dance music, but I had expected some flashy cutting and real-time sampling from this DJ who is “widely respected as one of London’s Breaks legends,” according to the accompanying brochure. Really all that I experienced was a fairly generic rhythm track with synthesizers fading in and out with a delayed or filtered effects loop every time the pattern was to be repeated. Nevertheless, a night for the dancers it was, and all those who went for the chest rumbling volume of the drum and bass were well catered for. Those present were very much getting into the music, and because of that I felt Tayo deserved some credit.
Because the Rugby Sevens’ tournament had just finished at the Stadium that evening I was unsure what sort of crowd would be populating Sandwiches. It is a trendy place, well designed for buying drinks from the bar, sitting with a group of friends in the lounge or dancing in the club section. The majority were in their late twenties, with a few exceptions – most notably the sweaty old men wearing their Durex tee-shirts and flaming wigs. Although Tayo was the main act for Saturday, there were several of their other regulars – Gimpgirl, Bryce, Ryan and Duncan. I didn’t hear any of the first three, but Duncan played his going-away set in the Lounge at the same time as Tayo was in the Club.
Outside a group of casually dressed people were poking their heads through the windows to try and catch a glimpse of some of the music for free – until the bouncers sent them away. Perhaps this was as much a sign of the popularity as the trendyness factor which seems to have infiltrated some of Wellington’s most successful spots.