The grand dame of the Singapore entertainment venues, Zouk, just celebrated its 15th Anniversary in true opulence on the Easter long weekend.?
Their Royal Weekender featured Techno Maestro Jeff Mills on Thursday, Mixologists and MC Trip on Good Friday and concluded with the Crystal Ball on Saturday which I had the privilege of attending. After braving the 800 meter queue (and this was just people with invitations at 9pm!), I was greeted by an ingeniously constructed Red Carpet area with projections of screaming wannabes behind barriers, which looked suspiciously like recycled Zoukout crowd footage.
Despite the ‘awards ceremony’ cheesiness of the gimmick, it felt relatively authentic with a live camera crew throwing the images of guests in finery to big screens all over the venue, with an enthusiastic MC interviewing each entrant. I was wearing leather from head to toe with the beautiful Ng Hui Hsien, entertainment writer for I.S Magazine as my partner.
It was rare to see Singaporeans go all out with their eveningwear, so we did not feel overdressed. Suits and frocks were everywhere, with some guests looking totally decked out with Baroque wigs, monocles, feather boas and more. I spied between the invited guests Thespian Hossan Leong and actress Koh Cheng Mun. The entryway was relocated to the rear entrance of the Zouk main dance floor and my, was the interior Grand indeed.
Chandeliers and picture frames were hung among the club’s already impressive array of Moving head Mac 60s and fill lights plus a stage akin to the several Power Jams previously held in the venue- but this time the performances were on totally different scale. Chiseled Models and dancers began performing a revue I could only describe as high fashion meets contemporary dance.
They adorned themselves in extravagant costumes that gave the place the air of a masquerade ball with sequined masks and corsets. Things got fabulous when ladies screamed for the particular segment of the act where rippling men clad only in Pearls and white feathers ascended the stage.
There was also the obligatory ‘fake karaoke serenading by transvestite’, which brings to mind Kumar’s Gold Dust or the Chinatown Cabaret. Perhaps the real operatic singer in the performance was a less popular number than the latter stereotyped Singapore glam, considering people were cheering louder for some reason. Kudos goes to Toni and Guy, No.1 Costume and Inovi Cosmetic were responsible for the awesome makeup, hair styling and outfits on the performers. Purple Sage Creative Catering also hit a soft spot for this writer with the delightful roving platters of marinated Salmon among other finger foods that had the poor staff being stopped at every inch in the packed superclub.
The floor itself was a maelstrom of good House and Trance numbers with local heroes DJB, Sonny and Aldrin doing Zouk proud, albeit underdressed somewhat. Whoever did the 10pm to midnight slot had a great selection of funky, break-esque numbers that did not become too overbearing for the atmosphere. Even after the main stage was opened to the public, the dancers that followed had excellent choreography, especially the woman with the psychedelic ballerina outfit and the firm physique.
On the floor itself, I rubbed shoulders with Daniel from the DYI crew, Exitmusik’s DJ Vortex, Earshot’s Natalie Tan and several other local club industry luminaries. We left the main room for Phuture for some spicy ‘Nu Beats’ with resident Jeremy Boon and Jin Seow (Vanillamania, NYC). The Crystal Ball was truly an aural and visual spectacular… pure decadence. Think also salutes the marketing team that gave the royal weekender the velvety touch it deserved. Long live the Queen.