Goodgod Small Club had its last dance on Liverpool Street late last year – but this didn’t mean they disappeared from Sydney forever. Since pulling down the awning for the last time Goodgod’s Jimmy Sing and Hana Shimada have been busy behind the scenes planning its incremental return, by the way of the Goodgod Super Club parties as a part of Vivid Live.
Alongside curating the line-up – which includes Bradley Zero, Junglepussy and Oneman – the duo also gained total creative control of the Opera House Studio's visuals, with some help from co-designer Jeremy Wolfe. Speaking to Time Out from the underbelly of the Opera House where set up for the Super Club was well under way, Sing explains. “It’s the first time we’re doing the full design... So that’s everything from the layout of the room to the sound system design to the lighting.”
Essentially the trio approached the space by considering the essential ingredients that make up the ultimate dancefloor. “Rather than going and trying to make it like a theme we just spent a whole month working through what is it that makes people comfortable to start dancing,” Sing explains.
“If you walk in at 9pm, it'll be totally different than it is at 2am.”
Lighting, layout and smoke are three of the cornerstones they’ve used to create an inclusive and immersive space. “We’ve kind of designed a whole bunch of really quite low-fi tricks,” Sing adds, “if you walk in at 9pm, it'ill be totally different than it is at 2am.”
To this end, they’ve deployed a cool 13 different types of smoke machines, a detailed piping system which acts as a false roof, a venetian blind curtained disco ball and light up corrugated Corinthian columns. “While [we had the club] we couldn’t afforded to spend this much time on it.” Sing says.
Finally a top-notch soundsystem is the icing on their disco cake. Wolf explains, “We’ve worked together with the audio team at the Opera House to create custom soundsystem. They had to go back to the German company to map out how the sound will behave and travel to find the position for the DJ.” Which informed centrepiece of the evening – a DJ booth, which sits smack bang in the middle of the dancefloor.
So once GG packs up shop again, can we expect to see more incarnations of the Goodgod brand beyond Vivid? “Yeah definitely. We intended for Goodgod to continue to be an experience. It was nightclub within four walls in the CBD for almost seven years, but now it’s other things. We’ve got other experiences planned." Sing explains: "We didn’t think we’d be doing like another nightclub space straight away, but this opportunity came up and it was so perfect.” And thank god it did.
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Goodgod Small Club had its last dance on Liverpool Street late last year – but this didn’t mean they disappeared from Sydney forever. Since pulling down the awning for the last time Goodgod’s Jimmy Sing and Hana Shimada have been busy behind the scenes planning its incremental return, by the way of the Goodgod Super Club parties as a part of Vivid Live. Alongside curating the line-up – which includes Bradley Zero, Junglepussy and Oneman – the duo also gained total creative control of the Opera House Studio's visuals, with some help from co-designer Jeremy Wolfe. Speaking to Time Out from the underbelly of the Opera House where set up for the Super Club was well under way, Sing explains. “It’s the first time we’re doing the full design... So that’s everything from the layout of the room to the sound system design to the lighting.” Essentially the trio approached the space by considering the essential ingredients that make up the ultimate dancefloor. “Rather than going and trying to make it like a theme we just spent a whole month working through what is it that makes people comfortable to start dancing,” Sing explains. “If you walk in at 9pm, it'll be totally different than it is at 2am.” Lighting, layout and smoke are three of the cornerstones they’ve used to create an inclusive and immersive space. “We’ve kind of designed a whole bunch of really quite low-fi tricks,” Sing adds, “if you walk in at 9pm, it'ill be totally different than it is at 2am.” To this end, they’ve
It started as Goodgod Small Club, spent a short time as Plan B, and now the underground nightclub on Liverpool Street in the CBD is known as Hudson Ballroom. But name changes aside, things are much as they ever were. The front bar still has that Bedrock feel to it, with the chunky white concrete booths for group hangs and canoodling, light-up bar, and dance floor with an enthusiastically spinning mirror ball and a DJ is cranking boogie-friendly tunes. The front bar is also where their pop-culture trivia nights are hosted. Up the back is the Belly Bao kitchen that is open 5-10pm Wednesdays through Saturdays, slinging soft, pillowy steamed buns filled with pork belly and crackling, fried tofu, panko-crumbed chicken, beef short rib and soft shell crab to make sure all those cocktail jugs don’t derail your evening. But it’s in the back room that the party really gets fired up. It’s still one of the most dependable band rooms in the city, and hosts regular events like the Halfway Crooks hip-hop night captained by DJ Levins and Franco; ’90s dance parties that are super popular with people who still know all the lyrics to ‘Return of the Mack’; dancehall events for a little booty shaking; and a raft of surprisingly excellent touring acts, given the compact space they have to work with. It’s one of the most varied dance floors in the city, so even if you’re not a frequent party animal any more, you can still go out for a boogie night at whatever speed suits your current tastes. The
If you like the Beyoncé dance classes at Goodgod, you’ll love the high cardio hip-hop dance classes from Amrita Hepi and Vanessa Marian. The professional dancing pals run weekly classes in Marrickville and Rosebery, and each session is about getting into the groove of pop and hip hop, from Drake to Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj to Rihanna. The idea for Hollaback came after the success of Amrita’s dance classes at Goodgod and the popularity of club nights like FLEX. “It’s a class for people who might not consider themselves dancers but love to dance,” says Amrita, 26. “It’s a no shame, all-gender zone. It’s for people who enjoy music and movement. We play stuff that you can dance to, without necessarily needing alcohol.” “We play stuff that you can dance to, without needing alcohol” Vanessa, 27, takes the Tuesday night sessions in Rosebery; her dancing background is in world dance. “We have a really similar ethos when it comes to teaching dance,” she says. “I remember doing my first hip-hop style class when I was 19 or 20. I remember how intimidated I was just walking into the studio, but when the class had finished it was exhilarating, liberating.” Hollaback classes have been running for around six months and the dancers have plans for expansion to Bondi, Surry Hills, the Northern Beaches and the Inner West. There’s no dress code: just wear what you feel comfortable in. “We strongly encourage you to wear sneakers, baggy clothing – as hip-hop as you feel comfortable in,” say
Hey, guys – we know Picnic for throwing down great gigs and booking some of the most original talent from around the globe for its parties. But let's rewind seven years to when you first began. How did you get started? Picnic was started by myself – Carly or Kali – and Mr Motorik – Vi Hermens. Vi and I had a great time for two years, then he kindly handed me the baton and the name. And I’ve been going strong for five years! The core Picnic family is Andy Webb, Adi Toohey and myself. Andy has been with me for nearly the whole five years and Adi about one and half years. They are both invaluable. Of course, there is the extended family of amazing artists, and my friends are part of that family.Where can we hear you guys? You can head to Picnic's Soundcloud and Facebook page. Adi and Andy are also on Soundcloud. What's been your best gig so far?Kali It’s a tie between two Andrew Weatherall gigs. Firstly, at Sydney Festival when he played with Neville Watson it started raining just before... which was crap for my suede shoes but incredible for the vibe under that marquee! And then his One Night Stand at OAF last year. Two equally untouchable gigs.Andy It's so hard to pick one. Probably DJ Harvey and DJ Garth at Sydney Festival in 2011. Harv’s set was so sensational, I went straight to the afterparty at Goodgod and played what I still reckon was my best and favourite set ever. Too inspired, too vibed.Adi When Andy Webb had his records and gear stolen from his car, it was very nea
Back at the start of 2015, Goodgod Small Club welcomed Belly Bao: bringing Taiwan’s delicious bao buns into the bar-club environment. The soft, fluffy buns are made from steamed, fermented wheat dough that is then stuffed like a soft taco. And Belly Bao’s take on one of Asia’s best street foods has gone down a treat with Goodgod regulars. The perfect bar snack, Belly Bao’s bao buns come in six main varieties (with fresh or pickled toppings and lively sauces to match): slow braised pork belly; crackling roast pork belly; Panko-crumbed chicken breast; soft shell crab; and crispy tofu. Chef Sylvia Tran has since expanded the menu with the likes of the BBC – Belly Bao fried chicken, crunchy wings and sweet potato fries with a kick. Drop by on a Thursday evening to catch their weekly special, the Baoger: Belly Bao’s take on a hamburger. A handmade steamed bao bun contains a juicy Angus beef patty, melted cheese, lettuce, onion, pickled radish and Baoger sauce. Then there are the eye-catching dessert offerings taking steamed buns to another level: the Baonana split and Strawbelly Bao. The kitchen at Goodgood has long been at the forefront of Sydney’s dude food culture, from the early hot dogs and fries revival to jerk chicken and now, with Tran’s clever fusions of American fast food with Taiwanese street eats.
The Caribbean-themed Jonkanoo Canteen has been in charge of the snack action at Goodgod Small Club, everyone's favourite late night haunt. And their six-month residency is coming to a close in December so if you're planning on throwing some shapes in the coming weeks take time to fuel your fun times with jerk chicken and pork, plus lesser known regional dishes from Haiti, Trinidad, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Cuba before it's too late.
For a lot of people, club culture is about being exposed to music that they don’t already have in their iTunes library. Don’t get us wrong, we like shaking it to golden oldies at and getting cheesy to ’90s hits, but sometimes we just want to kick it to some fresh stuff. Enter Astral People, an artist management and events brand that pushes off-kilter electronica on tour and into Sydney.What started as a couple of club events back in 2011 to showcase artists like Collarbones and Jonti, who the boys (Tom Huggett, Lee Danilewitz and Vichara Edirisinghe) To were already managing at the time has quickly gained a landslide of momentum. “The brand is getting stronger and we are starting to see that people really trust us,” says Huggett. “We just toured an act called Knxwledge, who isn’t too big at the moment, and we ended up selling out Goodgod. He said it was the biggest show that he’s ever done, and he’s from LA.” “Another guy came up to us after one of our shows and said, ‘I had no idea who this act is, but I came because I saw the Astral logo was on the flyer’,” adds Edirisinghe. “For us, peoples’ trust in the brand is the most rewarding thing." The beat-bent boys have more upcoming international tours, artist showcases and club events than they can reasonably manage. And with street press and online music sites pushing headlines declaring Sydney’s live music scene to be a “tough climate” [Mess + Noise, Mar 2012] and in a “state of emergency” [Tone Deaf, Mar 2012], this run-off-
Hey Sydney, how’re you holding up? We know it’s been a rough year. In 2014 they came for your nightlife and you’ve been holding on for dear life since then, trying to stem the fun loss after dark. But you couldn’t save them all. The Flinders was the first to slink off into the night in the early days of 2015. Gone was the home of late night indie party jams and vodka Red Bulls, the home that had taken over when the Abercrombie went to the big pub in the sky. You also lost your grip on the underground party bunker Spice Cellar. You tried so hard to pull them back to safety, but even a change of venue to the Imperial Hotel couldn’t save the late night techno raves. The best weekly punk rock parties, queer nights, indie dance-offs and midnight Jenga were stolen from you in one massive hit when the Exchange Hotel shut down, taking Q Bar, Spectrum, Phoenix and Nevada Lounge. That was a low blow. But we were proud of the way you still got up off the mat. There were little rays of hope that meant you didn’t have to pack away your dancing shoes just yet. Bad Deep triumphantly launched all night parties at the Sly Fox in Enmore, One Day Sundays continued to throw the biggest hip hop Sunday sessions in the city and GoodGod was channeling the Little Engine that Could. But there wasn’t enough steam in the tank at the end of the day, and we’ve had to say goodbye to the greatest mini underground club in the city. All is not lost because Plan B will be taking over the site with fresh bl
Now in its final days we asked some of those closest to Goodgod to share their favourite memories of the Small Club that's had a big impact on Sydney's nightlife and culture Sydney's favourite basement danceteria has been dishing out late night good times for almost six years. A haven of dancefloor antics, fruity cocktails, vibrant personalities and no phone reception that was as inclusive as it was diverse and forward-thinking, while still maintaining an emphasis on unpretentious fun. As owners Jimmy and Hana move on from the Liverpool Street venue (but watch this space, there's plans for Goodgod in 2016, just not as a traditional club) we salute you, Goodgod Small Club. Andrew Levins It’s possible that I’ve spent more time inside Goodgod Small Club than Jimmy and Hana themselves, so picking a favourite memory from the thousands of amazing ones is borderline impossible. I can say though that nothing beat those first few visits in 2010, as the club filled with new structures and artwork and made the transition from La Campana to Goodgod. With every new addition we realised what a special place this was going to be. Andrew Boon My fave Goodgod memory would have to be one of the first nights I'd ever been down to the venue for one of the early Ro Sham Bo parties. We stayed until the end, and as was tradition 'Come On Eileen' played as the final song of the night. There was about 25-30 of us, all in a circle linking arms and doing a massive kick line dur