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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
Plan B was the successor club in the space that was once Goodgod Small Club. The venue is now called Hudson Ballroom.
To try to encapsulate Amrita Hepi’s fast-evolving, still relatively young career – which has dance at its core – with a neat label feels reductive. She’s performed as a dancer around the world, created performance art, taught empowering and joyous Beyoncé-inspired dance classes at Goodgod nightclub (RIP), given an insightful TED Talk about the politics of dance, and created a series of dance films for ASOS. She's also staged a unique series of collaborative one-on-one dance classes at Arts Centre Melbourne. But Hepi was still shocked when the hugely influential American conceptual artist Adrian Piper (one of Hepi's art world heroes) agreed to have her work shown alongside Hepi's in this exhibition at Cement Fondu. Both artists use dance to explore politics and identity, and they do so in a series of engrossing video installations. Read our interview with Amrita Hepi.
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
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.
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
Time Out has celebrated our 11th birthday in Sydney (in London we’re a ripe old 50), and in over a decade of singing the praises of this amazing city, change has been the only constant. Sure, some things have remained the same (Pancakes on the Rocks is still doing those 2am stacks), but a whole lot has changed in a pretty short span of time. We’ve seen a lot of things come and go, but these are the things we miss most. 1. Goodgod Small Club (2010-2015)It looked like a party bar from the Flintstones, the drinks were brightly coloured, there were hot dogs on the menu, and out the back the band room hosted some of the most varied and exciting parties in Sydney. It’s where you’d go for some late night Dutty Dancing, a Beyoncé dance class, quality pop culture trivia and unforgettable live gigs. Photograph: Dan Boud 2. Q Bar (1993-2015)The giant Exchange Hotel venue sprawled along Oxford Street, with Spectrum, Nevada, 34B, and Q Bar all providing a perch for every kind of night owl that existed. But it’s the raging nights at Q Bar we miss the most. 3. The Monorail (1988-2013)Look, it might not have been the most practical form of transport, but we miss the quiet train looping above the city like a silver snake constantly chasing its own tail from Darling Harbour up to the CBD and back again. 4. Purple Sneakers at the Abercrombie Hotel (2006-2010)The party that united indie kids across the city, when Bloc Party and Interpol were on high rotation and Jägerbombs were the or
THIS VENUE IS CLOSED Update: For those that haven’t yet heard the sad news: it was announced this week that underground music hot spot Tone will be closing its doors at the end of September. “We have been forced from our current location after a long running dispute with our Landlord,” explains Tone owner Ben Peterson. “We were basically booked out for the rest of the year with events when we were notified of this situation.” Luckily, the next month of scheduled shows will go ahead as planned, and we urge you to see this amazing venue in action for one last time. This is one of the best clubs in Sydney, and should be given the send-off it deserves. That, and as Peterson explains: “In order for Tone to stay solvent until we find another venue, we need support in our last month.” The last weeks of Tone’s current incarnation are like a tasting plate of the kinds of interesting and underground shows that have made the venue so great, from poetry slams and local launches, to left-of-centre touring internationals. On Sat 27 Aug don’t miss the launch of Astral People where the only Australian signing on Stones Throw, Jonti, will be joined by IDM trio Bon Chat Bon Rat, Melbourne experimental pop wonder Wintercoats and Sydney beat makers Albratross. On Wed 31 Aug catch Caravan Slam in all its poetic glory; on Fri 2 Sep, pay tribute to classic 60s girl groups on the dance floor at Twist and Shout; and on Thu 8 Sep, check out the new line-up of minimalist pop outfit Songs. Brainfee