Wordwide Wonders: Tone Pagoda

By September 1, 2017Blog

Ahead of their JMan + Pete Cannon show on Sep 16, Tone Pagoda shared their fav global venues in another Worldwide Wonders!

Alexandra Palace
I’ve only been here once, to watch Fat Freddy’s Drop back in 2014, which is a shame because there have been loads of gigs there which I would have loved to have gone to see. But that one time did make a lasting impression. Before you even get inside, the magnificence of the Victorian architecture is really impressive. It’s what’s inside that matters though, and it really doesn’t disappoint. The place really is enormous and with everyone standing and on the same floor, the atmosphere was electric. Add to that an awesome sound system (and obviously a great set by FFD), this equated to one of my favourite gigs I’ve ever been to.

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West Holts Stage (Glastonbury)
Maybe not technically a venue, but I’m counting it all the same. I’ve been to Glastonbury seven times now and, every single year, this is the stage I spend most time on. Previously named the Jazz World Stage, it houses all sorts of world music from jazz to hip-hop to afrobeat to disco and all sorts in between. Even though it is a melting pot of genres, it always maintains a certain vibe. I’ve seen countless artists on there, but highlights include Chic in 2013 which included a massive sing along of Get Lucky, Bixiga 70 opening Friday 2016 with some afrobeat & samba vibes and starting the biggest conga line ever and Ata Kak in 2017 getting thousands of people dancing to 90’s Ghanaian dance music. My number one pick though would have to be watching Flying Lotus close the stage on Sunday 2015. It had been a long weekend and let’s just say it was an experience!

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As well as live music, I’m a massive fan of electronic music. I went to Berlin last year and after getting some culture and some sights in on the first day, the rest of the holiday was about music. I went to a few different clubs that weekend and this was my favourite. After being grilled by the bouncers before entering, me and my mate were allowed in (some of my other friends weren’t so lucky). What greeted us was some of the most pumping techno I’ve ever heard. The outside area was a little more chilled with it’s own DJs playing some really nice house but it was inside, where the techno was, that we spent the most time in a room which was almost completely pitch black, where you had to make your way around by putting your hands in front of you to feel where you were going, making sure not to bump into the glowing embers of cigarettes which appeared to be floating. After about 10 hours that seemed to pass in an instant we left to go meet our friends that didn’t manage to get in and ended up in this 1920’s speakeasy bar playing foosball with some Syrians, which was a slight change of scene to say the least.
(And for those of you wondering: yes I did try to get in to Berghain, and no I was not successful).

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I couldn’t write a piece about my favourite venues without writing about one venue in the city I call home, and this is a small but perfectly formed gem in Cardiff’s musical crown. I’ve been to hundreds, maybe even thousands, of gigs in my life time, and this is probably my most frequented venue. The range of music is eclectic, ranging anywhere between Italian disco to Japanese punk, but you know the quality is always consistent. It’s the type of place you can go to without any prior knowledge of who is playing and leave with a new favourite band. As it’s small it can afford to take a few risks with what they put on, which means it offers things that nowhere else in the capital does. In the summer they also put on some legendary garden parties with the likes of Delete putting on some amazing DJ’s that you might not normally find in such an intimate venue. Other than the music, another massive aspect which keeps me and others returning is the atmosphere. I never experience anything other than good vibes and people wanting to have a good time. What more can you ask for?

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