There are the party masters and the party virgins in the Sleaze DJ line-up, and several have numerous gigs as well as a CD under their belts.
What unites them all is a passion for taking us higher because each and every one of them wants to make their own two-hour slot the best you’ve ever heard.
Perhaps what sums up the collective DJ feeling is the opinion of Sean Manley, playing in the Royal Hall of Industries (RHI) from 12:30pm till 2am, who confesses that, despite the primetime nature of his gig and the pressure that creates, he’ll be gunning to give it his all. They [Mardi Gras] don’t tell you what to do so it’s up to you to do the best that you can, he says. But it’s excellent -“ it’s the end of the world, and doesn’t get any better than this. I’m just going to make sure it’s pumping.
Manley admits that a lot of people in the DJ scene are good friends and that there’s no bitching at all because we all get along so well. With too many friends to mention in terms of the support network he has, he adds that the support he’s had has been heartwarming.
Anthony Whitlock (RHI 10pm – 12:30pm) says that the type of crowd and venue will dictate the type of music he’ll play. Not one to force the crowd, Whitlock says that he’ll go into his set at a fairly energetic level and thinks that Sleaze will be a fantastic experience. The music will be mostly vocal house with a few divas thrown in for good measure to get the party jumping, he says. Playing the opening set in the RHI, to me, means taking the responsibility of getting the early comers into a dance mood and generally turning the RHI from a conversation and meet-and-greet pit into a dance floor.
With only three years under her belt as a DJ, Feisty (playing in the Dome, 10pm – 12:30am) has scored regular gigs in the dyke scene, most notably at 40 Watt Club at the Lansdowne and Lemonaid @ Envy. She also plays the Phoenix and has one-offs all over the shop on the girl scene.
My music style is always evolving, Feisty confesses. I’d tend to label it as mostly tribal with a bit of a progressive edge. I love playing sounds that are a little bit edgy, deep and sexy. For Sleaze, I’ll be trying to get the Dome in a sexy mood with plenty of beats, driving rhythms and the occasional -˜saucy’ vocal. The Dome is -“ after all -“ the Dome.
Philip Mezzatesta (Dome, 12:30am – 3am) was introduced to dance music at four years old. Mezzatesta confesses that his debut on the gay scene as a DJ was by accident at the Laird Hotel, Melbourne on New Year’s Day 1997. From there, I did the Melbourne club crawl as a DJ from the Exchange to the Peel, Three Faces to the Market, along with guest appearances at Bar 44, he says.
I’ve been mixing records for more than 13 years and have had a passion for music since I could walk, so to live this dream is absolutely amazing. If I had a choice between playing at Sleaze and being given a new car, I’d pick Sleaze!
Garry Tee (Dome, 5:30am – 8am) says, With HiNRG in the RHI and a hard-house Hordern, I’ll be closing with the dirtier darker funk beat that has come to define the Dome at its most decadent. Playing for Sleaze is always great, but closing the Dome is incomparable. The space is beautiful, with a legendary dancefloor, and the Dome crowd makes it such an honour. They know their music, they dance like they love it, and though it’s a big, wild crowd, it’s always wickedly intimate. To me, there is no better audience anywhere.
Baby Bear (in the Hordern, 6am – 8am) has been DJing full-time since early 2000 and cut his teeth at Ffierce, the Midnight Shift and Phoenix. He has been hooked on hard house since being exposed to it at Trade in London and after buying his first decks soon after, has remained quite fanatical about the whole thing.
Few gay men and lesbians would realise that the Trade hard-house style is about as gay as you can get, he says. It’s music written by queens and played by queens in gay clubs to gay fans. The Hordern is a massive venue and I’ll just be trying to make sure everyone has plenty of fun. I’m returning from the UK the week before the party, so what you can count on is plenty of fresh tunes.
In addition to the RHI, Dome and Hordern Pavilion, City Live will be opened to host a capacity of 1,500 people. MC’d by Mitzi Macintosh and assisted by DJs Dot Dingle and Jake Kilby, City Live will host the Cat Walk costume parade from 11:30pm (registrations from 10pm), and following the parade, Beast patrons will have the opportunity to have their photographs taken for the Beast website (www.mardigras.com.au).
For more information on the DJs of Sleaze check out the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras website at www.mardigras.com.au.