No Rest for the Witted
In which peripatetic plate-spinner max chipchase flits from club to club in the stratospheric realm of the rich, famous and artistically adept
YOU COULD BE forgiven for thinking that January would be slow on the party front. But in my experience, it’s quite the opposite. Having spent a magical week in Phuket for a New Year’s Eve function, I had just over a week to recuperate at home in LA before the suitcases were out and I was on a plane, heading back to Asia once again.
My first stop was Singapore, where I’d been booked to play at an event for software giant SAP, which was holding its annual forum for 2,500 of its top staff, who’d flown in from every country in South-East Asia as well as Japan and India. The day was filled with conferences, but once the sun went down it was time to dispense with business and let the hair down for some serious play. This is where I stepped in.
The party was held at the fabulous restaurant-cum-nightclub Ku Dé Ta at Marina Bay Sands. Situated on the 57th floor, the venue enjoys spectacular views over the city and was the perfect location for the event. Scottish chart sensation KT Tunstall had been flown in to deliver a surprise live performance. Once she’d wrapped up it was down to me to keep the dance floor filled till the early hours from my specially built DJ booth on the edge of the infinity pool, which overlooked the bright lights of the city far below.
The party was a huge success and I departed the next day with a triumphant smile on my face, bound for my next destination, Hong Kong, where I was due to play at my friendly neighbourhood local, dragon-i. I had a great night as always with so many dear friends, ensuring everyone kept rocking.
I returned to LA the following day and went into a two-week hibernation with my very patient and accepting girlfriend while I prepared for the next adventure.
With my warmest winter woollies packed I headed for my old hometown of London, arriving on Monday afternoon with just enough time to drop off my bags and change before my first engagement, a private party for artist Damien Hirst hosted by Gagosian Gallery at the newly opened and much lauded The Arts Club in Mayfair.
Numerous glamorous A-listers had gathered at the venue, a cool and sophisticated affair with a membership that reads like a who’s-who of London’s elite. It’s not surprising that it has fast become the most talked-about space in the city.
The evening began with a live performance by the house band, which belted out a series of soul classics alongside more recent chart fare. The band got everyone moving before handing the reins over to me to continue into the night. Since it was a Monday, we wound up at a relatively respectable hour.
My next gig the following evening took place at Boujis nightclub, one of London’s top spots for the past decade and one that still draws a chic crowd. It was dance-floor devastation as I banged out one crowd-pleaser after another.
I barely had time to breathe for the rest of the week as I rushed about from meetings with clients to lunches and dinners with friends, and as the weekend arrived I prepared to return to The Arts Club for an encore performance on Saturday night.
Whereas the crowd at my previous appearance had been constrained to exercise a degree of control, what with it being so early in the week, by the time the weekend came round the mob was ready to throw caution to the wind and came pumped up for an all out dance-athon. I was both shocked and humbled by the number of old friends and familiar faces who turned up to hear me play.
All of a sudden there was an impromptu performance from Ronnie Wood, who just happened to be in the audience and took to the stage to thunderous applause. The Rolling Stones guitarist put on a dazzling show, so that by the time I kicked in, the dance floor was already in full swing and stayed that way till the lights came up at 3am. No doubt there was plenty of chat the following day around Sunday lunch tables as attendees boasted of having been privy to this private show. But it was just another day at the office for the legendary rocker.