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Report from La Demence

by Robin Termote in Nightlife & Reports , 11 november 2007

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

If you ask the average party tiger in our quaint little city where they usually go out, they will often say they go to a club or party in Cologne, Paris, Antwerp or…Brussels. These party poopers claim Amsterdam is very yesterday’s news. It’s nice enough to live and work in but for a good party one needs to cross the border. I received a lot of pitying looks when I recently admitted that I had never been to La Demence. My good friend Donny decided then and there that I had to promise him to join them next time. As if my soul and social status depended on it.

Like Muslims having to visit Mecca at least once a lifetime, and the Christians to Lourdes. That next time happened to be the 14th of August. On a Tuesday because that’s the day our Belgian neighbors celebrate the holy Virgin Mary’s ascension to heaven. Devotees like us like to celebrate with a thumping party. I get to my friend’s place in good time to head to Central Station but Dolly, a queen just happening to be present, decides my wardrobe simply will not do! “Girl, we’re not going to the iT, you know!” followed by a hysterical giggle! Nice to have such subtle friends. Then again, she does know all the clubs in the world, a real party die-hard always at the right places at the right time. After re-packing twice under strict supervision, a quick trim of the armpits and back and a spray of tanning lotion in my face I finally manage to get a green light: “You look lovely dear!” “Great, can we finally fucking go then?”

There are several ways of getting to La Demence: there is an organized bus trip for 45 including entrance. A luxury bus filled with screaming queens from Mokum to Brussels with booze and music, and smoking is allowed! They also drop you back home of course. The only disadvantage is that you can’t decide when you want to go home.

The bus leaves at 9am and that’s it. You can go by car but then you need a Bob and we didn’t have one. So we chose to take the train ( 60 without reduction) that takes you to Brussels in 180 minutes. From the station it’s a 10-minute walk to the club. The trip was nice because you quickly spot the people going to the same event.

The atmosphere was great and soon the party pills went from hand to hand, swallowed with a shot of vodka of course - I sneaked a cigarette on the toilet and the three hours seemed to go fast. We arrived 11.30 pm at Club Fuse, the location of La Demence. If you arrive before 11pm you pay 10, after that it’s 15. Still very cheap if you compare that with the cover charges in Amsterdam.

The first thing I notice is that there’s no queue in front of the door. Probably because there’s hardly any check as you walk in. Compare that to Amsterdam where they almost make you bend over while putting on gloves. From the outside the club looks unassuming but on the inside it’s quite an impressive space. (I think almost twice the dance floor space of the former iT.) If you arrive around midnight in a club in Amsterdam, there will be no one on the dance floor.

Here however, the dance floor is already filled with half-naked muscle Maries, leather boys, drag queens and other interesting folk. Nice start! Club Fuse is a former warehouse and you can feel it. Nice underground feel with a lot of corridors and stairs (watch out, you can hurt yourself there!) The big dance floor is downstairs with djs like John Doe (Cologne), Nicolas Nucci Progress! Paris) and resident djs Rudy and Mike. Solid club/tech mixed with classic and progressive gets the crowd going.

On the second floor excellent djs spin thumping tribal and techno beats. I have to say the music was of excellent quality all night long. Even the aged amongst us have their own little disco and funk room. Through this room you reach an extensive cruising area. Lots of horny boys walk up and down in front of the entrance. As I’ve left my partner at home and I promised to behave I let Danny go in by himself. It’s hot and I’m hot and sweaty, jealous of the boys who look good enough to take off their shirts. I’m even more jealous of the guys who obviously don’t have the body for it but don’t give a damn!

Still, no shortage of nice looking boys here. My guess is that a lot of these people here have a subscription with the Anabolic Steroid Industry because this can’t be all natural. I decide to give the gym another go next week. If you have to visit the facilities (for number one, two or indeed 3)

I advise you to go well in time because there’s a permanent queue. I had to wait for at least 10 minutes before I could close the cubicle. Good thing was that they have speakers in the toilets. Strange to see everyone bopping around the fluorescently lit toilet block. The toilets themselves are clean by the way and they’re free.

As the night flows along the jaws get tighter and the pupils pop out from everywhere. Even the really good-looking ones would probably get a shock if they took a good look at themselves at that moment. There’s a first aid post, which is a comforting thought. Especially since the Belgians don’t really stick to the midnight till 5am pattern. You start late afternoon and you finish around noon the nest day, easily.

La Demence has happily joined pre, main as well as after party, as a three course affair. The parties regularly pack some 3000 people. It’s nice and busy but definitely not over crowded and although the place is crawling with hefty muscled men who are totally lost there is no aggression whatsoever.

In contrary, the atmosphere is friendly and international. There are feisty Spaniards, arrogant French, sexy Italians (who don’t speak a word of English) and lots of Belgians and ‘Ollanders'. Brussels is after all very centrally located in Europe and people don’t mind to travel to a good party. I think it was around 8am that my partying buddy decided it was time to tell this girl to prepare mentally for her departure. She really didn’t even remember her name by then, let alone stand on her feet. I immediately argued “But it’sh shtill sho nice here!!! They go on till 1pmmm. One more drink!” Donny however, was strict and I was forced to say goodbye to a fabulous party.

On our way back to the station we went past the Grote Markt for a couple of snapshots; and of course Manneken Pis while we were at it. They made a nice combination with the naughty shots I’d taken at the party. As smooth as the way down had been, the way back took so long in a crowded train with screaming kids and angry parents and bright fluorescent lights.

Us trying hard to look as casual as possible, just a bit sweaty, rolling eyes and clenching jaws. Quite an effort indeed! Next time I’m sure as hell staying in a nice hotel with a very late check out arrangement. All in all it was double worth the trouble for sure. So I can tell you here and now: I go partying abroad, because Amsterdam… Amsterdam is really so very yesterday!


Pros: Great music. Nice and varied crowd. Beautiful people. Great location. Cheap, especially taking the quality of everything into account. Friendly staff, a lot of security and a super fast coat check!
Cons: long queue for the toilets and of course the trip back to Amsterdam!!
If I have to compare it with something I can think of nothing else but the old-fashioned iT experience. I’d grade the party a 9 out of a scale of 10. There’s always room for improvement, but you understand, I will be at this party regularly from now on. I recommend all the dopeys that haven’t been to La Demence yet to go soon! Although not recommended to the somewhat faint at heart, or religiously/sexually challenged.
Club Fuse / La Demence 208 Rue Blaesstraat, Brussels 0032-25119789



In the New Issue of Gay News, 330, februari 2019

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