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Moulin Nights - Four And Frisky

Author: Jane Stabler
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
For the last four years Moulin Nights have been a night synonymous with the Kings Cross club scene. On the eve of the crew’s fourth birthday, 3D’s Jane Stabler chats with resident DJ Tim McGee.

Gold underwear, tassels on nipples, a bit of pole dancing – nothing says socially acceptable risqué better than a bit of burlesque. The former strip club now known as Moulin Rouge are not strangers to this. Their weekend offering in the form of Moulin Nights in the Cross capitalises on a trend that is nowhere near going out of fashion, although the burlesque may just be implied. Better known for pumping out dirty rocking house, Moulin Nights tout their night as the sexy alternative that Sydney has been missing, and as a result, is now a Saturday night must attend event for many a beautiful person in town.

Saturday night resident Tim McGee has been with Moulin Nights since its wee beginnings and says he’s seen a fair few changes in that time. One thing that has remained is the night’s commitment to good old funky, dirty house music.

“I think the Cross in general has changed a lot in the last four years,” the DJ considers. “There’s a lot more going on there and the crowd has changed too.   When we started there wasn’t anywhere that had been going for four years.  The development of this night was a bit of an exiting thing going around and then that developed into being into being a regular place to go. There’s a good music policy. It’s kind of what I love in a nightclub, it’s not a prissy place.”

With a name like Moulin Nights at a club called Moulin Rouge you’d like to think prissy wouldn’t play a part. Not straying from the venue’s origins has certainly given Saturday nights the sexy feel they’re now famous for. Since Moulin Rouge and burlesque stars like Dita Von Teese made the burlesque concept trendy again, it certainly doesn’t seem to have diminished in popularity – something McGee says helps set the night apart from others around town. Admittedly, the Cross location also helps.  

“I think it’s a point of difference,” he says of the venue’s history. “It’s a character that people easily identify with and it’s not just another nightclub. It’s got a theme, but it’s a theme based in the history of the venue. For me the Cross is the best place for clubbing at the moment. I’ve worked there for 15 years and it’s basement level. It’s not the most glamorous place, but it’s about the music.”

McGee is certainly correct. Despite the concept behind Moulin Rouge enjoying ongoing popularity, there’s no denying that the music is what brings the Moulin Nights back week after week, as McGee will attest. The theme of the venue and the night may be the initial hook, but there is no denying that the crowd come for the sounds. The crowd is one that this DJ loves, and the crowd loves this DJ.

“I haven’t been involved with the promotion of the club, but for me it just stuck nicely with the crowd,” McGee reveals of the night’s theme. “There’s always people discovering what people discovered last night, so I think everything has its ups and downs. DJing is my creative outlet. It’s not the only thing that I do but it’s really in [Moulin Nights that] I can go somewhere and have a crowd that’s flexible enough that I can [have that creativity]. I think the sexiness that the club has, has given me that kind of freedom to express myself and that’s the most important thing to me. I understand what makes people tick, that’s the reason I’m still there.”

Not only does Moulin Nights have a distinctive concept behind them, they also have the fame associated with being the start-up venue for the now huge Potbelleez. Although the small space that is the Moulin Nights venue is now too big to house the nationally known dance act, McGee says that it’s not all bad news. Having given rise to such an acclaimed dance act means that Moulin Nights must be doing something right - it shows a level of professionalism that many other clubs and club nights struggle to attain.

“It’s a natural progression of things,” McGee considers of the Potbelleez and the venue’s inability to house them these days. “I enjoy hanging with the guys but in the 9 to 5 job they’re hard working. It’s an exciting thing, they’re having success and they’re making their way. [The night’s progression] kind of started going from there, with the Potbelleez. For me there was a bit of family aspect to it, and there’s a level of professionalism going on. There’s nothing worse than getting to my age than playing a club that doesn’t know what they’re doing. I enjoy going doing guest spots but I love rocking out somewhere where there’s no crap. I can have a say in shaping the night, it’s what’s been lacking a lot in recent years.”

Having been involved with what has proven to be such a successful concept and now regular event, and when any significant birthday is reached, the stock standard question begs to be asked – what does the future hold- For such a current success, it must be looking like a rosy one, surely- McGee admits that based on their past success, the future does look bright, but he’s not about to take it for granted.

“I think it’s about keeping on your game and not resting on your laurels,” the resident muses. “Things should be changing and the team are really focused on that. I don’t know [what’s ahead], but I think more good times, and lots of new DJs coming through the ranks. There’s new music coming through, and I think the DJs will experiment with the stuff that’s coming through the side. [I think] house has been overplayed. And with a new sound system uploaded in [Moulin Rouge] now it will really hold the room. For me its one aspect of my job but it all revolves around music. I feel very blessed.”

WHO: Moulin Nights Crew
WHAT: 4th Birthday, Moulin Nights at Moulin Rouge
WHEN: Saturday 17 August