808 set to fill Club Astra's boots


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The last time Coldcut played in Bangkok it was one of the busiest nights to grace Club Astra at RCA. You couldn’t move inside, let alone dance. For two years Astra was the club in Bangkok, hosting everyone from Carl Cox and Deep Dish to Shy FX and Goldie. I think we were all saddened when Club Astra closed its doors, but when the guys behind the club opened Club Culture on Sri Ayutthaya Road the void was filled.

The reopening and re-branding of Club Astra has been on the cards for a long time. At first it was all very hush-hush, but you can’t keep something like that quiet for long. Club Astra is set to reopen under new management. Club Astra is now called “808” and the venue looks set to shake Bangkok nightlife up a bit.

The pre-opening party is being held December 4 with the return of Coldcut, as well as a live performance by Montonn Jira and Joni Anwar as Katsue.

Looking at the opening weekend lineup of 808, it’s certainly going to get the club off the ground. The big event will be December 14 with three former members of the Invisbl Skratch Piklz playing out together. QBert, DStyles and Shortkut are three of the most technically-sound DJs on the planet. I will more than likely be making the trip up to Bangkok that weekend.

The big test will be whether 808 can roll from the first few months of big-name bookings to consistently filling the club week in week out. Astra struggled to draw crowds because Bangkok clubbers tend to only venture out for headline acts, often failing to support smaller promoters and DJs.

With the promise of a refit and a new sound system, there’s no way that 808 will fail unless it can’t build on those opening parties.

DJs forthcoming in the new few months include Laurent Garnier, Roc Raida, The Freestylers, DJ Craze, LTJ Bukem, DJ Fresh, Makoto and Darren Emerson. Many of these DJs have played in Bangkok in the past couple of years.

To book a free guestlist place for the Coldcut party visit this website.

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3 thoughts on “808 set to fill Club Astra's boots

  1. One of the thing I enjoy when reading your blog is that you talk about places, people and events I have never heard of, or been to, or even consider going to! Funny but it speaks volume about how Thai society can be compartmentalised and you seems to evolve in a kind of westernised environment whilst I have mostly be in contact with more traditional Thai spaces. Have you been to an Issan Club? Like Issan Tatung near Pata Shopping Centre in Pinklao? Tried a Karaoke night in Lang Suan? Visited DJ in Silom Soi 2? Not to say that one is better than the other, but it is just funny.

  2. The places I've been to in Thailand have tended to change along with the people I hang out with. Different groups of friends go to different places and my circle of friends changed a lot the first year or so I was in Thailand. More recently, I started hanging out with people who were into the same sort of music as me and so we went to places like Astra, and so on.

    I'm happy anywhere so long as I don't have to sing.

  3. I will be there for Coldcut and hope it succeeds. But, playing devil's advocate, how is a refit and new soundsystem a surefire recipe for success?

    As far as I can see 808 will rehash the failed Astra formula only it’ll look and sound better. Big deal. There are clubs in London twice as dinghy as Astra was, with sound systems half as good – yet they’re fours times as busy. Snazzing up Astra isn't going to change the facts – the demand for DJ’s playing 'E culture' music in a city that, thankfully, isn’t partial to swallowing E is small.

    How is 808 going to fill the gaps between international acts? By hosting local party's that draw handfuls, or by adopting the guise of a hip-pop megaclub to rival Route and Slim/Flix perhaps? As proven by those bastions of bland, the majority that is Bangkok’s undiscerning masses want only 1) a table for their precious whisky soda set 2) an abundance of cuties and 3) agreeable radio hits they can singalong to.

    As for Coldcut, Laurent Garnier, Roc Raida, The Freestylers, DJ Craze, LTJ Bukem, DJ Fresh and Darren Emerson. That’s an impressive line-up – if the dial on the timemachine is flashing ‘1999’.

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