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Kool Waters @ Dellers Wharf (Taunton)

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Bridge Street, taunton, info: 0421 039616, Fridays

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      14.03.2003 17:19
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      Somerset: home to Scrumpy Cider, Cheddar Cheese and an awful lot of sheep. Not, one might think, an ideal place to go for a banging night out (unless you’re into that kind of thing!) Having lived in Somerset for the first 17 years of my life, I’d have to admit that the most fun we ever had of a night involved a field, some fairy lights and someone’s Dad’s Simon and Garfunkel collection. Returning on this occasion, I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover that I could leave my wellies at home. One young man, a certain DJ/Promoter named Marc Vedo, had been rather busy in my absence - making it his mission to provide something fresh, fun and mud- free for dance music lovers in the South West. As a result, Somerset is now home to Kool Waters. Although not a household name in the clubbing world, Kool Waters has been hosting parties for several years now, travelling the length and breadth of the Westcountry from Bristol to Exeter, to Truro and back again. Its main residence still remains in Taunton, Somerset and once a month, doors at The Wharf (previously known as ‘Dellers’) open to almost 1000 of Taunton’s 43,000 population for some serious party mayhem. Friday 7th March saw another averagely blinding night for Kool Waters, bringing Scott Project, Lisa Lashes and Lee Thomas to the Main Room, alongside resident and founder Marc Vedo. Local boys Matt Thorne, Marcus and Ben Dobson made up the funkier side of the resident base upstairs in the Bar Room. We are warned to get there early, as queues for The Wharf have been known to last more than an hour. On this occasion, we’re lucky. Arriving at about 11pm, we walk straight in, only to meet Lisa Lashes walking straight out, having played the early set. Dedicated Kool Waters fans, it seemed, had known the set times in advance and got there early. But we meet the party in full force and Marc Vedo, up next, builds inspiringly from where Lash
      es left off. Watching Marc Vedo play, it’s a wonder he isn’t up there with the A-lists. Granted, his biography boasts a wide array of national and international gigs. 2002 saw him paying in China, Egypt, Malta, Turkey and Sweden, to name but a few. But you get the feeling fame’s not the important factor here and that for him, Somerset is where his heart is. And for that, you have to take your boots off to him! The Wharf is a pretty impressive club, built in an old warehouse, growing straight out of the River Tone. On entering the front door you’d be forgiven for thinking there isn’t much room here, but once up the stairs, you’re greeted by a wide expanse of high-ceilinged, carpeted entrance hall, something like that of a plush hotel. A mirrored bar runs down one length of the room, with chairs and arched windows overlooking the river on the other. One corner sports a cocktail bar and opposite, an inviting cavern-like entrance to the main room. Leading up, a wide and bending stairway takes you to what is known as the ‘Bar Room’. The shear quantity of wood in this room reminds me of being on the deck of a ship. Combined with the view of the river down below (or maybe something to do with the serious amount of Aftershocks that seem to be falling off the bar into my hand) I feel as though things are starting to sway a bit! Luckily, there are plenty of friendly crew members on this ship to see me on my voyage safely! The Kool Waters crowd is diverse and the attitude relaxed, which certainly adds to the overall atmosphere. There is no dress-code and pretty much anything goes. It probably wouldn’t have mattered if I had worn my wellies after all, as everyone from the ‘Taunton townies’ to the cyber glowstick posse are happily gathered together on the same dance floor, moving to the same beats. Refreshingly there is no attitude either (from staff or clubbers). Everybody
      I mee t, including the resident DJs, wear happy faces and take the time out to stop for a chat. It is clear that Kool Waters attracts a regular fan base, but also that any newcomers will be offered a true Westcountry welcome if they wish to join the fun. Our Kool Waters expedition ends at 4am when we return to the quiet market streets of Taunton town. Stopping in a chippy on the way home, a sign at the bar catches my eye. “This isn’t fast food, it’s good food. Relax – you’re in the south!” Like Scrumpy Cider, Cheddar Cheese and…er………sheep, many a fine thing begins life in Somerset. And, after the night I’ve just had, I’m keen to agree that Kool Waters is certainly one of them! For more info, go to www.koolwaters.com or you can visit the official Kool Waters discussion forum at www.offitsface.com

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