The old MoS was plagued with shareholder and police trouble that forced it to close. Despite its promises otherwise, some of those problems still haunt the new version. Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, police were outside MoS, checking IDs and halting progress into the club. “It's because of them,” said the bouncer at the VIP entrance on Friday night, pointing to the young crowd below. “All of the little gangsters [that've shown up]. Enjoy what's inside, not what goes on outside.”
Duly noted, for on this night, there was plenty to enjoy at MoS. For one, it was nicely busy, with a beautiful, fashionable crowd. Past MoS patrons complained that the enormous size of the club's dance floor meant the venue always felt empty. But a new bar by the dance floor gives the place a cozier vibe, as it takes up space and centers the crowd in front of the DJ.
The innovation stopped, however, at the club's design. From the music (hip pop) to the dancing girls to the juggling bartenders, it was all the same stuff you've come to expect at Taiwanese clubs.
Nothing new, but the ploys worked. The main floor was teeming with dancers and happy faces, while upstairs, the considerably smaller house and trance room was busy, too, for Jim Masters' mix of UK techno and throbbing electro.
The question remains, however, whether the good times can last at the new MoS.
On Saturday, Nimbus Holdings Limited ran ads in both the Taipei Times and the Apple Daily announcing it was the rightful owners of the Ministry of Sound name and logo and had terminated its license agreement with World Wide Clubs (Asia) Ltd and that no one in Taiwan, including Hsin Mao International Enterprises Co Ltd, can legally use the name. Odd, as on Friday night, the Ministry of Sound name and logo were imprinted on all of the VIP tickets and lights and signs clearly showed the logo outside and inside the club.
The Intellectual Property Office under the Ministry of Economic Affairs confirmed that Nimbus holds the rights to the MoS name and logo.
“Hsin Mao International had a license to use the club logo and name, and part of that agreement was to keep operations going,” Richard Holman, director of MoS' holding company in London, told the Vinyl Word on Wednesday. “But they closed it [the club] for about 7 months so we acted in line with the agreement. They reopened the club without our knowledge or approval… . We are looking for them to remove all references to MoS.”
Holman said Hsin Mao International's response had been “slow and imprecise” but negotiations were being conducted lawyer to lawyer.
Earlier in the week Johnny Lin, program director of the new MoS, said the new MoS has a direct agreement with MoS UK whereby the Taiwanese club pays the parent company £100,000 (NT$6,217,000) a year to use the brand name and logo.
With or without MoS, there is still a huge number of parties to check out this long weekend. Top picks include Swank's Hualien Fallout bash inside the brand new Hualien stadium (德新體育場) tomorrow night. The crew's past forays outside its home base of Taichung have been enormously successful, and with all the pre-sold tickets gone, expect musical acts 465, MC Batho and DJs Declan, Gareth Jones, Matty D and Kriz to rip it up.
Tomorrow it's the Hat Jam at Cystal with (www.crystal-taipei.com) with THAT Guy and Marcus Aurelius in the mix. No prizes for guessing what the dress code is.