Time Out in Beijing

Getting settled so far has been an amazing, albeit expensive, experience in China's thriving capital of Beijing. Working 9-6pm in the Panda Guides HQ is fascinating work. We have a lot to do to push the business forward, but I'm loving the challenge and the team are all super cool - especially Matt 'the Chief' Fox.

Living in a small studio apartment in the ye olde Hutangs, initially I thought I was living in the middle of nowhere. After my first weekend's exploration, it turns out I'm living in what some describe as 'Beijing's Shoreditch'!

Dada Bar BeijingOne of the coolest clubs in the city - Dada - is just five minutes away from my house. On my first trip there I saw the UK's DJ/producer Mumdance rock the 250-capacity intimate concrete-walled venue till the early hours.

A few days later and James Zabiela was spinning in town at a rooftop venue called 5F. Here I met more of the city's movers and shakers including club promoters, DJs, venue owners, entrepreneurs and fashion designers.

Then we had our Time Out Bar & Club Awards 2014, where I was volunteered to present the awards for Best DJ. Generally I'm not one for being on stage unless it's in a dark, sweaty club, raving my tits off - so to say I was slightly nervous is a major understatement.

Owen at Time Out Bar & Club AwardsI was to go on for the fifth award and fortunately for me, the other presenters were also fairly nervous and it showed. I strode on the stage and greeted the crowd (which the other presenters hadn't done) and tried to bluff my way through it. Thankfully it went pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Beijing's own Howie Lee won the Best DJ award and I (loosely) 'hyped' the crowd to cheer him on - and thankfully they did. So after all the photo opportunities were done, I slipped off into the background to enjoy an array of free booze. Yes I know, it is all very show biz darlings!Me, Markus and Lisa at Lantern

After the awards, me, the Fox, his Mrs and one of our new mon amis Markus went in search of Lantern - Beijing's only underground underground club.

Bumping into a couple of the Dim Sum Disco DJs we drank with at the award ceremony, it was clear they weren't mocking the funk factor: 'we never joke about disco!' Diego said as we skipped around the bar area in room two. After some B52 and tequila combos it was more than just the vinyl that was spinning, so we slipped out and headed for home.

Normally I don't like capital cities (London, Cairo, Delhi for example), but so far I'm absolutely loving Beijng! Bring on the weekend...


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