Archive for March 2, 2011
Generally unplanned & unscheduled events in our clubbing calendar tend to be the ones that not only work out the best, but also turn up a few surprises along the way, these impromptu happenings allowing us to merely take things as they come rather than lift our expectations to a point where they can either not be met, or we walk away disappointed. Yet, in some ways planning can have its advantages, more often than not reigning us in a little and making sure we don’t over-indulge, although when it comes to tripping into Soho, planned or un-planned, a fair amount of restraint is always required as the temptations are around for all to see and can sometimes be too much to resist. Having said that, we tend to stick to a regular path come a Friday night, although on this occasion, given our state of mind, we were going to be easily led astray which ended in turning up a few of those surprises
It seems hardly a year since we last stepped foot in Rupert St to take in the Mr London Escort Of The Year competition, an event run by the New York based outfit Rentboy.com, an all out escort style business with men on men action very much the byword and headed up by one Jeffry Davids, the man behind massive international club brand Hustlaball. And with this London leg of this annual worldwide competition now into its second year in the capital, but with the original host venue here no quite appropriate for the theme of Jeffrey’s off-shoot company comp, the search had been on for somewhere more suitable, Lovechild head honcho Alex Erfan suggesting Ku-Klub on Lisle St as alternative, its concealed downstairs place better suited for the sexual connotation of the competition. Mind you, giving the usual clientele attracted to Ku-Bar/Klub, this in itself was to turn up plenty of those surprises.
Having not long returned from our mini European tour and suffering a little from the post Parisian blues, a “pick me up” rendezvous with club promoter Alex Erfan in Vauxhall was the inspiration for this impromptu evening that lay ahead, further liaisons with friends Roni Inan & Danny Shubert further sealing the deal on whether we here heading home or into Soho. Plus, with Alex reminding us that The Mr London Escort competition was being held, Rentboy.com’s head poncho Jeffrey Davids also in town, the temptation to through a little caution to the wind and break ourselves out of our murky mood was too much to resist, a short taxi ride finding us in the thick of a busy Friday evening just by Leicester Sq as we made the final few yards to Ku Bar by foot. Indeed, arriving on the edge of Soho from this direction was not our usual, nor was making for Ku-Bar, this well established bar being known for attracting a young & beautiful crowd but with that eclectic come oriental feel, especially given its locale, right on the edge of Chinatown.
With the planned start of this cheeky competition being 9.30 p.m., our timely arrival saw us dive straight down into the club, very few evident familiar faces at Ku-Club’s entrance area, also used as the outdoor smoking area, possibly signalling that proceedings were about to get under way. A short descend down the stairs found us in this compact & bijou bar come club, the small space already packed with a whole load of party people who were well & truly letting their hair down on this end to a week of work and anticipating the competition to come. Yet looking around we couldn’t see the familiar faces of Alex, Jeffrey & co, our port of call rather for refreshments, Danny twisting our arm to indulge more than we would usual do, the absence of any action on the slight of a stage not far away from us, signalling a return upstairs to meet up with the main men, not just Alex & Jeffrey now around, but a whole load of friendly faces, Dee Crooks, Q.X. boys Ben Schuman & Simon Vowels, as well as the ever smiling & cute Phil Hewson, this charming chap just passing through on his way into deepest Soho to get his own fill of a Friday frolic.
With the competition now ready to get underway and Ku-Klub filling to capacity, we headed back downstairs to gain as best a vantage point as possible, although with so many people now packed into the tight space, the best we could do was to squeeze in by the D.J. booth, where we had just a limited view of the action ahead. However, we didn’t care too much, as were right next to the fabulous The Very Miss Dusty O, who was pumping up the pace of proceedings with a whole load of pop-tastic tunes, old classics mixed in with new beats that made for a potent cocktail of terrific tunes. With Alex & Jeffrey scuttling around in preparation for the parade of the body beautiful escorts, anticipation written across the faces of the gathered crowd, our cosy corner was to get even cosier, first with the re-appearance of pals Roni & Danny, then by incumbent D.J. & equally good friend Alessandro, photographer Chris Jepson completing the picture, flashing his camera inconspicuously in our direction and catching us off-guard & in revealing pose as usual.
Now the show was ready to start, although from where were standing, the view was of heads & shoulders rather than torso’s & trunks, the line of gorgeous guys squeezing onto the small stage for all, well those that could, to see, whoops & cheers as the strutted their stuff on their slight spots, hostess keeping them in check before diving in with inquisitive questioning of each contestant. With birthday boy Chris Jepson having weaved his way to the front, finding himself in pole position to catch all the action, with flashes from his camera further illuminating the stage, the handful of hopefuls were whittled down to two from the questioning, it was then the audiences turn to have their say, cheers for the winner out-numbering the other by 80 to 20, the victor clearly pleased with his lot and why not, as scooping the crown of Mr London Escort 2010 in this Rentboy.com sponsored event, includes an all expenses paid trip to New York to represent the capital in the finals of this now worldwide completion.
But as quickly as this London leg of the contest started, it ended, the duration not much longer than twenty minutes and one, had we been caught up in conversation upstairs like earlier, we could have easily missed. Indeed standing in our squeezed up spot, there wasn’t much we could savour of the line of escort crown topping entrants. Mind you, it didn’t matter much as, to be honest, we were much more interested in savouring what Ku-Bar/Klub had to offer, this being a rare visit and one which we would be unlikely to repeat for a while. And in The Very Miss Dusty O, the music, while not to our usual taste, found favour with us, plus suited the venue & the crowd perfectly, all those pop & dance hits finding resonance, the atmosphere in this tight knit club as electric as it could be. Plus with Alessandro Londra in the wings to take over from Miss O and steer the night in a more pumping progressive & octane fuelled direction, Ku-Klub was set fair to sail deep into Saturday, our own sails now headed in the direction of other Soho sophistications and the magical musical hands of Steve Pitron & Mikey D at Lo-Profile.
So, what was our verdict on our collision with Ku-Bar/Klub? Well, there is no doubt it was an eye-opener of an evening but very much in a good way we must stress, as we were surprised by the amazing atmosphere generated by the club as well as the buzz over the Rentyboy.com sponsored escort competition. Yes, the actual contest was a little brief, but Ku-Klub definitely served as a far better host venue than the former and we were glad that Jeffrey had been persuaded choose Gary Henshaw’s gaff, as it gave us that rare opportunity to actually call in. With pop-tastic tunes from Dusty O delivering delightfully, with charming company in the form of pals Roni Inan & Danny Shubert, together with one of the most diverse collection of clubheads we had seen in a long time, all contributed to sealing the fate on a fun filled evening for us and an impromptu outing that was just the tonic we needed. And whilst we walked away not really knowing who was the victor of The Mr London Escort Of The Year, or not, it didn’t matter a jot as we had an exceptional evening anyway, Ku-Bar/Klub as either a stop off or destination now firmly back on our Soho circulation map. (DISCO MATT)
Images in this review have been suppiled by Chris Jepson Photography. Check out Chris’s amazing website for his own take on this event, plus much more at http://londonclubland.com.