Such has been the impact of fabulous Friday nighter Onyx, that we can hardly believe it is just two years that it has been cutting s significant stride on the scene, the club now in the hands of its third promoter, this a measure that it continues to keep pace of the times, evolving & changing as the market moves. Indeed since the days of Steven Geller, through the Jonny Marsh reign & now to the Verity Mayes tenure, Onyx has continued to pull in the party people making it one of the most successful clubs of what we would call the new breed, often challenging institutions like A:M, Beyond & Orange in the stakes to be Vauxhall’s most successful outing. However, this is one club that rarely gets our review devotions, only a couple of occasions in its history seeing us grace its doors for such purposes, so given this lack of coverage, we thought we would make amends by joining Verity & her team for this first part of a double bill of birthday celebrations, this giving us an opportunity to see just what sort of impact she had made in the short period of her premiership.
With probably the most diverse choice of music in any club on the capitals circuit right now, played out by a team of D.J.’s that include iconic names Tasty Tim, Ariel & Jason Prince (yes even he is iconic!), joining resident boys Lee Harris & Jc Christopher, Onyx certainly offers the Friday night clubber something much more than your average outing. Then add into the mix the amazing atmosphere of host venue Area, along with its incredible lighting, for us the best of any club we know, the famed effects, pyrotechnics, fire eating displays, drop dead gorgeous dancers and not forgetting the larger than life hostess Chrissy Darling, Onyx has a package that is hard to beat. But it doesn’t stop there, as the club has always been conscious about avoiding burning a hole in people’s pockets so early into the weekend, meaning you can always find fantastic drinks offers that complete the picture of this prolific weekly party.
So, with us begging the questions, would Onyx actually deliver on this seemingly perfect package with its “Part One” birthday party?, would we walk away elated or deflated?, and who would steal the celebration limelight for us?, these thoughts running through our mind as we arrived at just turned midnight, there already being a brilliant buzz at the entrance. With a healthy & lengthy queue forming, this clearly evidence that this was going to be a very busy birthday bash for Verity & her team, we were quickly spotted by the eagle eyes Tom Fuller, who brought us to the front in an instant, an introduction to Miss Mayes then setting us fair into the club & an outing with Onyx. Finding our Friday feet first in the terrace room, it was Ariel along with his percussionist that started pressing our musical buttons beautifully, this iconic D.J.’s dips into classic tunes like “Sundays At Heaven” & “Miracle”, intermixed with tough tech sounds, very much hitting the mark, even the percussionist doing it for us, his understated blending of drum beats working really well. With a friendly chat & meet with Orange Group family member Ryan Elder setting the scene for a night full of fabulous liaisons, we headed completely satisfied into the second space, Leandro Kloppel playing more Balearic beats & euro style sounds that weren’t quite the pop-tastic tunes we were expecting, although he certainly had the room pumping & packed, very much warming the cavorting crowd for the action ahead.
However, it was clear from the brilliant billing of this Onyx birthday bash, that it was the main room many were more interested in, regular resident Lee Harris kicking off a spectacular session which saw us spinning on our spot in an instant, not quite the feel of Beyond it must be said, but enthralling enough, Lee’s heavenly house hits hitting our sweet spot with every twist & turn. But with the arrival of star turn & headlining act Boy George, this Onyx outing was to take on a whole new dimension, the boy wonder waving his magical musical wand over us in an instant with a string of classic tunes remixed, “Sweet Dreams” & “Situation” going down a storm, tip top tune “Trapped” sending us spinning, while he then cleverly mixed in more progressive & tougher tech beats, some with tribal influences, other with pop intentions, that had us & the audience admiring each & every spectacular selection. And such was his scintillating set, that the whole main room reacted resplendently, the lighting at full tilt, as good as we had seen it, the pyrotechnic explosions adding to the awesome atmosphere and the laser lighting moving in marvellous motion to the magnificent music.
With Area’s main room in the hands of Onyx & moreover Boy George, we were going absolutely nowhere, only brief trips for energy boosting refreshments our excuse for abandoning the action. Then there was the captivating company, a whole host of familiar faces passing us by to say hello, Brazilian boys Mauricio Ortiz & Lunarde Martins just two of many, while we were also graced with the absorbing presence of Fat Tony, who was off-duty but nevertheless accompanying his longstanding pal & seemingly enjoying every minute, that pal Mr George serving up one of the best sets we had witnessed of his anywhere & anytime. But the friendly banter between Tony & us was also adding to the enjoyment of this exceptional evening, we soon becoming completely engrossed in this truly brilliant birthday bash, thereby seeing out the remainder of Boy George’s pulsating performance, the pinnacle to our ecstatic experience, being a personal introduction after his set, an honour indeed and one we will remember & savour for a long time to come.
So, it was then going to be difficult to top that, Lee Harris doing his best to keep us spinning on our spot following the boy wonder’s departure, while Jason Prince’s disco & pop devotions in the second space, along with Lisa German’s tech tunes in the terrace, meant the club remained packed & pumping right through till the 5 a.m. finish, the drop dead gorgeous dancers doing their bit in the main room, hostess Chrissy Darling making her presence felt too, while meets with the two Jonny’s, Miss Hooley & Hollywood were among heaps of highlights that made this, without doubt, the best Onyx outing we have been to and the most satisfying of the three we have so far reviewed. As for those questions raised, yes Onyx did deliver everything in the package & probably more to be honest, we being incredibly impressed with the influence new promoter Verity Mayes has already had over the club. In terms of the celebration spotlight?, well that simply had to go to Boy George who absolutely amazed us with his stunning set that, for us had it all & we mean all. So, need we say more, apart from a huge thinks to Fat Tony for that intro & for being such great company throughout night, a real enlightening experience that left us truly elated, and looking forward to part two & a second bite size review of this Onyx 2ndbirthday double bill. (DISCO MATT)