Over the last few weeks there have been a clutch of birthday celebrations in clubland London, some marking many years in existence, Rupert Street turning fifteen, Shadow Lounge ten, but one Friday nighter that in the short time it has been around, marking a mere two years, albeit that it seems it has been around for so much longer. Yet in celebrating its second birthday, it seemed appropriate that the club would spread their celebrations over two parties and make the most of the mini milestone, this time with a special beach party in recognition of the summer we should be having rather than the one we were suffering. Having savoured the first part of a birthday double bill and being remarkably surprised by the changes to Onyx from our visit a few months previously, we were still smarting from an exceptional experience and one that proved to be one of our best Friday nights out in a long while. So, we were raring to go for the second half, not least as we wanted to complete the full birthday picture.
However, with other pressing engagements that weekend, including the Later Boat Party & new club launch Blessed, those on top of unexpected personal commitments both on the Friday & Saturday, we decided to call on our “Secret Squirrel” undercover reviewer to cover the event and report back to us. Mind you given the recent controversy over our last “undercover” review of Barcode, we were a little wary, although with independent reports flying in from all quarters, just how good this second Onyx birthday bash was, we felt assured the coast would be clear for a rapturous review. The question’s are, what was this Onyx birthday double bill part two actually like? And what were the highlights for our stand-in reviewer? Well, this is what he had to say…..
“…Hardly a Friday has gone by in recent times that I haven’t found myself walking away from Vauxhall having soaked up an Onyx event so I guess that I am a pretty good barometer for reporting on how the club has been doing, the types of crows it has been attracting and how it has benefitted from recent subtle changes. But before I touch on that, it was Onyx’s 2nd birthday part two that I was asked to report back on, the task in front of me a much easier prospect than the last, not least that Onyx is always pretty busy compared with that other place, even with all three rooms open. Plus what I always love about going to Onyx, as well as other clubs run by the Orange group, is being chatted up (in a lovely way of course) by that really friendly guy that is always either managing the queues, in & around the clubs promoting events or simply being the charming bloke that he is, tonight being no exception.
So with the friendly greeting over and a welcome by the Onyx door team just as friendly, I was into the club and enjoying the party, the decision of where to be & what to see always a difficult one as the choice is so good yet so varied. Would it be the terrace room with Ariel & Lisa German, the tech music they play I really love, or would it be the pop room, that chapel bar space in the middle with the outrageous yet brilliant Tasty Tim, or would I go for the younger flesh of Jc Christopher & the gorgeous Lee Harris (quite fancy him!) in the main room? Well you can probably guess where I ended up, but in doing so I also lucky enough to witness a brilliant set from Gonzalo Rivas who was the special guest of this Onyx second part, 2nd birthday, and while all the other D.J.’s played really well, Gonzalo was the star of the show for me, and for a packed out main room too, helped along by a fabulous show from singer Kathy Brown who performed really well too.
As for the rest of this Onyx birthday party, the beach theme worked really well and most of the team & staff entered into the spirit, while the dancer’s beachwear costumes were really eye catching too. But while my eyes strayed over a whole host of cute guys, the mix of the crowd & the more quality feel of the clubbers was a noticeable difference to Onyx parties of a few months ago. So I kind of guess congratulations have to go to the new promoter Verity Mayes, as well as the rest of the Onyx team, that guy out front, the hostess Chrissy Darling. For me Onyx is by far the best Friday night club around and with the welcome I had, plus all the fun once inside, I will definitely be back for more very soon. So happy birthday Onyx, I hope you are around to celebrate many more…”
Well what can we say apart from it is clear we missed another prolific party & a terrific time, leaving us a little envious that we had chosen to sit this one out. Having seen the difference new Onyx promoter Verity Mayes had made when comparing our visit a week previously with that a few months before, it is pleasing that we are not the only ones that have seen the change plain & clear. And in Onyx we have a Friday night offering that offers one of the best choices of music we know, some would say pandering to too many elements of the scene, while we see it as a magnificent move that gives the clubber the choice they deserve. As for this second half of the birthday double bill, we echo the sentiments of our secret squirrel in applauding Gonzalo Rivas for his superb showing, this terrific talent never failing to impress with prolific performances, this Onyx guest slot clearly another example of his diversity, style of sound & flair that make him one of the most sought after stars of the capitals clubbing scene. So to Onyx, many happy second returns and we are sure to be back for more a long time before you celebrate your third. (DISCO MATT)