London may have been gripped by the terror of the blitz back in the 1940’s, but a new kind of blitz is looking to make a bang in the capital when, some seventy years later, the brave new brand on the block that is Blitz Bar launches with its “Peepshow” party, Disco Matt biting into the detail of this new concept that brings back some old favourites.
We look back on the halcyon days of the broad bar culture that was Soho and one that stretched much further than the boundaries surrounding Compton St, venues such as Halfway To Heaven off Trafalgar Square, Locomation on Leicester Square and both Cruz & Brief Encounter on St Martin’s lane, all the watering (some right old) holes bridging the gap between the Soho stomping ground and the gigantic gay clubbing paradise that was Heaven, nineties London a very different prospect for the roaming gay looking for some audacious action. And there was another venue that was part of this picture, Kudos on Adelaide St. sitting neatly between those St Martin’s Lane cruising grounds & the might of Heaven, the more classy & trendy set seeking this refuge away from the red light tendencies that remained quite prevalent at the time. But, with the shift of clubbing to Vauxhall and Westminster council sweeping a clean-up broom through the Soho scene & its surrounding streets, the whole nature of gay bar culture in central London changed, the current landscape even without the brilliance that was Barcode, even Heaven a mouse compared to the might it was before, Kudos a victim of the shifting of the scene south of the river.
However, while Kudos may have gone for good, the gay legacy that it left behind at the venue on Adelaide St. is set to be bravely re-born in the form of Blitz Bar, a name that is commonly associated with the bombing on London during the second world war, although the organisers behind this bold new venture are hoping that “bombing” will not be the byword of this scene step change, rather the rekindling of some old favourites as well as bringing some new concepts & stars to the fore. That said, given the shift away from the vicinity in recent times, Blitz Bar finds itself pretty much out on a limb, even though Halfway To Heaven is close by, while it is favoured by pretty good transport links and, being in the Charing Cross district, one geographically noted as being the historical centre of the capital, central it certainly is. But Blitz has a tough task ahead of it in attracting an accomplished audience, although is attempting to serve up something for everyone, ranging from a firm favourite social soiree, to a sexy burlesque come risqué offering, as well as music driven night that has international come global intentions, that along with a planned D.J. competition evening which sits on a slightly different stool to former forays.
So Blitz is very much looking to shout a scene statement, that shouting beginning this coming Friday (3rd February) when the new venue (currently a Gilberts Bar) launches with its headlining event, “PEEPShow”, one which has been billed by co-promoters Brad Frederick, Tom Spindler, Brent Nicholls & Doug Silva as being “…Inspired by the sexual, and sensual vision of the 21st Century man the resident “PEEP boys” will be presenting outside of the box sexy burlesque and peepshow inspired stage shows with added visual treats, stamping its way into your weekly diaries…” they adding that “…Hot DJ talent will be hitting the deck space in the basement club along with various guests delivering vocal, upfront, progressive, funky house beats adding the perfect soundtrack to your weekend starting point…” residents Brent Nicholls & Doug Silva joined by an array of guests that currently include Sharon O Love, Alessandro Londra, Zach Burns, Norbert M & Jamie Hammond, while in hosts Brad Frederick & Tom Spindler, it seems the Vauxhall element of clubbing has an indelible influence in the PEEPShow philosophy, the duo sure to attract more than a handful of their brethren to Blitz. And for the launch night, the team have enrolled the P.A. services of “…blond beaut & rising songstress…” Emma Cook, while there will be plenty of burlesque gogo’s on show to bolster this basement bonanza, although due to some licensing technicalities the original 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. running time has been shifted to an 8 till midnight slot, meaning, as of going to press, we are unsure of entry fees (we reckon there must be some serious money behind this venture if its free entry!), but with more information available at http://blitzbar.co.uk & an indication of the music of offer via the inspired PEEPshow podcast at http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2012/01/30/minicast-peep-house/, this should be a launch night to write rather than head home about and as the boys simply say “…welcome to the show, we dare you…”.
PEEPshow aside, Blitz Bar extends into Saturday’s too, the venue’s international intentions, a mid-evening offering that kicks off this Saturday (4th February) from 9 p.m. till midnight, bringing to London a truly global feel, the team remarking of this Saturday night showing, “…we are passionate about music and every Saturday you can experience GLOBAL BLITZ, a collection of international DJs taking you on a global journey of house…” hostess Sylvia Rebel like her PEEPShow compatriots adding that Vauxhall element to proceedings that is sure to attract a certain crowd of clubbers & cavorters, while the D.J. roster looks pretty similar to the Friday foray, excepting the addition of Paul Heron, Berlin boy Tom Peters (aka KevinFunkt) & Oliver M along with Italy’s GSP, these just some of the internationally renowned stars that will give the night a global feel. And with each week given away to a different night, the team tell us that “…the Global roster takes you from London to Brazil with stopovers in Europe, with “BERLIN BLITZ” on the1st Saturday of the month) with DJs Paul Heron & Tom Peters + Guests, “LONDON BLITZ “ on the2nd Saturday of the month, with DJ Brent Nicholls plus some of London’s biggest spin maestros, “LATIN BLITZ” on the 3rd Saturday of the month with DJ Doug Silva plus a collection of guest DJs with that Latin flavour, “EURO BLITZ” on the 4th Saturday of the month) with DJs representing the best of Europe & the UK including appearance by Alessandro Londra, Sharon O Love, Oliver M and “XXXTRA BLITZ” on the 5th Saturday of the month when guest DJs will descend on Blitz to provide us with sexy beats and horny house in this extra Blitz session…”, need we add more apart from pointing you towards http://blitzbar.co.uk for more info.
However, without doubt the ace in the Blitz bar pack for us is “SuperSocial” which hits the ground running from next Wednesday (8th February), bringing back the terrific, tremendous & towering trio that is Brent Nicholls Paul Heron & (Hrh) Minty, yes the team that brought us “Industri”, a superb social soiree of a club that pretty much transformed our lives for good and one that saw Disco Matt born & then bred in his infancy. And the firm favourite “Industri” package of old will be transposed into the Blitz Bar of the present, a two floored foray giving it a feel towards the future, all based around the “social” theme, so social hours, social surroundings & social sounds, yet with the “SuperSocial” philosophy being pretty much the same as its former, namely “…a simple idea of a house party where friends, friends of friends and more friends are welcome to drop in…” , while just like the days of Industri, the team tell us to expect “…anything can happen, it can go from mild to wild and back again…and with Minty as your host you will be made to feel right at home…” a better hostess with the mostest we could wish for. So, with Hrh ruling the roost upstairs, down in the basement, the back-to-back partnership between Brent Nicholls & Paul Heron will be re-formed, Brent telling us to expect “…floor filling anthems, funky house, disco dipped grooves, the occasional WTF record with plenty of progressive, deep and tech thrown in providing you with the perfect soundtrack to a social backdrop…” and pretty much what we used to get at Industri, especially in the Vauxhall days. Plus, it seems that “SuperSocial” is teaming up with the Gigolo boys, meaning its Blitz bar early doors, followed by a jaunt up to Shadow Lounge, discounted entry to Gigolo available at SuperSocial, the combo making for a “…midweek dirty disco orgy extra-ordinare…” and sure to pack a powerful punch in the clubbing scene calendar. So, with Minty, Brent & Paul back together, “SuperSocial” will be the place to be this coming Wednesday (8th February) and every Wednesday after that, further details out at http://blitbar.co.uk.
So, in “PEEPshow”, “Global Blitz” & “SuperSocial” you have three new ventures that should fill up your Friday’s, shake up your Saturday’s & whip up your Wednesday’s, Blitz bar the brave new brand on the block offering up a new place to step out & be seen on the Soho(ish) scene. So, put your brave head on the Blitz block, get down to Blitz, get blitzed and in so doing, make sure you Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)