It literally took the scene by storm when it launched in London sixteen months ago, a summer season in Ibiza propelling its profile even further, while its presence at WE events as well as playing pre-party hosts for the likes of Beyond, Casa Latina & Matinee have seemingly secured its future. But with the seventeenth month itch approaching along with the need to cope with the capital’s clubbing crowd complacency, what does Jodie & her tight knit team have in store for this superb Soho scene soiree?
There can be no doubt in our minds that when we cast our eyes across the clubbing scene schedule in any given week these days, there are a handful of clubs & events that not only crop up with resounding regularity, but also stand out from others as exemplary examples of popular parties that hardly ever fail to attract & maintain a healthy following, the likes of Beyond, Later & Orange three shining examples of weekly brands that have stood the test of time. However, maintaining an enthusiasm & interest in events takes a fair amount of hard work, the days when you could simply open the doors & see crowds flock in, very much long gone, whether it be at the weekend or otherwise. However, when a club catches the imagination to the extent that it very much bucks that trend, the people involved could be forgiven for taking things a little too much for granted, although even the less experienced promoters have to realise that by simply sitting on their laurels is tantamount to disaster, particularly when operating in a scene that is renowned for turning against the trend tide with lightning speed.
Room Service is one such clubbing brand that literally took the scene by storm and since its launch in October 2010 has seemingly continued to ride a wave crest that shows no signs of coming into shore, an extension of its eventing here in the capital seeing promoter Jodie Harsh & her terrific team expand into a summer season in Ibiza, undoubtedly propelling the profile of the club in the eyes of Europeans if not just Spaniards. But back home, while we have only made the occasional visits since the launch, every time we have pitched up after 11 p.m., the queue has extended down Greek St, a reflection of just how popular the club is, and this is on a Thursday (i.e. school) night if you please. However, Jodie’s jamboree has not been without its competition, Gigolo seemingly locking horns when it launched in May last year, although what it rather seemed to do was to bring more people into Soho on a Thursday night, although while David & L.a. may have since switched both venue & night, Lo-Profile has “Society”, meaning Room Service still needs to keep on its toes and remain “Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion” in its quest to remain at the top of its game, a game that has seen it voted as the best UK club night in 2011 by Attitude magazine & is sure to feature in the upcoming Boyz award results too.
So what does this boutique clubbing brilliance have in store in the forthcoming weeks & months? Well, first & foremost, Jodie has consolidated her towering team of resident D.J.’s these being scene stars & favourites Steve Pitron, Severino, Kris Di Angelis, Fat Tony & Ariel, while special guests in recent weeks have included the mighty music maestro, Smokin Jo, east end boy Matt Bogard & Brighton belle Verity Mayes. And hosting pre-parties remains a staple ingredient in the Room Service schedule, the club welcoming Matinee with open arms three weeks ago, Trade last Thursday and tonight (Thurs 16th), it’s all about “A Space Odyssey” as the Casa Latina crew roll into Soho town. But while all these represent amazing attractions, we have to dig a little deeper into the Room Service treasure chest of treats to discover some hidden gems that often get overlooked when considering whether to mosey on down to Maibella, this compact & bijou yet enticingly beautifully formed little venue on Greek St. And those treats pretty much start at the door, the charming J.J. Clark making every single welcome something special, while for those that arrive before 11 p.m. (the club opens at 10) there is a complimentary glass of champers to greet you, this as well as the special “serviced” cocktails priced at an extremely reasonable £4 each available all night, or for those at the other end of the scale, a bottle of Grey Goose, marketed as “…the world’s best tasting vodka…”, with all the accompaniments & special treatments the Maibella team offer you for £150.
Then we look outside of Room Service’s Soho doors and the untrained eye & ear will hardly realise that Jodie has teamed up with Circa Bar on Frith St, just a block away, this equally compact & bijou beauty matching the sumptuousness of Maibella, also attracting an equally qualitative crowd and sporting a bunch of resident D.J.’s that have past & present links with Room Service, Munroe Bergdorf & James Pople two that appear relatively regularly on Thursday’s. And as part of the tie between the two, that is Room Service & Circa, for those of you that can’t make it down to Greek St until after the witching hour, it is well worth swinging by Circa first, as there are “late night check-in passes” for your favourite boutique brilliance priced at a competition busting £5, valid for entry between 1 & 2 a.m. However, it doesn’t stop at Soho, as Room Service continue their partnership with WE, once again taking over the second space at the forthcoming “Pharaoh” event on Saturday 3rd March at The Cornet in E&C, while the summer season ahead looks like seeing Room Service go on tour, as well as rekindle the “Downtown” brand and, with little birdie tweeting that Room Service could be hosting a room at the next As One event, sitting on laurels does not form part of the Jodie’s & her teams equation.
So, if you haven’t yet checked in at Maibella on a Thursday and in so doing, indulging in the full Room Service sensation, that being “…your weekly fix of the best of London’s gay scene wrapped up in a boutique package, with the hottest go-go boys steaming things up, a crazy army of hosts leading you into a haze of neon lit mischief and the best underground house music in the city…” then its high time you did. And in the words of Room Service’s sponsors, this is one fabulous feast for the eyes & ears, meaning it’s time to stimulate your senses and “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)