There’s a brand new gay bar into the West End that plans to send the hearts of us homosexual drinkers/party lovers all of a flutter. We spoke to Blitz’s Business Development Coach Ilyas Kirkan and Blitz promoter Brent Nichols to tell us more about the sassy new venue…
QX: It’s always exciting to have a new gay bar on the scene, tell us the ethos behind Blitz?
Ilyas: We’re in a time where bars are closing, but we are actually opening a new one! The whole idea is to create a cross behind the old Box Bar in Covent Garden and Barcode in Soho; to get people out who want to have a good night, listen to good music and enjoy top cocktails. It’s also open during the day for people who want to have a meeting, coffee, light snack or lunch.
We hear you’re aiming for a gay but ‘hetero-friendly’ venue?
Ilyas: The aim is to create a members’ club, where our members can bring up to four guests with them. Their guests can, of course, be straight and we can also have straight men as members, as long as they fit in with the criteria and the ethos that they just want to have a good time without any judgements.
Tell us about the membership …
Ilyas: We’re trying to create what they had in the old times, where the club was the people. Then, it wasn’t like you bought a product, as it is now; the product is the people. So, by creating a members scheme the people invite those they want to be with them, and a place where people will want to come back to. We want a crowd that we know is passionate about the music and the DJs that we have on board, and want to have a good time without just anyone walking in. It’s a way of having legitimate quality control.
How much will the membership be?
Ilyas: The membership is free. Members are only given membership by certain people, this will be the resident DJs, the hosts, the owner, myself, the managers and members of staff.
One of the big draws is the dream trio of Brent Nichols, Paul Heron and Minty…
Brent: There are actually several nights here. The opening night is called ‘PeepShow’, promoted by Brad Frederick; a burlesque style clubbing night, and the only night that we’re open ‘til 3am. We’re going to have dancers and two DJs, which will be either Doug Silva or myself and guests. In the first week of February we’ve got Sharon ‘O’ Love and Jamie Hammond. On Saturday, we’re looking at the cosmopolitan lifestyle of London and calling it Global Blitz. The first Saturday will be called Berlin Blitz, which will feature Paul Heron and Tom Peters from Berlin. We also have a London Blitz, Latino Blitz and Euro Blltz, where we feature European DJs. On Wednesdays, we have a night called SuperSocial. Minty will make you feel at home whilst Paul and I will play back-to-back all night.
In addition, we would like to invite up and coming DJs to come and show us what they can offer on an evening that we haven’t got anything on to show off their talent. They can contact us, come in, and we’ll offer them an opportunity to try out.
Cool. The music policy sounds quite club-centric…
Brent: It’s going to be quite a broad cross-section of music from commercial house to more underground. I can throw out a number of genres – electro, progressive, tech house, funky, new funk – it depends on the DJs, but if you look at the line-up, you’ll know it’s not going to be a Kylie, ‘hands-in-the-air’ kinda place. It’s going to be quite clubby, but not too hard. Somewhere that people can stay all night, or a kind of warm-up for wherever they want to go.
Ilyas: It’s based on a burlesque theme, and our colour scheme is red, black and silver. There’ll be chains hanging down the windows, but during the day they’ll be drawn to get the natural light coming in for daytime. You need definition between what’s the bar and what’s the club. If people want to go for a drink then they can come up and have a cocktail or something, if they want to dance then they can go downstairs. We also have private booths, which we will allocate at times to members for their birthdays.
Didn’t you and Paul Heron start DJing at this bar back when it was Kudos?
Brent: I think Paul Heron said he actually started here. This was one of my pit stops on the way. I started in Sydney many years ago, but it’s quite fun being back again.
And finally, let’s talk dollars… how much will it cost to enjoy all these top DJ’s?
Ilyas: Nothing! It’s free!
• Blitz is at 10 Adelaide Street, Charing Cross, WC2N 4HZ and officially opens Friday 3rd February. The bar opens ‘til midnight everyday and 3am on Friday.