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The Hat Club: Reviewed
Reported by Ilana B
Submitted 10-10-07 17:48
Despite being well respected on HF, house music is maybe under represented. We thought it was about time that changed and so we’ve invited Ilana Belsky, house mistress extraordinaire, to review, report, teach and comment on all things house. For her first assignment we sent her into deepest London for a fashionable night of fun.
For weeks I had received many emails to my private email address from A-List promotions promising a glamorous night filled with 'models and celebs' at their fashion week Gliterati at Pacha. I’m not sure how they got this email address however. I can only guess it was from one of the emails I’ve received recently where the sender cc'ed everyone on their address book. Cheers! When asked to review the night I agreed, as if nothing else I was curious to find out if the place would be teaming with 'models' and 'celebs' as promised. Although as a single female I’m not sure why, but "come down to our night and be surrounded by people far better looking than you" seemed like a good selling point.
I have to admit that I've never been a huge fan of Pacha as a club but I was looking forward to something a bit different from my usual night out. On my way to Victoria I was determined to be open minded, I was slightly wary that the emails had promised VIP guestlist and was fairly sure that this was standard to anyone who emailed their names in advance. My doubts were soon realised when I arrived to find a large 'VIP' queue outside the club. Of course no one likes queuing at the best of times though I don’t mind if it’s a night I want to go to but the idea of queuing for a night that, if I’m honest, I wasn’t that bothered about going to was all a bit too much for me.
Strolling up to the front of the queue I searched for my inner diva, "Hi I’m here to review the night", a bit shameless I know! Looking rather flustered the guy on the door checked the list "You're not on the press list, join the back of the queue!" It turns out my inner diva isn’t so inner faced with a bigger diva on the door and after a few more attempts and a "whatever!" from him I decided to leave. Door Bitch vs Diva Bitch, let’s call it a draw.
The review was looking rather on the short side and I was all dressed up with nowhere to go but realised there was more than one funky house night in London, so I jumped on the tube and headed back northwards to The Key for Hat Club.
I’ve never been to Hat club but I'd heard good things from others about it. Still I hadn't decided if I thought their rules: 'no hat no entry' and 'don't talk about hat club' were fun or a bit trite. Arriving at The Key I was faced with, guess what, a huge queue! It did cross my mind to head home for an early night, but looking at the queue and seeing a really good looking, fun group of people I decided to stick it out and soon got talking to a nice guy in a cycle helmet.
As I wandered round downstairs the packed club rocked to some electro and funky house, I wondered if it was a particularly good looking crowd or was it just people look hotter in hats. Indeed there was a large quota of eye candy, both male and female everywhere . People were dressed up and had made an effort but not in the "look at me, look at me" way I was expecting but in a way that said they had put thought and effort into what they wore and they felt and looked good in it.
Upstairs in the Key always makes me think that I should be sitting down to a pub lunch with it low beamed ceilings and intimate seating areas, but when I arrived people were tucking in to some tough electro house served up by the Ninja Cowboys. Pulling out every big tune from their bags they could, the crowd were loving it. The lovely Tania von Pear came on next with a set that flirted between a more underground house vibe and party tunes with a couple of classics thrown in for good measure, keeping the crowd on its toes till the very end and wanting more. I hardly ventured downstairs apart from to go to the smoking area but what I did hear was good funky house and electro house with plenty of (shock horror!) vocals. Which made a nice change, even to a vocal unfriendly person like myself.
I like the Key, its a great medium sized venue, got a good sound system, nice toilets and a well sized smoking area, which is pretty important these days, even if I do swear I’m going to give up every week - well, maybe next week. It is a shame that The Key’s life is almost up (if you haven’t heard about the closure of The Key, The Cross and Canvas you must have been living in a gossip free bubble for the last year.) Sadly this is the last Hat Club at the Key.
I was told they were staying open till 7am but I wasn’t surprised as the place was still very busy at 5am when I left, the time having passed quickly in a sea of tequila, dirty house music, swapping of hats and silly dancing. Much fun was had. On paper I shouldn’t really like Hat Club, at one point downstairs I even heard a house remix of Snowpatrol - Chasing Cars that should have left me cold and yet I couldn’t help smiling. It was great fun and had a friendly crowd, nice mix of music and some great DJs so next time pick yourself a hat and head on down there. Just one thing....shhhh don’t talk about Hat Club (because I want to be able to get in next time)!
Photos courtesy of Marc De Groot. Not to be reproduced without permisison
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.