Saturday, February 23, 2013

Candlelight Club, 15th February

Candlelight Club is charming. Just charming. Rather prosaically the Candlelight Club is called so because the entire venue is lit solely with candles. It is very ambient. I think the Candlelight Club would be the perfect romantic date. The lighting is low - perfect for canoodling, there is background music but none too loud  - so perfect for hushed, enamoured tones, and there's a spot of live music throughout the night - for the perfect excuse to dance and get some tantalising physical contact.

But that's not to say it's not a fun night out for a group of you and I saw many such groups there, who had obviously reserved tables (for a further fee - although it does include a bottle of champagne) and who were also ordering from the menu and making a night of it.

Like Prohibition, the Candlelight Club harks back to the Prohibition era and you are encouraged to dress accordingly. I loved seeing everyone in their various costume. The 1920s were definitely glamorous in their way and everyone dressed in their best vintage lends the night a touch of decadence. The tables were scattered with bullets and petals in an homage to the Valentine's Day Massacre which was this evening's theme. The venue was 'intimate' - much much tinier than I was expecting which went some way to explain why tickets sell out so quickly. But it was also part of the charm and made you feel even more so that you were in some hidden speakeasy that shouldn't really exist - open to only those in the know.

Everything was on one floor, with a bar serving cocktails down one side, a stage at the front and the several tables which you could book in advance or perhaps you could nab one if you were early enough. (We weren't.) There were five cocktails to choose from, all at a very reasonably priced 7.50. I wanted to try one of each but given my funds settled for three - the Horse's Head, Smoking Barrel and the Crime of Passion. All were mixed expertly by the debonair bartenders who were clearly having a whale of a time, entertaining the crowd at the bar with some of their flair bartending.

Candlelight Club had been so good as to respond to my twitter enquiry about what time the live acts started and Gloria and the G Spots came on very promptly at 9 pm for their first set as promised. It consisted of modern classics (if that's not too much of an oxymoron) reimagined to fit the Prohibition jazzy style so completely that at first I took them for original, or at least originating-of-the-era songs. Gloria had a distinctive almost warbling singing voice that you could easily imagine listening to if you suddenly found yourself transported back to the real 1920s.

The night is not a wild night - although dancing is most definitely welcome and as the night wore on the dance floor became ever crowded - but I really enjoyed it. It finishes at 12 so there can't be too much debauchery before people make their way home. People danced to both Gloria and her Gs as well as the DJ in between and while I am no expert on the period, something about it felt more authentic than Prohibition for precisely the reason that it was more low key.

I was feeling a little under the weather myself and had to ensure I was well enough to make it to Belle Epoque the next night so bowed out around half eleven, though I definitely would have preferred to stay until the last candle was snuffed out.

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