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Inspiring spaces: supperclub London

29 November 2011 | Anita Mistry

With performance, music, food and music, supperclub London certainly provides in the search for the best in alternative nights out

I was privileged enough to get an invite to the 2nd birthday bash of supperclub London, a somewhat favourite haunt of celebrities with past guests including Madonna, Katy Perry and Sacha Baron-Cohen.  What a fantastic treat it was, and if you’re in search of a traditional restaurant, this is definitely not it. Performance, food, people, music, experience, drink. These guys certainly know how to put on a party.
 
supperclub has established itself as the ultimate in alternative dining and entertainment night out. The supperclub concept was born in Holland in the 1980s, when a group of artists squatted and devised intense and completely unique art performances and experiences, swapping ideas over dinner with other artists. This idea developed and grew, and it’s popularity pushed the boundaries of exclusivity. So in 1992 CEO Bert van der Leden, decided to open the concept to the public. supperclub now has locations, not only in Amsterdam and London, but also San Francisco, Istanbul and LA.
 
Located under railway arches in Ladbroke Grove, a stone’s throw from Portobello Market, and myself being from the East, it felt like quite a trek. But it was well worth the trip. supperclub is about food, performance and music and enjoying and experiencing all of these at the same time. The heart of supperclub London is a large white space, with double beds lining the ground floor. This originates from the beginnings of the club, where as poor artists, the founders had no furniture for these events, so they brought their own bedding. Above this there is a gallery overlooking the main space, where diners can have a birds eye view of the performers, as well as traditional table and chairs for those not quite up for immersing themselves in the ‘gourmet dining-on-beds’ experience.
 
And what did we have in store? “Every night is different” says Bert. “Whether it’s the food, music, performances, art, staff or guests themselves, a supperclub evening is only a success if all five senses are stimulated. You can be yourself here, and let yourself go.” This was certainly the case. From picking sushi off a cellophane-wrapped girl and drinking soup out of test tubes, to seeing and hearing fantastic performances of acrobats, singing, DJ-ing and dance, the five senses were most definitely titillated.
 
The cuisine, by head chef Eric Allangba, was delicious, served as canapés and presented by scantily clad waitresses and waiters. The canapés we tried were great; risotto balls, prawns with a tasty dip, chicken skewers and the most delicious tasting hot soup served in test tubes. Mini cupcakes and macaroons (fantastic for my coeliac boyfriend) also made the rounds with plenty to satisfy all tastes.
 
Femi Fem is supperclub London’s music director and along with long standing DJ Sam Hanbali. They treated the supperclub guests to some great beats including drum ‘n bass, and lilts that leant towards all different types of genres. All night people were dancing. Video projections accompanied the music displaying some awesome effects to dance to, enhancing your experience.
 
Showcasing well-known and rising stars, the performers are handpicked by Art Director Mathius Scibor. The performer that stole the night for me was the supperclub’s resident pole dancer Cathy Banks.Not only was she impressively strong, she was beautiful too. She executed her performance with complete ease, control and gracefulness, and did not tremor once.  I looked around the circle gathered to watch her, and every man and woman in the room were completely entranced. A fantastic performance, perfectly accompanied with deep drum and bass – not something I had ever seen before!
 
Other performers included the incredibly lithe hula hooper with long ‘horse-tail’ ponytail. There was the ‘cyborg’ figure, laid out on a table, with sound sensors taped to her – each time her performance partner tapped these sensors, different sounds were made, creating the soundtrack to the piece. The ‘cyborg’ figure then comes alive and performs a brilliant piece of music tapping these sensors. Each performance treated you to a surprise, seeing and hearing and experiencing different elements together. The performances all had a hint of burlesque, high-end cabaret and risqué.
 
The experience was a great mix of art, performance and food. The club is about using your senses to experience all of the above. The guests are varied and mixed, all different nationalities, races, ages and sex – heterosexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, transsexual.
 
A feast for the eyes, the senses and the stomach, supperclub was one unique experience. Accompanying the night fantastic vodka and lychee cocktails named ‘Sweet Slavery’ – the name fitted so well to the club, fetish and sweet, decadent and exotic. What supperclub is all about, and I can’t wait to go again.
 


Location: supperclub London, 12 Acklam Road, London W10 5QZ. See website for regular events.

Images credit: Voyteck

 

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