Here's to a heady cocktail of kitsch

Take three young men, add shades, suits, Sixties sounds and you have the latest club craze

Back in 1996, a young rave organiser called Jamie Hinchliffe was waiting in the departure lounge at Bombay Airport when a Sixties Brigitte Bardot track began playing over the Tannoy. It was a life-changing moment. "I thought: 'My God, this is brilliant,' " recalls Hinchliffe. "I wanted to get up and dance my socks off."

Hinchliffe's overnight defection to easy-listening pop of the Fifties and Sixties soon led him to cross paths with swing crooner Oliver Darley and lounge lizard Johnny Barran. Darley ran The Rat Pack - a Vegas-style cabaret in the spirit of Frank, Dean, Sammy et al - while Barran was a smooth-talking radio presenter.

By 1998, the sharp-suited trio had pooled their talents into the Kitsch Lounge Riot (KLR) - a live music club with Hinchliffe as DJ, Barran as compere and Darley as resident vocalist. Passionate about recreating the glamour of the "Big Night Out", the boys persuaded friends and performers from the West End stage to come on board as live acts. They found themselves at the forefront of the lounge revival. "People were bored of rave music and we offered them something more intimate and sophisticated - a friendly club where they could both dress up and let their hair down," says Hinchliffe.

"Kitsch music is in our collective psyche because it's everywhere - from television commercials to supermarkets," adds Darley. "What we do at the KLR is tongue-in-cheek, but that doesn't take away from the quality of the songs and the way they uplift people and trigger a sense of fun."

It's a formula that has more than stood the test of time, with the weekly Thursday bash at London's opulent Café de Paris attracting a mixed crowd, as well as actors and the occasional A-list celebrity.

Darley, who has appeared with Ray Charles and BB King, kicks off the show with some classic swing. Then comes the kitsch (Tom Jones, Mel Torme), followed by riot - anything from rock'n'roll, to disco to the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack.

In April, the KLR launched its own compilation album on BMG, with a predictably champagne-soaked party headlined by Mike Flowers and Gloria Gaynor. Now it's expanding with a Friday residency at Infernos in Clapham. The line-up for the opening night on 19 September, is as eclectic as ever, featuring crooner Jamie Cullum, then Jericho frontman Mark Shaw, the cricketer Mark Butcher and Leah Wood in her first solo performance.

As the main riot act, Mark Shaw says his role is to "get everyone jumping and down". Fresh from touring, he's planning a stormy rendition of his own "Big Area", and hell- raising versions of the normally kitsch "Avenues and Alleyways" and "You're Just to Good To Be True". "I love singing at the KLR. It's the only chance I get to wear a funky old suit and silly sunglasses," says Shaw.

KLR is at Café de Paris (020-7734 7700) and Infernos (020-7720 7633; www.kitsch loungeriot.com)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor