Drop in and chill out

His east London loft is filled with salvaged club furniture. But when it comes to bringing work home, that's as far as Cy Kelly is prepared to go. James Sherwood on a clubber's refuge

CY KELLY, EVENTS co-ordinator of club magazine Sleaze Nation, occasionally brings his work home. His east London apartment is the ultimate VIP room. The fridge is wall-to-wall ice beer, energy drinks and frozen vodka. "Ninety per cent of the furniture was salvaged from club scene venues," says Kelly. "It makes people feel at home." In any other of London's showplace lofts, you'd think the low white cylinder propped against Kelly's wall was a design feature by John Pawson. No, it's a Go-Go dancer podium from Sleaze Nation's launch party.

Apart from the ubiquitous big white sofa and two of the ugliest salamanders languishing in a fish tank, the main space in Kelly's apartment is relatively bare. The stripped wood floors, an original feature, have withstood a million stiletto heels and spilt Absolut. The salvaged shop and club furniture, mostly made in rough-hewn wood, is what you could call improvised. Two milk churns support a wooden bench behind the make-shift breakfast bar. A poster of a blaxploitation diva, in the Pam Grier school of Seventies afro and bikini wear, has been customised as a lampshade.

The whole point of open-plan living is escaping the rabbit-warren rented flat syndrome. A bank of light hits Cy Kelly's apartment from a wall of industrial windows. Essentially, the main space is living room, kitchen, gym and photographic studio. It is a much more relaxed approach to interiors. Features are free standing and mobile. The room is dominated by three Hewitt Universal studio standing lights. Kelly's flatmate, Mark Ray-Jones, is a photographer currently working with Storm models. The apartment transforms into a photographic studio when Ray-Jones is shooting pictures.

Cy Kelly is the Tony Manero of the Nineties. He's 24, he knows how to accessorise and he's straight. His years working the guest list for clubs like Thunderdome and The Limelight have made him into the Gatsby of clubland. "I remember the night when I knew I wanted to work on the club scene," he says. "I was in the Hippodrome in Liverpool and saw this guy at the end of the bar. Everyone shook his hands, girls paid him a bit of attention. People treated him like a film star or something. He was the owner of the club. I took one look and thought, 'I want to be like that.'" Cue the intro to Boogie Nights.

"Understandably, I don't spend a lot of nights in," says Kelly. "For the next three and a half months I'm going out to Ibiza." Ibiza - once a desperately tacky destination for what Kelly calls the "Fluffy bra" female clubber - has regained its credibility thanks to London hard-core gay club Trade and glam party promoter Pushca taking their following on a summer holiday. Sleaze Nation is promoting the tour and Kelly is doing the on-location PR. "If you don't spend every night at home I think it's important to have a relatively tranquil environment to come home to," says Kelly.

"Working in the club scene is not an honest game," says Kelly. "A lot of people want to be a part of the club-scene. So employers take the piss. After a few years, you learn who to trust and you get their respect. I'm not saying I have a hard life. I love what I do. But it's either totally fabulous or totally bad. There are no compromises." Clubland does have the three lethal ingredients for burn-out. There's an awful lot of money, an awful lot of drugs and even more ego. This goes some way to explain the punch bag hanging from Cy Kelly's ceiling.

Kelly won't have a problem packing for Ibiza. His entire wardrobe is displayed in a galvanised steel supermarket crate on castors. It looks not unlike Robbie Williams' tour wardrobe for a Wembley gig. "I suppose I do lean towards the more glam club scene compared to the Old Street scene. I was in Sheffield last weekend at a fluffy bra club. The lads looked at the sparkly shirt I had on and grunted a bit. Get over it." Today he is wearing trainers that probably cost more than a pair of Bruno Maglis and track pants. "Don't you dare photograph me looking like this", he says to the Real Life snapper.

Kelly's apartment is the most exclusive VIP room in town, precisely because it isn't party central. The people who come here are The Professionals. They come to get away from the twilight zone that is clubland. From Ray- Jones's bedroom there is access to a terrace. In London, a garden terrace is more important than a cooker. The wide-screen TV is flanked by a thousand videos. As a whole, the apartment is a calm environment built for disco damage limitation.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Sport
England’s opening goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew
FootballEngland must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Sport
Wigan Athletic’s back-of-the shirt sponsor Premier Range has pulled out due to Malky Mackay’s arrival
Football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

    Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

    Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

    £30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

    Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

    Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

    Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

    Day In a Page

    US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

    Immigration: Obama's final frontier

    The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

    Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

    You know that headache you’ve got?

    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

    Scoot commute

    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
    Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

    The Paul Robeson story

    How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
    10 best satellite navigation systems

    Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

    Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
    Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

    Paul Scholes column

    England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

    Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
    Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

    Frank Warren column

    Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
    Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

    Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

    Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
    Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

    'How do you carry on? You have to...'

    The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

    'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

    Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
    Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

    Sir John Major hits out at theatres

    Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
    Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

    Kicking Barbie's butt

    How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines