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
Sunday 31 May 1998
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.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Survivor William Pooley is flown to US to give doctor with virus emergency blood transfusion
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
Tezenis removes 'crime scene' pants from Oxford Street store after backlash over 'rape' connotations
iOS 8: 6 reasons you might want to hold off updating
Olympic diver Tom Daley makes his modelling debut for Adidas
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...