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.

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
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?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

    £60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

    Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

    £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

    AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

    £600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

    E-Commerce Developer

    £45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
    Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

    Hollywood targets Asian audiences

    The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
    Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

    Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

    Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
    Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

    Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

    Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting