My night at a home for social climbers

IT IS the night we've all been waiting for, or so we're told: The opening night of "home", the UK's largest club, set to take London's clubland by storm. Big enough to hold 2,000 sweaty people and so hip it doesn't need to assert itself with a capital letter.

I'm waiting for Madonna, Kate Moss, Blur, the Gallagher brothers at least. Instead I'm deafened by screams of "Ricky, Ricky!" Oh God! Ricky from Eastenders. I know he's probably at a loose end, but I really did expect something a bit more, well, star-studded.

The pounds 10m club will bring the south out of the dance dark ages and into the 21st century, its promoters promise. It will be open until 4am and costs just pounds 10. At last, London will have a venue to rival clubs in the north. On this point at least, they appear to have got it spot on. Northerners are already making the pilgrimage to central London's Leicester Square (well I spotted the actor formerly known as Brian Tilsley in Coronation Street hanging out at the bar).

Millionaire Ron McCulloch, a Scottish restaurant, pub and club entrepreneur; promoter Darren Hughes, formally co-owner of Liverpool's highly acclaimed club, Cream; and top British DJ, Paul Oakenfold, director of music, are the three men behind the club.

Spread out over seven floors, if you've got a good sense of direction and shoes fit for hiking, then this is the place for you. You might also need to party with your mobile phone, to locate lost friends. Floors are accessed by two glass lifts and two sets of stairs. Unfortunately, finding the right lift for the right floor can be confusing. The lifts are difficult to stop as the call buttons won't stay lit. By about 1am on Thursday, one of the lifts was totally out of action and awaiting an engineer. So if you hate climbing stairs, forget it. And it's not a good idea to over- indulge. Even if you can find the stairs, you might miss the exit.

Predictably, the area to blag your way into on opening night was the seventh floor, where the chosen could mingle with the "VIPs" in the members' bar. Micro-celebs Jay Kay, Denise Van Outen and the Chemical Brothers were rubbing shoulders there with eminence Grecian 2000, Rod Stewart.

A reporter from Mix Mag, looking somewhat mixed-up, suggested rushing the bouncers to get through. He didn't stand a chance. Others with their wits about them breezed past security, posing as delivery men with empty Tiger beer boxes on their shoulders.

Its central London location guarantees a steady flow of punters. But will they be the right ones? Stray tourists may deter genuine clubbers. White knee high socks, day-glo back packs and soggy "I've been to London" T-shirts do not a cool club scene make.

Promoter Darren Hughes is adamant that the door policy will be rigidly enforced. "We'll only be full of tourists if we let tourists in", he says. His strict team of door pickers will ensure that backpackers and Stringfellows strays do not get in. The clientele has only to worry about tripping over tourists, street entertainers, bums and cops on the way to and from "home".

In truth, the new club is a cut above the tacky tourist traps of Leicester square like Equinox and Hippodrome: the decor is stylish and simple with no garish pink neon or mirrored walls. It feels contemporary, and definitely has potential.

The main arena on the third floor has a balcony and a Hacienda-type feel. The sound system is hyped as the best in the world - I'm no expert, but there were no obvious farting or hissing noises. The music itself was very housey on every floor, which is fine if you like that, but if you're looking for a bit of variety you could be disappointed. Still, there's always the TVs to watch in front of the lifts - they switch from swirly visuals to the queue outside.

Slice, the club's PR, insists image isn't everything: "It's not how you look, it's how you listen, it's who you are". As if to hammer home this point the ladies toilets on the sixth floor have no mirrors. Apparently, this is only temporary. In the meantime, the attendant had a tiny mirror to share between all those desperate to reapply their lippy (and perhaps powder their noses). The men's toilets are hailed as the ultimate peeing experience and have a huge green glass waterfall to urinate up against. "Peeing is believing", boasts the PR. Class or what? Bet you don't get this up north.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
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
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on