I decided to review this place for one reason - G-A-Y is no longer! Well, not at the Astoria anyway. The sad news came a few years ago that the Astoria building was being sold off for offices/accommodation meaning that one of the most gig/club venues in London was disappearing forever. Add to that the fact that the club synonymous with the gay community would have to go too and the sadness was felt all around! The club finally played its plast night at the Astoria in July of 2008.
Rather unsurprisingly, G-A-Y has found a new venue under the arches at Charing Cross Railway Station where Heaven (another gay club) lives - or lived! Its unclear at the moment what exactly is happening to Heaven as it would be a shame to lose this place as well.
Having been to Heaven a number of times, its difficult to imagine how G-A-Y will retain the same atmosphere it had at the Astoria.
The Astoria was originally built in the 1920s as a cinema and converted to a theatre in the 70's. The space is huge and lends itself incredibly well to the live performance acts of a Saturday night that usually paraded the stage. Heaven on the other hand is a sprawl of rooms and partitions, low ceilings and less space. I'm not saying it cant work, but the crowd frequenting G-A-Y are going to have to change their perceptions a little.
I don't live near too close to London myself but no doubt I will find myself there again at some point so I guess I'll review the new club then! In the meantime, I am left with great memories of a truly camp evening - chart and disco music more generally the status quo - eying up the boys and dancing like nobody was watching!
I would definitely recommend this place if it hadn't just closed!
One Friday night me and my friend was in London town and my friend told me that this is a good club to go to so we went in I had not been to a club before because my mum told me that it was full of people that would be nasty to me and might get into a fight and be killed but there was no fighting in this club at all and everybody was very happy and friendly to me and my friend there was not many girls in here and lots of men some of the men bought me and my friend drinks and I did not have to spend much money all night now that is what I call friendly the music was really good to I like ice t but they did not play ice t or any nwa which a like as well they played kylie and steps and Barbie girl and sclub 7 which was really good to here for a change lots of people were dancing and smiling a man asked me to dance with him but I did not as I thought it would be a bit strange but then I worked out that there was not enough women to dance with so he did have a good idea to dance with another man I did have a really good time at this club but my mum found out that I went there and now iam not allowed to go out in the night-time now i have updated this from word so that the spelling should be really good now
- or at least, that's always been my experience. It makes such a nice change to be able to go clubbing, wear outrageous clothes and jump up and down all you want without getting any unwanted male attention. No guys on the pull (or not ones interested in you anyhow) equals one hassle free evening, in which you can throw yourself around the dancefloor all night and not have someone try to stick their hand down your top. Plus - and any girl who's ever been to a club will know what a bonus this is - THERE ARE NO QUEUES FOR THE LADIES! Straight into the loo and straight out - an absolute first in my experience. And there's no doubt that all of the above is one reason I had a great time at GAY last night. Not somewhere I'd normally go, I have to admit, since many of my gay friends are decidedly sniffy about it, but the trip was organised by a mate's ex who's camp enough to want to see Steps, who were performing live. So off we tripped to the Astoria, which is a largish club in central london just by Tottenham Court Road tube that I think was once a cinema - least it's got the high ceiling and big open space, plus the upstairs bit (where I didn't venture). Tickets weren't cheap at £14 but hey, that's what you expect in London these days and there were plenty of people willing to play - the place was rammed. Inside was just fab. Lots of very cool people dancing to very cheesy music - the kind you couldn't possibly get away with in a trendy straight place. Think Kylie and Aqua and you won't be far wrong - the kind of stuff everyone says they hate but will happily dance along to after a few beers, at which point it will generally emerge that they actually know all the words. Despite this being a gay club there were plenty of girlies around, of what sexual orientation I don't know, but plenty so you didn't feel in a complete minority. And out on the dancefloor we had an absolute ball. Everyone was grin
ning a lot and jumping around and being very friendly, but in a guaranteed-non-sleazy way, which is what made the best change. I got away with dancing with some blokes in a way that would have had them reaching for their coats in a straight place, but here it was just a giggle and their boyfriends generally thought it was pretty funny too. And just when things were really warming up, someone released a bunch of huge balloons onto the dance floor, which were either for hitting up into the ceiling as hard as you could, or for bursting by squashing them between you and the person next to you - much more fun than it sounds. What else to say to recommend this place? Drinks are cheap (for London), the queue was reasonable and the people there pretty efficient, the night bus service is great from that part of town and it's also quite easy to get a taxi. So, that's all my basis covered. But what really made it stand out from my point of view is, like I said, the fact that you can spend a night going crazy on the dance floor and get no hassle,a nd dance with people without worrying that they think it's a comeon. No offence to you blokes out there, but this is a rare thing.I'm sure if you're male it's a very different story, but basically everyone seemed to be out primarily to have fun and the atmosphere as a result was fantastic. So, listings: Different PAs every week, check listings or the net for who's playing live, which will certainly affect your ability to get in. If it's kylie, you'll have to book weeks in advance, if its Billie - well, you probably won't. Doors are at 9.30 I think, but we didn't get there till about 10.30 so plenty of time to go drinking beforehand. Nearest tube is Tottenham Court Road.