For the fourth time in as many years No.1 Vincents Walk, otherwise known as The OC, Bliss or Chilli White, has been re-branded in an attempt to stay open for more than an academic year- say hello to Voodoo Lounge.
Rumours of overly-physical bouncers, deliberately surpassing the capacity of the venue, and a struggle to earn enough to cover rent and wages have dogged the venue over recent years. Last Friday night saw the opening of the Dirty Box Promotions (successful promoters of Carnage and many a Solent night out) run Voodoo Lounge.
With DBP’s facebook page quoting ‘4000 on Guest- List’, expectations were high. By 9.30, half an hour before opening, the guest- list queue was already bending behind the building, with the line for those less prepared close to reaching the same manner. Some were put off by the risk of waiting an hour to get into an un-proven club, what with the options of Bedford Place, Wahoo, or ditching the heels, dresses and ‘good Chinos’ and heading to Portswood.
Ultimately, this proved to be no concern for Voodoo Lounge, who steadily controlled the high amount of customers they rightly attracted to the night. The queue, from what I experienced, went down fairly quickly, seeing as the club hadn’t opened yet.
Drink prices were reasonable for a higher-end club in the centre of town (£3 for a double). Voodoo Lounge have also learnt the lesson of hiring different bouncers, who were more friendly and efficient. The interior was also improved, with the tacky and slippery white linoleum theme of Chilli White being replaced by much more heel-friendly wooden floors, and more trendy red fittings. The music stuck to the safe but successful combination of chart/dance/rnb, with a bit of indie and dubstep.
On the downside, I’m getting a bit bored of the ‘Put your hands up’- ‘Buck Rogers’- ‘Mr Brightside’ sequence, the smoking area remained a cornered off section of a car park, with no cover or seating, and a dripping air vent, whilst room 2 was of a hair frizz and sweat patch inducing heat. But these were minor problems for the majority, who seemed to stay in room 1 and only use the smoking area for catching a quick breather and drunken conversations.
Overall, the night was a success. Some may be quick to jump on the ‘it hasn’t changed that much from Bliss and Chilli White’ bandwagon. But don’t let that take away from Voodoo Lounge being a good night out. Friday night highlighted the need for a reasonably priced club which we can wear our glad-rags to and dance to decent music that’s not a Bedford Tuesday or Oceana Wednesday. With the likes of Nero performing at the venue before Easter, Voodoo Lounge certainly has the potential to break the curse of The OC, Bliss and Chilli White.