Mariners, Edinburgh, Sat 10 Mar
While some clubs wind down due to changing tastes, and others change venue in an attempt to rejuvenate, one Edinburgh club is expanding its remit, with a new night aimed at the boys.
Velvet, based at Mariners (a classy banqueting, conference and club space created in a converted church) in Leith, scooped the Pink Paper award for best women’s club in Scotland in 2006. Now the organisers have launched Zeus, tailored for gay men and their friends, and aiming to mirror the success of Velvet. ‘Regulars who come to Velvet say they like the community feel it has,’ says Jinx, part of the team behind the new night. ‘We are recreating this in Zeus, while veering away from duplication and dilution.’
At the first incarnation in February, a video projection of the Rocky Horror Picture Show kept curious punters occupied until the night filled up with those wandering homewards from the bars and clubs centred around Picardy Place - or indeed, making a special trip shorewards for the event. One of the successes of Velvet is the emphasis on having live performances, and cabaret singing diva Holly Penfield stripped down to a basque at Zeus’s launch. ‘She very kindly came all the way from London to support us,’ says Jinx. Joe McFadden and 12 members of the cast of the Edinburgh Playhouse’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang turned up, too.
‘Edinburgh’s gay scene has unfortunately lost the majority of its good, long-running gay club nights recently,’ continues Jinx. ‘In Mariners we have comfortable chill-out areas where the music volume is lower, and a loud dance floor and performance space: many environments under the one roof.’