Claire Sawers checks out the launch of Luna as Edinburgh’s Club Ego gets a new lease of life with a full refurb
Russian dolls and stubbly Niko Bellic lookalikes filled out Club Ego a month or so ago, when the Picardy Place venue hosted Rockstar North’s fancy dress launch party for Grand Theft Auto IV. The walls were glowing with projections of soviet propaganda, gymnast-sized girls in bikinis dished out vodka shots and a soundtrack of Russian hip hop and rare 80s disco grooves shook the upstairs and downstairs rooms. But there was something spoiling the fun: finding the toilets have flooded again is a bit of a buzz killer.
Club Ego has been popular since it opened nearly a decade ago. But, like that particular time of night when hardcore clubbers realise a trip to the mirror is needed to tidy up a sweaty, danced-out coupon, Club Ego’s owners thought it was high time for a touch up. One facelift later, it re-opens this month as Luna. ‘It’s going to be unrecognisable,’ reckons Krishma Bachoo, assistant events manager at Club Ego. ‘We want to keep that decadent, upmarket vibe,’ says Bachoo, of the grand-looking venue that was previously a dancehall and casino prior to becoming a nightclub. ‘But bring it up to date with a complete refurb, and some other tweaking that is probably a bit overdue in certain places.’
Besides a much-needed nip and tuck to décor and plumbing, Luna (named after the Roman goddess of the moon) will have an updated sound system and a couple of changes to club listings. ‘We won’t be axing any of the big, popular nights,’ says Bachoo, ‘but we do want to broaden our horizons and cater for a bigger cross-section. At the moment we’re looking at booking everything from burlesque to hardcore. We hope to confirm a few new regular slots soon.’
So crowd-pulling regular gigs are staying put – including gay friendly night Fever, where long-time resident DJs Fisher and Price deliver underground dance – and Vibe, a mid-week gay night mash-up of cheap booze, house, club classics and more. Monthly hard house and trance night Nuklear Puppy, plus grime and dubstep-heavy Volume will still be happening, but to bring in a new crowd, Bachoo says they’ve been thinking outside the box. ‘We’ve been running pole dancing lessons by Pole Stars for a while, but we’re going to start can-can and ballroom dancing lessons too.’
Bachoo hopes lessons will draw in hen parties, who can hire out the downstairs bar during the day. So if all goes to plan, topless waiters might be mincing past the fish tank downstairs, dishing out martinis, while a knicker flashing can-can lesson kicks off upstairs.
Luna’s organisers also want to play up that most magical and precious of things to clubbers – the outdoor Luna Lounge garden – where heaters and waterproof awning make a good chill-out spot for fag breaks or a few gurning photos. They’ve uncovered a kitchen somewhere in there too, so food might be another addition to the daytime line-up.
Despite the changes however, it’s a safe bet that hardcore, burlesque, house or grime lovers will still finish the evening with a deep fried pizza in the disco chippy, Piccante on Broughton Street.
Luna, Edinburgh launches on Thu 10 Jul.