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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

An Invitation to DJ Janis’s Hangout Club

As the multiplicity of objects around me began to rez, my senses registered the rippling sound of fast flowing water, the dank muddy smell of a river and the soft sting of summer rain falling on my face. The darkened shapes snapped into focus ahead of me revealing the dripping bulk of wooden pilings and to my left loomed London’s majestic Tower Bridge. I had been teleported to the south bank of the River Thames and was standing on the foreshore at Butler's Wharf. Moving towards a rusted metal stairway leading up to the quayside, the gay laugh of a pleased woman echoed from a subway entrance and a blast of warm air signalled the arrival of a train at the underground station.

Reaching the top of the slippery steps I could see a gloomy, apparently disused warehouse. The dim glow at the windows and bright pink neon sign announcing ‘The Hangout’ indicated otherwise. An inviting shaft of light came from an open doorway and the pounding beat of dance music offered a welcome refuge from the elements. Stepping inside, owner and DJ Janis Short sent me a cheery greeting in her melodic ‘New Yorker’ tones and as my eyes adjusted to the light I could take in my new surroundings.

Though busy, the club and dance floor itself was sparse and uncluttered, a necessity through limitations of space. The subdued lighting and decorative period posters contribute to the unique ambiance with an overall cosy and friendly feel. A spiral staircase leads upward to a chill-out area with a pool table, comfortable seating and an outside balcony. Couples pose balls are liberally scattered throughout the sim, both for dancing and more intimate chat or ‘snogging’! The later are in quiet and secluded spots including an adjacent alley and the subway beneath the club. This sim is sure to be popular with lovers.

The real life Butlers Wharf was built in the late 1800s and was at that time the largest tea warehouse in the world. After it fell in to disuse in the 1970s it became an important venue for early UK performance and video artists. Today it has been redeveloped into an area famous for its restaurants and leisure facilities. The builder of this fantastically atmospheric sim is Danny Bourne, his expert use of textures and detailing gives it astonishing realism. Other features added by Janis include a fun, working passport photo booth and an authentic red GPO telephone box (how many people remember buttons A and B?)

The club which is at The Hangout @ Butler's Wharf
is open 24/7 with music always on stream. Be aware it is US timezone with DJ Janis’s sets usually starting at 05:00 pm SLT, that’s 1 am in the morning UK time. However it is well worth a visit at any time to sample the unique atmosphere of anglophile Janis’s vision of her perfect London club.
Ed Follet


Janey Bracken said...

This report is sheer poetry Ed, wonderful stuff! As a reader I felt I was actually stepping into the club and experiencing the atmosphere, very well done! Thank you!

Janey :))

Hibiscus said...

Great report Ed. The HangOut is a special place and you have definitely captured its essence here.
Congratualtions to Janis and everyone involved in creating The HangOut.

Ed Follet said...

Thankyou for your kind comments Janey and Hib.

Ed :-))

Alt Lexington said...

janis's club is the best for fun
i hope i can make that american time zone in the future to visit.
the design of the club is so well done, its most inviting.
thanks for that first teleport landmark ed. and yes ed your report was poetry.

Janis Short said...

I feel as if the HangOut is the 'little engine that could.' Every day I say 'I think I can', and every day more people walk in the door and love my vision of a warm and inviting place to come and explore without stress or politics. Thank you to everyone for making the HangOut so special. I couldn't have done it without you.