8pm on a cold winter's eve and I'm stood in a queue in a graffiti covered tunnel underneath Waterloo Station that will eventually lead me to the Yellow Lounge, a classical music clubbing experience by Decca Records. A unique clubbing experience for classical music fans as Decca present their most appealing artists.
A lengthy queue looms outside as the Old Vic Tunnels keep filling up with classical fans waiting for a classical music experience like no other.
A huge success in Berlin's hip cultural scene this is the Yellow Lounge's second visit to London and I'd say a successful one.
The Yellow Lounge hit London once before at the Bermondsey Street Tunnel where I was confused as to what the format of the event was; was it an informal recital? Or was it, indeed, a classical music clubbing night? The definition was hard to tell; As clubbing, in the modern standard, is quite a distance from classical music and I felt the same this evening, the place was packed like the Royal Albert Hall during the Proms though many had different ideas about where the evening was defined - Some demanded silence whereas some drank and enjoyed - this is the polite London audience at work.
These 'clubbers' were in for no second rate experience, in fact, we were treated to the nimble fingered pianist Alice Sara Ott who programmed Beethoven, Chopin and a brilliantly performed Liszt as well as the gorgeous, colourful tones of Janice Jansen's violinist talent.
Speaking to pianist Alice Sara Ott she said, "Yellow Lounge, for me, is one of the best projects to bring classical music close to a generation that doesn't listen to it usually. And the reaction of these young people is always just pure and honest - because they react the way they feel without being prejudiced."
Ott, aged 23, was quite at home here. The Yellow Lounge was like home; "I enjoyed the unique and intimate atmosphere of that night very much and hope to be part of many, many other Yellow Lounges in future."
I question it's 'clubbing' label - It's not - More of an informal recital, where with a drink in hand, you can, with like-minded people, enjoy the artistic talent of these young artists in a more contemporary setting but it's clubbing label doesn't matter at all, just the quality of the final product that was, in a word, and a few drinks, sublime.
I'm assured that the Yellow Lounge will return to London once more; let us hope it's more regular.
But Yellow Lounge isn't the only 'Club night' venture to have hit London: Limelight is the longest running classical club night in central London, and has gained rave reviews from artists, audience members and critics alike. Since July 2009 it has presented classical music in London's legendary jazz bar, the 100 Club, believed to be the oldest live music venue in the city and once frequented by the likes of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday.
Tonight, 31 January, Limelight welcomes the wonderfully creative and adventurous David Greilsammer, supported by the Badke Quartet. David won Young Musician of the Year in France in 2008, and once performed the full Mozart piano sonatas in one day in Paris. He has since achieved international acclaim for his daring and adventurous musical interpretations, and in 2011 signed an exclusive recording contract with Sony Classical. At Limelight, David will be launching his much-anticipated album Baroque Conversations, which combines baroque masterworks with contemporary pieces.
Tonight also marks the launch of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's Night Shift Pub Tour. Again the OAE brings you an evening of classical music in an informal setting but this time with early music with three players from the Orchestra. Historically, this is an accurate portrayal of the music of Purcell as public houses were often the best places to get your music heard if you weren't commissioned by a member of the aristocracy further to this composers such as Schubert would sit in the pub where men would come to him to write small melodies for money that they could give to their wife's as presents.
Limelight on Tuesday 31 January at the 100 Club, Soho and the Night Shift's Pub Tour begins on the same night at George's Tavern in Whitechapel and will continue through February, more details. Yellow Lounge will return soon.
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