The Pink Pound, Jumping the queue to ‘Heaven’

Feature in Issue 8-1 | Spring 1996

Gay club culture attracts both gay and straight in its diversity and fresh outlook. Paul Northcott who programmes the performance at Heaven, one of London's biggest gay nightclubs, talks to Natasha Klugman about the scene.

Under the arches, two minutes from Charing Cross Station, you will find Heaven, a club that has built up its reputation amongst gay and straight club-goers across the world. Heaven has been running for fifteen years and has gained credibility for its music and performance which reflects trends in gay culture. For those people seeking instant sensory stimulation, the place to go is upstairs, where tanned muscular barmen serve expensive drinks all night, clad in the latest white figure hugging briefs. The club is predominantly male and the fashion does not reflect gay glamour, instead it pays tribute to scruffy army gear, with a few dolled up transvestites exerting their rights to use the ladies toilets. Alongside the usual array of club dancers, Heaven has opened its doors to artists including Madonna and the Pet Shop Boys. One feature of Heaven is its stage performances which range from transvestite cabarets to choreographed dance performances. Themed nights such as the Powder Room on a Wednesday night with a drag bar and the Fruit Machine with varying acts appeal to a mixed crowd. Whilst being a nightclub where the clubbers take dancing seriously, the impact of a performance will often mean that the dancing will halt in favour of the show's power to entice concentration. Performers are booked from all over the world, spanning Europe and America. The sets are negotiated beforehand between the artist and Heaven, who undertake the creations, requiring elaborate lighting, such as lasers and spot-lights.

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Issue 8-1
p. 7