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Belinda Carlisle knew what she was on about when she sang "Heaven is a place on earth" - it's right next to Charing Cross tube, and it's probably London's best-known gay club. As with most popular gay venues, large crowds of straight tourists abound. Heaven has tried to curb this by designating different nights as straight, gay or mixed, but it hasn't really worked. Not that it matters at all, because Heaven is still a blissful venue which puts on a huge variety of club nights. The lounge upstairs provides a bit of friendly chill-out to a golden oldies atmosphere and you can actually talk in here without shouting. It all makes for an interesting and entertaining clubbing experience.
Sister concern of the famous bar of the same name, G-A-Y Late wins the popularity contest in London's gay scene. Open until 3a, it prides itself on hosting some of the most happening parties exclusively for the gay and lesbian community. Some of the best names in the music business have graced its stage and an exquisite video jukebox keeps your feet tapping and heart bounding all night. Members enjoy great benefits like free entry, priority entrance and advance bookings.
Koko is one of London's largest club venues and very popular with the student and the local crowd. A wide variety of music is featured here, from disco and funk to handbag and house, depending on the night. The acoustics of this grand building lend themselves perfectly to live music and Koko has a policy of regularly showcasing live and upcoming talents. There really is something for everyone and this attracts a great mixed crowd. The dress code is smart casual - with no trainers, caps or football shirts allowed at weekends.
XOYO is one among numerous live music venues that have been mushrooming all over the trendy East London precinct of the city. It is actually located in an old warehouse building in a charming loft-like space that has been refurbished. Industrial style interiors provide an ambient backdrop to the high energy concerts that take place regularly. Drop in and party all night to the best names in the music scene. Visit their website for more details on upcoming events.
This modern bar and club is not only good for hanging out with friends, but also for business lunches. The Turkish Halloumi with vegetables and the Piri Piri Chicken with Saffron Cous Cous and Salad are some of the highlights from the menu. Captain haddock’s grog, Stop the Pigeon and Don't Go to Dalston are a few quirky cocktails on offer. The Queen of Hoxton also functions as a club with both live performances as well as DJ music featured on its calender, and so are a few art exhibitions.
The Electric Ballroom features both live acts and DJ performances. The dance floor is spacious and the club tends to get packed. The clientele consists of a lot of students as well as others looking for an unpretentious night out. With the likes of Paul McCartney, Hard-Fi and The Raconteurs having performed here already, you won't want to miss out on an event here.
Cargo is one popular place to go for drinks, live music and an assortment of pub grub. The bar spouts heady potions to late-night birds and concert crowds who like to linger. The space under the viaduct is smartly refurbished to accommodate live acts and parties. Huevos rancheros, burgers, nachos, fish tacos and vegetarian empanadas, are dished around in the cafe along the street. The place is filled with thumping music mixed together by world renowned DJs like Ramshackle, Louise, Kash and others.