Noise is out, art is in

Cape Town's nightlife gets a little va va Voom Voom

In a characterful building that once housed the dark and psychedelic Bang Bang club Frenchman Fred Jaquier (DJ Fred Spider) and his cousin Harment Xavier (Infrared) have recovered the old furniture, re-painted the walls, fixed up the bar and retained the incredibly good sound system. With a punchy and passion-rinsed new look Voom Voom's lounge and bar promises a cosmopolitan platform for emerging South African musicians, artists and performers to celebrate their love of music, art and dance.

Inspiring Transformation

We are greeted by a friendly bouncer at the entrance before taking the stairs to the main room. The walls are decorated with the work of interesting artists including Veronique Malherbe and exhibitions change on a monthly basis. The setup hasn't altered since the Bang Bang days and the original long bar, DJ pulpit and stage remain but fresh and clean decor hits the comfort, style and sophistication spot. Fred has chosen soul soothing purple and orange walls to inspire creativity whilst striking chandeliers and mirror balls hang from the ceiling.

Fred is full of exciting ideas and he's planning a diverse mix of theme nights including live band open mic, salsa dancing lessons, drum and bass parties and percussion workshops for children. Tonight is Ladies Night so there's no shortage of girly things to do. Funky hairdressers from Kloof Street's Scar are back combing 1920's Charleston do's,  there are free samples galore including perfume and Dr Miracles hair products and ice buckets are packed with alcoholic spring water Vawter to get us in the party mood.

Ladies are soon up on the dance floor showing off their moves to win makeover vouchers and beauty products. I whirl my poor boyfriend around amongst a predominately female crowd but he soon gets into the spirit as our DJ spins lively soul and funk. Besides the dance floor there is plenty of comfortable seating including high bar stools and comfortable couches. As we perch on bar stools with our drinks to chat we notice that the crowd are stylish over 25's far from the young trance revellers of the Bang Bang era.

Quarter of a century of musicality

Fred has been in the music business for over a quarter of a century, notably as resident DJ and artistic director at Club La Marquise in Lyon, France, and involvement in Diobar, Barcelona, so this guy sure knows his music. Voom Voom is a breath of fresh air for Cape Town's electro and trance obsessed nightlife scene offering an eclectic mix of soul, hip hop, Latin kicks, Brazilian beats, dub step, jazz and nu jazz. The club has so far hosted local and international acts including Mo Horizons, Babu, Paul Seiji and Soldiers of Twilight as well as residents DJ Fred Spider and Infrared.

Tonight we're treated to queen of the pink village and accomplished performing artist Odidiva who commands our girly audience with up-tempo reinventions of male and female pop icons, original poetry and comic social commentary. "Whoever guesses the artist wins a makeover voucher," he says. I set down my glass of wine and lurch towards him shrieking, "Everything but the Girl!"

Voom Voom is a mature, sophisticated and creatively inspiring nightspot for Cape Town's locals, large groups, office parties and events. If va va voom means exciting and vigorous then the club certainly has plenty of it.

Open between 21:00 and 04:00 Voom Voom runs regular theme nights and entrance costs R30 (R50 when international acts perform). Drinks are inexpensive and you can expect to pay between R14 and R18 for a beer, R28 for a brandy and coke and R19 for shooters.

By Lisa Nevitt

Voom Voom
70 Loop Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)82 580 4367

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