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LondonNet Clubs Guide

LondonNet Club Review


Octave

27-28 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BA
Tube: Covent Garden


Jazz for the Larger Pockets
Recessed lighting, a gourmet cocktail menu and a few oil portraits can't bring Armstrong back to Octave. Still, London's newest jazz club brings promising crowds and quasi-Jazz enthusiasts who like their Mojitos expensive, and their jazz small.

STEP THROUGH THE BOUNCERS and into the slicked down confines of Octave, and enter into a world of 'pretty jazz' - complete with supple armchairs, accent lights and a lengthy list of drinks that ventures into the excessive.

The actual stage is near the rear of the room, stuck between two lowered platforms full of tables and barely large enough to hold a proper piano. The tables, themselves, fan out in such a way that a back room or corner table doesn't even face the stage, and in the large throngs of people, sometimes only the cusp of the music floats through.

The crowds are surely not bohemian, tail-end musicians or old people - as one might presume from 'Jazz Club' - but are just what Octave is designed for: post-work suits and evergreen hipsters looking to enthuse about something new, especially if it's the substantial range of Mojitos mixed by Vitor Castanheira. A crowd as such does require a certain predilection, and Octave provides: the wine list is respectable, and mixed drinks - including Mojitos - run an average UKP7. For the less-to-impress, bottled beer strikes up at UKP3.50, with half-pints at UKP2.

Somehow the Jazz happens - on this night the chalky-soothing voice of Rhian Benson - and in the midst of swelling gobs of people, Octave develops a charming burst of Nuevo-urban-inspiration: ripe with trend and bags of money, but still holding to the bare-bones, revelatory foundations of jazz that eventually holds up places like this, anyway.

If Dizzie were a wealthy, white Londoner, perhaps this is where he'd go.

(Megan M. Retka)

 

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