Welcome To The Marquee Club

Clubs in SL have always been a rather odd thing, in my eyes. So often you arrive in a vast, empty space often filled with orange clouds of particles until everyone ‘pops’. It is true that you can find many clubs in SL which play diverse genres of music, indeed there seems to be something for everyone out there! Some clubs contain the added life that chatter from a fun group of people can add, but others seem silent in terms of human interaction.

I hadn’t really considered the ‘build’ of a club before I discovered The Marquee in SL http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Nina/25/47/1002 . If you have read my rambles before, you know that I am one of those craaAaazy people who wanders a world made of pixels but seeks out the places which have a ‘feel’ to them. Far better to me is feeling you are actually inside a building, rather than just dancing between four ceiling-less walls or out on a beach. I know it’s personal preference and many enjoy dancing on sand without the worry of high heels sinking in, but it always seems a little odd to me. 😉

Anyway… back to the Marquee…

The Marquee in Second Life is very much the baby of Geoff Quinnell. Geoff is a wonderful character, a chatty and sparkling musician. His own background prompted him to bring a piece of himself into SL to share with others… a representation of The Marquee Club, London which was loved by many and is still missed today.

I have been privileged to gain a real insight into the tidy mind and self of Geoff, and I love that he’s not only built his SL Marquee, but also had a strict vision for his club. He wanted to create the vibe of the original Marquee, and to create a space where visitors get that feel of a crowded room of like-minded dancers and for it to be a place for those people to interact and enjoy the music. He also wished to stick to a defined time of music, to throw a spotlight on those groups and individuals who played the stage at The Marquee in London, and the music which truly reflects that rich era.

The real Marquee was opened in London on April 19th, 1958, in 165 Oxford Street. It very soon became the most important place for the jazz and rhythm and blues scenes in London. On March 13th, 1964, The Marquee was relocated to London’s Soho area, at 90 Wardour Street. This was the location where it became legendary in terms of the music and acts that played there and is still held in high regard today. The Marquee closed its doors at Wardour Street on 18th July 1988, and although it relocated, its future incarnations never retained the love which the Wardour Street venue did.

Geoff has remained true to this most popular musical period in the Marquee’s history. When no DJ is there, the radio stream is Geoff’s own, playing a wonderful mixture of songs from such iconic acts as David Bowie to Led Zeppelin. Yes, the list is far richer than my words might suggest. If you allow yourself to think of: the stylish 60s scene; of the 70s, the explosive appearance of punk through to the stylish 80s, many of the acts that jump to mind are represented in the music found at the SL Marquee.

I do love the realistic feeling of The Marquee. When you arrive there, you arrive in the cloakroom area. There’s a woman ready to collect all coats, and don’t mind the security guard, just follow the lights and walk through the door to find the dance floor. Oh… the lights. I admit to enjoying standing under them with SL materials-enabled clothing and marvelling at how they bring textures to life. They swirl and give the interior a cosy, purple-ness. The first time I set my pixel feet in it I said to Geoff that it felt as if the floor was sticky, so real was the feeling of being in a darkened club. It made me chuckle that Geoff said that the real Marquee was even known for its floor being just that way.

Not feeling like dancing? That’s never a problem. The Marquee has a fully stocked bar grins and a collection of barstools which not only look cool, but you can use your arrow keys to turn round on. I know that’s not an earth-shattering thing, but for a fidgeter like me it’s fun! I have been known to sit there and soak up the music stream at quiet times. It’s a good place to meet up with a friend and chat even.

This weekend there is a special event at The Marquee. The usual Sunday event led by DJ Aya Nova will be shared with the first appearance of the new line up of The Pixel Chix. Viv, Rosie, Purps and Sue are four stylish ‘chix’ whose dances work perfectly with the soundtrack of their concert. I was able to catch them rehearsing the other night, and their choreography and outfit choices worked perfectly with the music. I think it’s an event you won’t want to miss!

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