The Boudoir Beat
In which our intrepid DJ, forced to return to Blighty for his annual visa run, ends up rockin’ the bordello with a bevy of buxom beauties
IT’S OFTEN SAID the Universe works in mysterious ways. I’d go one step further and say it works in both mysterious and wonderful ways – for as October came around, I braced myself for the inevitable trip back to London, my former home, to endure the painful annual task of renewing my working visa for the US.
To say that it’s a nail-biting experience is putting it mildly. After six long and happy years I now consider Los Angeles to be my home, so it’s always with great trepidation that I turn up at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square with my head bowed in humility, lest for whatever reason US immigration decides to decline my visa and sentence me to return to the UK.
I confess I was feeling more than a little underwhelmed at the thought of surrendering my passport and being separated from my girlfriend, and stranded in England for a week or two with little or nothing to do.
So imagine my delight when, having put the phone down on my travel agent to book my flights, almost immediately it rang again, this time with an enquiry as to whether I’d be available to perform at an event in London for super-sexy lingerie line Agent Provocateur, which was putting on a show at the ultra-suave and highly exclusive Annabel’s club in the heart of Mayfair.
As chance would have it, the date coincided exactly with my intended stay. I was about to jump with joy at the prospect of providing the musical backdrop for such a sexy soirée, but before my feet could even leave the ground, the phone rang again with a call from the esteemed Gagosian Gallery, asking if I might be free to perform at their event during Frieze Week, London’s largest art fair. Coincidentally this event was taking place only a few days before the Agent Provocateur engagement. And they say lighting never strikes twice in the same place.
All of a sudden, my spirits were soaring at the prospect of two very fun and glamorous events to sink my teeth into, which would keep my mind distracted from the angst over whether or not US immigration would approve my case.
I arrived at London’s Heathrow airport on a grey and gloomy Thursday afternoon, and was met by a chauffeur who took me straight to the Institute of Contemporary Art, where the Gagosian event was due to take place later that evening. I did a quick soundcheck and, having been given the thumbs up, jumped back into my limo and went to shower and change before returning in time for the party.
I eased the crowd of clients and collectors in with a selection of cocktail-sipping melodies, although it didn’t take long for the guests to respond to the music, so I began to push both the volume and tempo. Within no time their hips were shaking and the party was in full swing as the guests danced the night away.
Evidence I’d hit the right note came when the third proverbial bolt of lightning struck and one of the guests booked me on the spot to play the following night at a small party in his house. He explained that initially he’d had no intention of having a DJ, but was apparently so impressed with my set that he changed his plans, and within the space of the next 24 hours his quiet dinner at home for 30 guests became an impromptu rave for 80 revellers who kept me spinning till 5am.
I had a few days to recover before my final engagement at Annabel’s. Of course, Agent Provocateur being the brand that it is, I anticipated that we were in for a rather risqué production, but when the evening finally rolled around, nothing could have prepared those present for the sights they were treated to.
The club’s usually sober ambience had been transformed; it had been kitted out as a bordello-like boudoir, complete with chain curtains and podiums on which the scantily clad pole dancers would perform, while impossibly buxom models paraded along the catwalk, which had been created in the club just for the night.
Set to a soundtrack of raunchy, old-school rock, the show was reminiscent of a scene from the legendary Parisian Crazy Horse cabaret club during the ’70s. The models’ costumes, if you can call them that, left little to the imagination, and as the girls swept past the tables I lost count of the number of gentlemen who unbuttoned their collars and coyly loosened their ties.
Once the models arrived on the dance floor, they performed a carefully choreographed routine, rocking and writhing in time to the music. Naturally, once the show was over, the guests – and specifically the gentlemen – needed no persuasion to flock to the dance floor. I kept them grinding away till the early hours, when they presumably retired to their beds to enjoy some of the sweetest dreams imaginable.
It was less than 24 hours later that the US Embassy courier came knocking at my door with my passport and newly approved visa. I wasted no time and was back on a plane that afternoon, heading to my gorgeous girl and heavenly home in sunny LA.
All in all it proved to be a highly successful trip and one that taught me the valuable lesson that you should always keep an open mind, as opportunities often come when you least expect them.