Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CLUB TALK; Rap's Rise Shows How Clubs Can Break Down the Barriers

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CLUB TALK; Rap's Rise Shows How Clubs Can Break Down the Barriers

Article excerpt

Byline: SCOTT MANSON

THE LION Cosy local boozer with a private upstairs room with a coinoperated pool table. [pounds sterling]1 per play.

132 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 (020 7249 1318) THE SANDERSON Chic hotel off Oxford Street with a Philippe Starck-designed billiard room, available for hire from [pounds sterling]400 per night.

50 Berners Street, W1 (020 7300 1496)

to look cool and pretend it wasn't a fluke.

I was surprised when my pool partner Jess turned to me 30 minutes into our first game, when we were already winning by two balls, and asked if we were spots or stripes.

The sight of groups of girls at the pool table can still be distracting for the male species. During the lulls in the footie, a few blokes would look up from their pints to observe us playing.

They'd chat to each other in a curious rather than a lairy way and kept a respectable distance.

Thankfully, none came over to try to help us with our shots.

We pootled through game after game, enjoying it immensely.

Which is another thing about the joys of playing sans men; you don't have to rush.

Girls want to chat while they have a drink or two (the Elbow Room boasts a healthy cocktail list); and they don't mind if we get Chiefs sharing the limelight with DJs. Until recently, though there was still one barrier that was yet to be broken down.

Apart from a few cheesy R&B nights at posh clubs in Fulham and Chelsea, urban music - incorporating hip hop, grime and dubstep - used to be confined to small, localised raves, partly due to the nervousness of promoters, so distracted by conversation, trips to the bar or toilet stops, that a whole 10 minutes goes by when no one hits a ball. But that's not to say we weren't competing.

I was gutted when I accidentally potted the black halfway through the second game, and Amanda and Nadia won the third with a display of absolute brilliance. …

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