Like the phoenix, Florida club rises again
SEE ALSO :Oppo launches new phone seriesReference points From a historical perspective, both clubs are still regarded as reference points, significantly instrumental in the growth the localised 1960s pop and 1970s funky-driven music scene and hits, most of which are hard to find nowadays. But it was Florida which, long after Starlight closed its doors, would attract high-profile international artistes either visiting or passing through Nairobi. Among these were reggae artistes Burning Spear, King Yellowman, Glenn Washington, Joseph Hills’ Culture band, Apache Indian, dancehall star Shaggy and South African jazz maestro Hugh Masekela. Congolese artistes Tabu Ley, Koffi Olomide and Wenge Musica band, among others also performed at the club. The TP OK Jazz crew fronted by Ley and Madilu shot Muzina track clips besides other song videos at the club. Over the years, other clubs like Sombrero, Studio 54, Small World, Hallians, Marike, Bamboo, Club 1900, Tamango – later on Ainsworth, Bubbles, Excelsior, Beat House, L’ora Blue and Visions succumbed to shifting trends and emergent nightspots to close shop.
SEE ALSO :Former Formula 1 champion deadUnlike other city night spots life-size multiple soccer screens dominate the menu on any given evening, none of these sports bar trappings are on the cards. “Our objective is to literally raise the bar in city’s club scene, for a clientele keen to be immersed in exclusive entertainment. The goal is to redefine going out as an enriching experience – have fun dressing up and dancing the night away without undue distractions,” remarks Howarth. Of crucial importance is creating an ambience appealing for the working class to troop in regularly, into a nightspot whose atmosphere takes away the rigours of a hard day or week at the workplace. The Florida group brought together a team of creative minds and tasked them to engineer the club’s comeback. “It has been a challenging experience, and every day I would walk in, amazed by the ongoing transformation. After several weeks of hard work and long days, the new club’s doors are re-opening,” enthuses Alex Holi, the project manager. The new Florida’s outstanding features include a VIP space – exclusive private, plush seating behind a one-way-glass, small bar, personalised services and piped music – besides the general sitting bar, lounge area and smoking rooms. But it is the dance-floor’s art décor and eye-catching murals effects, bouncing off numerous 3D mirrors adorning the walls, which grab the attention of revellers, strictly required to be above 21 years old. Avid disco goers will also savour the thrill of dancing to a mixed-grill of latest feel-good party house music synchronised to the Madrix 3D meteor club lighting system. “The launch night begins with a special invitation VIP event graced by a popular Sao Paulo-based top Brazilian DJ Marcus Coppini – ranked the 10th best top disc jockey globally. Later on at midnight, the doors will be open to usher revellers with welcoming themed dance during Showtime,” adds Holi. In the long-term, the club located along Banda street plans to embrace the Florida nightclubs tradition – offering regular themed nights showcasing varied musical styles, hosting different DJs as was the case in the past. Virtually most of Nairobi’s outstanding DJs including Florida’s general manager Steve Aziz nurtured their disc-jockey skills at the club, besides DJ Kareez, DJ Tubbz, DJ Cliff, DJ Hussein Abdallah, DJ Magic Myke and DJ Mdosi. Some of the current crop of reggae DJs like Kriss Darlin and the Dohty Family crew once plied their trade at Florida besides DJ JahKey Marley, whose Jambo Sounds, brought reggae music to the upmarket club from its downtown fringes.
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