Last month I finally made my merry way to XXL in Southbank. I must admit that my friends had been raving about the place for years and I was intrigued. Indeed, I had truly been meaning to go every time I visited fair London but something always came up. So, on my last trip over, the stars aligned and I managed to get act together and go and I was happily far from disappointed.
Originally, the club started off as a place for the more sturdy, hirsute gentlemen – hence the name - but the fantastic music and friendly atmosphere soon drew in gays from all across the spectrum. Today, it truly is a one-club-fits-all soiréé with the crowd ranging from the beariest of bears to the twinkiest of twinks and every delightful flavour in between.
Speaking of the crowd when I was in the entry queue I overhead the security guys discussing one of the patrons who had lost their phone and that it had been handed in some minutes later. One of them commented that it was often the case at XXL in sharp contrast to other venues they worked at. I must say it was lovely hearing about human compassion being shown instead of the usual everyone-for-themselves attitude that city living has taught me to expect. But I digress.
The space itself is cavernous with plenty of space to move about and mingle with like-minded gentlemen. The music was also enough to keep you dancing through the night with a wonderful mix of old favourites and new gems. There are two main dance floors – one packed to bursting and the other with more room to strut your stuff – and numerous chill-out spaces with ever so comfy lounges. Not to mention the dimly lit rooms just past the cloakroom where the clientèle can and get to know one another in a more intimate setting. Believe me, there were rather friendly lads in attendance the night I went and I made any number of new friends…pity I forgot to get any of their names.
I can most definitely see why it’s so popular – the venue, the crowd and, most importantly, the reasonably priced drinks. Overall, I heartily recommend it if you’re after a fun and happy night of clubbing.