QT is rapidly gaining a reputation as a go-to music venue in London – and rightly so,
Although tucked away downstairs in the rather smart Middle Eight Hotel just off Holborn, open its rather unwelcoming doors and you immediately step into a world where cocktails flow, the lights are dimmed and live music throbs.
It’s all rather atmospheric and slick – a place to leave troubles behind and indulge yourself for a couple of hours. The food may not turn up, but the richness of the music makes up for it – and the staff are endearing. More beat than calories (eat upstairs).
QT’s monthly programme of events is both appetising and broad. It embraces jazz, funk, blues and soul nights hosted by Leo Green; the best of West End music, fronted by the legendary Emma Hatton; the ‘ultimate R&B and soul show’; and a lot more besides.
Divas! are also an integral part of QT’s schedule, performing two nights a month. Paying homage to the ‘goddesses of pop and soul’ and fronted by the fabulous Natalie May Paris, Divas! certainly know how to entertain – and belt out a tune or three. They’re quite sensational.
Dressed in bright or sparkling outfits that normally would require sunglasses to view, Paris, Kristin Hosein (superb), Tess Burrstone and Lorena Dale take turns to front up songs from some of the best divas of all time.
The likes of Beyonce (Single Ladies, Put A Ring On It); MJ Blythe (a rampaging Family Affair from the sultry Hosein); Kylie Minogue (Never Too late); Madonna (Like A Prayer) and Whitney Houston (How Will I Know).
The list goes on – Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow- but you get the picture. Divas. A galaxy of them. And the quartet do them justice. Absolute justice. Songs delivered with panache and generous helpings of pazazz. They’re all damn good at what they do.
What makes the night so special is that the Divas! are obviously out to enjoy themselves. Burrstone is quite brilliant at getting the audience to participate, occasionally thrusting her microphone at someone innocently sitting on a nearby table and urging them to sing (sit towards the back if you want to enjoy your negroni in peace). Some performed splendidly, others less so.
By the end, everyone (old and young, the enthusiastic and the reluctant) were quite literally propelled off their seats as the quartet banged out a series of must-dance tunes: Amy Winehouse’s mesmeric Tears Dry On Their Own and the party song to end all party songs – Christine Aguilera’s Beautiful.
Although the backing music was occasionally overwhelming, Divas lit up the stage (quite literally). Party time. Down time. Fun time.
If Divas! are an indication of what QT has to offer, this venue has a good future ahead of it. Check it out – but don’t forget your dancing shoes, especially if Divas! Are on the programme.
For a full programme of events at QT, visit middleeight.com.