Although MODE’s entrance is mere metres from the bustle of Notting Hill’s Portobello Road, a location that is alive with London’s fashion culture and musical heritage, Director Jolyon Klean maintains his club will offer its guests an experience that is more ‘European’.
With hostess girls in military uniforms at the door and the club’s metal and concrete entrance uplit by twelve-foot-long fluorescent strip lights, there’s certainly a touch of East Berlin avant garde to the exterior of MODE. But descend the stairs and the club becomes much grander. Leather sofas, gleaming copper details, aged wooden floors, cut glass tumblers… Klean calls it ‘a future vintage journey.’ “At MODE, we've created an unrivalled, credible and diverse space,’ he explains ‘, we’re delivering a premium experience for artists and audience, combining unrivalled production and world-class, pin-point precise sound with sharp interior..."
The club is the brai child of five partners, with respective backgrounds in events, drinks trade and digital marketing. Klean – a promoter himself - was responsible for what leading dance music publication Mixmag called ‘the party of 2013’, but he knows full well that Londoners are fickle. ‘MODE was also born out of the recognition that nightlife is in the start of transition as the rise of the pop-up has eaten into brand loyalty for nightclubs…’ he states. MODE’s directors will be combatting this ennui by completely redesigning their interior every six months – and by not announcing any of their big name DJs or live acts.
MODE hired Robin Collings to oversee the art installations. Collings, who also created the breath-taking aerial show that launched St Pancras Station and annually curates the Shangri La field at Glastonbury festival, has filled the venue with an eclectic array of pieces; some bespoke, some sought after, some completely bizarre. Recognisable works from Dr D, Wreckage, Obey Giant and more line the walls of the club, whilst a huge matt black spitfire hangs formidably over the dance-floor. The DJ booth is set in front of a church organ, which has been customised to spit flames randomly and venomously through its ancient pipes during the course of the night.
VOID Audio were brought in to create a exceptional sound-system for MODE and the technology used (namely a Stasys X:Air and TriMotion DJ monitor system) is a world first. Mike Newman from VOID explains how this evolved ‘, We started working with the team behind MODE last July: our brief was to attract the best DJ talent and discerning clubber by creating a sonic experience well above and beyond the current norm with the latest technologies available. A design was specified with consideration to not only how the space will be used as a club venue but also how people will move around the space. (The system) gives higher fidelity and greater coverage, ensuring clubbers have a great night out without getting a ‘body battering’, sonically…’
Finally, MODE brought chef and food ambassador Andi Oliver to the team to oversee the restaurant. With a unique menu of single and sharing plates, diners can enjoy Oliver’s signature dishes such as vodka & blood orange cured salmon, chocolate rubbed spiced fillet, ginger pickled radish with chocolat butter glazed scallops, cauliflower and chive waffles. In keeping with the club’s ‘Unannounced Fridays’ (whereby headline artists and DJs are kept under wraps) MODE’s launch night on April 4th saw chart toppers and BRIT nominees Rudimental perform a secret show to 700 invited guests. MODE will host live bands on a Thursday night and Saturday nights will have a party vibe.