SONIC BOOM

Lux­ury res­tau­rant-mu­sic brand Spir­it­land makes its next move.

Esquire (Malaysia) - - CUL­TURE - WORDS BY JOHNNY DAVIS

It’s a cock­tail bar and record shop. It has “one of the best sound sys­tems in the world”. You can use it as a workspace and linger over a £2.50 cof­fee but equally there is a “heavy­weight, pedi­gree chef” so, if you’re stay­ing for lunch, “it doesn’t make sense to be serv­ing av­er­age burg­ers”; the of­fer­ing is “el­e­vated”. It is part-in­spired by Shibuya’s Din­ing & Bar Kit­suné in Tokyo. In the evenings you might nod along to a talk by Irvine Welsh or tap a foot to a DJ set from Jarvis Cocker. There is no dance­floor, but there is a state-of-the-art record­ing stu­dio.

“It can be hard to ex­plain,” says Spir­it­land’s evan­ge­lis­tic founder Paul Noble. “The best thing is to come and see it.” Since the venue opened in 2016 in Lon­don’s King’s Cross, part of the Gra­nary Square rede­vel­op­ment hous­ing Cen­tral Saint Martins and Google, plenty of happy cus­tomers have done just that. If Spir­it­land is hard to pi­geon­hole, just think of every­thing com­ing back to mu­sic. “I’m a mu­sic lover and didn’t find any­thing was speak­ing to me,” says Noble. “It was ei­ther grim bars, places bands play, or jazz clubs where the mu­sic’s great but the food and drink is not. We wanted some­where where DJS and mu­sic lovers could ex­plore all gen­res in a beau­ti­ful space with a rich sound sys­tem.” That sys­tem is hard to miss: cus­tom built (valves im­ported from Italy etc), in surely the only place you can en­joy bil­lion­airelevel hi-fi with your bur­ratina.

Last year, the Spir­it­land Head­phone Bar opened in May­fair. Just eight beau­ti­fully de­signed square me­tres in size, it is unique. Now Spir­it­land has more ideas. “We’re talk­ing to peo­ple about tak­ing the Spir­it­land ex­pe­ri­ence on the road, so there’s a mix of talks and al­bum lis­ten­ing ses­sions dur­ing the day, then a party at night,” says Noble, who is about to go venue hunt­ing in New York, part of his plan to open Spir­it­land in “other cities with sim­i­lar mu­si­cal cul­tures”. He’s also on the look­out for a sec­ond, big­ger Lon­don venue. “It’s ba­si­cally a lux­ury brand with mu­sic at the core, so it could go into night­clubs and restau­rants. There’s a ton of po­ten­tial.” spir­it­land.com

Speak­ers’ cor­ner: Spir­it­land of­fers cof­fee, cock­tails and an enor­mous hand­built PA sys­tem

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