Friday, April 15, 2011

Aloft launch party in London with emerging British talents

On Wednesday I was invited to a Aloft VIP party at The Vinyl Factory in Soho, London. The location was tricky to find as it was tucked away inside a record store, the Phonica Records on Poland Street, but thankfully some forward thinking helped.

The event/party was an early launch celebration of the Aloft hotel brand by Starwood due to open near the ExCel London exhibition centre later this year. In addition to celebrating Aloft's entry into the UK hotel market with Aloft London ExCel, they have also collaborated with Live Nation and Music Dealers to showcase some emerging unsigned British music talent.

According to Aloft, the event is aimed to highlight the sort of brand Aloft is aiming to become - in that it would be hip, modern and contemporary - hence the location and atmosphere of the party. Which is weird, as the hotel would be built in the London Borough of Newham. Still they have their reasons for building the new hotel there. Due to its proximity to some of East London's Olympic venues, as well as ExCel London, Aloft will surely acquire plenty of business, especially if they have a wicked party venue.

Still I can't help wonder if they should be targeting the hip and trendy part of London, like Soho and Shoreditch instead. But hei, what do I know about hotels? ;) On the other hand Starwood has recently brought their W boutique brand of hotels to London. The recently launched W in Leicester Square on the former grounds of the Swiss Centre building was the first.

The artists featured on the evening were Jay James Picton, Bones and Tiger Love, who recently supported Yelle. I have never heard of any of these artists prior to the invite. I have to say, from an outsider of the industry but a music lover, that all three have potential. I enjoyed Jay James Picton's opening set of modern soul music. The Indie Rock Camden-based Bones played a highly energetic set until some of the guests started dancing. Finally Tiger Love, also based in London, closed the evening with their brand of electro psychedelic rock. Check out their Under Control music video below. I certainly hope they get signed soon.

Many thanks to David for the invite!

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