This routine has become a curtain-raising tradition for Leon Vynehall, who's four shows into a five-date residency at Pikes. The secluded hotel, owned by Tony Pike and located near San Antonio, revels in its history of glamour and sleaze. The hotel pool featured in the video to Wham's "Club Tropicana," and the likes of Grace Jones, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Naomi Campbell helped Freddie Mercury rack up a legendary birthday party bill. People can now dance on top of Mercury's bed, which juts out of the wall at the back of the dance floor.
On an island where eye-watering prices at the entrance and the bar are the norm, Pikes offers something different. Entry is free, the drinks prices aren't extortionate and the atmosphere is relaxed. Well-heeled older clientele mix happily with younger partygoers. Outside, people sip frozen cocktails and lounge in the shade. Those who want to dance head inside, where cool blasts of air conditioning hit as you explore each room.
The contemporary figure most closely associated with the hotel is DJ Harvey, who has held a residency since 2015 and now holds the title of "Cultural Attaché." The venue is a magnet for larger-than-life personalities, whether it's Pikes himself, or DJ Harvey, or Sunny, who leads raucous karaoke sessions in a bathtub filled with coloured balls down the hall from the dance floor.
Vynehall cut a comparatively shy figure once Murry had finished singing "Nessun Dorma." His first hour or so felt tentative—he mostly had his head down, though he kept people dancing with deep and propulsive tunes. Later, he threw down tracks like Daphni's "Hey Drum" alongside classics by Stardust and Chicago. As daylight approached, he seemed to settle. At one point, the man who was controlling the lights left his post. While overseeing a mix with one hand, and triggering a white strobe with another, Vynehall looked up and smiled.
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