Welcome To Noiz: A Glittering, Decadent Lesbian Nightclub Open All Night, Every Night

“Thank God, and thank the lesbians.” 

When was the last time you went to a lesbian club? Not a lesbian party. Not a lesbian bar. Not a lesbian night. I want to hear about big, throbbing, base-line pumping lesbian clubs, owned by queer women and prioritizing queer women’s identities all night, every night. 

 

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Rather than sit here watching the tumbleweed roll across our screens, I’ll hazard a guess that the answer is never – with a few exceptions. Either you were lucky enough to spend a wild night at London’s Lick The Club, which opened for a very hot second in the summer of 2019, and hung-up its dancing shoes – in this case, twerking sneakers – within months. Perhaps you gallivanted in Colombia or South Korea in your time, and managed to party in La Moza (Bogotá) or Pink Hole (Seoul) before they closed down, too. Or you’ve been to Noiz, a lesbian (owned and priority) club that’s been throwing dance parties in the center of Athens for 18 years. 

 

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The towering club sits on a busy road, beckoning you in with her cushiony red carpet. You’re greeted by high femmes at the door asking for IDs and proof of vaccination (or negative rapid test). Once you’re in, within moments of coats off, an obscenely sexy queer person – sharp jawline, deep brown eyes, short hair on the back and sides – asks if you’d like a drink. Before you start looking up flights to Greece, no, it’s not that easy to hook-up here: the sexy person offering you your first round is a member of staff, and this prompt service is part of Noiz’s charm. 

“I have only gay people working for me,” owner Mary Psaroudaki tells GO. She also runs two other queer bars in Athens, making her quite the nightlife mogul. I fail to ask if she only hires very attractive gays, but it certainly looks that way. 

The regal tone set by the red carpet continues inside the cavernous club, with orange chandeliers and Grecian busts meeting disco balls and neon-lit ‘dare to be rare’ signage. Every inch was designed by Mary’s partner of 13 years and “very big love” Tanya Papadaki. “She’s my muse for doing business,” Psaroudaki  says. “She’s an interior designer, A-Z, everything you see in Noiz, is her idea. Make sure you mention her,” Psaroudaki adds sweetly, wanting to honor her muse.

“Every four years I redesign my venues – with the help of Tanya of course. People get bored easily, so you need to keep things fresh,” says Psaroudaki. “It’s all about respect. You have to show respect to the lesbians, gays, queers, by continually investing in your venues, by giving back to the community. You can’t just take.” 

Looking around the vivacious venue, it certainly feels like all that giving is paying off. Women apply plum lipstick while gazing into peacock tri-fold vanity mirrors, before launching into ecstatic dance with their peers. Noiz, like its door staff, is serving the highest femme energy, acting as an incubator for young women, students mostly, gay, bi, queer, straight, who knows, all glammed up for the eyes of no one but themselves. 

 

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Everyone sips doubles of who-cares-what-spirit and mixers, and is buzzing from the fizzy sweet taste of youthful nights (and light hangovers), that’ll keep them all tearing up the dancefloor till 6 a.m. It’s so nice seeing such exuberant drinking and dancing, such unleashed femininity, in a massive club where 2% of the patrons are men (a couple of whom were on opposite corners of the bar scrolling through Grindr, before uniting over a vodka-coke). Geri Halliwell’s Raining Men ironically pumps through Noiz’s sound-system, as it ferociously rains women all night long.  

 

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Balancing out the high femininity, a beautiful dykier-presenting crew starts to amass. All seem to have at least one item of clothing from the (un)official uniform of the lesbian international: beanie, Vans, frayed Bermuda shorts, oversized tees, fades and tank tops revealing sculpted shoulders from play on some kind of sport team. They’re at the front, right by the decks, secure in the knowledge that this club is made for them. 

Geri Halliwell included, the soundtrack is completely set for a night of unabated getting loose on the dancefloor. Tonight is likely the greatest smorgasbord of international party bangers I’ve heard at a party. DJ Milena, Noiz’s resident, takes us globe-trotting with big base bangers from Italy (Maneskin’s Zitti E Buoni), Brazil (MC Neguinho’s Beibe do Biruleibe Leibe), Algeria (Mohamed Ramadan & Gims’ Ya Habibi) and Greece (Eleni Foureira’s Ti Koitas), plus a bit of Mambo No.5 for good measure. It’s a set that’s very fitting to owner Psaroudaki’s wanderlust. “I’ve been to several countries around the world, more than 80,” she says. “It’s my hobby to know new people, different ethnicities and of course I’ve been to a lot of gay or lesbian bars.” 

During Busta Rhymes’ Arab Money, we’re either struck by a good old Greek power cut, or the speakers blow. We sit in silence for a few moments, while the sexy staff fixes the technical glitch and the crowd chants “DJ Milena, DJ Milena,” showing gratitude for her mixing prowess. Before long, the baseline returns as the strobe lights pierce through the haze of cigarette smoke haunting the venue. Little orange lights dart around the club like fireflies as people recommence their evening of smoking and dancing in complete euphoria. 

Watching everyone being so young, so gay, so free, so very high on sugar and spirits, I wonder how different late adolescence would have been for so many of us if we’d had an incubatory lesbian hub like this. What if every city had a permanent venue where you could completely let loose while celebrating and expanding into your identity, every day of every week? At almost 20 years old, Noiz is a popping stalwart for the young queer women’s community in Greece. “Thank God,” says Psaroudaki, “and thank the lesbians.” 

Noiz Club Athens, 78 Konstantinoupoleos Avenue, Gazi, Athens, open 11:45 p.m. until 6 a.m. on the weekends, until 4 a.m. during the week. 

 

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