I’m one of those strange people that still buy Mixmag. I’ve been buying it every month since 1998 and every month when it arrives through my door and goes into my pile of unread magazines (currently reading about last year’s festival season having just ended) I question why I still subscribe.
Habit, I guess. I have a few habits that I find hard to shake.
Though going clubbing is a habit – a need – that I have shaken out of. Mostly due to career-changing reasons, partly due to being low-paid in an expensive city, and also changing priorities – I’m nearly 40 years old and have barely seen any of the world. Clubbing can be an expensive business and I’d rather spend that discovering somewhere new.
That said, the bug is still there, and when I read about A Party With Us, in…yes…Mixmag, I thought that would be my kind of party. A Sunday afternoon, should be a relaxed vibe – they talked about a sense of community…I don’t yet feel like I belong to anywhere or anything in London. It ticked a few boxes.
And with advance tickets at, I think, £5.50, it was inexpensive.
On the day we probably inadvisably went for a roast dinner first – no sensible person would go for a roast dinner before clubbing, but hey, I’m northern. It was also close to the venue – alas, we then had to go back to west London to sort out…erm…logistics…and pick someone up, before we could head back.
We arrived a couple of minutes after 5pm – thankfully our pre-5pm tickets were still valid – you know at other more “professional” clubs that you’d pay paying full whack for another ticket at 5:01pm. It was already pretty busy, we had hoped to get there earlier and watch the atmosphere build up, but hey. Issues.
The party was held on an outdoor terrace inside a fairly upmarket hotel near Moorgate (a few minutes away from work!). There were two bars in operation – drinks could be slow at times, but it seemed more due to the slowness of the tills rather than the staff, as the staff were often waiting to use the till.
Toilets were clean – just about enough of them for the size of the party, 150 people. You can tell I’m getting on when I talk about the cleanliness of toilets, but hey. Surely I’m not the only one who cares more about this when they get older?!
The crowd was reasonably friendly, I spoke to a few people and remember one particular conversation about fish. I never felt like I could let go of myself fully and be the old dancefloor me – I think more to do with my own newly-developed insecurities than anything else, but also it didn’t seem a totally let loose kind of atmosphere.
Musically, things were generally centred about house music – a few old classic thrown in, and it was good to get down to Blacklight Sleaze towards the end when Clive Henry was playing.
That was one of the tracks that was most influencing me when I was going down my minimal/underground rabbit hole in 2006 – I was properly into minimal by then – and it was a good 6-7 years before anyone I knew got into it!
I thought Jay & Leo played some nice music, although one or two of the records skipped – perils of a temporary vinyl set-up outdoors one assumes. I do vaguely know Leo, though, so I’m always going to say that anyway. Speakers were clear enough and at the right volume – sound was never going to be out of this world at such a party.
Overall the night…afternoon was what I expected, a decent crowd with some decent music. Nothing blew me away and I’m not desperately craving to go to the next one (unless they book Julietta!). Credit due for a decent little party and I’ll be keeping an eye out to see what they do.
Should you be interested, they seem only to do parties on bank holidays – and always book good, underground house DJs. You can follow them here.
I’ll give it a 7.03 out of 10. A solid, fun afternoon.
I still haven’t got the bug back for clubbing and I doubt I’ll be back on the dancefloor for a couple more months. I do have a couple of things planned though…one rather massive. I will be back.