Monday, 9 July 2007

London Paper 29

The first thing I received at the airport in Egypt last week wasn’t a deportation notice, or an offer of marriage, but a flyer for Ministry of Sound at Pacha. Not been one to shirk my responsibilities, that night I headed into the bustling epicentre of Sharm El Sheikh. What’s this got to do with going out in London? Well as good as the music was - Funky House Sessions on the Sunday and then Smoove R&B and hip hop the following Friday - trying to drink, dance and stay alive till 4am in that heat is a mission and a half. I couldn’t even muster the energy to get mad at the DJ for not playing The Game ‘One Blood’. Even the lack of a roof and industrial sized fans hoisted around the club couldn’t save me. Two alcoholic drinks in and it became obvious that many binge drinkers would find this an ample place for recovery. Once the novelty of raving in sandals had worn off, I really began to appreciate clubbing in London. Sure you still have to wipe your top lip but the threat of heat-induced migraines and sweat patches from head to toe aren’t your priorities. Then there was the average entrance price which peaked at £18 on the Friday night – you wouldn’t be paying that at Ministry’s hometurf in Elephant & Castle.

One place that will require £20 on the door this weekend is east London hotspot Turnmills. Despite my tendency for cheap and cheerful, this fee can actually be justified. Nocturnal is the house night run by producers The Shapeshifters (‘Lola’s Theme’, ‘Incredible’) who themselves will be playing a marathon four hour set this Saturday. Joining them are US heavyweights Jon Cutler and Miguel Migs who’s currently on a European tour promoting his current album, Those Things. Although the club holds 1,000 revellers, get their early with your note in hand as the last Nocturnal event here saw queues going around the block. Alternatively save a fiver and some time by booking a ticket in advance via

Where tonight is concerned, starved grime fans will be having a feast at Cargo. Not your traditional sweaty, rave-all-night club, it’s more commonly regarded as a venue suited to live music and is probably why legendary grime producer and emcee Wiley, has chosen it to showcase his critically acclaimed new album, Playtime Is Over. He may be deemed an underground phenomenon, but music critics from the likes of the NME, Music Week, RWD and style bible I-D are among the many unable to deny the charm of his undiluted grime formula. And with ten years of experience under his belt, this rare London show means expectations are even higher as he promises to play out much of the new material for the first time. Support comes from his Boy Better Know cohorts JME and Skepta, with dubstepper Loefah and Illa Man also making appearances. With tickets only £10 in advance from, you’d better hope Cargo turn the air con on.

A version of this article appeared in The London Paper (June 2007)

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