London Stories: Gay London
Not so long ago, in a city not so far away, same-sex relations were punishable by death, Oscar Wilde was serving time in Pentonville, and Boy George was singing ‘do you really want to hurt me’ to a status quo that blatantly did. Shunned by institutional homophobia and society at large, queer folk were forced down into the depths of London’s underground, claiming the space as their own, forging a loving community and partying hard as fuck. DJ and co-author of Last Night a DJ Saved my Life, Bill Brewster, knows this and so much more. In tonight’s talk he’ll be focusing on three key figures of London’s gay clubbing scene; Norman Scott, Jeffrey Hinton and Luke Howard. So go, take a seat, and listen up. We’ll be expecting an essay titled ‘From Tallulah and the Warren Street Squat, to #savesoho and Dalston Superstore: the evolution of the queer club scene in London.' Capice? Note: The evening is sold out, but if you're super nice, we bet they'll let you in. All proceeds go to building the Kibera Hamlets School in Nairobi, because they need an education just as much as you do.
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Chi-town's fierceness graces the turntables of Dalston Superstore this week as DJ Honey Dijon lathers this club night sandwich with spicy beats from the home of house. She's still dropping vinyls (actual vinyls, ffs!) and has a rep for shutting it down at destination clubs as far afield as New York, Germany, Scotland, Ibiza and of course, Chicago.
Another 50 Years of Queer
It's been 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.... which really isn't very long, even your mum is older than that (and we don't mean that in a 'your mama so old she knew Mr Clean when he had an afro' kind of way, we're not quite that rude). Great strides have been made since then, but much work in the fight for equality remains to be done - not least in light of 2016's total shit show. To celebrate and reflect on the anniversary of this landmark in queer history, RVT are hosting a panel discussion on the future of queer venues with London's new Night Czar, RVT Future’s Chairs, Cllr Jack Hopkins. Then RVT will do what they do best, and throw a big bad blowout, obvs.
DJ Hannah Holland and photographer, videographer and DJ Cathal O’Brien have started Club Vada as a kind of "middle fingers up, wave dem hands high" reaction to the disappearance of queer hotspots like the Black Cap and Madame JoJo's which, we can all agree, is a fucking travesty. They bring iconic DJs who have torn up legendary parties in queer history, as well as setting the night off with a special guest’s presentation about the part they've played in London's LGBTQ story. So unless you obliterate your memory with booze and tings, you'll walk away with a little anecdotal wisdom to boot.
If there ever was a basement that feels nothing like a basement, but really is just a basement, it'd be VFD. There are no decorations to speak of, the loos have swinging doors and no locks, the bar is big enough for three skinny bartenders and the dance floor can fit maybe 40 people, tops. It's grimy, it's sweaty, and yet it's so much fun. This alternative basement plays host to some of the quirkiest nights, with everything from die-ins, spiritual rituals, spoken word nights, drag acts, erotic salons and cool pop-electro-camp-tastic club nights like Sassitude, Dirty Diana or Straight Nasty. It's pretty hit and miss at times, but it's so intimate that you can't help but have a good time. Be warned: VFD only opens when it has an event going on, so double check before heading there.