Bastard Batty Bass
Bastard Batty Bass. Now there’s a name. But it’s so much more than that. Time Out gives ten reasons why Hannah Holland's BBB is one of London's finest clubs
1. The music comes first.
It always does at the best clubs. That’s what draws the right like-minded people which helps create a friendly, inclusive atmosphere. Hannah Holland and Mama Shamone have created a night where the music mix is ‘many different bass sounds which we call batty bass: bouncy techno and house, B-more, baile funk, breaks and dubstep that are all mashed up’. At BBB electro sounds like garage, baile funk burgles house, B-more rubs up against dirty electrotech, and it all works.
2. Hannah Holland and Mama Shamone.
We’ve sung Hannah Holland’s praises before with good reason, because she’s a great resident DJ at the weekly electro-techno roadblock, Trailer Trash, on Fridays. But she spent her formative years in drum ’n’ bass clubs and BBB allows her to bring across-the-board, multi-genre sounds together. ‘When I first saw her,’ says Holland of her BBB co-host Shamone, ‘she was screaming in front of the decks and and I was thinking: I’ve got to get to know that girl. We knew we had to do a party together.’
3. It feels like a house party but looks like a video shoot.
‘When we started the theory wasn’t anything more than let’s put on a party and bring in a load of friends,’ says Holland. ‘That’s still the spirit of the night.’
4. The eclectic mix isn’t only good on the decks.
BBB attracts all sorts. The BBB crowd may be gay, fey or straight (whatever!) and there’s a multi-racial mix which is still rare to find in most eastside clubs.
5. Mama Shamone and MC Chickaboo get on the mic.
Hannah Holland’s DJing is a party starter in itself, but Mama Shamone (she fronts the eponymous electrorock-punk-pop band soon to release debut single ‘Over’) and Chickaboo add spontaneous vocal dynamics, big-ups, back chat and outsize personalities that spark up the crowd in ways that even the best beats can’t.
6. Zombie Disco Squad are regular guest DJs.
Nathaniel and Lucas ZDS are a great DJ duo in their own right who run the monthlyGet Rude night. ‘We’re still really big fans of baile funk,’ says Lucas, and they’re currently spending ‘all their time’ in the studio working on remixes and their own tunes. Big things are expected.
7. The dress code…
…because there isn’t one. A lot of the crowd dress in post-Shoreditch ubertrendy styles anyway. But they’re there to party, not pose, and there are dressed-down people propping up the bar too.
8. BBB have their own anthems.
Apart from ‘Batty Bass Shake It Up’, which is set to be their first single, there’s the track that everybody knows as ‘Omigod, she’s a slag!’ It’s one that has the smokers outside the pub instantly stubbing out their fags and hurrying indoors to join in. It’s actually a vocal version (‘Mama’s Abortion Refix’) of Alter Ego’s electrobass stormer, ‘Why Not’, with a chorus line which crowds who’ve only heard it once sing along to. As the track finishes Mama is full of suggestions: ‘Sing it at your sister’s wedding! Sing it at a funeral! Or at the checkout in Tesco!’ she trills.
9. The location feels like home.
BBB has been successful in various venues but ‘We feel that we’ve found the right place,’ says Holland of The Star of Bethnal Green. ‘We like that it’s a small venue outside of Shoreditch and that it’s run by Rob Star, of Mulletover, who understands what we want to do.’ In theory this could be happening anywhere in London where there was a great pub-to-club conversion with a
stomping Turbosound system, but E2 is convenient for many of their crowd too.
10. Because it’s still a work in progress.
BBB started in September 2006 yet it’s very fresh and is still developing. www.battybass.com will be revamped and a BBB record label will launch in the autumn, plus there’ll be merchandise featuring the saucy artwork of Alex Noble and EskimoPush, so watch this space. Better still, go dance in it.
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