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Travis Hodges

In search of London's party people

Written by
Kate Lloyd

As London celebrates the launch of the night tube, we sent Alexi Duggins and Kate Lloyd out on the town to meet London's party people...

Hal was in Soho: ‘I’m catching up with a few friends at the Crobar. I started my night with a shot of Patron and I’d like to end it with a smile on my face, either because I’ve had a laugh or because I’ve met someone new. I’m a romantic deep down but I’m realistic. I’m gay, and there’s only ever one or two other gay people in heavy metal pubs. In fact, the only people in the gay metal community are me and this other guy and he’s a dickhead.’

Owen was on Brixton Road: ‘I was meant to be out to hand out flyers for a night we’re putting on at Brixton Jamm, but I was walking past this street performer, heard the music and just started dancing. I’ve not even been drinking. Honestly, he was playing some Afrobeats and we just started having a little boogie: I just love to dance! Is there anywhere I wouldn’t dance? I don’t think so. Well, unless it was heavy metal!’

Hiro (left) is outside Jaguar Shoes, Shoreditch: ‘Our night’s just started. We’re just having a couple of drinks here. I’m with friends from Central St Martins because our mate’s DJing here tonight. I love hip hop and grime and my outfit’s UKG style. It’s like Skepta. I’ve never seen him live, but I always watch his Boiler Room set online.’ 

Mike was at the Effra Hall Tavern, Brixton: ‘I’ve just turned up from the airport, man. This morning I was in New Jersey, smoking some really good American OG kush! Then straight off the plane I came here. I’m from Brixton and I love this place: it’s the only black-influenced Brixton pub there still is. We’re off to eat some Jamaican food in a bit. We’re going to Jerk Centre in Coldharbour Lane, that’s the late-night jerk spot. It’s not the best in Brixton, though. That’s Bushman’s under the Recreation Centre.’

Anna (on the right) was at Voodoo Ray's, Dalston: ‘We just met tonight at a fashion party at Vogue Fabrics. I went up to Anja in the smoking area to say I liked what she was wearing. We decided to get some pizza and then I think she’s going to stay at mine. I actually got fired from my retail job today so I’ve applied for a new one here because I want free pizza.’ 

David (left) and Sammy (centre) were at Canavan's Pool Club, Peckham. D: ‘The night’s been all right. We beat a couple of guys at pool, lost a couple of times: you know. Sammy’s doing better than I am, though.’ S: ‘I come here a lot. If I’m not here, I’m at home, basically. We never go on the dancefloor, though. We just play pool. We just chill and hang out here, innit?’

Aaron (second from left) was at Inferno's, Clapham: ‘What’s with the Hawaiian shirts? It’s a social for our football team, the Hornets! I come to Inferno’s every two weeks, religiously. There’s loads of girls, all my best mates are here: it’s everything you could want. The best tune of the night? The Killers. Nothing wrong with a bit of Killers!’ 

Patrick was at The Glory, Haggerston: ‘I’ve only been to The Glory about three or four times, but every time I’ve come I’ve met interesting, creative, intellectual types. I graduated from Edinburgh University and tried to resist moving to London for as long as possible. I thought it was really clichéd graduating and moving to the big city where all the money was. But inevitably I got drawn to London because that’s where the opportunities are. Now that I’m here I love it. I’ve never lived anywhere like it.’ 

Coral was outside Clapham McDonalds: ‘I’ve been to the Brewer’s tonight. There was drag, cabaret, dancing: it was fun. I go there every week. I love it. The scene has a bad reputation, but I’ve never had any issue. I never feel threatened in Clapham if I’m walking around in drag. Did I have to get a McDonald’s on the way home? Yes, of course. I haven’t eaten all day! Don’t shame me!’

Chris (centre) was at Dinerama, Shoreditch: ‘I’m on my stag night. I live in Cape Town in South Africa but decided to have my stag here because I lived in London for 12 years and all my friends are here. We started at The Griffin, that’s where my mates put a pound in my pint. Then my best man dressed me up. I have no idea where we’re heading later, the others planned it. I actually proposed after one of their stag dos in Cape Town. We got absolutely hammered and the morning after I decided that I never ever wanted to be alone again. It was very romantic.’

Chris was at Dogstar, Brixton: ‘I went to dinner at Coq D’Argent’s rooftop restaurant, then Pop Brixton and now I’ve come here. When this place closes at 4am, I’ll probably go back to a friend’s house afterwards and drink some more. Brixton’s a lot better than it used to be now they’ve gentrified it. It was quite rough.’ 

Chelsea (left) was on Shoreditch High Street: ‘It’s my birthday night out. We had some food and cake and then went to Matchbox and we were just proper full-on dancing in there, even though no one else was dancing. Then it kind of continued into the street… Someone was just sick on a Boris Bike right in front of us, like projectile sick. We were like: “Your night sucks!”’ 

Working 9(pm) til 5(am) – talking to the Londoners who work through the night.

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