It’s one of the most sweat-drenched, floor-pounding and longest-titled parties in America. For one night only, however, the New York Night Train’s Soul Clap & Dance-Off will be coming to London. And it needs your help.
Usually based in Brooklyn Bowl in NYC, this hi-energy soul extravaganza will be relocating to its recently opened London branch in The O2 for a one-off this April. The Soul Clap & Dance-Off is the brainchild of dapper DJ and record collector Jonathan Toubin. He started throwing parties in 2007 and established a young, scene-spanning following that avoids the cliquiness and fashion slavery of most retro nights.
At its heart is the raw power of the humble 45rpm single, which Toubin exclusively uses for his sets. They’re punchy in sound quality and short in duration, meaning his stomping collection of funk, blues and soul 7"s are delivered in quick succession, never giving the dancers an excuse to slink off.
Started as a way to give the DJ a break from deck duties, the dance contest is one of the biggest draws of the night. After a few solid hours of shaking, the lights are raised, numbers are attached and the contest begins – typically judged by a panel of musicians and local heroes. If you’ve got a mean soul shimmy, head down: it’s only a fiver on the door. If you prefer to judge than jive, however, read on…
If you've always fancied yourself as the next Len Goodman, this could be your moment to shine. We're looking for a sharp-eyed soul to represent Time Out at the New York Night Train's Soul Clap & Dance-Off and help judge the contest. As well as the chance to flex your critical muscles and air some inspired putdowns as part of the night's celeb-filled panel, the sharp-tongued winner and five friends will be treated to free bowling,an all-you-can-eat fried chicken dinner before the event, and free beer all night at the party.
All you have to do is watch the below clip of some prime dancefloor action and give us your most inspired one-line judgment. We'll award the prize to whoever scores a perfect ten in our eyes, so dig deep for some creative one-line zingers!
The best club tunes of 2013
Our clubbing critic and a handful of our favourite DJs pick their top drops from last year
Brixton club Phonox looks to be kind of a big deal for south London nightlife, and in fact London clubbing as a whole. After the team behind acclaimed nightspots including XOYO, The Nest, the Old Queen's Head and the Blues Kitchen franchises purchased the site of former Brixton club Plan B when it shut down, they wasted little time in transforming it into Phonox. The club has a similar feel to both XOYO and the Nest: a sleek, dark dance cavern with plenty of space for dancing, and the programming leans very much towards the leftfield side of dance music – don't expect cheesy '80s nights here, it's quality, underground house, techno, disco and bass all the way. HAAI is the permanent resident DJ, and will curate Saturday nights at Phonox. He'll also be bringing in guest DJs, all of whom will be unannounced, but don't worry, you're in safe hands with James's on-point tastes. Elsewhere, Friday nights will feature acclaimed selectors playing all-night-long or back-to-back sets, from top names like Gilles Peterson, Julio Bashmore, DJ Sneak, The Bug and Horse Meat Disco leading the way. It's free entry before 9pm every Friday, and before 10pm every Saturday. RECOMMENDED: Read an interview with Phonox co-owner Andy Peyton
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