Console yourself: gaming nights in London
Fan of old-school computer games? Venture out of your bedroom and into the pub
Tue May 6 2014
Question: what springs into life when you tenderly blow it? Answer: a Sega Megadrive’s cartridge port, of course. Why, what did you think I was talking about? You what? Oh, right.
Moving on. If you correctly (and cleanly) answered that, then we have the night for you. Retrotainment, an event dedicated to drinking and old-school gaming, currently furnishes the basement of Aquum bar in Clapham with a Megadrive, a Master System, a Dreamcast and a Saturn plus a vast collection of games including ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’, ‘Streetfighter 2’, ‘Micro Machines 2’ and ‘Sega Rally’. But this week it launches its first free event at the Hoxton Pony on Curtain Road, starting with a beat-’em-up special that’ll pit players against each other in a tournament on a 120-inch projector screen. Games lined up include ‘Final Fight’, as well as the likes of ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Streets of Rage 2’, via eight consoles linked up to retro ’90s tellies. Plus, there’s an area dedicated to a little-known plug-in, the Mega-CD, that lets you use the Megadrive as a karaoke machine.
Hopefully, as strangers join each other in battle, it’ll bring them together to answer some age-old gaming questions. Such as ‘Ken: he’s just Ryu in a Pat Sharp wig, right?’ ‘Couldn’t Chun Li have worn something that didn’t flash her knickers?’ And, most importantly, ‘Oi mate, any chance you could come over here and blow on this for me, please?’
Want more? More late-night gaming and geekery
© Loading Bar
Formerly housed in Soho, now in the basement of Stokey haunt Scenario, Loading Bar is crammed full of retro arcade games, including classic beat-’em-up ‘Street Fighter 2’. When you’ve finished twiddling your joystick, sink a ‘Donkey Konga’ and other game-themed cocktails.
See @drinkrelaxplay on Twitter for more details
- 97 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 8BX
© Meltdown Bar
If you want to brainstorm battle tactics with likeminded folk, head to this dedicated gaming bar. Meltdown specialises in multiplayer e-sports tournaments of strategy and sci-fi games like ‘Starcraft’ and ‘League of Legends’.
See Meltdown's Facebook page for more details
- 342 Caledonian Rd, N1 1BB
© The Exhibit
This Balham boozer hosts a range of gaming nights, using the attached cinema for players to blow each other up on the big screen. When nature calls, gents can play a hands-free video game above urinals, sending a virtual skier whizzing down a slope by altering the direction of their, flow.
See exhibitbar.co.uk for more details
- 12 Balham Station Rd, SW12 9SG
A nomadic, monthly(ish) meet-up that gives gamers, coders, gadget-freaks and other digitally obsessed bods a chance to get away from the computer screen and into a pub (frequently the Phoenix, near Oxford Circus) with real people – to talk about gaming, coding, gadgets and other digital obsessions.
See meetup.com/geekpub for more details
Popular nightlife this week Soak up some of the capital's best sounds whilst soaking up some of the capital's best views this summer. As soon as the sun comes out, head up to London's best rooftop venues and enjoy a scorcher of an evening at a height. Dalston Roof Park Crane your neck above Café Oto and you might spot this charming pop-up roof garden, which springs back into action for the season, often hosting events organised by London promoters who love their alternative beats and bass. Warm and cosy, with grow bags and solar panels in view and astroturf under foot, the Roof Park should be in full swing all summer. Netil House This unassuming building near London Fields, home to over 90 artist studios, plays host to some seriously vibrant nightlife. When there's not hundreds of sweaty ravers dancing their socks off in its warehouse space, Netil House's decking-clad rooftop offers superb views of the city. Throw in a bar, some music and the occasional open-air film screening and you've got yourself a superb summer nights venue. Queen of Hoxton A cool bar and club all year round, this Hoxton haunt takes the action onto their huge rooftop when summer lands. You'll be able to soak up anything from daytime silent discos (previous spinners at these headphone affairs have included Ashley Beedle and Jazzie B) to film screenings to workshops – rooftop Tie-Dye, anybody? The Prince of Wales Formerly known as Brixton Clubhouse and then The Lambeth, this
Rave on the waves this summer Popular nightlife this week Pacha Boat Party The London arm of super-club Pacha hosts a nautical shinding with the Kinkyfunk crew. Get ready for a glitzy, glamorous voyage up the Thames soundtracked by thumping electro, big-room (big-boat?) anthems, deep techno and euphoric vocal house, spun by Louie B, Edele Andaya, Dirty Minds, Purrr, Nicolas M and more TBA. After the boat moors up, there is, of course, an after-party at Pacha, headlined by house-head Sidney Samson – he of 2009 club smash 'Riverside'. Bangface Boat Party One of the few certain truths in dance music is that industrial strength rave crew Bangface know how to party. Thus, this pirate-themed boat bash from them hosted on party vessel The Dutch Master should be all kinds of fun. Soundtracking your journey along the Thames will be various masters of jungle, old-school, acid house, nosebleed techno and breakcore, inckuding Ray Keith, The DJ Producer, DJ Vibes, Saint Acid and more. Go hard or go home, basically. Craig Charles Funk and Soul Boat Party 'Red Dwarf''s resident funk and soul expert Craig Charles swaps a giant red space-craft for a slightly smaller but thoroughly party-primed boat, the Dixie Queen Paddle Steamer. Charles will be unearthing all kinds of funky gems and spinning enough soul, rare groove and boogie beats to warm the freezing waters of the Thames below him. Accompanying him on his afternoon groove mission will be Renegade Brass band
Looking for more rhymes and riddims in your life? We've got the rap on the freshest parties in town The Doctor’s Orders For when you want star names The Doc’s Orders have hosted more hip hop legends over the years than you’ve had hangovers. So put yourself in their capable hands and absorb the sounds of awesome artists, including producer-to-the-stars Just Blaze, Will Smith's bessie Jazzy Jeff and hip hop royalty Afrika Bambaataa all of whom have graced London courtesy of The Doc’s Orders. Hip Hop Karaoke For when you’ve been necking gin and juice... Who hasn’t stood in front of a mirror, rhyming (and flexing) along with LL Cool J to ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’. Now’s your chance to wow the public with your rhymes, karaoke-style, at this long-running party. Southern Hospitality's Players Ball For when you want to get low... If you like your rap served on-trend, low-down and Southern US-style (harder and grittier), let Southern Hospitality be your musical sommeliers. Think Rick Ross, Gucci Mane and dirty beats. Gold Teeth For when you want to just wanna grrrind… Hip hop purists, look away now. This gritty club night unapologetically mashes-up hip hop with garage, R&B, grime, bass and pop. In the past, Gold Teeth have hosted a Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child edition and a Kanye West birthday special, which should give you an idea of their varied vibe. Gully Live For when you want something unique Primarily a showcase for live acts rather than a regular c