The best reggaeton club nights in London
Reggaeton might have been born on the streets of Puerto Rico in the ’90s, but that doesn’t stop it thriving on the London club scene, among other scorchingly great Latin nights. Here’s our pick of the best sweat-soaked parties and undiscovered joints where you can get down till dawn to non-stop, bass-laden, tropical rhythms.
So you’ve never been to… Kansas Smitty’s?
In a nutshell…It’s a slinky underground jazz club run by its own house band. Where is it?In the basement of the Off Broadway cocktail bar, located in the middle of Broadway Market. Head for the buzzing red glow of the Kansas Smitty’s neon sign. What’s the vibe?Picture an intimate candlelit basement blessed with charming bar staff and a roaring line-up of jazz talent. Add to that fresh faced, jazz-addicted punters who are happy to practically share a table with the stand-up bass in this teeny, 60-punter-capacity spot. What makes it a great venue?It’s got to be the titular house band, who finally found themselves a home after years of grafting on the London jazz scene at the likes of Servant Jazz Quarters, Ronnie Scott’s and numerous pop-ups. Their slick, expertly curated nights manage to fuse a love for jazz with the bohemian atmosphere of 1930s Kansas City. What’s the booze situation?Work your way through the bourbon-soaked menu of juleps (Kansas Smitty’s speciality) at £8 each, designed by Milk & Honey’s master mixologist. Or hit the classics and down a single at £4, a double at £7 or a bottle of locally brewed craft beer for a fiver. What’s coming up?Kansas Smitty’s House Band have already turned out two albums, and recently released new tracks – all available on Spotify. With more music on the way, plans are in the works to convert the downstairs into a fully functioning recording studio and to live-stream future gigs, should you fail to snap up a ticket. Who’s the most fa
What’s the deal with Princess Nokia?
Who’s that?Afro-Nuyorican MC Destiny Frasqueri (aka Princess Nokia) is a ferocious rapper you definitely need in your life. A self-defined tomboy and feminist, Nokia’s lyrical prowess on the mic – backed by her unrelenting beats – has already produced a pretty hot stash of stone-cold bangers. So she’s not your average MC?Far from it. Despite only a short time on the scene, Nokia’s established herself as boldly experimental. Seamlessly swerving between Donna Summer-esque vocals on one mixtape to fearlessly slick rap on the next. Who’s talking about her?Nokia’s been hyped by the likes of Mykki Blanco and MIA so far, and has recently signed to the mighty Rough Trade label. She’s been pegged by FACT, Mixmag and The Fader as one to watch, and has played numerous sell-out gigs and festival dates across the globe. Not to mention her latest mixtape-turned-EP ‘1992’ being heralded by Rolling Stone as one of the best under the radar albums of last year. Sounds good. What else should I know?Alongside being a rapper, Princess Nokia hosts a one-woman podcast called ‘Smart Girl Club’ where she shares her advice on being a queer woman. A talk she gave at Brown University about magical identity and being a witch also went viral recently. Hold up! Did you say witch?Sure did. Check out her track ‘Brujas’, where Princess Nokia taps into her Yoruban and Taíno roots, and the magical divinity she says was passed down to her by her mother and grandmothers. In the song, she casts a curse on all the
So you’ve never been to... The 100 Club?
In a nutshell... Slick 1940s jazz club meets iconic ’70s punk boozer. Where is it?100 Oxford Street. Look for the teeny door between Ann Summers and Boots. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll! What’s the vibe? Long-haired lads in snakeskin trousers and pretty young things dressed like backing dancers for the New York Dolls downing whiskey and moshing among fortysomething mods and proper old rockers who couldn’t give a shit about snapping a pic for their Instagram. What makes it a great venue?For one thing, it hasn’t changed since the 1970s. The 100 Club’s ruby-red walls are covered floor-to-ceiling in enough memorabilia to make it a music collector’s wet dream. Then there’s the fact that fans can still get close enough to the stage to get gobbed on. Finally, it’s wildly eclectic: everything from reggae, punk and metal to trad jazz, hip hop and grime. What’s the booze situation?Grab a pint or a single for less than £4 or splash out with an independent craft or IPA on tap, coming in at just over a fiver. What’s coming up?A shiny new partnership with Fred Perry means the 100 Club is toasting its big 75 this year with a bang. The venue is promising a huge (and currently still top secret) run of events. What are some legendary 100 Club moments?You’re spoilt for choice! It’s gone from being the only venue to bring mainstream reggae to the West End with its famous lunchtime sessions to throwing the first ever northern soul all-nighter in 1981. Everyone from The Stones to Blur have played i