A near-exhaustive list of the various types of party people you get in the nation's capital
London in 2015 is one of the great cultural melting pots. You get absolutely every type of person from every background and every country elbowing you out of the way as they squeeze onto the tube on a daily basis. But it's when you hit the capital's dancefloors that you begin to notice the very different and distinct groups that inhabit the hours between 10PM and 6AM. Here's every type of clubber you'll meet in London.
Photo by Jake Lewis
Generally taking the form of an impossibly beautiful French girl in a Stevie Nicks hat, she’s couch surfing for a few months with some friends she made at Dekmantel. She’s not interested in the Tower, the Palace or the Tate, but Shoreditch Street-Art Tours? Sign her up! Usually found flitting between Hoxton galleries and Hackney day parties. She’s GUTTED Plastic People closed before she made it over.
The Side-Stage Shazamer
This guy's only here for the music. He lives it. He breathes it. Obviously he doesn't dance to it - that distracts from the music. He spends the night just to the side of the DJ booth, arm outstretched, phone in hand, angled towards the monitors, desperately Shazaming the DJ's set in it's entirety. If his trusted app lets him down, he goes old skool and cranes his neck to try and glimpse the track name on the CDJs. He has his own night, first Tuesday of the month in a Bethnal Green railway arch. "You should come" he tells you, in between Shazams, "it's proper underground, not like the commercial shit in here".
The Petrified Teenager
This bug-eyed red-faced specimen is usually found hiding in the smoking area. Furtively looking around while he comes up on his first ever pinger. He used his mate’s brother’s provisional to get in and he’s shitting it about getting rumbled. He’ll give you a lighter, he’ll lend you a smoke, just please don’t tell the bouncers. He’s worried your mate wants to fight him. Your mate doesn’t want to fight him.
Creatine Club Gorillaz
Bulging biceps, shaved back and sides, plunging tie-dye vest, sleeves, shorts (if he's remembered leg day), or jeans (if he hasn't). These guys haven't had a carb since 2012 and spend half their salary on powders and pills designed to make them look even more like an over-inflated baby. They prowl the dancefloor in packs, constantly head nodding, occasionally fist pumping, predominantly flexing. They're unsure of the genre of music being played. They thought this club would have more girls.
They don't usually have fights with other CCG's, but when they do, it looks something like this.
The Guest List Groupie
She’s on first name terms with half the Bloc line up (The British ones anyway). She had a thing with someone on Night Slugs / NMBRS / Swamp 81 and made her way through half the door staff at DMZ. She has guest list – she always has guest list. Her drink’s a vodka coke and her spot is by the booth. She’s going to an afterparty at Boddika’s. She thinks DJs' girlfriends need to get over themselves.
Previously confined to South London sports bars, the antipodes have begun to infiltrate every strata of clubland in the capital. From Peckham rooftops to Soho basements to Dalston sweatboxes, it seems you can’t go two seconds without being strong-armed into a shot-centric drinking game with a seven-foot caveman on the rip with his ex-pat pals.
The Acid House Revivalist
Where you at Trip in ‘88? Clink Street in ‘89? The Hacienda in ’90? Neither was he, but he just knows it was the tits. Nothing like today. “There are no real DJs today mate, no real selectors,” he tells you. He’s showing you instagrams of “sick 909s” and recounting the time he spotted Danny Rampling in the Westfield Yo! Sushi. He’ll be at whatever night has the lineup with the oldest average age. He has a tie dye t-shirt. He lives in Bermondsey. He’s 21.
The Big Night Bonding Bros
Photo by Jake Lewis
Two likely lads, hurtling towards forty, meeting up for their tri-annual big one. They were thick as thieves back in the day, smashing all-nighters on the reg to Sasha and Oakey. Chris doesn’t get out as much anymore - what with the littlun - and Steve needs a full week to recover after a big sesh these days. Still, they make a point every now and then of getting together, dusting off their matching morph suits and living it up like they used to. Catch them taking a breather in the smoking area and telling anyone that’ll listen: “he’s like my brother, this one”.
The Straight Through Crew
Usually comes in one of two very distinct flavours. You have the Young Proff Weekend Warriors. They took the afterparty a bit far last night and after a boozey pub lunch, have managed to keep it together long enough to get past the doorman. They’re flagging, but if they just get the banter back up (or pick up) then everything else will follow. The second are the Straight Through regulars. Like the YPWWs, they took the afterparty a bit far, but unlike them, their afterparty started two days ago. And it wasn’t really a party. And it was in a park in Bow. These guys are alright, though... Provided you don’t talk to them. Or look at them.
The Clapham Contingent
Made up almost exclusively of estate agents and recruitment execs. Mercifully, these guys rarely leave the Bermuda triangle between North, Common and Junction. Years of student nights, bar crawls and pub golf have hardened them into binging machines. During the week they're strictly no-carbs and frequent workouts, but on the weekend they follow an equally strict going out regiment: pints in the Alex, strawpedos in Revs, shots in Infernos, vomit in Maccy Ds. They’ve recently discovered Brixton, and Peckham is petrified.
Similar to the Clapham Contingent, but more extreme in every way. Having no time to go home and get changed between after-work pints and the big night out, they'll invariably be on the dancefloor pulling shapes in their Armani suits like your dad at a wedding. Though at least they don't subject you to their horrible dance moves for long - frequent smoke breaks and constant cubicle visits ensure you only have to put up with them for five minutes at a time. Find them at All Bar One, Be At One, Oblix or throwing up on the Jubilee Line.
They “came for the football and stayed for the gash”. They think you’re a soft southern dandy and they grind their teeth at the price of a pint. They’re constantly topping up their oyster and they’re not happy about it. Find them in Spoons for the prelash pints (and steak club - #winning). Then it’s off to whatever club has the most aggressive flyering policy in Leicester Square. They’ll be sweaty, they’ll be rowdy, they’ll be giving it stacks. They'll be telling anyone that'll listen they once had jagerbombs with Ricky from the Kaiser Chiefs.
The Deep Tech Dabbler
Dressed like a gothic messiah: black knee-length t-shirt with zips on the sides, tight black leather trousers, All Saints boots, a wide brimmed hat and some sort of shawl. He's always looked this way, but his music tastes change like the tide. He's been through it all: minimal, post dubstep, deep house, now it's deep tech. Find him in the middle of the dancefloor, really getting into it. "This is the real underground, man" he thinks to himself as he dad-dances around some Spanish tourists.
Talkative First Timer
You invariably meet this guy in the queue for the smoking area / bar / toilets /club - any queue basically. The point is you're queuing so you can't leave. He knows this and he exploits it. He latches onto you and chews your ear off until you give up and go back to the dancefloor. This is his first rave, his first #drugexperience. He's lost his mates but it's fiiiiiine. He's met you, you're mates now. You just have a real connection, ya'know? This track is banging. This club is sick. Everyone in here is so nice. We should be Facebook friends.
The Adolescent Shotter
The lad’s got a bumbag stuffed with discount pills and a swangin’ jaw to prove it, yet he’s making you feel like someone whose dancing days are dwindling. Judge all you like from afar but he’ll be the one laughing when you furtively shuffle over to ask what he’s packing.
The Sugababes Reincarnate
Photo by Jake Lewis
Less in the sick vocal harmonies way, more in the three to a cubicle, default resting bitch face way. These girls will eyeball you out of the toilet and own the dancefloor -until you see them being bundled into a cab with a mouth like the Joker.
This person arrived two hours early, proudly sporting the DJ’s logo on their T-shirt and is talking to anyone who’ll listen about the time they saw said DJ do a 20 hour set in Berlin. They’ve travelled an exceedingly long distance to witness a 2 hour set and you’re automatically pissed off by their enthusiasm.
The Guy from IT
The dude you accidently cc’ed into the email planning your bank holiday blow-out has actually turned up. He’s dressed like he’s about to go on a first date with a middle aged woman and using phrases like “man I AM SO PUMPED”- don’t think you’ll ever see him so excited again.
They’ve read the Trip Advisor, looked on Time Out and have decided yes, this night is for them. Their hostel’s nearby and they’re gassed for their big night out in London. Catch them in the toilets ripping a crumpled outfit out of their rucksack and hastily applying make up / brushing teeth. They've already mentally drafted tomorrow morning's braggy Facebook post. Sore thumb doesn’t even cover it.