NO SLEEP TILL LONDON…
I was in Berlin a couple of weeks ago and listened to an impeccably trainer-ed German guy bemoan the fact that, when he went to Dimensions last year (a Croatian festival with British organisers), there were no after-parties when the main acts finished at 6am. He was, he maintained, just getting started at that point. As a rule, Berliners stay out late. There’s a plethora of Berlin bars dishing out beers and beats post 7am.
Techno is still the name of the game in that fair city, and these two facts must be connected. When DJs in London play a set, they’re often only having to sustain a party sort of mood for four or five hours before close.
Unless you specifically seek out a minimal sort of night, you’re likely to be met with a set of, well, bangers, whatever you happen to be into. Whereas in Berlin, the old cliché about a Berghain crowd cheering the hi hat as the first musical variation in an hour is pretty much bang on the money. But if you’re out for twelve hours straight, and the DJs are having to entertain you for the duration, there’s no point in either of you peaking too soon.
Berlin’s meant to be clubbing Mecca. But I’m a fan of peaking too soon, truth be told. One of my favourite nights in London is Soul Train, and I don’t think I’ve ever made it past 3am, despite the Bussey Building’s unusually lenient opening hours. But I’m a fan of drinking too much too quickly, and dancing too hard, and of taking each individual three minute song as a party all of its own, and letting that mood rise and sink with the intros and outros as rapidly as a heartbeat. I’ve a gnat-like attention span that extends to the dancefloor and I expect it to be held, DJ, or I’ll be straight across to the McDonalds on Rye Lane before you can say ‘late licensing’.