Every so often we take a more indepth look at clubnights round London that peak our interest. This week it's Beat Poetry, an ecletic funky night which moved from Brixton to Spitalfields earlier this year.
If you like the sound of it, the next installment is taking place this Friday (13/6) from 10pm and entry is a mini £3, with a promise of lollies, jelly beans and free CDs. Cool!
When and why did you set your night up?
Beat Poetry started as a radio show in the Midlands in 2002 when Joss and I were at Warwick University. We were both mad about UK hip-hop at the time and used to do a two-hour show every week late on Saturday night. From there we started DJing together at student nights.
After uni, Joss and I moved back to London and started putting on parties with a friend of his, Alex. We started off in various venues around Balham and Clapham before settling at Mango Landin in Brixton for a year. We moved the night to Gramaphone in Spitalfields in February this year.
Where did the name come from?
The name describes the music we play. Everything we spin has got to have that killer beat. From hip-hop to funk, electro to punk, it’s got to have the energy that can only be provided by a huge drum track.
The “poetry” refers to our love of hip-hop – rap was the music the three of us bonded over. As the years have gone by, we’ve expanded our selections to include many other styles of music, but hip-hop is still very much the basis of what we do.
Who are your DJs, where and what do they play, and what do they do in the real world?
Beat Poetry is three people. I’m Ally and I mainly play electro, punk-funk and hip-hop. I’m a journalist – I work as a sub-editor and music writer for London newspaper CityAM.
Joss plays hip-hop and reggae. He has an unhealthy obsession with Rawkus records and is well on his way to owning their entire back catalogue. He is in the film industry and has worked on projects including Hot Fuzz and The Queen.
Alex is our funk and soul expert. He is our very own 45 king. He works in marketing for Virgin Records.
What do you play and what is it about that music that's so special?
We play electro, punk, funk and hip-hop. It’s a special mix of music because it’s all about making sure every single person in the venue has a good time. People who attend Beat Poetry should come expecting to dance till they can’t dance no more.
Have you ever had any celebs on your dancefloor?
I think Maxi Jazz from Faithless came to one of our nights in Brixton. He used to play at the same venue and stopped by one time to check out the competition!
What's your dream venue?
I absolutely love where we’re playing now – Gramaphone in Spitalfields. It’s a beautiful basement club with a great sound system. I’d love to play at Koko too.
Tell us one artist who we've probably not heard of that we should check out?
Sonny J. His last two singles have been dancefloor gold and have featured some heavy remixes from the likes of Riton, J*Star and Shortwave Set.
What other club nights do you like going to in London?
Yoyo at Notting Hill Arts Club is good as is the quality of nights at the Amersham Arms in New Cross. I also love anything organized by the Soundcrash or Nice Up guys.
What's your all time floorfiller, and your current favourite tracks?
Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division always gets a spin late on at Beat Poetry as it’s the ultimate bitter-sweet drunk-dancing floorfiller. I don’t think there’s been a Beat Poetry night where this hasn’t been played.
My three favourite records at the moment are probably Soundtape Killing by Toddla T, Pilooski’s re-edit of Send Him Back by the Pointer Sisters and Electric Feel by MGMT.