After the demise of The End and nights like Nag Nag Nag, there's a party shaped hole in the West End at the moment. But never fear, promoter Alex Sheridan has spotted the gap and created a City Lights shaped object to fill it. We met up to find out what his new night was all about ahead of their Valentines Night special tomorrow night.
When and why did you set City Lights up?
Well, our previous party Death To All Culture Snitches got a little big for it's boots after a while and we found ourselves booking all these super- expensive acts and flying them over from all over the place so I decided to move into the West End for a new start with a new name, "City Lights".
Having grown up seeing the West End/ central London in its clubbing heyday in the mid 90's (clubs like Mars Bar, The End, the old Social) I wanted to recreate some of the togetherness and familiarity that I saw in those places, just a good old- fashioned dirty basement disco really.
Who are your DJs and what do they do in the real world?
Amongst our residents we have a doctor (Henry Seligman), two students (Ben Richards and Oliver Seaman who are also residents at Adventures Close To Home) and I'm a music supervisor for adverts and film. All our guest djs are full time musicians producers or promoters. In the past we've had Friendly Fires, The Glimmers, Joakim & Optimo to name but a few.
What do you play and what is it about that music that's so special?
The simple answer is that we play pretty much whatever we like. All the residents have different musical leanings and you can never tell what guests will pull out of their bags - Mike Simonetti from Italians Do It Better played Bob Marley and Love Is In The Air! That said if you want genre specific it's usually a mix of disco, electro, techno, house, italo, punk funk and indie dance.
Have you ever had any celebs on your dancefloor?
Yeah we've had a few. Sienna Miller came down once and when we were at Public Life Alexa Chung and Peaches Geldif got turned away because we were too busy. For me though having Mark Moore from S Express come down was a real thrill. He doesn't get as many column inches in Heat though.
What's Bar Rumba like as a venue?
It's great. It's a size that feels somehow large but intimate which was exactly what I was looking for, plus it has a great system. It's been mysteriously overlooked for ages but is has great history an hopefully an exciting future.
What's your dream venue?
The Caves in Menorca are pretty amazing but for my parties I have to say that Watergate in Berlin would be perfect.
Tell us one artist who we've probably not heard of that we should check out?
They're beginning to get some hype now after their remix of Friendly Fires' Paris but Aeroplane from Belgium have been doing some great stuff over the last 18 months and should do well with their album this year. It's really florid electro disco and no one else has quite captured that vibe yet. Plus I should mention Stopmakingme who came down to play for us last year, he's a great Dj.
What other club nights do you like going to in London?
What are your plans for the future?
To keep on keeping on and establish a West End institution with City Lights
Favourite 5 tracks to play at the moment? And your all-time floorfiller?
Top Five right now are:
Franz Ferdinand- Ulysses(beyond the wizards sleeve remix)
Plastique de reve- Resist
Friendly fires- Paris(aeroplane remix)
Morten Sorensen- start something
All time floor filler has to be Liquid Liquid- Bellhead.
City Lights is at Bar Rumba on Shaftesbury Avenue on Thursday 12 February.