Going raving in the twilight hours of Monday morning might seem like a strange concept, but clubs like Awake (at South London’s Lightbox from 10pm Sunday ‘til 6am Monday) have never been more popular, apparently. Marketed primarily by word of mouth and discreetly branded business cards which are handed out in place of conventional flyers, Awake attracts a hipster crowd (including SBTV boss Jamal Edwards) and Metro newspaper recently tipped the event alongside Cirque Le Soir as a ‘must do’. The club’s hosts - and kings of the early morning - Ben Cain and Dirty Filthy Soul tell us why they’re all about creating happy Mondays.
Tell us about your monthly party Awake, what is the event all about?
The idea of Awake is to go against the grain. We don't want to follow any kind of trend or style, which goes for music, fashion etc. We have all types of people as well. That’s why we choose Sunday nights. So people have to make a conscious effort to come to our events by booking the day off work or going into work slightly frazzled. Our music policy has the same ethos, we play dance music and mainly techno and house, but it really does depend on the mood of the night and what we are feeling at the time, I vaguely remember ending the night on Adam F ‘Circles’ once. The only thing that all of the music which we play has in common is soul; even some of the hardest thumping techno tracks that we play will have a touch of soul in there somewhere. We want to show the new breed of ravers that you don't have to follow ONE style of music to be "cool", you don't have to wear Air Max trainers, or have your hair a certain way. If at some point in our party we feel that a classic house or disco jam would be perfect then it’s likely you will hear it. That’s why we called our party Awake, because sometimes we all need to wake up and smell the coffee…’
And you as promoters, what are your respective backgrounds?
Myself and James (Dirty Filthy Soul) are DJs by nature, We met in a small private members’ club in the West End. We slowly built a friendship from there really and always talked about starting a small party together. I have been friends with Alex our other partner in the party on and off for God knows how many years. He has various other businesses but has always been into his music in a big way and has been on the party scene for a very long time. He knows everyone on the circuit and everyone knows him LOL.’
What makes Awake so special?
I wouldn't like to say we are special, but one thing we don’t do is copy or follow anyone else's vision. We have our own ideas and our own way of doing things, maybe it’s not the right way but it’s our way LOL. We are lucky to have a great foundation of friends and family that help us with the event which is why you will always see smiling faces at Awake. If that makes us special then great, If not then that’s fine too.’
Previous events have seen the likes of Clive Henry and Hot Since 82 on the line up. Who have you got this month?
We never have a headliner as such at our first party of the year. We always have a residents and friends party where we all jump on and off and go back to back. But we are currently planning our 2nd birthday which is looking like it could be a bit special.’
Being a late night Sunday vibe are you encouraging your crowd of clubbers to skip work on a Monday? Got any good excuses for them to tell their boss?
Hmmmm... well I would always encourage people to ‘bunk’ when they can ha ha. Not at the risk of being fired of course. But maybe they could drag their boss down to the event as well and then you have a perfect excuse…’
As producers as well as DJs, what else are you up to and where else can we catch your sets?
We are always in the studio and there will be some debut release coming at some point this year. DJ wise you can always catch at Awake but we also play at Fire, XOYO, The Nest and plenty of other clubs across London. Best way to keep up to date with us is to like the AwakeLondon Facebook page or website…’
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Photos Copyright: Awake