God is a DJ
“We’re pretty busy here every day,” says Village Underground’s electronic music programmer Jorge Nieto. “One night we’ll have reggae and the next a 12-hour rave.” Nieto is seated in one of four Jubilee Line tube carriages that have been transformed into offices overlooking Shoreditch, on top of the club itself. He’s perusing the ecclesiastical section of an insurance website ahead of a techno night called Superstition, which will be lit solely by candles. The venue is a huge Victorian warehouse rather than a church, but its imposing brick walls have the same feel – and insurance requirements.
“There’s a history of good nights here,” says Nieto. “It was a massage parlour, a music hall, then an 18th-century theatre.” With sound baffles and a massive new sound system, it’s now a club for the modern age. “When it’s rammed inside,” Nieto says, “an amazing track drops in and the crowd roars, everything clicks. In that moment, it really can feel religious.”
54 Holywell Lane, London, EC2A 3PQ
Marcus Barnes, London DJ and music journalist
Before heading to the club, check out RedRum on Shoreditch High Street. This intimate little bar has a cocktail genius who makes an amazing pineapple and sage margarita.
After rolling out of Village Underground, you should definitely go to the bagel shops on Brick Lane. There’s cheesecake for 70p a slice or bagels for £1.50.
Local radio station Hoxton FM is the perfect way to warm up for a night out. I do a house and techno show, but there’s a broad range of stuff from ’50s to folk in the week.
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