Village underground

God is a DJ

Photography: Daddy’s got Sweets

It may not be a church, but this is still a place of worship

“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 parlor, 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.”

Village underground
54 Holywell Lane, London, EC2A 3PQ

“In that moment, it really can feel religious.”
Jorge Nieto

© Photo: Bryan Kwon;


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 $1.20 a slice or bagels for $2.50.

Tune in

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.



How famous cocktails got their names



American mining engineer Jennings Cox ran out of gin while entertaining guests at home in Cuba, so he improvised. His cocktail of rum, fruit and sugar was a hit, and in 1905 he named it after a nearby village.  

© Photo: Getty Images



When Venetian barman Giuseppe Cipriani mixed Prosecco with fresh peach and raspberry juice, the resulting pink drink reminded him of a toga in a Giovanni Bellini painting. Hence the name. (Now it’s not pink.)  

© Photo: Getty Images


Bloody Mary

Its most likely origin relates to Parisian barman Fernand Petiot, who is said to have made the drink in 1920 for vodka heir Vladimir Smirnov, whose name was mispronounced by a drunken patron.   

© Photo: Getty Images

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