Dalston’s latest – and loudest – club night celebrated its third edition last weekend, as denim-n-leather-clad hordes rocked out in London’s trendiest neighbourhood.
Record Club, East London’s only regular rock ‘n’ roll night, held its latest instalment last Saturday (26th) at The Alibi after congealing in the gutters of Hackney back in 2012.
Run by promoter and DJ Marek Steven and Louise Brown, editor of the metal magazine Iron Fist, Record Club brings headbanging to Kingsland High Street on the first Saturday of every month.
Born out of frustration that Dalston had no fixed rock night, Marek and Louise became inspired to create a night that summoned “a long-lost nostalgia for when rock clubs would DJ using vinyl, and when record shops were where you went to hang out.”
The two spoke to Daragh Markham about their love of “’60s pop, ‘70s rock, ‘80s excess”.
“All the best music was made in those three decades! Well, the best music to dance to anyway,” Louise declares. “We love psychedelia from the ’60s, glam rock from the ’70s and early heavy metal from the ’80s.”
From Iron Maiden, and AC/DC, to Fleetwood Mac, and Deep Purple, Record Club’s playlists run the gamut of rock music.
“Anything goes,” Marek confirms. “We always have a fresh selection and a lot of that recently has been the ‘60s side of things and some fun ‘70s pop. It’s just good, fun old music that everyone likes.”
Following the demise of the much-loved Dad’s Night gatherings (think Status Quo) at The Alibi, Marek and bar manager Deano Jo appealed to Louise to join them in creating a new event.
“I’ve been running gigs and nights for six years now and Dad’s Night was one of them, which I helped run with Deano,” Marek explains. “We wound that down as he was busy and this is a direct replacement.”
Marek sums up the night as “good vibes [with] an unselfconscious attitude. It’s very inclusive, with no posing and no egos!”
This friendly and accepting atmosphere is something that Record Club is keen to pursue.
“The word ‘club’ is more than just the simple meaning of ‘night club’; ‘club’ also, for us, means family, community, gang – and that’s what we want to encourage,” says Louise.
This mob mentality has seen respected figures from London’s rock scene turn up to play a few records, including noted photographer Sanna Charles and Olly Pearson of doom metal misanthropes Moss.
“They all bring their own brand to the night; I always love it when Olly drops some Ike & Tina or Sanna plays Stevie Nicks!” laughs Louise.
Though the night has only just begun, the crew have big plans for Record Club.
“Dalston isn’t a big rock community… yet,” Louise warns. “Traditionally, rock was the domain of Camden or central London, but Camden has become too settled and no longer exciting, and since the demise of venues like the Astoria and Sin, central has been dead for dancing. East London can fill that void for rock music in the capital.”