From Elvis to Joey Essex: New Year’s Eve in Islington and Hackney
PUBLISHED: 12:27 18 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:23 19 December 2014
Don’t panic if you haven’t made plans, there’s no shortage of ways to ring in 2015, says Alex Bellotti.
With only a week until Christmas, you could easily be forgiven for not looking past the bloated fuzz of Boxing Day. Yet with New Year’s Eve fast approaching, leave it too late and you could find yourself at the mercy of inflated fourth release tickets and over-crowded tourist traps.
Luckily across both Islington and Hackney, there’s a fantastic array of events doing their best to lure punters from across all parts of the capital with innovative theme nights, great (or sometimes cheesy) tunes and killer venues all kitted out to help start 2015 with a bang.
For most disorganised 20-somethings, Shoreditch won’t leave you in short supply. Having brought its feline charms to Hackney all year round, Cat Lovers is taking over the Red Gallery, where House and Disco label WOLF Music top the billing and will be joined by Dan Shake, the only ever non-Detroit based signing to Moodymann’s legendary Mahogani label. Tickets are currently £15; visit catlovers.tv.
Down the road, The Book Club is transforming into the original sin city itself, Las Vegas. With a shotgun wedding chapel, an Elvis impersonator and the hallucinogenic vibes of a Fear and Loathing basement, it’s just the ticket if you can’t quite afford a real one to the bustling Nevada desert. Tickets are currently £10; visit wearetbc.com.
As theme nights go, it’s hard to beat Brick Lane’s Lost in Wonderland if you’re willing to shell out a little more. Guests arriving between 9-10pm will receive an invite into the Mad Hatter’s secret garden party, where complimentary cocktails are brewed by the man himself. For those with enough spring in their step and stamina in their feet, the imaginative party will go through the night until 5am across four rooms of music. Tickets are £35; visit xclusivetouch.co.uk.
For the ultimate East London experience (and by far the most pricey), it’s worth checking out the Shoreditch Pub Crawl NYE special. Including entrance to four bar and club venues (and a drinks voucher for each of them) plus a host of other enticing deals, the ticket also gets you into Shoreditch’s famous Cargo venue, which will be hosting a special edition of its popular Zombie Soundsystem night. Tickets are £65; visit theshoreditchpubcrawl.co.uk.
Heading further north, Kings Cross may be small but it packs a host of inventive options. Go all-out-glam at the Drink Shop & Do, where Freak & Chic sees guests dress up in the peculiar fashions of superstars such as Bowie, Lady Gaga, Audrey Hepburn or Bjork while dancing to classic party sounds, with hip hop and old skool taking over in the basement. Tickets start at £12; visit drinkshopdo.com.
Nearby, Moondance at Scala offers a tempting 10 hours of house, garage, jungle and club classics for £25 (scala-london.co.uk), while one of the classiest nights in town also lies near St Pancras at The Driver. With a sit down two course menu (duck and orange pate anyone?) thrown into the mix along with a roof terrace and three floors of music including Deep/Tech House, Commercial House and Disco, you’ll almost forget about the £60 ticket price. Visit driverlondon.co.uk.
With its good vibes and naff countdowns, not everyone’s looking to take themselves too seriously at New Year and for that, Islington has you covered. Club de Fromage – London’s premier night for cheesy pop tunes – is hosting a special edition down at Islington O2, where they’ll be putting their favourite playlists up against old school indie. Tickets are £25; visit clubdefromage.com. For a cheaper alternative, The Garage is also seeing the return of its I Love The 80s vs I Love The 90s New Years Eve, which houses three rooms of retro classics, with a dash of noughties numbers thrown in for good measure too. Tickets are £10; visit mamacolive.com/thegarage.
Finally, if dressing up as Bowie, Elvis or a Lewis Carroll character all sounds a bit too high culture, the Old Queens Head in Angel are staging The Only Way is Essex Road. Unfortunately it’s not a chance to dress up as your favourite Islingtonian; encouraged attire includes fake tans, ankle tattoos, low cut v-necks and similar sartorial atrocities in the style of Joey Essex and Co. Tickets are £20; visit theoldqueenshead.com.
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