Dalston Superstore is one of East London’s most iconic queer venues. Despite being right in the middle of Dalston, on Kingsland High Street, it’s quite easy to miss, with a narrow and unobtrusive front.
Except, that is, on many Friday and Saturday nights, when the crowd outside is difficult to miss. Last Friday was no exception, when WUT?CLUB took over the venue for PEEP SHOW. Drag queens and club kids were spilling out onto the street while electronic music filled the two floors. It took a bit of time to get going, with the downstairs room fairly empty when we arrived and many of the best-dressed guests only arriving after 1. But it was well worth the wait and the party only got better and better.
The place was filled with Superstore regulars but also those who had come especially for WUT?CLUB. Clearly, there were a group who go to every event, beautifully and carefully dressed club kids who all seemed to know each other. There was an entirely friendly atmosphere, though, as you’d expect from such a youthful, queer night.
✨ 'OMG! Dalston Superstore has LITERALLY never seen queues this long! This Friday everyone, and I repeat, everyone in town wanted to get in on the hawt action and debrauchy brought to you by the hawttest night in town' ✨ Thanks for the shoutout @qxmagazine and to @hawtphotoxxx 🔊🎉 Caught your breathe yet? It's almost time for @thewutclub #SportsDay with @ageofaquaria (NYC) next Friday! 💦
WUT IS WUT?CLUB?
Going for over two years now, WUT?CLUB has become a mainstay of the London queer club scene, albeit an erratic one. With no permanent home or regular date, they jump around East London venues. Their next event, 10th March, sees their debut at legendary pub The Glory for SPORTS DAY. Founded by Anthony McGinley – who DJs under the moniker Attack Attack Attack – and hosted by Creative Director and performer Cain Jennings, WUT?CLUB is sophisticated and knows its market.
According to QX Magazine, “Dalston Superstore LITERALLY has never seen queues this long!” The balloons and confetti and projections were fun but quickly lost. The best decor was worn by the guests. The costumes and outfits are hard to describe: think leather, glitter, bondage, pink, baboons, drag and some ridiculously amazing heels. But I found myself wanting some more decoration, more creative direction – but I think this would need more space. I can see them easily taking over a much larger venue, decorating like crazy and creating some kind of hedonistic paradise.
WOW! Friday was BANANAS! 🍌 💥KAAABOOM! 💥 Thank you so much to EVERYONE who came, played and SLAYED! Same again soon, yeah? 🙌🏼 Join us for @thewutclub #SportsDay in 2 weeks on Friday 10th March when we take the party over to @thegloryldn with special act – all the way form NYC, for her debut UK performance – @ageofaquaria !!
Anthony and Cain have described it as “a place where likeminded people from all walks of life can have fun and be loved. A place to showcase creative talents, push the boundaries of conventional drag and continue to blur the lines on gender norms. A hedonist escapism underpinned with a credible underground soundtrack and an all out party atmosphere.”
The music was fabulous throughout. Poppy crowdpleasers to start, which segued into more considered electronic music. Downstairs, there was more intense dance music, heavier beats pounding throughout on the packed dance floor.
It was such a refreshing evening, compared to most club nights and many more mainstream gay events. There was a vibrant energy; creativity oozed from the walls. “We have given so many new and emerging artists a platform,” Cain explained, such as Aquaria, a New York-based drag queen making her UK debut at their next event. “We’ve kept venues busy, given performers platforms.”
Looking ahead, beyond The Glory, WUT?CLUB might be travelling far and wide, with European festivals planned for 2017. Cain and Anthony – and the entire WUT?CLUB circle – are onto something and I can’t wait to see what they get up to in the future.
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