Tuckshop – A Wasteman Reflection

Art & Culture

When your work is fucking shit and you’re feeling sad that it’s cold and dark and your mates are going to fucking Winter Wonderland for romantic evenings with their girlfriends but you’re all alone with your chapped lips and chicken mcnuggets and downtrodden Tinder matches nervously bleeping on your phone like sexually repressed Tamagotchi, what do you need? That’s right, a good fucking party. Luckily, the Tuckshop boys were on hand to save my week of quite exquisite bleakness with a feel good Friday night line up designed to melt away the winter blues. 

Although Tuckshop have only been going since August, they have already been making waves in London with the diversity and strength of the acts on each line up, from Giles Peterson and Roska to Jehst and Mumdance, there is usually something for everyone as long as you like good music and want to dance. 

This eclectic and cheerful theme was duly carried forward into their latest offering, with none other than the original top vibe merchant Norman Jay MBE headlining, flanked by special guest Lorca, DJ Gilla, and residents Andreas B, Tappa and Manu Loka. 

Set in the Number 90 Bar; the vibe of the venue was so quintessentially Hackney that if it had arms it would be stuffing them into some kind of giant flannel shirt designed for houses whilst it ate a huge overpriced burger and ignored your conversation for something really interesting on its phone. Saying that it was bloody lovely, a big spacious main dancehall for the DJ’s to play in, a decent system filling out the room and an excellent smoking area that backed onto the canal with its black waters shivering in the cold London light. Made me feel proper romantic, so it did. 

But fuck romance and fuck Winter Wonderland, because I was here to party, which was good because the line up was ready to serve me a full blast of partying from all angles. What I like about Tuckshop is that no DJ on their line ups ever seem to play the same kind of music. Although I love a punishing 72 hour industrial Techno set as much as the next man, what I really want as a punter is a bit of variety and really a bit of fun. This is what Tuckshop provides like a boss, keeping things smoothly moving between genres throughout the night, where I managed to hear garage classics, disco, soul, hip hop bangers, deep house, latin rhythms and good old fashioned drum and bass. This isn’t a night that takes itself too seriously but is better off for it, and after a while I lost count of the times I started belting out the lyrics to the songs being played, or made that weird face you make when the bassline of a tune drops and you think no one is watching. 

Obviously one of the highlights was getting to see Norman Jay do his thing, and he didn’t disappoint. The man is a nationally treasured expert in getting a crowd eating out the palm of his hand, and if it’s good enough for the Queen it’s good enough for me, thanks very much. Another highlight for me was DJ Gilla, who basically seems to be a musical Uri Geller, knowing what’s inside my brain at all times and playing every song I’ve ever loved, ever. But one of the main draws for me was exciting up and comer Lorca. He played a tight set of deep house bangers with touches of old school garage, and it’s easy to see what they hype is about, some of the basslines he dropped we’re strong enough to iron my trousers in five seconds flat. 

Overall the night was a fun fuelled mix mash of all that is good about the London club scene at the moment. It’s obvious these guys have big plans and if they keep delivering the strength and variety in their line ups it’s easy to see them staking a big claim in London nightlife. I have to say as I left out the doors and got into the cab I couldn’t help but feel happy, and really that’s all we’re going out for, isn’t it?