The party and the club that everybody is talking about. London’s latest underground space has been hosting a fine selection of well curated parties yet none has swept the floor quite like Tribes. On only its second outing to date, Tribes has undoubtedly become the venues biggest party.
What originally started as The London Loft Party in 2011, an invite only warehouse rave has now expanded, boasting a tribal presence. Without hesitation they take over the entirety of the venue - including Grow, The Barbershop, The Warehouse and The Tent outside… No other party opens things up like that, a “berlin feel” says the co-founder Dom Chung. With all this choice we were guaranteed 16 hours of madness.
As we approach the industrial metal fencing of a disused mechanics depot, the neon lights can be seen through the murky rain and misty fog. We shuffle through some back alley entrance and let the sound of the music lead the way. Like a quest on maze we move through the abandoned winding corridors, chasing the beat. We enter upon arrival - The Warehouse.
We are greeted by Not An Animal, the room is comfortably filled with a buzzing crowd bouncing to sound of a saxophone that plays out over some chirpy house. A nice warm up to the night before spanning a plentitude of djs and artists Chris Stoker and Andy Bainbridge of Not An Animal records undoubtedly owned their tribe. From old fashioned house to disco and techno, all under the projections of dancing otherworldly people. Spinning trans-dimensional figures circulated all over the walls, pulsating in and out..
“Is this real life?”
Tom Jef, a notorious part of the Hackney Wick warehouse scene and the artist who curated the fantasy visuals supplied a cinema of gripping psychedelia. By this point I was hit with the realisation that Tribes was more than just a night out, it was a trip through pure creativity built by the people, the music, the art and the place.
Shifting to a different time and space, we’re spun out onto the floor of Grow where another couple of notable party-starters charged the musical airwaves, that is of course Wes Baggaley and Prosumer. Both provided 3 hours of back to back, performing under the tribe of ‘Handsome - Dance Party’. Drag-queen dominatrix men in berets, metallica and diamond hoops danced behind cages and waltzed on the floor freeky. Prosumer, a favourite of the night selected racey old school 90s disco-house anthems, keeping the crowd pumping.
The vibe in this room was nothing but a... tease. It fused everything together across experiences that The London Loft Party had created across years - private lofts, railway bridges, mechanic garages, former sex dungeons, tunnels, boats, farms, forests and some of London’s very best warehouses all lived on amidst a brand new space.
We meet at our final destination, that is the main room. A smokey, bass-thumping haven…
Making our way through the crowd, as Blake Baxter’s, ‘Frequency Old School’ plays out. We catch the last 6 hours of the headliners, Apollonia the French trio, who prior were supported by Geddes and London Loft Party’s man himself, Dom Chung. Shonky, Ghenacia and Soundorom behind bars, sound the alarm as they play their usual stripped back sultry selections.
Heads rolled with infatuation, those who were there at the beginning didn’t leave their position until the end. That goes for me too.
Tribes founders, Dom Chung and Stuart Glen, claim origins when it comes to the unadvertised Hackney warehouse rave. Tribes is an expansion of what started out as their North and East crews held at The London Loft Party:
“It’s the link - different crews to help network, keeping it friends and family, each room represents a different crew for tribes.” Chung states.
Once a simple play on David Mancuso’s loft party today Tribes has evolved much further. Last year Tribes even hosted a magical mystery tour, taking 300 people to an off the radar farm in Essex. Participants met up at The Cause with no idea where they were going, just coaches awaiting to pick them up before embarking on the rollercoaster.
Chung who gave me a “crash course lesson in the history of The London Loft Party”, states that The Cause itself is “built upon the DNA of The London Loft Party”... and he is right.
Everything about this place is DIY, hence why it remains such a special location. What was once an unused warehouse now holds a community beneath its roof - made up of the club, a garden center, a barbershop, a record shop (Kristina Records), Doggy Day Care and other office spaces. Even the sound system has its own special little story - creator Bruno Conti of The Core Sound System, who has been shooting systems all over the London underground party scene, built it from scratch in his bedroom/workshop space above The Cause.
Frank Hawkes, a member who works for The Cause calls it, “His favourite soundsystem, other than Fabrics.” - Oh, and It doesn’t stop there... 50% of the booking fees from Tribes goes to a charity partner for the mental health group, Mind In Haringey.
Tribes plans to take on a bi-monthly regime and will be back in February. Unable to reveal all as of yet but it promises to be another knockout.
Follow the party on facebook HERE.
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