Tags Posts tagged with "XOYO"


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Hayden James
Hayden James

Every once in a while you go out on a slightly random one mid-week and end up seeing someone who’s pretty interesting. Sure, you can plan your nights out and target specific acts in order to get a feel for what’s going on in any particular musical movement, but sometimes it’s nice just to trust in someone else’s itinerary. Which is what DLTM did when we saw Hayden James at XOYO. The Old Street has been holding live gigs for as long as we can remember (in fact, we saw Jessie J perform there way before she was famous), and works as a great space for showcasing new music to an open audience.

Charlotte holds her own on stage as part of electronic-based duo RIVRS
Charlotte holds her own on stage as part of electronic-based duo RIVRS

Hayden was the headliner for the evening, but before he jumped on stage RIVRS were commanding the stage. We arrived midway through their set and saw singer Charlotte in full flight. Their performance was tight, a mix of accessible songwriting/vocals and breezy, poppy electronica – a nice way to lead into Hayden’s similarly upbeat music. Have a listen to their cover of one of our favourite nineties jams, ‘Don’t Let Go’ by En Vogue.

Hayden James kept things summery and cheery at XOYO
Hayden James kept things summery and cheery at XOYO

When Hayden came on the number of people in the club seemed to double immediately, probably a direct result of his smash ‘Something About You’, which has pulled in over seven million plays on YouTube and sent Hayden into the stratosphere. He delivered a cool, tropical selection of music full of optimism and light atmospherics, sunny vocals and catchy rhythms.

Both acts helped to promote a fun, sociable atmosphere at XOYO, which meant everyone there had a great time and filled the place with positive vibes. As we said, an unplanned, though enjoyable mid-week outing that brought two new artists to our attention.

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Artwork at Art's House, The Nest, Dalston
Credit: Sam Benjafield

This summer, the man like Artwork, arguably one of the DJ world’s funniest characters (and not half talented too), put on a series of parties at The Nest in Dalston, just up the Kingsland Road, called ‘Art’s House’. The premise was simple: deck out the DJ booth like a front room, put light shades around all the lamps in the club, don’t announce any guests and party like you’re in the comfort of someone’s house. Every single party sold out of tickets as soon as the series was announced, which is a testament to Artwork’s pulling power as well as the allure of a party that bypasses all the usual line-up politics and puts the enjoyment factor above big names. Don’t Lose The Magic popped down to one of the parties to see what all the fuss was about and to spend a bit of time with our old mucker, Artwork…

“I was at an after-party with Skream, Pokes… a few of the gang, and we were saying how great it would be if, instead of always asking to come to our parties via Twitter, we twist on its head and say, “I tell you what, we’ll bring it to you,” Arf tells us as we cotch on in the sun at Dalston Roof Park. He’s explaining how the idea behind ‘Art’s House’ was conceived.

It came as no surprise to us whatsoever to hear that the idea came into being at an after-party, not because Artwork, Skream and all the gang are party animals, but because after-parties are truly where a lot of magic happens, a lot of great ideas are formulated and, nine times out of ten, forgotten the second they come into being.

Artwork Twitter message
Artwork put a call out on Twitter

Fortunately, Arf didn’t forget this one, and he put the idea into action immediately. The response was swift and loads of fans got in touch to say they wanted him at their gaff.

“We chose someone that was close to us, we didn’t want to go all the way to west Wales or something like that. We took an entire soundsystem, lights, smoke machines, lasers. I took TEED, Route94, Skream and myself into a house in the east end and had a party,” he tell us. “It was pretty mental. It was a Wednesday night, the people who lived at the house were so used to having parties that we had to help clear the place up from the one they’d just had, before we get started. It got shut down about half 1ish when the neighbours finally came round banging on the door saying, ‘This is ridiculous!'”.

Poster for Art's House at The Nest, Dalston
Credit: Sam Benjafield

After seeing that one-off party and the slew of photos that hit Twitter the following day, Andy Peyton from XOYO and The Nest got in touch to ask if Artwork fancied doing similar parties, again switching things up by bringing the house party vibe into a club. “We went round buying wood, we built the whole thing; we bought so many things that we actually couldn’t fit them all in that space – fireplaces, the lot! We went to charity shops to buy all the books. We had so much we gave away loads of it every week.”

DLTM were granted access to The Nest before it opened to check out the set that had been built especially for the party and it looked pretty decent, have a look at our pics below.

Set at Artwork's party 'Art's House' at The Nest, Dalston
The set at Art’s House at The Nest
Set at Art's House The Nest Dalston
A selection of the props used at Art’s House

On the day of the party, a pre-party also takes place down the road from The Nest at Dalston Roof Park where the sunshine and drinks get everyone vibing and ready for the night ahead. Artwork’s laid back approach to the whole affair gets everyone at the soiree relaxed and enjoying themselves, there are soul train dancing competitions, a silent disco (to avoid upsetting other residents in the building), Arf jumps on the mic to speak to the crowd every now and then… once it’s all done, a conga line forms down on the street below and everyone dances along Kingsland Road to The Nest, where the party continues.

Art's House at Dalston Roof Park
Arthur jumps on the mic to gee up his day party

“I didn’t want to announce who was playing at all, I didn’t want to sell it on saying, ‘These people are gonna be here’. Whether it’s me on my own, or me and some pals, I wanted to set up a night where you just trust me. Just come along, you know it’s going to be good music,” he says.

You can’t argue with that. The Nest went off, and the pre-party was great fun. A wicked little concept and, above all, a lovely time was had by all.

Big up Artwork and the gang!

Art's House at The Nest, Dalston
Action time at the ‘house party’
Marcus Barnes with Artwork at Dalston Roof Park
Don’t Lose The Magic boss Marcus Barnes with Artwork
Credit: Sam Benjafield



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