REVIEW: Cargo & Callooh Callay, 22/07/2011

Callooh Callay (stock photos- useful when your camera sucks.)

I toyed with a number of headlines for this article, including Stuart Bradley and the Unknown EMI Artist, but all of them sounded as much like rejected Harry Potter titles as the above example.  Unfortunately, it’s pretty much the best I can do, as the event I’m reviewing was several weeks ago and I wasn’t even meant to be there – I got in by claiming to be a tech reviewer for a national newspaper who was writing an article on social dynamics within the electronic music scene.  An elaborate story to construct sober, let alone after a heavy evening of after-work drinks, I credit being able to blag entry to the gravitas of this lie.

The above paragraph is a pretty good introduction to my life – a relatively new addition to London, I am a serial blagger and a have a passion for music and writing.  On nights out I tend to do first and think later, which usually (I hope…) makes for an entertaining read.  By the time I get to Cargo, I’ve been hanging out in the VIP area of Callooh Callay for several hours.  I don’t mean the bit through the wardrobe, there’s another bit you need a key to get into.  I didn’t, and still don’t, have a key, and I’m not sure if I’m even supposed to be talking about it or everybody already knows about it. Oh well.  The cocktails at CC that night are named after girls and accompanied by a caption that describes both the girls and the drinks, which is undeniably a pretty cool touch.

People on drugs at Cargo (another stock photo...)

Anyway, Cargo.  I’d only been once before, with a friend and a minor league celebrity who insisted that we film a ‘music video’ on her iPhone.  On playing it back the next day, we were dismayed to find that we looked like extras from Requiem for a Dream.  Free entry before 10pm – that’s always a good sign.  Another good sign is that there were enough good looking women to ensure that a very drunk, very ‘play the numbers and you’re bound to have success’ friend was able to disappear for about an hour before we found him attempting to chat up two eastern European girls and very messily eating a burger from the BBQ outside.  I got a burger too…it was actually pretty amazing.  Satiated with meat, I switched back to cider after blagging my way into…uhh, someone’s EMI launch party.  Much to my dismay, he was playing drum and bass.  I know, like it was 2005 and everything.  I didn’t have much time to mope though, because the VIPs (oh, and me) got turfed out at 1am.

What makes Shoreditch nightlife really interesting is the characters you meet while you’re out.  An example that springs to mind is the middle-aged programmer type we met who was wearing red jeans, a red Hawaiian shirt and an Indiana Jones hat.  After introducing himself as Bongo Bob, we asked him why he was dressed like that.  ‘Because I feel like it, man’ he replied.  Respect.  Now I’m writing for Made in Shoreditch and I might get press passes to lots more things like this, I dread to think of the rabbit holes I’m going to find myself waking up in.

Comments are closed.