This was our second time seeing Dimitri From Paris, having attended an XOYO Loves event he was headlining last November, however this performance at Electric Brixton felt like moving from an O2 academy to The O2, everything was bigger, louder, and groovier. The sound system at Electric Brixton is awesome, the music was pumping loud but had clarity and did not feel overbearing. Many other clubs often think that turning the bass up to 11 and maxing out the speakers is what the people want, but that can distort the sound and then you can't hear anything clearly. So it really noticed that the sound techies were doing a great job at One Night at the Disco.
Whilst Dimitri From Paris was the act most people were there to see, Lovebirds was a phenomenal support act, playing solid dance tracks through his entire set. Lovebirds dropped some unexpected grooves that we have always wanted to hear on a night out, such as Luther Vandross’ 'She's A Super Lady'. Then there was the lighting for this event, which was next level. This is largely down to having the night in a theatre-style venue (Electric Brixton is housed in an old cinema), which made the whole thing feel like a special event as opposed to the standard club sesh. There were some powerful strobes and lasers, disco balls all over the place, and they blasted a confetti cannon when Dimitri played his latest edit of Phyllis Hyman's 'You Know How To Love Me'. You can't really ask for better on a Friday night out in London, so hats off to the techies who seriously elevated the experience.
Although almost everything about this event was perfectly orchestrated, something we just cannot ignore is the dangerous level of overcrowding at the venue. Legally, it may not have been over capacity, but what is the point of a massive venue...when no one can fit? When we arrived it was movable but it rapidly became too busy, when as many Friday night wanderers as possible were squeezed through the doors to inflate profits. I don't mean festival busy, I mean Northern Line rush hour commute busy - people were shoulder to shoulder with drinks and limbs flying all over the place - you couldn't dance at all...WHICH IS THE WHOLE POINT OF DISCO MUSIC! We would've been more accepting of this if we could at least escape for some fresh air, but there was a queue to the smoking area which had the same problem; there was no room to move out there whatsoever.
After fighting our way out of the cattle of smokers, we noticed another queue, which must have been at least 10 metres long, snaking out of the ladies toilets into the upstairs bar area - a number of women resorted to gate-crashing the men’s toilets so that they didn’t have to spend their entire night waiting. If you wanted to go out of the front of the venue entrance for fresh air, to save yourself from overheating, fainting or vomiting, you would not be allowed back in. For too long these dangerously cramped conditions have just been accepted as part of club culture, which feels like a punishment for the simple desire to go out and enjoy music in a communal, sociable setting. It's one thing being hot and busy but it's another thing when you can't move, and there were people panicking because of the claustrophobic and sweaty atmosphere - if there had been a fire (or worse) the crowd and venue would have been well and truly fucked. I don't know if this is down to the venue staff and security, event organisers, or the promoters - whoever is to blame please consider this next time.
Anyway, because of the whole “too many people” thing I may have mentioned...we vacated to the top floor by another bar. As the night progressed, this bar area cleared a little and was actually a really cool way to enjoy the event. You could see the entire venue from above which gave it a Studio 54 feel, the view of the entire dancefloor with Dimitri at the helm (lit from behind and looking like an absolute DJ God on the decks) was a real spectacle. Despite the immense number of people we still had a cracking night. One Night at the Disco definitely know how to put on a show with some awesome acts, their next event is at The Jazz Café where Greg Wilson will be headlining, a man who's always a pleasure to see.