a$ap rocky, mos def and skepta turn out for deviation
Last night Benji B kicked of his XOYO Residency. Here’s 5 reasons why you should grab a season ticket.
Last night Benji B kicked off his XOYO Residency, reminding us why it's one of the most legendary London club nights. Trust us, once you pop your Deviation cherry, there's no going back. Benji B is the eclectic music lover, exceptional DJ and BBC Radio presenter, so it's little wonder that the line-ups continually read like a musical dream. Launching his 13-date residency at Old Street's XOYO, the grassroots music supporter, joined grime warrior Skepta, genre-defying Bok Bok, all-round creative Virgil Abloh and vibes supplier Kaytranada for one of those, 'I was there' nights. Here are five reasons why you should be grabbing yourself a season ticket.
1. Expect the unexpected
Before we get started on the special guests, we need to point out that when a DJ plays at Deviation, you can expect them to play music they love. That means you can go from trap to disco to 80s R&B, dirty grime and trippy tech in the space of 10 mins. That's part of the reason why Deviation stands out amongst a pretty much trend-led clubbing scene in London. However eclectic you think an hour can get, it will attempt to surprise you every time.
2. The energy is relentless
How can there be a roadblock at an event that starts at 9pm? Well, unlike most club nights where you unorganised folk miss out, Deviation keeps half the tickets to sell on the door. Thoughtful, right? The crowds showed their appreciation too; accents from all over the globe were overheard last night, shapes were cut left, right and centre. There were strictly good vibes.
3. Benji B knows people that know people that…
As if Skepta bringing out his BBK family, JME, Jammer, Shorty and emerging MC Novelist wasn't enough, after killing his set and wandering off stage, Virgil Abloh took to the decks and A$AP Rocky casually stepped on stage. The crowd went crazy. Desperate to play a new track (James Dean), the Harlemite offered his phone to Virgil to plug in. Fans were just about catching their breath after Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2 had the floor vibrating, then Mos Def just came out of nowhere! Five seconds of Ms Fat Booty caused everyone to lose their minds. One reveller shook his head, repeating, "I Can't".
4. People stay until the end
Deviation provides its very own wind down session, in this particular case Benji B and Virgil Abloh went back-to-back in the basement as the sound system pounded through Kendrick Lamar's Alright and D'Angelo's Betray My Heart whilst the bar saw Bok Bok zoning out to Drake's Know Yourself and Big Sean's Blessings.
5.There's way more to come
Over the next few months you can expect to witness everyone from Floating Points, Todd Edwards, Wiley and Sampha to Mark Ronson, Hudson Mohawke, Kenny Dope and Goldie & Metalheadz. Reasons enough to go get your season ticket now.
Benji B Presents Deviation at XOYO EC1, runs until 27 June.
Photography Sam Benjafield