photos from the queer night everyone's talking about
Roxy Lee shoots the fabulous faces of London’s newest, cult, queer party, Adonis.
Photography Roxy Lee
This weekend Adonis came to The Cause, a new-ish warehouse venue lurking in the shadows of Tottenham’s Carpetright, to host a party that lasted for 18 hours. Techno, house and acid bumping out to a crowd from across the LGBTQ community: bright-eyed Saint Martins students, evangelical international ravers, alt-drag queens and once jaded scenesters (newly revived).
Adonis is a loose collective -- Shay Malt, Roxy Lee, Hannah Holland, Sonikku, Guy Williams, Princess Julia, Jeffrey Hinton, Jonjo Jury -- and known for its fun, friendliness and a little friskiness. Next month they’ll be celebrating their first birthday, so we thought it was high time to catch up with Gloucestershire-born, London-based Shay Malt to find out more, as well as share Roxy’s images of the night.
Why The Cause?
It feels exciting. Three or four different parties going on nearby and it just feels a bit festival-y and a bit wild. It's dirty, underdeveloped and…
Yeah, really sweaty! They give me free rein to do what I want really. I love a club that you can go to and you’re not in one room for the whole night. I like to be able to wander around, get lost, discover something new. If you’re going to be somewhere for eight or nine hours, it’s quite good to have the option.
A new scene in London seems to be picking up on a different ways of clubbing from partying in Berlin, Madrid and Athens.
Yeah, it’s like when you go clubbing in Berlin -- you can go to a club, leave and you can go back ten hours later and the vibe will be completely different. Also, London has got people from all those different cities, so they’re used to that style of partying, so they’re bringing British people round to their way of thinking.
Having said that, there is a history of good day parties in London too…
In London before, you’d go out on a Sunday night to DTPM at Fabric or something and there’d be thousands of people out and there were things going on all weekend, but then I don’t know what happened... Grindr? Or maybe drugs like G or Methedrone that killed that era of clubbing, but people want to go out again. Maybe it’s a younger generation but they’re really up for it, which is amazing.
What nights were been instrumental for you?
When I moved to London, the first people I knew were Hannah Holland, who’s part of the Adonis collective, and Matt from the Superstore, who used to do a party called Trailer Trash at On the Rocks in Shoreditch, which was a really fun party in a tiny club. Crazy Friday nights! DTPM was always a favourite of mine, that club night used to amaze me, especially coming from a small town where you’ve got one gay bar. It was mind-blowing really.
These nights are almost forgotten -- they’re not really talked about and aren’t old enough to feel nostalgic about. That early/mid-noughties stuff never really gets referenced.
To think of having a big gay party in a club like Fabric now is incomprehensible. When you’ve gone from that big club partying, then to have nothing like that, you feel a bit hard done by. After that, I probably didn’t leave east London for 10 years, just going from The Joiners to Dalston Superstore, George & Dragon and Trailer Trash’s warehouse parties. There were the little basement clubs in Dalston, which were amazing, but sometimes it didn’t feel like you were going on an actual night out, even if you were out until six in the morning. Now there are loads of good, small, off the grid parties happening, like Hotbox and Opulence. They’re all happening around Hackney Wick, Tottenham area. They’re gay, mixed. There’s lots of stuff happening now. When the Joiners and the George & Dragon closed, it felt like it was over, but the younger kids are coming in and making their own thing and I think it feels really exciting now.
I like the cross-generational vibe at Adonis.
There’s an amazing range of people: young and older. It’s a shame that other places are ageist. What I like about Adonis is that there’s 18-year-olds and my friend who’s 60 comes. I imagine when I’m 60 I’ll still want to go out clubbing. It’s strange that society expects you to stop going out -- like once you hit 40, you don’t go out again. It’s weird, isn’t it? Maybe you go home a bit earlier or you only go out once a month. I’ll still want to go out forever I’d imagine. See you in the club in 40 years!
Everyone who goes to Adonis talks about how much they love how friendly it is.
It’s not pretentious in any way. Everybody is really friendly, having a good time. You’re sweating and you don’t have many clothes on, so you’re not going there to look good!
Sweat is certainly a leveler.
Your hair looks a mess, you’ve got no clothes on, you’re soaking wet -- it probably does bring everybody on to a level.