It was a perfect symbolism – Friday the 10th marked the 10th birthday of iconic house label Dirtybird.
From the label that launched the ongoing successful careers of Catz ‘n Dogz, Julio Bashmore, Breach and Eats Everything, Dirtybird last weekend celebrated it’s tenth birthday – headed by label owner Claude VonStroke. This was VonStroke’s first London club set in over two years, and to commemorate the occasion he played an exclusive six hour set, covering some old Dirtybird classics.
Housed within Hackney Wick’s Autumn Street Studios in London, the venue guides you through low ceiling corridors onto the heart of the venue – a bowl shaped pressure cooker. With a capacity of just 200, the intimacy of the night was salient. So much so, that at one point in the evening a splatter of warm liquid hit my arm, only to realise that the girl stood in front of me holding her mouth had just thrown up on me. Another girl took me to one side, counselled my psychological trauma, and helped wipe me down. This was certainly a low point of the evening.
Dusting myself off, I got right back into the thick of things. Claude was centre stage all night, manipulating the grooves with a cheshire cat style grin from ear-to-ear. His selections were more progressive than first expected, with drilling slabby cuts and driving bass tones marrying sawtooth textures. His attention to detail was unrivalled and his ability to control the crowd was noticeable. Well, for the few house connoisseurs in the crowd, they melted in his hand, but I would say this was quite a mish mash of people. The event certainly drew an eclectic crowd, and some just looked like they didn’t even know why they were there. But this is London, and you’ll always get your inquisitive tourist, curious to immerse themselves in British culture.