There’s an irresistible novelty about DJing in a quirky venue such as a chip shop or desert. It’s far more seductive than any main room at a bog standard nightclub, says nightlife scribe Kate Hutchinson...
Ask any of the acts appearing at the London leg of the RBMA World Tour tonight and they’ll tell you they can’t wait to perform aboard the London Eye. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and promises to be just as impressive for the DJs spinning tunes in the pods as it will be for the clubbers dancing about and tuning in via the silent disco below.
In light of tonight's intriguing Red Bull Revolutions In Sound, we celebrate some of the world’s most bizarre clubbing spaces...
The disco chippy
Café Piccante on Broughton Street in Edinburgh is a classic fish and chip shop with a twist: it serves wine and beer with its newspaper-wrapped grub and there’s an in-house DJ working the club-quality decks set up in the corner. House music, a late licence and a light show – who needs nightclubs anyway?
Café Piccante, 7 East Norton Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH7 5DR (+44 131 652 6221; www.cafepiccante.com).
Every festival has a quirky stage or five these days but few can beat the famous Arctic Disco at Snowbombing in Mayrhofen, Austria. Ice-cool DJs such as Rinse FM’s Oneman and Fabric favourite Jackmaster do their thing in a club made entirely from snow and ice atop Ahorn Mountain, some 2,000m above sea level – and reached only by a terrifying cable car ride. Cocktails are served in ice glasses and there’s even a sauna to warm your cockles.
The world’s smallest disco
The dinkiest nightclub in the world since 2007 is Rumours. It's essentially a six foot by four foot silver shed that houses an 80s-themed disco complete with tacky trimmings, from a tiny smoke machine to a DJ mix of Prince, Madonna and Duran Duran. The parody-tastic Miniscule of Sound, which opened in 1998 in a changing booth at London Fields Lido in Hackney, east London, entered the record books in 2000. Its interior boasts a fluffy décor, flashing lights and Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and is perhaps best known for refusing Fatboy Slim a DJ set before they'd heard his demo tape... even though he was topping the charts at the time.
To promote his all-new Fly Me, I’m Famous flight between Paris and Ibiza this summer, David Guetta chartered a special trip on which he played a set at 30,000ft. It’s not the first time he’s pulled a stunt like this: YouTube clips show him sending a cabin wild in 2007, mixing his tune Baby When The Light; and again in 2009 when he released his house smash featuring Kelly Rowland, When Love Takes Over.
A simple yet fantastic idea that has drawn guest appearances from alternative indie and folk bands Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Calexico and even Brian Wilson, Black Cab Sessions flags down a London taxi, bundles into it with some musical talent and records a live session from the backseat. They’ve done one with Madonna’s favourite remix wizard, William Orbit, where he created an epic noise with a guitar, a CDJ and mixer.
As told to Red Bull by Damian Lazarus last month there are few DJ locations more bonkers than Burning Man out in the Nevada Desert. Anything can happen there and you can DJ from within any sort of construction imaginable, as long as it's self-built. Though not technically a DJ soundsystem, this year’s most impressive camp boasted an enormous Trojan horse that stood five-storeys high and had various rooms to explore inside. It was pulled along by 564 men and women dressed in Greek robes and symbolically burned at the end of the festival.
Zoos have long been a prime destination for kids’ birthday parties, but now adults want in on the fun too. Zoo Lates at London Zoo is an annual series of events with a silent disco till late. In 2003, it was even used as the location for a Miss Moneypennys club night until 3am, and we’ve heard reports of DJs banging out tunes in front of the shark tank on other occasions. We always knew those big fish had a penchant for trance music…
Listen to all of the Red Bull Revolutions in Sound sets tonight from 7pm here.