DJ L Interviews US Artist Ro James @ Sony

Ro James

I received an email asking if I wanted to do an interview with Ro James tomorrow, as I was about to go on Pulse 88 Radio. Ro who? I had never heard of this artist before, I was apprehensive but decided to do it anyway.

For the first 30 minutes of my show I could not concentrate, my mind was racing. Who is Ro James, what questions should I ask, I need his bio, his album, the interview is tomorrow. Asking my radio show listeners for some good questions to ask did not help either as nobody replied.

ro james

After my show I decided to do some research, this never happened, I was shattered. The most I could do was write out a few standard questions and work out my route to the Sony UK offices. In the morning I would listen to the album, read the press release and formulate the rest of my questions.

Digital Revolution

After the digital revolution in the 90’s/2000 I lost contact with record companies and relied on Digiwaxx for my music.

A few weeks ago I decided to rekindle my relationship with my contacts in the Business hence the call to interview Ro James. I was not expecting to be called into action so soon though. The last time I done a major interview was about 10 years ago, it had been a while. I accepted this offer thought as it would be a good experience.

Research

I woke early the next morning and begun my research. I went to the RCA website and read his Bio/Press Release, watched his videos & listened to his Album. Upon listening I got a feel for him and categorised him with the likes of D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild, Bilal etc. The questions started to flow, I aimed for 10 but ended up with about 15. I started to feel that I was built for this, that I could pull this interview off easily.

Sony Music Uk

I left out early and made my way to High Street Kensington. Walking down the High Street brought back memories as I worked for East West Records which was close by. In fact I walked past the Sony building and was on my way to the East West Records site until my Google Maps showed me I was going in the wrong direction.

I eventually found the building, approached the security guard and informed him I was here to see Ro James. Ro who? He had no idea who I was talking about and phoned through to reception, surprisingly they had no idea either and I thought here we go. Anyway after about 30 minutes I was eventually let upstairs. The building was lovely, it sounds weird but I felt that I was back at home after being on a long holiday lol. I approached the receptionist and said I am here to interview Ro James, she said take a seat. After making myself at home and snapping the building I messaged my contact to let him know I was here.

The Interview

5 minutes later my contact arrived and we caught up for about 5 minutes, it had been a while. After some formalities we made are way to the interview room, at that point my contact asked me do I have my recording equipment? My heart sank, I said equipment, he said yeah laptop, mic etc, I replied no. Basically all the Recording Artists I had interviewed before like Sean Paul and Mark Ronson were carried out in Wise Buddah Studios so I automatically thought this interview would be carried out in a studio setting also. Unfortunately in this case the interview was not in a studio but you know what they say “the show must go on” I had my IPhone 6 and my Samsung Galaxy S6 so I had to improvise.

Please watch the full interview below, leave your comments and share, thank you.

12 Tips That Will Help You Get More DJ Bookings

I have been a DJ now for over 26 years with over 200 DJ Bookings under my belt, so I thought I would share with you, in no particular order some tips on how to get more DJ Bookings.

Do A Radio Show

djl_pulse88_radio

Trying to get on a legal radio station like Capital Xtra, Kiss FM or BBC 1 Xtra may prove difficult, not impossible though but it seams like you need know someone that knows someone or these stations will head hunt you, try seeing if you can do a Guest Show or an Internship. Failing this you can try to get a show on a Pirate Radio station, these stations are illegal so you may want to check out the consequences of being on one but they are a lot easier to get on, in some cases you may just need to submit a mix CD, phone up the station and ask to speak to management or turn up to a meeting. Lastly with the invention of the internet there are tuns of Online Radio stations, contact details can be obtained from their website give them a shout and ask how can you get a radio show.

Do A Mix CD

ufvol5

Do a promotional Mix CD, burn up some copies (contact the PRS & find out how many you can legally distribute) or distribute it digitally through websites like SoundCloud or MixCloud. You never know who may listen to your mix, a Promoter may hear it and contact you and you could also start to build up a fan base.

Approach Promoters

Beggars can’t be choosers, approach Promoters (contact details are usually on flyers) and offer to play at their night for free, if they like your set they may book you regularly and eventually pay you, also there could be other Promoters in the crowd that may like your set and in turn want to book you. Apart from this, once again it gives you a chance to build up your fan base.

Put On Your Own Events

halloween_party

This is a lot less hard then what you may think and a tactic I used, if you can’t beat them join them. Some clubs are in need of Promoters, they are in the business of selling alcohol not promoting parties so they will normally contract this out. If a club is popular they will normally charge a hire fee, something that you may want to avoid if you are just starting out. Less well known clubs or bars on the other hand are generally happy to hire out the venue for free or for a small fee, they keep the money from the bar and you take the door money or they also take a % of the door as well. Basically doing your own club nights gives you the chance to promote yourself, build your fan base, you never know who will be in the crowed ( a big time promoter maybe ) and also it gives you the chance to take center stage, no more warm up set you are doing the main set!

Online Advertising

google-adwords-coupon

Put your money where your mouth is, invest in yourself spend some money on advertising, Google Adds, Facebook, Twitter, you get my point. Do your home work, you do not want to waste money but an effective add can booster your career and may not be as expensive as you think.

Invest In A PA System

dj-system-hire

Apart from DJing in clubs you should consider Corporate Events, Christenings, Weddings, Proms and Milestone Birthdays, in most cases you will need a PA System for these type of events. Hiring one in may prove costly and make you less competitive, so it is a good idea to invest in one. A good system with decks, a mixer or a controller may set you back around £650-£800 but it is well worth it in the long run, you will recuperate this money easily after 1 or 2 bookings. If you go down this route bare In mind you will need a car/van, Insurances and maybe a  website.

Become An Open Format DJ

If you just play one type of music say R&B consider playing other genres as well, Hip-Hop, House, Dancehall, Dance or Garage etc. Although I do not like spreading myself too fin as a DJ, being able to play other styles of music makes you more competitive in the market.

Join A DJ Agency

Sign up to a DJ Agency, this is something I am considering at the moment, a good one should be able to push your career further. A simple Google search brings up a list of agencies, I am weary though of any agency that wants a fee upfront, let them put their money where their mouth is and take any fees from my bookings.

Join A Crew

Form a Crew or join a Sound System, the more members you have in your team the further your reach, which may lead to increased DJ bookings.

Approach Nightclubs

Ministry of Sound

Approach a Nightclub that plays your style of music and ask if you can do a warm up set for free, if successful this may lead to regular work. Another tactic you could use is apply for work at your favorite club, venues are always looking for bar staff. Once you have your foot in the door it is easier for you to move around the company, you will be the first to know of any DJ opportunities, one week the resident DJ may fail to turn up giving you the opportunity to rise to the occasion.

Work On Your Image & Personality

female-dj

It’s a shame but I think now a days (as a result of Social Media) image is just as important as skill. Hit the gym, look the part and dress for the occasion. If you don’t have a mic man/woman host your own set, this gives you a chance express your personality and promote your name.

Learn Some Tricks

Every body thinks they can DJ nowadays and the change in technology has made it so much more easier to do so. The market is saturated and competitive so stand out from the rest. Learn some extra skills like scratching, some tricks or incorporate some sound effects into your set.

I hope the above has been useful, listen to my latest Mix and download the App (full info below) please share, leave your comments and follow me @teamdjl SC: DJlclubnights

For some great events in London download the London Club Nights App – Your No.1 Guide For The Best R&B, Hip-Hop, House, UKG, Afrobeat & Dancehall Parties & Concerts In London.

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StarBoy Nathan Gets 20 Months

StarBoy – Come Into My Room

StarBoy Nathan first came to my attention back In 2004 when he dropped the hit single Come Into My Room, this track was an anthem, on heavy rotation everywhere and reached number 37 in the UK Charts. His style was on par with any American artist of the time and I was excited and hoping for big things to come.

The Interview

I first got the chance to meet Nathan when I interviewed him on Radio Web TV. Having interviewed many US, UK and Jamaican artists, I found StarBoy Nathan to be very down to earth and easy to talk too. He came to the studio with his manager who we now all know as E-Plus from Capital Xtra.

The interview went well we spoke at length and covered many topics from Gun Crime in the Uk to how to break into the music industry, StarBoy Nathan striked me as being very mature for his age and intelligent. You can check out the full interview below.

Bubblicious DJ L’s Birthday

The next time I got to see Nathan was at My 30th Birthday Party on 24th December 2004 (Bubblicious @ Babble Club Mayfair) where he performed Come Into My Room for me live.

Starboy Nathan

In the following years to come I feel StarBoy Nathan never topped the success he had from his first single and his career was not nurtured. He was in and out of the limelight appearing on Celebrity Big Brother and X Factor where he reached the judge’s house and at one point I rembering seeing him on a crowed funding site looking for funds for an album.

StarBoy Nathan Fraud Case

nathan

Linda E from Pulse 88 Radio was the first to bring this case to my attention, I then followed closely in the media. I was shocked, Nathan did not strike me as the type of person to commit such a crime, I am not condoling what he has  done but I wonder if a turbulent music career had a part to play!

Please coment and share, thank you.

GarageProud May Bank Holiday Weekend

GarageProud on Friday & Prophecy of House on the Sunday, I had a busy one this Bank Holiday Weekend.

Proud Camden

Proud in Camden is fast becoming my 2nd home, I was there for the Rich Homie Quan UK Tour Party (Flexin’), the launch of GarageProud, on Friday I headlined the R&B London room (at GarageProud), the end of the month I will be back to shake a leg at Spoony’s House and hopefully I will be DJing at the next GarageProud – The Summer Ball.

R&B London Room

Spread over 3 floors, I was DJing in the R&B London room. Climbing the ladder to reach the DJ Booth I could picture the former horse hospital that this venue used to be.

My Set

It has been a minute since I have played out, I do a lot more radio now (twice a week on Pulse 88) since my weekly residency at Moonlighting Night Club. The DJs on before me were good and their mixing was tight so I had to make sure my game was on point.

After judging the crowed I could tell I would have to do a Kisstory set so I started off with Where The Party At by Jagged Edge to keep the party going followed by Boogie Tonight by Tweet and Ride With You by Joe. As this was an early set 11.30 pm – 12.30 pm I decided to start off Old School and gradually work my way up so that the DJs after me could play the current hits.

Even thought the crowed clearly enjoyed my first set I was just warming up.

GarageProud

GarageProud

My next set was at 2.30 am, I was in two minds, do I stay in the R&B room or do I check out the UK Garage and House rooms. As a DJ it is always good to listen to the DJ set before yours so that you know what was played and get a feel for the crowed, as my next set was prime time I had to stick around so I quickly niped into the other rooms, there were so many nice woman of all types I could not resist lol.

I proceeded into the main UKG arena I am not sure what DJ was on it could have been Mat Jam Lamont or Pied Piper but one thing I do remember is that the vibe was lit and some serious Old School Garage tunes were being played. From the UKG room I progressed to the House – I Like It Deep Room.

GarageProud

I Like It Deep

In this room they were playing at the time what I believe is called Nu Disco, I do like Nu Disco as it borrowes from 80’s Electro music (wich I loved growing up as a kid) I was tempted to stay in this room but Instead I grab a drink at the bar and made my way back to the R&B London room.

Climbing the ladder to the DJ Booth I was mentally gearing myself up, I decided to mix it up the old with the new, R&B, Hip-Hop, Trap, Afrobeat and Dancehall etc. I remember dropping Beyoncé – Drunken Love, Ghost Town DJs – My Boo, Drake – One Dance, Kent Jones  – Don’t Mind, Yo Gotti – DM, Desiigner – Panda not in this order but they were all in the mix somewhere, this time I was in my element.

All in all I had a great night, nice people and good music what more could you ask for? I survived a few near falls from the ladder leading to the DJ Booth lol, so now I can see you all at the next GarageProud – The Summer Ball Friday 24th June 2016 lol.

Please comment and share, thank you.

For some great events in London download the London Club Nights App – Your No.1 Guide For The Best R&B, Hip-Hop, House, UKG, Afrobeat & Dancehall Parties & Concerts In London.

Search London club Nights on Google Play & App Store or click on the links below

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My Views On Views From The 6 By Drake

 

First Thought

I had been eagerly awaiting Drake’s new album, the 3 promo tracks floating around Controlla, Pop Style and One Dance had me really excited but after my second listen I am still undecided as to whether I like it or not. I must admit on my first listen I was multi-tasking so could not fully take the album in and on my second listen I was still not able to focus.

Drake View From The 6

Drake

I do love Drake as an artist and maybe this is why my expectations are very high, generally any track he features on I enjoy, so I was hoping just like Justin Bieber’s album Purpose and Mary J Blige’s album My Love I was going to hear banger after banger.

Last night Tim Westwood virtually featured the whole album on his Capital Xtra show, one thing about Tim he makes any track sound good, I am not going to lie I am now warming to Drake’s album and will go in for a third listen and come back with my verdict in a couple of hours.

The Final Verdict

So I am back, I decided to load the album onto my smart TV as opposed to my PC so as to get a fuller listening experience. What’s my View on Views From The 6 (Pardon The Pun) my view is that it is a good album, some of the additional tracks I am now loving include the Trap influenced Hype, Weston Road Flows which samples Mary’s Joint by Mary J Blige (taken from the My Life Album)

With You ft PartyNextDoor is a nice little track, Faithful, Still Here, Controlla – which is a slightly different mix (does not feature Popcaan but Beenie Man instead), Grammy ft Future and I am really feeling Too Good featuring Rihanna, it’s a catchy track and upbeat.

It took me 3 listens but I got there in the end I was determined not to give up on the album lol, there is something for everyone Trap, Dancehall, Soca, Afrobeat, Hip-Hop & R&B influenced tracks, a nice album for chilling out too. I think the 3 promo tracks that are floating around had set my expectations very high and on my first listen I thought the album was typical of many, a few good tracks and 10 other wack ones lol.

Please let me know your views on Views From The 6, comment and share, thanks.

The DJ vs The Nightclub Promoter

Being both a DJ and a Nightclub Promoter I see both sides of the coin.

The DJ

From a DJ’s perspective I can see the argument that they are being booked to DJ not to play Nightclub Promoter and that if they now have to promote the event as well they may be expected do this for all the other events they are DJing at. If expected to sell tickets or promote the event than maybe a fee for the extra work should be negotiated?

In hindsight I can see now that DJs may feel like they are getting a raw deal if they  are expected to promote but are not getting a commission on ticket sales, a fee or a percentage of the door money for doing so.

Nightclub Promoter

On the flip side, as a Nightclub Promoter with over 200 events under my belt I feel that all the DJs that I book for my events have an obligation to promote the event. When I say promote I don’t mean stand outside Nightclubs and hand out flyers till the early hours of the morning or that they should go out of their way to distribute flyers in hair saloons or clothes shops etc but in this day and age of Social Media I expect Tweets, Broadcasts, Pins, Snapchats, Posts and mentions on radio. I also expect the DJs I book to take a handful of flyers and hand them out on their journeys. I understand that a DJ may be booked for other events but these tasks can be done in seconds, Nightclub promoting is a numbers game every little helps.

Nightclub

In hindsight I may have been hard on some of my DJs in the past but promoters can be under huge pressure, we have costs to cover, Nightclub owners to please and a reputation to uphold, we are not only thinking about making huge profits (well some of us aren’t).

Weekly/Monthly Residency

If am booking a DJ every week or every month I feel that I am supporting that DJ (I am not only promoting the night but I am effectively promoting them as well) and in turn they should support me. Nightclub promoting is a business and is a team effort, if a DJ is not a team player then why the hell am I booking them? In this day and age of downloading everybody and their dog is a DJ and I may as well book a DJ that is willing to promote, there are many around.

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers!

Finally over the years I have been approached by so may DJs that have begged to DJ at my Club Nights, because of the type of person I am I have booked them giving them a chance to shine or further their career, only for them to return the favour by sleeping on my event, beggars can’t be choosers.

Conclusion

So to sum up, I don’t expect DJs to do the work of a Nightclub Promoter, but in this day and age of Social Media DJs need to help, promoting is a team effort and if the night fails everybody looses out SIMPLES!

Check out one of my colleagues video on this subject below, please share this post, comment and don’t forget to download London Club Nights available for free on Google Play & App Store – Your No.1 Guide For The Best R&B, Hip-Hop, House, UKG, Afrobeat & Dancehall Parties & Concerts In London!

10 Things That Make For A Bussy Club Night

Club Night

As an established DJ/Promoter with over 10 years of promoting club nights, over 25 years DJing and over 300 club nights under my belt, I have been asked many times by clubbers “is my club night going to be any good”? Even if I think it is not going to be, I am hardly going to answer by saying “no my night is going to be rubbish so don’t come”.

So to help you clubbers make an informed choice I list 10 things that can make for a busy club night, I stress that the following do not always guarantee a packed event but they do help.

Established Venue

The party is at well known venue and the venue/club night is synonymous with a particular style of music for example Egg Club and Ministry of Sound with dance, Moonlighting Club with Urban Music (R&B, Hip-Hop & Dancehall). Clubbers are drawn to the branding of the venue just as much as they are to the club night brand, increasing business. Also established venues are conscious who they hire their venue too and will vet promoters to ensure they can actually pull a crowed.

Ministry of Sound

Established Brand

A well know brand is behind the night, the night has been been going for many years on a weekly/monthly basis at the same or different venues in London, around the UK or internationally. Some names that spring to mind are Garage Nation, Sun City and Twise As Nice. These club nights are established brands and  have diversified into Merchandising, Franchising and a DJ Agency and generally these club night brands will work hard to protect their name.

Weekly/Monthly Event

Touched on this above slightly, if the event has been at the same venue for a while on a weekly or monthly basis then this can be an indicator that the night will be a good one. A weekly/monthly residency can enable the night to grow and establish a following. Generally speaking a venue would not want to keep a promoter on if their particular club night is not dong well if the event is in-house then this is a different story. You can always call a club and ask is the event in-house or put by an external promoter.

Word of Mouth

They say the best form of promotion is Word of Mouth. If a lot of people are talking about the event, there is a lot of hype on Social Media surrounding previous/forthcoming events, basically a buzz then generally this is a good indicator that the night is going to be busy.

Tickets Sold Out

Obviously if tickets are sold out then this is an indicator the night is going to be packed. Although I do know of promoters that have lied and made out on (ticketing websites) mthat First Release (Early Bird Tickets) have sold out just to induce sales.

Big Name DJs

If big named DJs like DJ EZ for example are playing at the event this can help the popularity of the event, the more big names the better. Big name DJs cost money so a night club promoter will obviously want to recuperate his or her money thus doing everything possible to ensure a busy event. Although this can be a good indicator that the night will be busy, I do know of promoters though that have lied on flyers listing big name DJs knowing fully well they will not be turning up or cancel the big name DJs just before the night as the promoter has an inclination the night is not going to be busy.

DJ EZ KIss FM

Promotion

If the night has been heavily promoted for example on radio, social media, posters/poster boards etc this can lead to a busy night. Budgets vary will vary though, radio advertising and poster can be costly so a promoter will want to guarantee a busy night so as to recuperate his or her costs.

Special Occasion

Special occasions can help for example New Year’s Eve, Bank Holiday Weekends, Valentines etc. Some people that don’t go clubbing on a weekly basis choose to go out on these occasions.

After Party/Celebrity Appearance

A guest appearance from a famous rapper or reality TV star can boost the popularity of a night or an after party to a popular concert or an award ceremony like the Mobos, be sure to check that these parties are the official ones though.

To sum up I would say that no one thing (apart from tickets selling out) can guarantee a busy event but a combination of the above will definitely help.

For some great events in London download the London Club Nights App – Your No.1 Guide For The Best R&B, Hip-Hop, House, UKG, Afrobeat & Dancehall Parties & Concerts In London.

Search London club Nights on Google Play & App Store or click on the links below

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Spoony’s House Is Back!

Proud Camden

So after a few months break Spoony’s House is back and has a new home, Proud in Camden. Proud is fast becoming a second home for me, I recently went there for the Rich Homie Quan tour launch party – Flexin’, for Garage Proud, I will return for Spoony’s House and I will be spinning at the forthcoming Garage Proud in the R&B London Room.

Spoony's House

Jazz Cafe

I started to become a regular at Spoony’s House when it was at the Jazz Cafe, as usual I was on free Guest List. I enjoyed the night for a number of reasons, I got the chance to meet up with friends that went to my school (Highbury Grove) and DJs I used to play alongside on Y2k 90.6 Fm, secondly the crowed was more my age group/mixed & thirdly I enjoy reminiscing to Oldschool Garage.

Although I don’t play UKG I was on pioneering stations like Dejavu 90.3Fm and Y2K 90.6Fm, I used to rave at Colloseum and many of my peers are well know UKG DJs & Artists like DJ Pioneer (Kiss Fm), Donaeo and Heartless Crew, I naturally respect and have love for the music.

Spoony’s House

At Spoony’s House I was treated to DJ sets by the man himself (who went to the same school as me), DJ Luck and MC Neat, DJ Fonti and a live PA by Nana performing – Body Grove (who incidently I went to the same Colledge as me) I feel at home when I am at Spoony’s House, although I am from East London I am at home in North London, I think because I went to School/Colledge there and because Y2K 90.6 Fm was based all around North London.

I am sure the legacy will continue at Proud Camden, see you all there on the 26th May!

London Club Nights App

  

For further information and similar nights to Spoony’s House download London Club Nights available for free on Google Play & App Store.

Please Coment & Share

Club Reina Every Saturday

Club Reina City Party

So it’s Saturday and I felt like going out as it had been a while! As I know quite a few nightclub promoters I started to make some calls. After having a nice catch up with one particular nightclub promoter I decided to go to Club Reina City Party.

UK Garage Saturday

I made arrangements with my friend to meet me at Uk Garage Saturdays Far Rockaway in Shoreditch. Mighty Mo former member of the Heartless Crew was performing. Upon arriving I chilled in the corner listening and reminiscing over the UKG tracks. Mighty Mo arrived but did not see me I was a bit Intoxicated by now and could not be asked to go over and greet him lol. Anyway after picking up the flyers from the promoter for the next Garage Proud in Camden which incidentally I am playing at ( in the R&B London room) I met my friend outside as he cant stand UKG lol.

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Club Raduno

We made our way over to Farringdon it’s not that far from Shoreditch.  We had been to this particular promoters event in Farringdon before so I was surprised when ee got to Ember Bar on Turnmill Street that the venue was closed, it looked like the venue had been sold and was being built into a Nandos. So many clubs have closed in the area or changed ownership Turnmills, Anexo Bar, Raduno and now Ember Bar. I was confused I though the event was still at Ember Bar every Saturday, I just kept on thinking to myself 85 Charter House Street, 85 Charter House Street that address rings a bell so we made our way over to Club Fabric, it then dawned on me that the club night had moved venue to Club Reina which was the old Raduno Club. Raduno was a venue I used to do club nights at and DJ a few years ago, I promoted a night called Blushed every two weeks there and a few morning parties as the venue had a 24 hour licence, ahh those were the days.

Blushed at Raduno

Club Reina City Party

Security were polite and after showing our ID we were admitted into the Nightclub. I walked up to the counter and “said we are on the free guest list” I never pay to go clubbing 😄. One of the promoters said cool we can go through. If I can remember rightly the first room we went into was playing Afrobeat and all I heard was big up DJ L at this point I got a little paranoid thinking who is calling my name out. I could not find the DJ box at first when I eventually did I realised it was DJ Data bigging me up so I went over and greeted him.

Through out the night I partied on both floors which were playing R&B, Dancehall, Afobeat, Hip-Hop and Trap handing out my promotional cards for the London Club Nights App. The music was on point, the crowed was friendly & there were loads of pretty ladies. These promoters know how to throw a good party, they have Ben active in the City of London for many years with their brand Lets Get It On at venues like Agenda Bar.

Club Reina

Club Reina can feel small and sometimes you may feel a bit squashed but my friend liked it this way as it is easier to get intimate with the ladies.

The night finished at 4am which was good as nowadays you will be lucky if a club finishes at 3am. After getting my coat I went outside to perform the ritual that most nightclub promoters perform, handing out flyers. I must admit I enjoyed the night I only like going to places where I feel relaxed, my friend definitely enjoyed it and said he will be coming back.

For further information on this club night and events like it in London download the London Club Nights App – Your No.1 Guide For The Best R&B, Hip-Hop, House, UKG, Afrobeat & Dancehall Parties & Concerts In London.

Search London club Nights on Google Play & App Store or click on the links below
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Clubbing London