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April 5, 2011 / rocksandgravel

Review: Erol Alkan @ Dalston Superstore Aug 2010

My first Erol Alkan experience was in the basement of the Consortium club in Bournemouth way back in 2007: back when “I heart NY” t shirts were “trendy” and the summer of (emphasis on inverted commas) “nu rave” had just passed. I accept I was a latecomer to the Erol experience, but it’s better late than never. I seem to remember attempting to climb into the speaker that night. He ended the set with ‘Phantom part II’, and (as seems to be standard at any parties I’ve attended) the crowd were pleading for more.

I’m putting it out there; I am a big fan of his brand of dirty, gritty electro and his sets are a knock out. Whenever I’ve been to see him it’s always a night to recall with a big smile on my face. His “Keeping Kids Dancing” tagline has extended to babies, who (albeit unwittingly) wear baby-gros bearing his name, which, by the way, have gone back on sale. When I heard that I was going to an intimate set at Dalston Superstore I let out a rather subdued “ooh!” because I was at my desk at the time and I wasn’t sure if I should be out on a school night, but hell I’ll go anyway.

Amidst the excitement for tonight my attention to detail slightly lapses. A three-mile journey east from my house somehow has taken an hour and a half, two buses and two cab rides. Finally, we’re on Kingsland High Street (not Kingsland Road, ahem). Aware of the impending set time of half 11, I blurt out, slightly inaudibly, my name, and the girl on the door with the list ticks my name off and hands me a temporary transfer.

We’re just strolling out of the unisex toilets to head across the basement to the bar and I glance to the left to see floppy dark hair and a flannel shirt. Shit! Mate, he’s started! There’s no barrier between the dance floor and him, and a lot of different people seem to be leaning in to chat. Feeling rather coy and unsure of the limitations here (none) I say something in Man With Camera’s ear and tell him to pass it on to Erol. “Ask him yourself” Really?! I finally pluck up the courage and lean in: “Put something dirty on!”, to which he responds with an amused grin, and reaches for another vinyl.

The beat of ‘Blue Monday’ pulsates into action, somehow impossible to tire of. It’s the version with Kylie on it. A tall man is clanging the railings to the beat, and everyone on the floor is going for it. I almost feel inclined to put my arm around the stranger next to me (I wouldn’t really). Fischerspooner’s ‘Emerge’ then kicks in and oh it’s good. I’d forgotten about that one. I should add at this point that it’s a special “back to 2001” Bugged Out! set, which I forgot until a curly blonde girl kindly reminded me, so no ‘Lemonade’ or heads in speakers tonight. Still, it’s really good fun.

Once he’s done, he just steps to the side. Soon enough, a girl runs over and flings her arms around him, and people are pausing on their way out to give “Alright Mate” kind of nods and have a brief chat. I think we might be the only people here who don’t know him personally. We’ve done an alright job at disguising it until my friend drags Man With Camera over so we can have a picture, and Erol politely obliges. Ahh, lovely.

Top photo courtesy of J.Rowsom


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