My adventure with my best friend Poppy to see SG Lewis’ Parallels night at Phonox in Brixton was everything I wanted it to be – great fun, great gig, great venue, topped off by a great McDonald’s Big Tasty and an even greater night-bus adventure on the N209.
It started with a light jog from my room to the bus stop, only to be told by citymapper that there was no U3 due – ‘fake news’ sprung to mind. It was straightforward to Brixton. A 5-minute walk from the station, we were at the beautiful venue, Phonox. IDs checked, tickets scanned, wrists stamped – we were in. The staff, I must say, were lovely, friendly, clearly well managed – I’ll definitely be returning,
We were in – our wallets were out
From there it was financial hell. The Old Mout Cider I smuggled onto the Met Line, coupled with the 30-minute pre-drinking session me and Poppy had in my room, meant I was sufficiently tipsy for a good night out – but I, sobred by the hour commute, wanted more. I counted my blessings when Poppy brought me the first drink of the night – two double-vodka-cokes set her back £16, a steep increase from the £7.90 tariff at Loco’s, our SU-bar/my second home.
Chillin’ with SG
I know Sam, AKA SG Lewis, through Instagram. Literally, I just sent him a message, and I’ve got to know and adventure with him from there. We spoke for a little bit, where he thanked me for coming so early – we arrived at 10pm cause I’m tame – and then he went up and did his DJing magic.
Vasser is one to watch
Vasser, a relatively-obscure DJ from my home county Kent, opened – he was recently pipped as one of Red Bull Studios’ 21 upcoming British producers to look out for which, for an 18-year-old, is pretty good going – in comparison, at this age I discovered The Thomas Ingoldsby, my local Spoons in Canterbury. His set was well mixed, and the lighting was well choreographed by Phonox’s resident lightjockey – more on the lighting shortly.
Real name Sam Breathwick, Vasser’s set was relatively tame against Jamz Supernova’s which followed, but it was a treat to be sat on the subwoofers watching him do his thing on stage with massive confidence. He’s playing on Saturday’s Sounds of the Near Future stage at Disclosure’s WILDLIFE festival alongside SG, Mura Masa, Tom Misch and Andy C – clearly, he’s exciting a few tastemakers.
Jamz Supernova delivered a cracking set that got feet-tapping and hearts palpitating – the latter I say with personal experience. 1Xtra DJ when she isn’t treating fans to powerful sets, her set was pretty amazing.
This is where the night got a bit hazy
What can I say, I got paid during the night, I could afford the £16 steep price of the double-double-vod-cokes. This is cheap by London standards.
Sam’s set was groovy, and got everyone dancing – this is typical of an SG Lewis set. The couple at the front who were really getting it on for the preceding two hours showed no signs of stopping – even when their… special time was interrupted. I tried to take a photo but, me being me, left the flash on. Sam carried on spinning tunes, including the classic Sean Paul track Temperature with his own spin, as well as songs from his own EP including an down-tempo version of Holding Back ft. Gallant. I love that song. That, and Warm. Oh and Shivers, the song that started my musical crush on Sam.
The venue was interesting enough – the lighting rig consisted of a wall of blinders behind the DJ, a set of strobes opposite one another, sets of parallel red lasers at 45- or 90-degree angles to one another, and a set of 8 moving heads. The sound system was incredibly powerful – my ears rang for about 3 days after, the sound so loud it has to be contained from outside the venue through two doors that can only be opened one at a time.
Smoking area antics, including a lesson on tuition fees
Poppy and I, keen for some strange reason to see if the smoking area was better than our SU’s nightclub Academy, headed outside to where the smokers and Sam were.
I reunited a lovely lady Georgia with a 5p she dropped, sparking a conversation between herself and her friend Adam about how expensive being a uni student is.
“I think you need the 5p, honestly, you’re paying so much in fees these days” she told me, one millennial watching out for another.
I insisted she kept it. We carried on talking about job difficulties for those in the creative industry – it turns out Adam is actually working for the events company I’m about to join, and will be in the office just down the road from mine. Small world.
Night Bus to Uxbridge
That’s 16 miles from Brixton, by the way. Amazingly, the journey cost just £1.50 – cheers Sadiq m8 – and we were home by 4:30am, a journey which would’ve cost £50 through Uber. That meant that between 2:30am and 4:30am, we had a McDonalds, we took the bus, and we arrrived home. Pretty impressive.
We didn’t quite expect the N209 to be so scenic – and we were blessed to be on it. We got to see more London landmarks than the average Hop On, Hop Off tourist bus which was super impressive – something me and Poppy didn’t quite expect and, on reflection, found quite amazing.
Sat on the N209, we feasted on our McDonald’s meal and reflected on the past few months since coming to Brunel – after all, Poppy was flying home to Norn Iron later that morning.
The night was amazing. 9/10, would’ve been a 10/10 had it not cost me the deposit for a mortgage for a double vodka coke.