Annie Mac – Before Midnight. Here at Outernet, 9th September 2022
“For people who need sleep” – I totally relate, but I love to let go and lose myself on a sweaty dance floor. Get lost in the music and the crowd. So the idea of clubbing being made doable was an exciting prospect.
When speaking to Rolling Stone Annie explained the concept behind ‘Before Midnight’… “Here’s the lowdown. Nightclubbing is not designed for people who need sleep. So I’m shifting the time parameters forwards, and bringing you a fully authentic clubbing experience that starts at 7pm and ends at the strike of midnight.” She continued, “It’s a chance for me to play long DJ sets with all my favourite records, those ones that spark joy, and a chance for you to have all the fun, the euphoria and the wild abandon you need and STILL get a good night’s sleep… Come and dance with me. Lights on at midnight. Then we all run home and fall asleep like little happy Cinderellas xx.”
Annie, has been very open about her desire to spend more time with her family. To see her kids in the evening. To have more time to follow other passions, to write more fiction and create in other ways. A big part of this was stepping away from her evening show on Radio 1, handing over the reins to Clara Amfo last July and working out ways to carve more time; “I love the idea of leaving the party… when I’m still having the most fun I can have.” True to her word she has since published her first novel, hosts a successful podcast, ‘Changes’, and then came this new clubbing concept, and me and a few pals were beyond excited to try ‘Before Midnight’ out.
With sitters sorted and following a quick Soho bite to eat, we strolled up to Here, the shiny new venue at Tottenham Court Road close to the footprint of the much missed Astoria. It was here that Annie was slated to (wo)man the decks from 8 pm till Midnight.
And the concept, night and vibe didn’t disappoint. The atmosphere was just magical – people were there for only one thing – to have a good time. The music was pitched perfect, and it felt like an old-style rave vibe, full of inclusivity, and people feeling connected.
We entered the impressive space to the steamy bass pulse of “Work” by “Honey Dijon”, squeezed up to the bar and said hello and goodbye to a cheeky double tequila served by the friendly bar staff. We found our place on the dancefloor and on came “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Sylvester (Soulwax Remix), weaponised by its ridiculous arpeggiator riffs. Perfect disco. And it was clear that Annie’s energy charged up the room.
The crazy Audiotechnik sound system pumped out Latin house, and killer classics like Donna Summer -” State of Independence”. We lost ourselves in tracks like Ewan McVicar – Plain Outta Luck and were brought back together with cuts like Ultra Naté – Free. True to her word, over 4 hours Annie took us on a musical journey filled with disco edits, gospel house and just the right amount of party tunes. She pulled out some big anthems like The Communards – “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and Queen -” Don’t Stop Me Now”, with full hands-in-the-air euphoric moments.
And in one sense the end came a bit too quickly as we were all having such a blast, but Annie knew what she was doing. She dropped some more bangers, beamed back at us as we approached the witching hour and sent us to our chariots. We may have been in bed by 1am, but we’d had as full a night out as we ever could have dreamed of… Until next time Annie.
Dede QPF x
The Leadmill – Sheffield – 05/11/2022
Chalk – Brighton – 18/11/2022
02 Academy – Bristol – 19/11/2022
Here – London – 09/12/202