Being fairly new to London nightlife, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from XOYO. Fresh from Newcastle University and the infamous ‘Toon’ nightlife, I approached my second night ever in London with a positive mind-set, looking for a much-needed change. My taste in a night out does tend to vary, however I tend to steer clear of West-End type clubs and bars: if I get in for free for being a girl I’m not particularly ‘wowed’. However, XOYO was definitely not this kind of establishment. Set in the heart of Shoreditch, the capital of all things ‘East London’ and one of my favourite areas, the venue offered the sort of nightlife I had been craving. Spread over two floors with two generously sized rooms, XOYO offers two choices: the busy, downstairs stage area or the upstairs, relaxed and typical club-like space. I really liked this about the venue, eliminating the chance of being sealed within an excited crowd with no escape whilst catering to different social tastes. XOYO’s popularity was transparent, and as the night progressed I began to understand why.
First of all, I’ve read reviews stating that the queuing into this venue was somewhat of an ‘issue’ yet in my opinion it truly was not. Drinks prices were fairly good for London also. This club is literally slap bang next to Old Street tube station amidst busy central offices, and for such a location I felt the price of a good time was impressive. I went to this venue with one of my girlfriends, and it was the kind of place that allowed such a small group to have a great night. Buzzing with people around the same age and having an overall chilled atmosphere, it lent itself to socialising.
Despite not being overly familiar with Aeroplane’s music, I was impressed. I am a fan of house music and so perhaps this worked in my favour but I also feel it was the kind of gig that anyone would have enjoyed. His music, described as ‘off-kilter house, funk and exotic pop’ was perfect for the young crowd which is drawn to a venue like XOYO. The intimacy of the downstairs area as it filled up provided the perfect setting for his music, and I'd be back in amongst it in a minute.
A Friendly Fires DJ set finished off the night taking the main room into the early hours. Come 4am, the incredibly well populated dancefloor was testament to a a great set from what some may call a part time DJ, but for us Friendly Fires' Jack Savidge more than did the job.
Overall, I completely intend on getting down to XOYO again as soon as possible. Being a fan of smaller, unique venues such as Newcastle’s ‘Deconstructed Musik Space’ at The Cut, XOYO delivered exactly what I’d been searching for in London.
Review by Sally Greenwood
Images courtesy of XOYO