No! Sleep! In Brooklyn!
5.00pm on Friday and we had to question our sanity. It was the most beautiful spring afternoon: the sun was shining, the mountains were glistening, the weekend was upon us, yet despite the fact that I’d already spent three evenings of the week in NYC, here we were, loading up the car with kids, blankets, snacks, overnight bags and, oh yes, a couple of bags full of CDs and records, to take the long drive into Brooklyn and Posie’s DJ set at The Royale. Wasn’t part of the point of moving out of the city so that we could spend our weekends in the country – and without the 250-mile round trip to get there?
Still, there was something perfectly poetic about Posie playing the last night of Resurrection, given that the party, like our baby Noel, was an offspring of our own co-hosted Step On night. There were no tears at The Royale Friday night, no black armbands, just a joyful crowd of regulars, including some of our very good friends from the old ‘hood and a few more who’d trucked it down from Manhattan. The booth looked like a DJ’s version of musical chairs, with sets over the course of six hours from Posie, McCutcheon, Nick Cain, Joel Jordan, Joel’s wife Gemma and a girl called, I think, Blaze.
Unfortunately – and uniquely in my experience at The Royale – the bar filled with an unusually aggressive crowd that was likely a result of Cinco de Mayo hard core drinking, and proprietor Joe, who prefers the personal touch over professional security, was forced to work much of the evening forestalling possible fights. One such defensive tactic involved a firm request to cut out the happy trance-techno music just when Posie got the dancefloor going (again) at two in the morning; apparently, her repetitive beats were stirring up animal instincts in the big men at the front at the bar. Sociologists and psychiatrists would no doubt have plenty to say about this; those who just wanted to dance would no doubt have their own reactions, too.
This was the only time I’ve ever been at a Royale Friday night without DJing, and with the pressure off, I was able to pay true attention to my wife’s playlist; not though I wasn’t aware of it before, but I was properly knocked out by her taste in music. Posie played tunes by Soul Hooligans, Royksopp, Swayzak, Gorillaz, Lemon Jelly, !!!, Bloc Party, and The Engineers; she also got the crowd right back up off their couches with a late-night delivery of ‘Praise You’ by Fatboy Slim, and wisely hit ‘Over and Over’ by Hot Chip, which could be MASSIVE in the States; this is the second time I’ve seen people involuntarily start shaking their booty without the faintest idea of what they’re listening to. Like a monkey with a miniature cymbal, the power of repetition is in you.
The aftermath of Resurrection could easily have been predicted. We got back to (and with) our hosts well after three in the morning; by the time we sent the babysitter home and tucked into the fold-out bed – a big fat ginger cat nudging my newly shaved scalp on the pillow – it was of course time for Noel to wake up and demand feeding. And that, as they say, was that. Being the dad of the house, I stuck the earplugs in and put the mask over my eyes; I slept until the cat started nudging my head again a few hours later, apparently to tell me that crepes were being served in the kitchen. I may have been able to claim four hours sleep; I’m not sure the wife mustered sixty minutes. If Saturday morning hadn’t been almost as pleasant as Friday evening in terms of temperature and sunshine, I doubt Posie would have made it through the day. So while she came away from the solo DJ experience rightly proud of her party skills, the next time she gets asked to spin in the City, she’ll let me stay behind with the kids.
Step On and Resurrection had a great run, and they will be missed by all who shook a leg on The Royale’s makeshift dancefloor. Many thanks to everyone who ever came down and everyone who ever helped out. And now, back to our weekends in the country.