VICE 10th BIRTHDAY
Cable, London | November 29th
Vice is one of the most enduringly important magazines in the world. Across their 10 year UK lifespan they’ve become a force of nature in popular culture and way, way beyond; be it be a rant on why club DJs don’t deserve money, a journalist embedded in a Celtic/Rangers war on camera, or a hard-hitting examination of ongoing issues in Syria. This 10th birthday bash was never going to go quietly. London Bridge station was scattered with leather-clad socialites awaiting what had been billed “the best party of all time”.
Having edged our way through the gathered masses, the promise of an open bar came to fruition and Peace started to play. Their pop melodies and pantomimic swagger has sold venues out the country over, and it was fitting that their messy but upbeat sound was to open this shindig. Tracks like Bloodshake and California Daze provided an ideal soundtrack to the dingy Cable vibe. As fans began to get tossed over the barrier and the bassist towered over a clueless party goer lying in the security pit, it’s fair to say while Peace got the party started, there was only one way it was headed from there.
Detroit’s Danny Brown has had a busy 2012, bringing his animated rap flow to the UK for the first time and spending the best part of the year touring the US with A$AP Rocky. He arrived sporting a scarf that looks like a cutting from one of Bianca Jackson’s coats, watched by Trash Talk’s Lee Spielman amongst a gang of super fly headbangers. “Shouts out to Vice for getting us all this drunk,”, he barked. Clearly the giddiest of the bunch, that didn’t dent Brown’s frenzied flow, bringing about one of the night’s wildest crowd reactions. The Mark Ronson DJ set which followed saw a sea of self-conscious bopping replace the previous bedlam, while the headline performance from Crystal Castles lit up Cable’s main room with their amorphous glitch-punk to a sweaty and violent crowd. Latest studio effort iii saw the band continue to impress, and the sense of cataclysmic foreboding that emanates from Ethan Khan’s production and Alice Glass’s sheer insanity was in full flow.
As people left – or got politely asked to leave, in most cases – the atmosphere of elation remained. The party was an appropriately manic celebration of the decade of journalism and angst that Vice has brought to these shores. Those who played were as intoxicated as those who watched, which as a rule means everyone enjoys it all the more. The streets quickly became clogged up with hesitant London cabbies, afeared to ferry the party goers home from a night they’ll scarcely remember but won’t forget.
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Words: Duncan Harrison
Photo. Christopher Bethell