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An ode to the disco nap

From Berlin to Buenos Aires, breaking up a mammoth clubbing session with a siesta is the norm

  • Words: Andrew Kemp | Illusration: Ellis van der Does
  • 4 September 2018
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The real tragedy of this is that if we’re honest, clubs don’t really get good until the silly hours. This is post-4am business, when those who came strictly for the bangers have had their fill and are now choking down chips on their journey home. Space opens up on the dancefloor, the music gets stranger and the vibe gets wilder. As peak time passes, so do the rules; the music can go anywhere. Expectations go out the window, the pressure’s off and the selectors are finally showing their freakiest colours. Those who came to get weird are loyal at the front, warm beer in hand and an unmistakable wildness in their eyes.

It’s not so hot, you’ve room to dance and the DJ’s pulling tunes that sound increasingly like they were made backwards, or underwater perhaps. The techno’s bendy, the house is sultry, and any sprinkles of disco are more Arthur Russell than Sister Sledge. The freaks are out in full force, and aren’t they beautiful? This, my friend, is what clubbing is meant for.

Of course, some cities are made for these people. In Berlin the Sunday morning U-bahn is awash with these folk, floating home for a few hours of bed and a banana before restarting the mayhem with a new lease of life, while in Buenos Aires the clubs don’t even open until 2am. But head to London or any other major UK city and what are your chances of doing the same? Apart from Fabric’s mammoth 30-hour birthday bonanza, opportunities for a more drawn-out, sleep-punctuated clubbing session are few and far between. In fact, in Hackney, thanks to new licensing plans, new venues may soon have to shut at midnight, enforcing more of ‘go home and go to bed’ policy than a nudge to nip out for a clubbing siesta.

Perhaps we need more ambient rooms in clubs, the chill-out spots where you can rest up for a while to take the weight off your feet, rather than conking out on a bar stool. But until that happens, why not spend the warm-up hours getting a little rest? This isn’t about sleeping through and waking up for a bourgeois, early-risers’ dancercise class; we’re talking about getting up at 3am and heading to the club so you’re fresh for the wonky hours. You’ll thank our friend the disco nap at the afterparty.

Andrew Kemp is a freelance writer, follow him on Twitter

Ellis van der Does is a freelance illustrator and designer, check her website

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