There’s something unsavoury sweeping UK music venues. It smells, there’s a high risk of it getting messy and it’ll probably leave you feeling sick. Believe it or not, I’m not talking about farts on the dancefloor, although this new craze could definitely lead to some unwelcome flatulence. I’m talking about the influx of bottomless brunches into dance music. No longer limited to bougie bars or chandelier-twinkling restaurants, they’ve infiltrated our beloved nightclubs, often combining greasy fried chicken, bubbly bevvies and old-skool records so classic the vinyl might as well be engraved with the Reebok logo.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for fun and games. I’ve even been to one of these rowdy brunches, the ridiculously quick-selling UKG Brunch, kitted out in my ‘Jesus Loves UK Garage’ tee with a bottle of Prosecco in hand as The Artful Dodger and DJ Cartier rolled out 2-step classics. I've witnessed the elation of a Burberry-clad pair winning an award for best-dressed. I've seen the joy of someone who's become momentarily Facebook famous for spitting some outrageous garage bars on camera. It’s just that I feel this whole brunch meets dance music thing is a gimmick that's been cooking for a little bit too long that it's become unappetising. Usually at a stomach-turning £30, too.
Since the announcement of UKG Brunch captured the hearts of ravers and chicken lovers alike, sending the Mixmag Facebook page into overdrive, there's been what seems like a bottomless scroll of events popping up. DNB Brunch - held inside the treasured walls of London club fabric - has also arrived, pulling in the likes of DJ Hype, Fabio and Grooverider to spin tunes amid the chaos, as has the Gabber Brunch. OK, the latter was completely made up by us for April Fool's, but only because we knew we could dupe you into believing it such is the popularity of these munch-meets-mashup shindigs!
The one that really tipped me into a deep fat fryer of cynicism was the Kevin & Perry Go Large Brunch Rave. Yep, a bottomless brunch with the theme of Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke's boner-filled Ibiza flick (a film I loved as a kid, FYI). The promise of trance classics is enough to get anyone on the verge of buying a ticket, but a cash and carry warehouse in Birmingham isn't exactly the Terrace in Amnesia, is it? Let's just say the thought of this one made me lick my lips in anticipation as much as Gemma and Candice's zit-popping scene in the film did.
Sure, eating at festivals is essential to get you through a weekend and DJs have even been turned into food, but nightclub raving and food isn't a two-course combo that I'm into. Not once have I been on a dancefloor and thought to myself: 'You know what? I could really do with some sticky chicken wings.' A hearty bowl of pasta pre-club or a banana to get me through a marathon session does me fine.
There's obviously a hunger there for these to continue, but surely they'll run out of gas soon. Until then, I'll be having brunch and a Bloody Mary in Wetherspoons the morning after the night before. I guess they usually smell too, though.
Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, he's probably a bit grouchy 'cause he's hungry
Lawrence Abbott is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Instagram