As tempting as it is to avoid the rampant cunts, the crippling rip-offs, the scarring mess and degradation of yet another fucking New Year’s Eve, some poor fools will still venture out into the world with a gleam in their eye and a wallet full of imminent regret. Fortunately for them, The Carouser has assembled below some of the best New Year’s nights out in London. Read on, and feel your body twinge with excitement/misery.
9pm Wednesday 31st December 2014 – 4am Thursday 1st January 2015
The capital’s long-running rock club night Heavy Load hold another New Year’s bash, taking place once again at their faithful residence The Phoenix. Led Zeppelin, the Stones, the Beatles, Deep Purple, the Doors, the Who, and all the other obligatory late ‘60s – early ‘70s classics will be played well into the night. There’ll also be a free raffle (“prizes include recently released CD box sets”), free chocolate and sweets, and the famous mandatory incense and trippy lightshow.
8pm – 4am
One of London’s premier live venues, the Unicorn will be throwing a typical New Year’s party, and when we say ‘typical’ we mean fucking riotous. Legendary English crusties Antisect will make a rare London appearance for the first time since their last show here nearly three years ago, and they’ll be joined by the Big Smoke’s sludge supremos Dead Existence and north London hardcore punks Flowers Of Flesh And Blood. DJs and drink specials will be on throughout the night (it’s also free entry, as is standard with the Unicorn) so don’t go to the offie to can it like a scum.
6pm – 4am
The Dev has long been a home-from-home for The Carouser and, accordingly, we party there like it’s New Year’s every time we drop by for six hours at a time. But for those with a propensity for pomp and ceremony, this year the Dev will throw a New Year’s party proper, with live music from wasted youth Overthrow and extreme metallers Anoxide, immediately followed by nothing but rock ‘n’ roll/metal classics from the DJs. Entry is only £3, but there’s a free shot of Jägermeister for the first 100 in, as well as free goodies from Jägermeister and Jack Daniel’s throughout the night. Definitely the place to go to get fully Dave Mustaine-d.
7.30pm – 3am
If you want a traditional Oktoberfest in December head down to the Bavarian Beerhouse in Old Street for German food, music, and “proper beer”. Welcome cocktails are served on arrival before a hot and cold Bavarian buffet. As the clocks strike midnight, guests will get a glass of champers to bring in the new year with a headache. Achtung! she seemed to say.
7pm – 4am
Another Carouser favourite, the Blues Kitchen Camden is set to deliver a new year’s full of live music and delicious meat, with tickets starting at £25. Nine-piece brass band the Brassroots will perform across “a variety of genres”, playing past midnight, and DJs will blast vintage funk, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll ‘til the early morn. The Kitchen will also serve soul food surprises including ribs, catfish gumbo, alligator, and barbeque.
If brass isn’t your bag, the Shoreditch branch of the Blues Kitchen will also hold a Tarantino Special from 7pm ‘til 4am, with live music, fancy dress, and DJs playing “the finest vintage soul and soundtrack tunes”. [Insert extract of typical Tarantino dialogue here for nerds].
7pm ‘til late
Hoxton is usually an area to avoid at any time of the year, but Zigfrid’s is a decent dive and has plenty of art to trip out to when the MDMA inevitably goes sour. DJs from Ibiza Rocks and Pikes Hotel will bring “all the great tracks of 2014 and more”, including something called ‘Indie Dance’, as well as rock ‘n’ roll, ‘80s and ‘big tracks’, and electro rock. It’ll also be free entry all night, though the price waged upon your soul for visiting this part of town may prove too much.
7pm ‘til late
If you’re lonely on New Year’s don’t go to the Black Heart to drool over the gorgeous bar staff – that’s what weekdays are for. Instead, go for the apocalyptically flowing beer and tequila, and the DJs spinning everything from the Circle Jerks to Ratt, Black Sabbath to the Pixies, and of course “a smattering of RICK JAMES!” Tickets are £5 (“to keep the dickheads out”), but there’ll be drinks deals throughout the night.
For those who would prefer to celebrate the new year in a more extreme (i.e. boring) manner, there’s a separate event happening upstairs in the Heart, with Greek death metal brutes Dead Congregation, Swede occultists Irkallian Oracle, and Irish cosmic hooligans ZOM. Party on Garth, I guess..?
8pm ‘til late
Holloway’s best dive (and The Carouser ‘s second favourite north London juke-joint) the Big Red is throwing a New Year’s party full of “rock ‘n’ roll, booze and debauchery”. Tickets are £15 at the door on the night, and there’ll be a performance from London blues rockers Dark Hearts. Remember to tip your barmaid!
If gallivanting around some smut-peddler’s digs on New Year’s isn’t your ideal party, remember the wisdom of the great Walter Sobchak: “Fuck it, dude. Let’s go bowling”. At All Star Lanes in Holborn, Bayswater and Brick Lane, DJs will be playing “the very best retro rock ‘n’ roll, funk, soul and D.I.S.C.O” while you bowl ‘til three in the fucking morning. There is a dress code [a what?!] – “hip cats and dolls”, whatever the shit that means – but there’s a £100 bar tab for the best outfit. Entry is free all night, and tables can be booked for dinner or a space at the bar. The first fifty guests will get “retro party bags” (hopefully Quaaludes and old copies of Hustler), and there’ll be boozy floats and hard shakes on offer. Dig it.
And if none of those take your fancy, fuck off home and judge people from Facebook. Happy New Year from The Carouser!