Thursday, 31 March 2016

Save this last dance for Kabal

For anyone who has vaguely followed our vibes on here you'll have seen plenty of mentions to Sheffield club night Kabal. 

We've followed this shadowy nocturnal venture and the exploits of resident DJs Pipes, Winston and Toddla for years so it was with a slight tear in the eye that we journeyed up for the final, 50th hurrah earlier in March. 

Kabal had given us some of the best, funniest and fiercest evenings. The first time we checked a DJ set from Toddla was at the Ebeneezer Chapel up in Walkley, a building of student flats but, cos it used to be a church, had an altar where the decks lay. He played Syclops' Mom, the video broke and we freaked... 

We've been to boxing rings in Sheffield's city centre, former morgues and railway arches all in the pursuit of the bleep and the bass offered by the night, always starting late and going on even later. We rang in a Kabal new year at said arch, but had to leave shortly before two having imbibed all the merch. Instead we opted to spend the rest of the evening sitting on a mate's radiator jibbering total baloney until the sun came up listening to Katy B's On a Mission on repeat. 

Even with the 49th event, we had a total blast. At the Night Kitchen, a sprawling labyrinth studio set up, we spent the day in the Peak District foraging for magic mushrooms before heading to the evening for midnight. We were staying at an Air BnB with strict instructions from our curator, Nathan, to be out by midday. We obviously ended up dancing until beyond the finish, staying up until 8 with only a few snatched hours of kip before Nath arrived to turf us out on his hoverboard. Turns out he'd been at the rave too the rotter. We spent the rest of the afternoon collapsing over a fry up in Bungalows and Bears before crawling back to London as pathetic little shells. 

If there's one thing I won't thank the night for, it's been the character-building journeys back to London. One mega bus trip was so paranoia fuelled, thanks in part to a lady sitting next to us, noisily eating crisps, that I had to depart at Golders Green and spend the next two hours walking back to Hackney. Got in to bed at midnight sharp just in time to grab six sweaty hours of sleep before going into work the next day and crying on the toilet. That is the vibe. 

The final night was a classic in terms of us turning up wrecked and spending the preceding hours until dawn getting even more wrecked. My memories are slim (That meal at the top is the one memory I got on my phone) and I probably shouldn't have had the six pints, the biftas and the rest before going. At the same time, memories of all the nights are slight and that's the way I like it. 

Sheffield will be worse off without Kabal but it's always top form for promoters to kill something when it's still at its height. Not outstaying your welcome and leaving dancers wanting more is a dignified way of bowing out. So props to main organiser Raif and co. It's been emotional.