Simon Allen, the founder of Dubai club night See You Next Friday (aka ‘SYNF’) has just launched new night Loaded, which he runs with fellow DJ Andy Buchan. The night, which spins alternative, rock, old-school indie and more, puts in its second appearance on June 24 after a packed-out debut at Casa Latina last month. Simon gives us the lowdown on what to expect.
Simon and Andy were chuffed with the success of their first Loaded night.
‘Andy and I were very quietly confident, but neither of us said anything to the other because we didn’t want to jinx it. When you do a new night at a new venue, you never know how it’s going to do. Casa Latina doesn’t have the footfall of other clubs, so it was all down to us. I think we started playing at around 10pm or something, and by 11pm it was getting pretty busy. By midnight it was absolutely rammed and by 12.30am it was one in, one out at the front door.’
He thinks the lack of musical boundaries won them their crowd.
‘SYNF has a lot of supporters – we’ve always been known as the night that likes to do things differently. The musos in Dubai like us because we bring over acts like Norman Jay and Calvin Harris, but the big emphasis on “there’s no genres, it’s just good music” definitely swung things for us.’
They’re trying to break the ‘indie’ mould.
‘A lot of people associate indie with just The Killers, The Strokes, Kaiser Chiefs… That’s a big challenge for us because we’re marketed as an indie night, but we’re trying to get away from playing the normal indie set. We’re trying to get the spirit of an indie night without having to play The Killers five times in a row, which is generally what happens at indie nights.’
They don’t mind requests…
‘If it’s a good request that fits in with the vibe of the night, we’d play it. Normally a request doesn’t come from one person, it comes from a group of people. If you can get those people jumping around for three or four minutes like maniacs, then you’ve won.’
…and ridiculous requests provide the pair with much amusement.
‘You do get a lot of ridiculous requests, but they are pretty funny. The annoying ones are the people who consider themselves to be above the venue, above the DJ and self-righteous. They assume the night should be all about them: they’ll make a ridiculous request that you’re blatantly not going to play, then they’ll get in a huff.’
The most entertaining request happened at the first Loaded night.
‘There was a group of lads in there who had obviously been to a brunch, and I think I’d just played The Stone Roses, Joy Division and Pulp, and one of the guys came up and said, “Mate, have you got any indie?” And we were like, “Sorry, what?”’
His ideal set would last 10 hours.
‘To be honest Loaded would be a good example of mine and Andy’s perfect set list, because we have the freedom to go from playing AC/DC to some dubstep remix of Daft Punk. I’d say Loaded is pretty ideal musically – there’s a lot of freedom there.