RT @CamdenPT: "Safety is a priority. Comfort? No. Which is not to say Trigger Warning is just uncomfortable, it’s a lot of things." Check…
view counter

Hussey's Riot: House Party

The whiskeys lined the bar. There are moans at the back but our rotgut hors d'oeuvre is mandatory. All five of us slam.

It's the last round before ditching the pub, some relic adrift on the stub end of Mare Street. You know the kind. It has odd posters of Irish castles and a clapped out clientèle. The yellow-fingered husks look at us. How curious to have their peace disturbed by our chatter, by the buzzed choices we put on the Jukebox.

'Take my Breath Away! do do do-doo-do-do'

As Berlin fade behind closing doors the freezing air hit us. I look at my friends, love swelling. The one who ordered the slammers catches my eye as he cracks open a pack of fags.

'7 quid! 7 quid!' he shouts.

The last time I saw him was in New York, on our way to a party. He'd had on a tweed jacket, a flask of vodka in one pocket and a harmonica (in E) in the other. The entire cab ride he spoke French to our Latino driver, only stopping to swig his juice or emit mad tootles.

Now it was London's turn to throw us a party. Yes readers as we hustled across the road, booze curdling in our guts, I wondered if there was anything more exciting than this? Than walking up to that random do? All over town that night from Brixton to Bethnal Green strangers would be milling in basements and fumbling on sofas.

But we weren't going to any old soiree, no Clapham wash out for students and Sloanes for us. No. We were going amongst the artists and the clowns, on a collision course with the divine and the decadent.

Yes readers this was Hackney. This was the Run-Riot house party.

A man in a unfastened bow tie opens the door - behind him scarlet corridors and curlicues of smoke. Handshakes, bottles and we're in. Down the stairs we charge, stopping at a landing where a woman is handing out sticky, plastic hearts. Cut like gems she peels them from shiny paper, instructing us to wear them. I opt for the left ear
lobe, a piratical look, then dive through curtains behind her.

Beyond is a sitting room turned dance floor. Already the crowd is enormous. A woman in a towering dunce hat is behind the decks and beyond I can just see a kitchen crammed with bottles.

For a while we remain the huddled group but the chaos soon envelops us. My friends scatter to the patio, to the bedrooms, to the corridors. I pass them from time to time and we hold our drinks aloft. Like me they are talking to the crazys and the artists. For a while a man with RAYMOND written on his tie entertains me with his idea of truth. Next I meet a Spaniard who conjures pictures of her home town on her mobile.

It has a curious name that means towers and trees in Spanish and I tell her that we must find her a man that night. Quite why I don't offer myself is beyond me, she has ringlets of Moorish hair and glorious posture. Still the die are cast and we separate as dancers come between us.

More people, more booze. The man with the unfastened bow tie storms the deck, washing together classical and country. My friends have disappeared. I pass the bedrooms doors and see a woman yanking a man off a double bed.

'He's a water polo player. Can you help?' she says.

We heave and he groans, cradled in our arms like a wankered Christ.

'Your jumper is very soft.' she tells me.

I thank her and move on. A Latvian painter tells me she is in love, the woman in the dunce hat swirls past, a man in braces and shorts hands me a shot. At one point I come round on a floor piled with scarves. The painter is standing above me dancing like a moon child. She asks me about love and I ask her about the night bus.

The night bus, where someone is vomiting. Home. Morning. Big...bright...morning.

Tune in next week as Patrick goes to an arty do at the ICA with Soup! And if you don't know what on earth is going on click One Million Parties for the instructions.