All Our Friends is an invite-only, Saturday evening dance party run by Cyril Cornet, Jem Gilbert, Cedric Lassonde (all Beauty and the Beat) and Tim Lawrence (Love Saves the Day). The party came about after Tim, inspired by a visit to Joy in NYC in the spring of 2017, decided to start something similar in London. On his return he soon found himself collaborating on the idea with Cedric, Cyril and Jeremy, all of them already good friends from Lucky Cloud Sound System. A particularly memorable night at Beauty and the Beat in July helped them on their way. The first All Our Friends party took place on 15 January 2018. It went through the roof.
The All Our Friends name draws on the Arthur Russell/Dinosaur L line from “Go Bang”, “I wanna see all my friends at once, go bang”. It captures a house-party-plus-audiophile-sound-system ethos we share with others that dates back to David Mancuso’s Loft, where Arthur would head to listen to his music during the day and to party at night. The All Our Friends sound system features Klipschorn speakers—the ever-present component in David’s Loft set-up—and Mark Levinson/Sugden amps. Soulful cosmic funk sounds are selected by Cedric, Cyril and Tim plus regular guests. Pauline and Silvia oversee the decor. Matt and Steven make things happen. Desi, Lee, Matt, Rob, Christine and Ariane work the lights. Wendy prepares a delicious vegan buffet. Diana and Mark run the door. Many more friends, old and new, help set up and take down—thank you!
It might seem unusual to head out to a party as early as 5:00pm on a Saturday, but starting early, enjoying the vegan buffet, socialising with friends, hearing the sound system as it comes alive and then relaxing into the dance-music journey is our new counterculture! For a sense of what it might mean in practice for All Our Friends to be a party that follows the deep psychedelic tradition of the Loft and other NYC parties, even if it doesn’t seek to be identical to any of them, take a look at this helpful statement from our sister party, Beauty and the Beat.
“The joy I found from dancing to the AOF music, the kindness of the crowd, the smiles, the absence of judgment, even the 17h to half-past-midnight format, to me this is The Happiest Party,” one dancer wrote in. “More than a party, this is spiritual to me. A perfect combo of soulfulness, sometimes familiar and often heart-opening tracks, beautiful set up, that amazing sound system—the feeling carries on long after the lights are back on.”
We hope you’ll join us on the All Our Friends dance floor when it is safe for us to dance with one another again.
All Our Love,
xxx Ced, Cyril, Jem, Tim and the All Our Friends team xxx
Because All Our Friends is run like a house party rather than a regular club, we maintain an invite list for people who want to come to our parties. We decided to start a party with an invite system because we began to see hardcore regulars sometimes struggle to get into other parties we’re involved with. Ours is closely modelled on the system David Mancuso developed at the Loft.
The invite list isn’t about exclusivity! It’s about finding a way for people to form an open-ended yet relatively stable dance community. Anyone can join the invite list--just write to us! Once you’re on the invite list you’re on the invite list for all future All Our Friends parties. Each person on the list can bring a guest.
Because we don’t want to encourage long queues, we will open and close the list to new invitees in-between parties according to demand, depending on whether the parties reach capacity or not. The list is currently open :) If the list is temporarily closed those wanting to become an invitee can join a waiting list.
To join the invite list, email Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parties are on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We will let you know when they will resume!
The parties run from 5:00pm to 12:30am at Chats Palace, a historic community centre located at 42-44 Brooksby’s Walk, London E9 6DF, just south of Chatsworth Road in Clapton/Homerton, with Homerton Overground and numerous bus services nearby. The dance room has excellent acoustics and there’s an adjoining room for drinks and food. We’re very happy to be at Chats Palace!
The cost of entry is £10. The venue offers a self-service cloakroom. A vegan buffet costing an extra £5 is available until 8pm.
We admit dancers until we reach capacity. At that point we revert to one in, one out. Early arrival is strongly encouraged in order to guarantee entry and to enjoy the full party journey.
We politely request that dancers don't use phones (for texting, shazaming, photos, etc) on the dance floor. Our dance floor is a space for communal congregation, where people come together to celebrate and communicate in real time and space. Phones detract from the communication, break up the flow and are a visual distraction for others. If phone usage is unavoidable please do this by the side of the room, away from the dance floor. We also ask that dancers don't dance with rucksacks as this is uncomfortable for people who dance behind them :) Thank you for understanding!
We ask dancers to leave the building quietly at the end of the night.
Photos: Miguel Echeverria
Web build: Louise Hisayasu
All mixes can be found here.