February 27 2006
The superclub bible has been torn up. God is no longer a DJ. Clubbers jerk no more to repetitive beats. Where Ministry of Sound once ruled, the homely ethos of Guilty Pleasures is fast taking over: dance all night to unfashionable tunes you are ashamed to admit you love. Founder Sean Rowley unlocked the country's hidden passion for MOR classics by playing Oh Lori by the Alessi Brothers on his normally cutting-edge BBC London radio show. He declared it his "guilty pleasure" and was so swamped with appreciative calls it became a regular feature, a compilation album, a club and, less than two years later, a putative global phenomenon.Sounds like good fun. I sure hope it doesn't go to Attica though. I despise the place and if I have to venture there to experience Guilty Pleasures, I will most definitely have to go to the confession in order to do penance.
This year, Rowley will take the club to New York, Singapore and Sydney.
The club also has a priest who takes confessions and offers absolution in the form of vodka shots and there is an evangelical spirit to the DJs' musical mission. "It's about education," says Hall. "People's heads have been swamped with bass drums and a few squiggly bits. They expect very little from dance music." Is it a rave? Is it punk? Is it naff? "It reminds me of Coventry in 1975," grins Hall. "The only difference is there aren't any glasses being put in people's faces."
[By the way, MOR = middle of the road i.e. popular, nostalgic music]