Notorious club night Savage is the little sister of ginormous drag ball Sink The Pink, held every Saturday at the four-floor pleasure palace of Metropolis. It’s a deliciously gaudy den of leopard-print carpets, hot hubs and ice cream vans, teeming with drag queens and hedonists. Resident DJs Jonjo Jury and Guy Williams serve up feel-good house and disco, alongside the occasional big-name DJ like Heidi, The 2 Bears and Krankbrother. who pop up in the basement from time to time to play intimate sets.
Last Saturday, they celebrated three years of slut-dropping debauchery with a birthday special, featuring killer sets from Mylo, Alan Dixon and Sasa. It was also the first time that all four floors were all open together at the same time, with the main room’s swish new refurb unveiled at long last! We got the Savage lowdown with Glyn Famous, Jamie Tagg, JonBenet Blonde, and Lucy Fizz, four of the fab figures behind the continued success of East London’s kaleidoscopic, stripper pole heaven!
G: Savage came about back when we were doing Sink The Pink at Bethnal Green’s Working Men’s Club and it turned into a total riot scene. People would come in full outfits and we weren’t able to let them in, which was heartbreaking. We were turning away all these people dressed as sexy p”oos, with nowhere for them to go to.
JB: Then we discovered Metropolis, which was a place a lot of us had walked past before. I remember Gutterslut used to be here for one-offs. It all happened really quickly. We had an event happening at BGWMC and wanted to have an after party somewhere close by.
G: We had to come up with a name really quickly and over the phone, I just said “we’ll call it Down The Brown!” Believe it or not, for two months it was called Down The Brown.
J: You were really proud of that name as well!
G: I still am! Sometimes in life I think things happen accidentally and then a lot of things happen. While this was all happening, Sink The Pink were negotiating our move away from BGWMC as we were starting to grow, but more than that, The Joiners had shut down and so did the George and Dragon. All of a sudden, it just accidentally sort of fell in our hands.
L: There weren’t really many late night queer venues at the time, only really East Bloc that was open really late. Everywhere else shut at 2 or 3.
J: The after party here completely sold out and it was one-in, one-out before the main party had even really began! We just thought ‘let’s try it weekly’, which was a bit of a punchy move at the time.
G: Because it was never planned. We never sat down and strategised ‘we need a weekly club night’. But it was very clear, very soon that that was what people wanted.
What it stands for…
G: It stands for Lucy Fizz!
L: It’s about letting your hair down and going wild.
G: But in its truest sense. It’s not like a really big club where people are going wild in a really lit place and saying “look at us”. Here, there’s wildness going on in every corner. People come here and they do just go SAVAGE. They lose everything.
JB: Nicole Scherzinger lost her extensions here!
J: We used to have a beach room on the second floor with sand on the floor and the amount of shit we found underneath that sand…
JB: It was a bit Crystal Maze when people were looking for their things. “You’ve got 10 minutes to find the keys!”
J: When they got rid of all that sand last year, the box of things they found was outrageous, but amazing.
G: We found Nicole Scherzinger still in there!
G: Mine’s just gone last week, I was in the hot tub and lost my pants. I couldn’t tell you how long I spent in there!
L: Mine was when we had Erol Alkan in, which was when we first opened the upstairs rooms. Oh, and Artwork too for our second birthday.
G: That night was insane! I remember it feeling like there were people just hanging off everything.
J: I think my favourite was one of the first, finding the venue and feeling like we’d found another home. That was quite magic. We had thirty drag queens coming out of the basement, it just felt really magical.
…And what it stands against?
JB: Knobheads! Any sort of pretentiousness, anyone who’s like ‘Oh this is fabulous, I want to book it all and not let anyone else in’. None of that shit. Just come in and have a fab time.
J: There’s no VIP or table service and that’s really important for us. No-one gets treated any different, no matter who you are, and that’s something we’re really proud of.
JB: That’s the beauty of Savage. We don’t even have a photographer, we just let people come in and enjoy themselves.
L: The only time I saw people making a fuss was when Gwendoline Christie came, but that was because she was on the poles too!
JB: It was amazing! Seeing all five floors completely packed with so many people in looks swinging round the poles and having the time of their lives!
L: Yeah, walking from the basement to the roof you could see how the difference in each floor’s music made people feel and the basement is apparently the place where they felt like taking off their clothes!
J: Here’s to many more weekends like this across five floors every Saturday night!
JB: We’re helping launch a new festival in Albania this summer called Kala. Savage on tour!
J: We’ve got such an amazing group of DJs, performers, and dancers that it does feel a bit like we’re hogging it here, so we’re going to go on tour and do some festivals and club gigs as well.
L: We got to support Hercules and Love Affair for their recent London show as well, it’s great to take it outside of Metropolis.
G: But we still want to continue making every Saturday night at Metropolis as big as the birthday with resident DJs and big guest spots. All around it’s a new exciting time and we cannot wait to dance till dawn!
Savage in three words…
JB: Dirty, slutty disco!
J: Free, expressive party!
L: Neon drag madness!
G: Where’s my pants?
Savage is every Saturday at Metropolis, 234 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9NN, 10pm-5am. Head to their Facebook page for more info.