Tribes At The Cause
It’s almost Christmas in London but despite what you might think, it has been the raves going on recently that have been most worth feeling merry about. One in particular caught our eye, a special North London Techno affair that has been making its way into our conversations for the last couple of months, we are talking of course, about Tribes at The Cause in Tottenham Hale. A showcase of some of the best Techno in the business, drawn out over sixteen sensational hours. We lined our stomachs, put on our dancing shoes, and rode a tube to North London to find out what the people at DJ Mag and Resident Advisor have been shouting about.
The lineup is usually why you go to a rave right? And don’t get us wrong, this one’s was filthy! But this event in particular stood out to us because of something far more concrete (if you will), the venue itself. The Cause is a crowd funded culture project that takes a bold first step in the direction that maybe all clubs should go in. We constantly hear about the UK's eroding nightlife, stories of desolate town centres and how many clubs close their doors once and for all, surrendering their legacy in order to become a bunch of loft apartments for the next generation of single serving account managers at JP Morgan. The Cause on the other hand, is a venue that was made for ravers, by ravers and was even funded by ravers too….sounds fucking mint.
You don’t have to read far to find out about just how distinct this venue is from the rest. The Cause was recently featured by DJ Mag on the shortlist for finding the best small club in the UK, and the venue also holds a strong link with the local community in the form of its connections to mental health charities. A core value that shows both incredible generosity and prudency in regard to the problems facing real people in Britain and no doubt, influenced the venue’s title.
We weren't really sure what to expect other than what the limited images on Google had provided us with but I don’t think anything could have truly prepared us for what we were about to step foot inside. First of all, the The Cause is a literal stones throw from Tottenham Hale Station, making for a surprisingly convenient journey for all hours of the weekend, provided of course you have access to the Victoria line. We arrived to find a bespoke setting unlike anything you will find anywhere else. The Cause is a quirky interconnecting web of small to medium sized dancehalls, each with their own unique charm.
The main room was straight out of a Techno heads’ wildest fantasy, a walled bunker where the DJ is nestled inside a cage and where the decks themselves, sit within compartments that are carved out of the concrete. Next door we discovered a duo of smaller rooms, both matching the gritty industrial appeal of the main room, and then a final, long room known simply as ‘The Warehouse’, which opens out into a greenhouse smoking area and that night featured a record shop! For this event especially, there are also featured a large tented arena which blasted music from midday all the way up until 10pm out in the courtyard of the skeletal industrial setting, a perfect way to warm the cockles this winter.
When it came to The Cause’s venue, we were truly blown away. You can tell that this place was crafted with the future of the underground scene in its mindseye, because the space perfectly treads the line between club, and the kind of abode you would end up rocking up to at 2am after ringing a party line, a feat that is undoubtedly hard to achieve but which has enormous pay-off. Every moment we spent inside felt truly organic but refreshingly came without the element of risk that you would typically associate with squat raving.
Big was not an understatement when being used to describe the lineup that Tribes was bringing to The Cause on the night. Headlining the event was Apollonia, a trio of minimal Techno DJs who require no introduction in the scene. Their talents have seen them play to crowds in the thousands all over the world, and they were the signature name on punters’ lips on the day of the event. Needless to say, they were incredible, playing to a packed main room that was absolutely bouncing, spinning vinyls with the precision and cool headedness that only comes with the kind of skill that earns you a place at the top of your game, the vibe was electric for the full six hours, what a treat!
The extensive lineup also featured a cavalcade of enormous names that absolutely rocked the house down on the night. Our personal favourite set of the evening despite the calibre provided by Apollonia, was the 8pm to 10pm from Man Power, a Mexican Techno masterclass that came with some cheeky drops, and some long drawn out moments of pure euphoria, punctuated by crisp visuals and lighting. A profoundly cool experience, and one that stuck with us for the rest of the evening. The set before his was by the dynamic duo Paranoid London, another fantastic affair from one of the nights headliners that was darker and heavier than the music of the daytime. The pounding rhythms ushered in the night time and handed the baton over to Man Power and subsequent acts in spectacular fashion.
We can’t however, forget the grooves of the tent arena though. The palm tree party atmosphere in there during the day reflected the eager nature of the revellers who braved the rain to show up early and get a marathon of dancefloor action in before Monday morning. Alternate Facts were incredible, along with A.D.F, Wink and various others, the tent arena made for an outdoor experience that made us totally forget it was mid-December (there were heaters don’t worry). We were also treated to an amazing experience in the barbershop area next to the main room from The Night Bus and Bimini Bon Boulash, a drag queen pairing who went to work giving the crowds an energetic glimpse into the history of Disco unlike any other. We went to Tottenham expecting to rave, but what we received was so much more of an all encompassing musical experience than that.
It is also important to note that Tribes was an incredibly blended event. Many people can shy away from nights out at a venue that has a specific genre tied to it out of fear of a lack of diversity, but we heard Techno, Minimal, Disco, Funk and even some Fleetwood Mac believe it or not! We could not understate the scope of the musical offerings that The Cause provided on the night.
The crowd at any successful rave is just as big a part of your party experience as the music. You could be listening to best set of your life, all it takes is for some bellend punching you in the nose for ‘looking at his girlfriend’ for that experience to be totally ruined, and with London, you can never be too careful. However, what we noticed about The Cause was that the diversity of the scene and sound was reflected in the party goers too. We met a hugely varied group of people of different languages, professions and ages, brought together for the love of music and all courteously under one roof raving (as Jamie XX might say). This is another element of The Cause experience that helps create that aura of underground authenticity that is so central to this venue’s success.
Overall we had an absolute blast in Tottenham for Tribes, and we can safely say that our excitement was well placed. The Cause is a shining beacon of what can be achieved by people with a shared love of underground music and we recommend it to anyone who loves Techno, or just loves a dance, and we hope to see you at the next one. P.S, they also do really good food.