An Interview with Sh*t Indie Disco
Back in November I had the pleasure of interviewing Nic and Sean, the DJs of every indie kid’s favourite club night, Sh*t Indie Disco. In what became a 45 minute stint, we talked about everything from Shindie origins, the changing face of the ‘indie scene’, and where all their inflatables really come from.
Jess: How did Sh*t Indie Disco start?
Sean: I remember sitting in work, thinking how going out to dance to indie songs was no longer cool. I wanted to get that again, but not be judged. We were aware some of the bands were s***, but we wanted to play them because everyone still loves them.
Nic: It became uncool (to like indie bands), but we’re pretty uncool! Where it came from, was the playlists…
Sean: We planned on doing Sh*t Indie Disco for about 5 years, from about 2010 to 2015. We’d put the playlist on all the time. We went to Berlin, going to go out, and started playing the playlist and in the end we stayed in! When we got back we thought ‘right we have to sort this out’ and rang up 24 Kitchen Street.
Nic: Affectively it’s two people with no DJ experience, a laptop, and experience of putting on parties in our flat. I don’t know how we did it! One of the first ones we did we put out posters around town…
Sean: Then realised we put the date as August instead of September, so went around and put stickers on them.
Jess: You’ve been doing this for over a year now, has there been any highlights?
Sean: There’s been so many, like every week!
Nic: We always say you’re only as good as your last party, so we keep trying to make them as good as the next.
Sean: A particular highlight was the second one. All our mates came along for the first one, but we were unsure if anyone was going to turn up for the second one. When it started it was empty, but later people started coming in, and towards the end of the night it was full!
Nic: Loads of the Thursdays in Arts Club! We never knew if that would take off.
Jess: What made the move from Kitchen Street to Arts Club?
Nic: It was literally like, back in the day, years back now, in the other decade, there was a night in Arts Club called Mixed Bag on a Thursday and it was quite Hipster central but they did play good songs. So there was always a bit of a thing that it would be good to get a weekly Thursday down there. Always a bit of a pipe dream and then we tried Kitchen Street Tuesdays– we did a few there, but they had show’s there so it wasn’t every Tuesday. We just wouldn’t get anything done on the Wednesday and Thursday and start drinking again on the Friday. But we still love Kitchen Street.
Jess: How would you say its changed over this time?
Sean: Apart from the venue, I’d say it’s exactly the same week in week out.
Nic: I think as well the crowd are obviously younger, because when we first started it, it was our age who remembered the songs from back in the day. But its good because we thought when we started doing more student nights that the music would have to be more student and relevant. But turns out all you guys know the songs so it’s better. You’re all still loving The Fratellis, loving Killers, loving all this.
Jess: Yeah for my age as well we were like ten years old when these songs came out, and later on its around that time that you start to get into music.
Sean: Yeah you never really got the chance to be at an indie club and dance to those songs the first time round.
Nic: It’s like that with us and Oasis, so when we first went out to go to a club and listen to Oasis it was boss because we never really got the chance to go and watch them in their heyday.
Sean: Yeah with us and Britpop, we were probably around 10, so we were never there for the first time round. So when we went out and Blur and Pulp were never getting played, so it was finally good to be able to sing along to it.
Jess: Do you have any plans for 2018?
Nic: We don’t think that far ahead to be honest! We think by the hour.
Sean: Don’t think it’s time for the Sh*t Indie record label, or compilation CD! Would love to do a DJ set at SoundCity.
Nic: Yeah or any festival. Someone said please do Leeds and Bestival.
Jess: Fresher’s was crazy! How did it feel to move to a bigger room in Arts Club?
Nic: Surreal really, pretty unexpected. We sold quite a lot of tickets, so were thinking we’d hip hop upstairs to keep it how it was with everyone indie downstairs in that little bar.
Sean: Maybe we’ll do that one week, limit it to 100 tickets and only do it downstairs. But yeah, because there’s Heebies next door and with that being such an established Thursday night, we always thought we’d be getting the same numbers as last year, just enough for the smaller bar. It was a massive surprise!
Nic: A lot of it was down to the good work of last year’s first years. Fresher’s always want to do what the cooler second year kids are doing.
Jess: You’ve done a lot of specials like The Beatles, Stone Roses, and Oasis. What’s next on the list?
Sean: We’ve done about 20 Arctic Monkeys Specials! We haven’t done a sole Courteeners Special yet.
Nic: We need bands that will draw a big enough crowd, with upstairs at 300 when its busiest. To have 300 people who are all massive Stone Roses fans say might be a bit hard. We’re hoping maybe to do a screening of Supersonic somewhere with an hour of Oasis after, but we haven’t got a venue for that yet.
Jess: If you had to design a festival, what would you call it and who would be on the line up?
Sean: Talking Heads on there, Smiths.
Nic: Beatles definitely.
Sean: To be honest later on I’m going to be like ‘oh f**k why didn’t I mention this band.’
Nic: Arctic Monkeys!
Jess: Do you just want to send me a list later on, full on festival breakdown with stages and everything?
Nic: We’ll make you a poster if you want Jess!
Jess: ahahha Like those fake Reading and Leeds posters!
Nic: What would we call it though? Sh*t Festival?
Sean: The not so Sh*t Indie Festival?
Nic: This Festival is Shite?
Jess: How would you say the ‘indie’ scene has changed in the past decade?
Nic: Oh massive!
Sean: It used to be huge around 2009 and then seemed to go. But I think it’s back on the rise now. People who listened to those bands back in the day, they’re around 18-22 and started making bands themselves. I’ve seen more and more bands like the SPINN lads!
Nic: It’s definitely back. People getting into indie music and bands like Catfish, The Sherlocks and Sundara Karma– that died for a long time. And a lot of those older bands like Pigeon Detectives and Fratellis are doing ten-year anniversary shows now.
Sean: In terms of festival line ups, 2008/2009 had so much guitar music. Then the headliners started to go more dancey, and rap and grime came into it for a bit as well. Probably now it’s started to get a bit more guitar based again.
Nic: I think it moves in 5 year circles. In another 5-6 years the dance scene will come out. Hopefully in 10 years’ time there’ll be someone putting on a night saying ‘I want to make it a bit like sh*t indie disco’.
Jess: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen happen?
Sean: Seeing my mate blow up an inflatable dingy, jump off into the crowd, and the crowd not to grab him, so he fell on his face and cracked his tooth. That was like weird/bad. Saw people fighting over a box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes we brought in for the Super Hans Special. Oh and a Wedding Party turned up once!
Nic: Someone asked us if we do Weddings, we did our mates, but we just said we’re far too irresponsible to be left in the hands of someone we don’t know.
Sean: There’s loads of things that me and Nic never thought we’d find ourselves doing.
Nic: Ripping up cardboard boxes and writing on the side of them ‘Not Nineteen Forever’– not where I thought my life was going to go. Never thought we’d be going into pizza hut to ask if they had 2 pizza boxes and when they say why, to say we need to put our laptops inside them.
Jess: Right on the subject of pizza, what happened to the free pizza?
Nic: Well not main people were having it really, I think a lot of people go to town, and don’t eat loads to get pissed quicker. So we were giving out free pizza at the start of the night and nobody wanted to get stuffed up on pizza, because I’ll need to buy another pint. We were taking about 4 or 5 pizzas home and just getting fat. It was from a health point of view.
Sean: I think in about a month I put on about 2 stone.
Jess: What songs would you say get the best reaction?
Nic: I think it’s Not Nineteen Forever! I tell you what’s been going off at the very end of the night, Don’t Look Back in Anger. After the music’s finished, so all the crowd are singing it.
Jess: Who are you currently listening to?
Sean: Can I get my Spotify out? Waxahatchee’s latest album, Aldous Harding has a nice album, TOPS their new album I quite like it. John Maus has some new stuff out. Kelly Lee Owens has a good album. And then The Beatles are in there, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
Nic: Jorja Smith, She’s coming to Invisible Wind Factory and tickets are still available but I have a feeling she’ll have blown up by then!
Sean: And the Britney Spears Megamix as well. It’s all a bit of a mix.
Nic: Portishead, Frank Ocean and Animal Collective as well, they’re nice and calming.
Jess: Who would win in a fight, Morrissey or Robert Smith?
Nic: I reckon Robert Smith because Morrissey is a bit of a wimp isn’t he. Robert Smith all the way.
Jess: Noel or Liam Gallagher?
Nic: I reckon he’s all mouth Liam, so I’d say Noel.
Jess: What made you with Shit Indie Disco decide to have all the inflatables and posters and confetti cannons and cut outs and everything. Where does the money come from?
Nic: That’s why we don’t make any money off of it.
Sean: When people ask us if we’re getting anywhere with Sh*t Indie, we’re like we spend it all on inflatables!
Nic: Yeah buying them all off amazon, too lazy to go to shops.
Sean: We thought we’d only be doing it for the first one.
Nic: But the thing is if you’re wearing a party hat and hold a giant banana you can’t be pretentious in any way and have to have a good time. It’s surprising even in London in the East End, the cool kids of London, we see these absolute hipsters and they’ll take the party hats.
Jess: Finally, what are your favourite bands ever?
Sean: I’d say Sonic Youth, Animal Collective, Kraftwerk, and The Smiths maybe?
Nic: Going a bit more middle of the road but Oasis, Smiths, Arctic Monkeys, and then I’m going to go back again to my Portishead and The Beatles obviously. The Stone Roses, just trying to think of bands I’ve seen that don’t have to be your favourite but yeah again there’ll probably be loads and I’ll message you saying throw these in to make me look cool. Oh and LCD Soundsystem!
You can catch Sh*t Indie Disco every Thursday @ Arts Club 11pm-3am (And if you know me well enough, you know I’ll probably be there)
Follow them on Instagram: @shitindiedisco
Read about Sh*t Indie Disco in our 2018 Spring Print Edition!