Welcome to House Party Review, where we go to house parties and… yeah, review them.
WHERE'S THE PARTY?
Clapton, east London – an area variously described as "cool", "fashionable" and "no longer full of murders" by estate agents running out of places to send traders priced out of Wapping. Great news for me, as it's down the road, which – in a perfect world – is where all house parties should be.
A two-storey basement flat with the weirdest layout I've ever seen. A couple of bedrooms upstairs: fine, normal. But downstairs there were three different doors out to the back yard, meaning you could keep walking around in circles through each room, like a wasp tied to a string, cursed to revolve around the same point again and again until the sweet release of death.
Partygoer Tara said she got lost and couldn't find her way back upstairs: "I walked around for 10 minutes in a circle trying the doors to each room, and couldn't get out. All the doors led to the garden and I didn't know what was going on." Not a great set-up for anyone on mushrooms.
Kitchens are an integral part of any house party, but because this one was a little small it forced everyone into the main party area, in the living room, which was actually a Good Thing. More communal vibes, less chance of getting stuck next to your boyfriend while he repeats an hour-long anecdote he heard on the Joe Rogan Experience.
There were also three bedrooms in total, rammed the entire time.
Choose your fighter: the roomy one that absolutely stank, or the smaller one without a working lock. Upon arrival there was only half a bog roll left between the two, a risky scenario that was thankfully rectified just before midnight by some kind soul back from buying mixer.
More like a huge concrete yard with a washing machine in it, which one group of drunk smokers found hilarious. Due to the rain, the outdoor area never seemed to get too busy, but every so often a person lost in the downstairs maze would pop out trying to find their friend.
About 60, but it was hard to keep track because everyone kept moving about. Except a guy called Jack, who passed out.
The main reason to use the stinky bathroom was that it contained a bath full of Old Blue Last cans – which, FULL DISCLOSURE, were provided by VICE's OBL team – glistening in the water. Great if you wanted to grab a bev after using the loo, awful if you wanted to reload but had to wait for the gaggle of girls on the other side of the door to finish sniffing their keys. Every time the door opened the poor person at the front of the queue had to grab a few and hurriedly ration them out.
Most people had their own supplies, though. I clocked someone with one of those massive two-pint cans of Faxe, and a lovely girl named Ellen kindly offered out some tequila shots. I personally hid some gin in the microwave (my top party tip, there: the fridge is always first to get raided when supplies run dry).
There wasn't one, thank god. Saying that, some of the more fashionable guests were serving some strong looks. Special shoutout to the hot girl in assless chaps.
Absolute no vibe upon arrival, as the host had to go for a shower while we guarded the door. In fairness, I was bang on time, i.e. a good couple of hours earlier than I should have arrived.
Before the drugs kicked in everyone kind of stuck to their own friend groups, which is to be expected I guess, but also isn't that much fun. To sum up the mood around this time period: as we walked into the loo to grab a bath beer, I made a joke about changing my friend's nappy and some girls nearby reacted by being very visibly disgusted.
After the drugs kicked in, however, the vibe was vibey. Someone had made some makeshift coloramas out of green plastic that made the rooms look like a seedy underground club, a neat little trick I'll be adding to my greebo home improvements Pinterest board.
There were multiple DJs, mostly playing their own niche tunes. The night started off with disco, followed by techno, before switching to less intense 90s pop bangers. Throughout the night we basically heard Prince's entire discography, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it did get a little Brick Lane vintage shop at times.
The night began with some Italians poorly and hilariously attempting to do other people's accents, and ended with some classic drug-fuelled agony aunting. I personally overheard someone give job application tips, and an actual certified nurse giving out mental health advice. Doubt anyone remembers these useful conversations, though – they were always interrupted by someone looking for their mate or a lighter.
I accidentally made the mistake of getting into a conversation about age, only to realise I was the oldest in the conversation. I was assured I didn't look a day over 19, but inside felt a lot like the Steve Buscemi meme. How do you do, fellow kids?
I'm going to be honest with you: I don't remember leaving. The following day I woke up with the absolute worst hangxiety, the remnants of a broken vase, a bag full of Old Blue cans and an email notification from Kapten saying they'd cancelled my ride.
I felt so awful that I didn't just call in sick to my Sunday bar job, I quit entirely. Was it worth it? I don't know. Is this a sustainable way to live? Absolutely not.
As we mentioned, VICE's Old Blue Last supplied a load of beers for this party. If you want some OBL beers for your thing, good news: you can now buy them online.