A pulsing new Hackney venue — best be quick before the developers take over

MinusOne©DA20:© david.altheer@gmail.com Shout About’s launch preview of MinusOne pop-up Warburton Rd, Hackney E8 3FN 25022
MinusOne©DA20:© david.altheer@gmail.com Shout About’s launch preview of MinusOne pop-up Warburton Rd, Hackney E8 3FN 250220
Shout About’s Ben Gamble, left, and Stuart Groves. Top, Minus One preview night starts up

IT’S UNLIKELY THAT MANY BUSINESSES have a job position entitled “Head of Vibe”. If they do, you’d imagine they’d be either a sad assemblage of unfunny people — you’ve maybe seen those You Don’t Have To Be Crazy To Work Here But It Helps! signs — or people who are, well, cool.

Shout About has such a position and a brief chat with the HoV, Stuart Groves, and his colleague, Head of Agency Ben Gamble, suggests that the company is far from sad. 

The model is simple. Groves says: “We work with landlords to get ‘meanwhile use’ of their inactive sites; be they waiting on planning permission, redevelopment or demolition — short-term opportunities.”

Their latest short-termer — the subterranean Minus One at Hackney E8 3FN, near bus stops and London Fields overground station — aims at a youthful clientele.

London Fields used to come alight in summer with portable barbecues, since banned for safety reasons. Now its sunny days can seem as long as the dreadlocks in a cricket match on this magnificent park

LonFields©DA14Crick:© David.Altheer@gmail.com London Fields CC v Sovereign (fielding) 030514

While an investor awaits planning permission to develop the site of the much-missed Wringer and Mangle restaurant, Shout About will stage DJ sets, live gigs from up-and-coming and better-known performers, and brunch parties, as well as art exhibitions and other cultural events.

Asked what’s with the pop-up’s crazy name, Groves told Loving Dalston: “We seem to lose another performance space in London every month. Minus One alludes to this.”

The site has had trouble, closures and shocking violence — what will Shout About do to make the venue work?

Groves said: “The ground floor we have sub-let to immersive dining specialists Funicular Productions, who bring with them huge footfall.

“The basement that is Minus One has had a lighting and sound upgrade, making it a space where London’s top promoters and labels can showcase their acts.”

The opening is this week (fine details below). With Bossy LDN and Hotel Radio Paris hosting, the venue should be popular. Another empty premises put to work.

Hamish Scott 260220

*  Minus One, 2 Warburton Road, corner Mentmore Terrace, Hackney E8 3FN (020 7111 7712), Friday 28 February 2020, 10pm-3am (late licence), £5. Good disabled access. Venue capacity 700-plus, three bars (the negroni was well-necked by Loving Dalstoners on press night). Click on this video to see Irish band Inhaler playing a promotional gig at Minus One.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. A link in no way expresses support for any site.

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