Credit: Jessica-Rose Lena

Rock Music Preservation Society Promotes No-Phone / Low-Phone Networking 

The Boom Boom Room LDN markets itself as a rock music preservation society and underground social club for the city’s most ambitious young artists, designers, writers and makers. The nights are heavily influenced by the origins of rock and roll music and the socio-cultural aesthetics of the later 1960s, which challenged norms and inspired change though rebellious attitudes, fashion trends, and artistic collaborations. Founded by dancer, vocalist and cultural curator Blake Avenue, the nights offer evenings of live music, highlighting upcoming Blues, Folk, Psych, and Funk artists that tinder a raw, nostalgic flame of retro sounds. They also put on a more glamorous, self-proclaimed “Vinyl Mixers” for creative mingling and classic grooves spanning from Disco to Hi-NRG to Funk from across the globe. Regardless of the music or crowd type, Blake requests attendees to “turn off and tune in” asking everyone to connect with a person they don’t know while keeping phones out of the picture, for as long as possible. 

The most recently Vinyl Mixer was held in King’s Cross at a sexy underground lounge, two floors beneath the surface. I walked into a sweaty scene that echoed an episode of Soul Train in 1974. It most definitely wasn’t a fancy dress party, as each outfit presented tailored and stylish. But I most certainly was out of place in my modern clothes. There wasn’t much networking, as most people were hip thrusting on the small dance floor, but the various people I did speak to were musicians, jewelry designers and vintage shop owners, professional DJs, film directors and actors, with a few solicitors and financial analysts mixed in between. A first-timer I spoke to, a London-based Turkish model, admitted that the 70s vibe wasn’t her normal scene, but the warmth of the community and freedom to dance made her feel safe. 

“Dancing in public is a stressful activity in 2024”, says Avenue, “but it is within our DNA to connect over music and social dance. Humans have been doing it since the dawn of time, in every culture. It’s an important part of community building. Here, people know the phones are away so there’s less fear of pending embarrassment if you bounce a little too hard to Fela Kuti We want you to do that.” 

Perhaps this Boom Boom Room isn’t for you unless you’ve been waiting for a chance to wear your mom’s vintage flares. But if you’re looking for a drummer for your Zamrock band, a stylist for your 60s space-age shoot or just a provocative night of dancing – this is your place.