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Mister Sunday Returns To London This Weekend
Christian Eede , August 23rd, 2017 14:57

We speak to Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter, the men behind Mister Saturday Night, about their label and ongoing parties in New York and London

Party series Mister Saturday Night has now been going strong for almost nine years having initially started as a party at a club in January of 2009, organised by DJ pairing Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter.

Following that first party they would take Mister Saturday Night into different spaces around New York, using private homes and DIY spaces to bring people together with themselves in control of the music, the sessions growing more and more frequent. Eventually, they set up a label in 2012, releasing music from Anthony Naples, Denis Sulta (under his Atlus alias), Gunnar Haslam and a whole host more, and their most recent big move was opening their own space, called Nowadays, in New York to host regular Mister Sunday parties.

This summer they celebrate 250 parties, and this Sunday (August 27) they will return to London for another UK edition of Mister Sunday, their first in London in almost a year after a party last summer at Hackney church St. John's. The latest party will take place at York Hall, a Victorian building in Bethnal Green with a nearly hundred-year-old basement bathhouse and a boxing gym.

You can find out more information on the party here and read on below for a quick catch-up with Eamon and Justin about Mister Saturday Night and their parties in London.

2017 marks eight years since the first Mister Saturday Night party. Could you reel off any especially memorable parties or landmark moments in those eight years?

Justin Carter: Part of the beauty of a regular party is in the repetition and familiarity, so truly each week has something special about it. It's always a place where a motley crew of friends gets together to dance and hang out with each other. But of course there are some parties that stick in our minds. This past Sunday, actually, had a particularly special moment. We recently installed a misting machine above the outdoor dancefloor to give the dancers an occasional respite from the New York heat. Toward the end of the night, with all the lights off, we put on a field recording of a thunderstorm, turned on the misters, and started flashing the lights to make lightning. After a minute or so, we brought in 'Sunshower' by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, and when the drums kicked in, the disco ball flashed on, shining through the mist.

Where did the initial idea come from to extend the concept into a Sunday daytime party for London?

Eamon Harkin: There's a pretty strong connection between London and New York, and there are a lot of Londoners who've come to Mister Sunday in NYC. After doing a number of nighttime gigs in London, we thought it made sense to try a Sunday. Obviously the weather's not as reliable, which has kept us from doing outdoor parties, but everywhere we've done a Mister Sunday in London has had big skylights or windows, so we still get the daytime vibe and the sunset light. I also lived in London for a number of years, and I have family there, so in many ways, London is the second home of the party.

Are there any other parties that acted as initial inspiration for Mister Saturday Night?

JC: We weren't thinking of any specific parties as a model for Mister Saturday Night or Mister Sunday when we started them, but we both spent plenty of time in clubs that has surely informed how we do things. For me, [New York party] Body and Soul was very formative. The crowd was amazing and diverse, the music was really incredible, the soundsystem was incredible, and there was plenty of space to dance at those parties. It was also a party that happened from Sunday afternoon to Sunday evening, so you could go, you could dance, and the party was always done relatively early.

Would you say that the MSN parties have a particular ethos and if so, what is it?,/br>

EH: Absolutely. We're trying to connect people to themselves, to each other and to music. All the other things we do spring from that – asking people not to use cell phones and take pictures on the dance floor, how we set up the space where we're doing a party, and the way we play music.

MSN parties often start with you playing a particular record in its entirety. Why did you initially decide to do that?

JC: The beginning of the party is a really important time for setting the mood for the rest of the day. For as long as I can remember, we've spent the first hour or two of every party just playing listening music, setting the atmosphere for people to feel welcome when they come through the door. I think it was 2013 when we started to codify that, selecting an album in advance that we would start the day with and letting everyone know what it would be, but I think it initially started with us just wanting to share whatever it was we'd been listening to at home that week with each other and everyone else who gets the party set up.

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