Come as You Areby Hugh Upsher / 29.05.2013
‘You haven’t experienced Evol properly unless you’ve sucked a dudes dick and done a line of cocaine.’
‘How do I go about doing that?’
‘Just go down to the bottom bathrooms, that’s where it all goes down.’
This was an interaction I had with a guy who admitted to me that it was his first time at Evol. I was trying to be funny, and so was he. It seemed like an appropriate introduction to this somewhat androgynous club. The fairest way to describe Evol is reductively. It is not a gay club, it is not hipster and it doesn’t play music you recognize. It is also important to clarify that Evol is not a venue, nor is it an event. It is not even a brand. For the most part it is simply a happening. Every Friday from 12 til 4AM.
The beauty of this arrangement gives the organisers absolute creative freedom without the burden of any serious financial risk. And freedom is an attractive quality. Especially to the no-one-tells-me-how-to-live-my-life art school crowd it attracts each week. There is no dress code, no VIP lounge, there is no headline act and there are no guidelines on how you should dance.
On my last visit I had an amusing conversation about how fashion culture has rendered the Christian Cross meaningless though misappropriation. The next logical step would be opening a club called Mosque and they would serve Halaal tequila that’s been dyed pink like the sausages.
I’ve always treasured my oblivious nature when it comes to interacting with acquaintance that may or may not be under the influence. It literally takes a nosebleed, confession or comedic falling over/around inanimate objects for me to suspect anything is up. Either way I’ve had some of my most eccentric and favourite conversations in Evol
The venue is a visual mess of invasive branding, framed photos of horse racing and projections of glitch 3D ‘art’. The tension between this crumby sports bar come alternative club doesn’t really distract from the appeal, in fact one could say it just adds to the rich personality.
It is a venue of two worlds. You can follow the route of self-destructive debauchery on the dance floor or have intelligent conversation in a well-lit, significantly quieter pool hall. These are clearly divided in a geographical sense but thankfully the cross-pollination is rife. Then there is the middle ground. A dark lounge section acts as a purgatory of sorts with pieces of furniture with stories to tell.
It is somewhat of an anomaly to come across something successful that has no mission statement, solidified construct of personality and no visible ambition. I suppose there will always be a market for people looking to find the in-between, the anti, the blank. Evol isn’t this, but it isn’t trying very hard not to be. I may have overthought this one…
* All illustrations © Hugh Upsher