English Disco Lovers

With this Friday’s fundraising party almost upon us, we decided it was time to catch up to the people putting on the party, the pro-disco, pro-equality English Disco Lovers. Their mission statement is to “reclaim the hated EDL acronym from The English Defence League and make it stand for something positive” and they seem to be setting out to do this by creating an online presence to rival the other EDL and by  sourcing out deserving local charities and persuading communities to give back via the medium of disco! 

Why did you set up the English Disco Lovers?

It was set up to provide an alternative way to protest against the English Defence League and to try and make a positive change. People hate their EDL, isn’t it much nicer to laugh and smile when you hear those three letters?

Do you ever get accidental hate mail like French energy company EDF recently did?

Not that we know of, all our hate mail seems pretty intentional. Although “FUCKING DIE YOU BUNCH OF SHITS” could be meant for anyone.

Who are you disco heroes?

Francois Kevorkian. Larry Levan’s protégé at the Paradise Garage and creator of one of the greatest disco re-edits of all time; Can You Handle It by Sharon Redd.

Mel Cheren, who provided the financial backing to open the Paradise Garage and started West End Records.

Francis Grasso, David Mancuso and Nicky Siano, the great unsung heroes of disco DJ-ing. They were the great pioneers long before DJs were superstars, doing it for the love and making less than the barman.

What’s the proudest achievement of the English Disco Lovers so far?

The proudest would have to be being shortlisted for The National Diversity awards, not to mention the most surprising! Although, I’d like to give my fondest moment a mention – singing “Go! Walk out the door! Turn around now, you’re not welcome anymore” at a counter demonstration in Brighton.

How close are you to your goal of drowning out the English Defence League’s online presence now you’ve pipped them to the number one slot on Google?

I wouldn’t say that the goal is to drown them out, more to show that disco, acceptance and unity are more important than ‘defence’. That’s something we feel that we’re doing a pretty good job of at the moment!

Sadly the Google ranking was only temporary after some hackers took their website out of action. We’ve dropped back down to third for now, but will be continuing to D.I.SEO to get back to the top!

What’s your most underrated disco gem?

I Hear Music in the Street by Unlimited Touch.

How did you find the Hackney Pirates and why have you chosen to donate a portion of the party donations to them?

It was relatively straightforward. We did a few internet searches for charities local to Dalston Superstore, as when we do disco nights, we like to give something back to the local community. You see, this group, unlike the English Defence League, is about bringing people together. So donating to a great local charity, like Hackney Pirates, is an ideal way to support that ideology. They do inspirational work and for them to be able to do more can only be a good thing for Hackney!

What was it like being at an actual English Defence League rally for the video shoot for Let The Machines Do The Work?

We’ve been at plenty before, but this one was particularly surreal. The dancers had to impersonate stereotypical English Defence League members, so we were all a little on edge, concerned that they may be mistaken for the wrong EDL.

Everything went really well, with loads of the counter-demonstrators joining in and the crew getting the shots they needed. Well, I say “everything”, the narrative of the music video involves the protagonist’s arrival at the disco-demo, and when filming that bit the director foolishly took out a St. George’s Cross flag. The police came over to advise against it but this caused some of the other counter-demonstrators to mistake them for English Defence League members. They came charging over before realising their mistake and we ended up being removed from the area by the police.

Why did you decide on Ashley Beedle as your headliner?

Tony Dunne was the one to suggest him, he’s been a fan of Ashley since he heard Black Science Orchestra’s Philadelphia a few years back. Ashley’s just someone who ‘gets’ disco, but he adds his own twist. To top it off he’s an absolutely lovely guy and we were delighted when he agreed to play.

Sum up in one sentence what we can expect from an English Disco Lovers party…

Plenty of classic/underground disco and house, coupled with super happy people raising funds for good causes!

Join the English Disco Lovers as they hold a fundraising event for the Hackney Pirates and AllOuy  this Friday 6th September at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

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