London Spotlight: Saints Don’t Sleep

After a while of shining a spotlight on the movers and shakers in Bristol and Brighton, we thought it about time to tackle the big smoke. In the series, we’ll be scouring the back streets of the capital for artists, promoters and labels who aren’t so much grabbing headlines in the music press but just doing their own good thing and keeping London at the top of the game in underground music. First up is Brixton-based club night Saints Don’t Sleep. They’ve been going for over a year, bringing good vibes and a soulful sound to South London, with guests including Andreś, Kon & Amir, M.ono & Luvless and Eddie C. To mark their appearance at One Day next month, we caught up with Luke, Sam and Barry to talk all things SDS, with resident Le Trier providing a mix to get you excited for summer.

Saints Don’t Sleep will be hosting Tent 2 in the day at Front To Back presents One Day (with Tom Trago, Marcus Worgull, Hunee, Konstantin Sibold and more)

Download mix as MP3

For those not in the know, could you introduce SDS?

SDS is Luke Tierney, Sam Jacobs and Barry Davies. It was started in 2011 by Luke and Sam as a means to book the acts we wanted to see and put on a party all our mates could enjoy. The first night was with Dark Sky and Pariah – that seems like a long time ago now! Barry joined the team upon returning to London from uni in Liverpool when we wanted to take it to the next level.

What’s behind your name? Does it reflect your hedonistic attitude to putting on parties? What actually is the SDS mission statement?

The name is pretty ambiguous to be honest, we wanted something catchy that rolls off the tongue. People can interpret it how they like. With regards to a mission statement we just try to book the acts that we love and try to put on shows you don’t see so often. There are so many good nights in London so you’ve got to try and be slightly different.

For anyone who hasn’t been to an SDS party, is there a specific sound that you guys are about?

Our parties have a bit of everything but I guess even though we’re predominantly a house night there are strong elements of disco, soul and funk . If you look at some of our headliners (Andrés, Eddie C, Kon and Amir) they are all super soulful acts raised on the good stuff. Our residents play everything under the sun too so its always fairly varied.

For us, one of the defining features of your parties is the crowd. Was this deliberate when you were starting up, or do you all just attract good people?! How have you maintained the same atmosphere and crowd for all your shows? 

We do tend to get a friendly crowd, I guess it correlates with the music we put on but theres always a good vibe. There always seem to be a disproportional amount of beautiful women too, so shouts out to the ladies!

You’ve made Brixton your adopted home. What works so well about Brixton Jamm and did your last party at Rhythm Factory give you a taste for mixing things up more with your venues? 

Brixton Jamm is a great blank canvas, we’ve always had a good relationship with them and we’ve grown into the venue and are now able to bring in bigger acts. The staff deserve a mention as they are beyond helpful and efficient. As for branching out we wanted to spread our wings a bit and its something we will be doing more of but Brixton Jamm will always be our home.

With this being a London Spotlight, it would be interesting to know from a promoter’s POV what your thoughts on the London scene are at the moment? 

London has a wicked scene. All the DJs that come play with us from overseas always say how jealous they are of the sheer amount of artists we get to see on a regular basis. We get legends playing in the city every week. Other cities like Berlin and Amsterdam are amazing for clubbing but in terms of choice, London is second to none. You always know when you put on a night in London there is going to be vicious competition, there are lots of new nights popping up all the time but i don’t think its a bad thing. It keeps everyone on their toes.

What are some of your favourite nights in the city? 

The Hydra are at the top of the game in all aspects of what they do. Tief and Trouble Vision are always bang on the money as well. Flux have a great booking policy and theres always good stuff going on at Dance Tunnel. So Fresh So Clean is the one for all your Hip Hop needs and Percolate put on great parties as well.

Are there any local producers/DJs bubbling up that we should look out for?

Watch out for main man Jackson Blumenthal, Bolts of So Flute and Finn Gnarly, they’re all putting together some wicked stuff. Always check anything out on Nixwax and The Crescent. Nite Sleaze is killing it with the edits and Croz, Krywald and Farrer are all doing their thing. The Menendez Brothers are coming up right about now so super happy for them. Be sure to check the Brand New Wayo as well as they’re mix series is bang on point. Oh yeh and Chris Coupe of Tony and The Waves has been sending us some lovely stuff he’s been working on recently as well as also opening up a record shop down in Peckham, Rye Wax. Be sure to check that.

SDS will be making an appearance at Front To Back presents One Day next month. Excited? What should we expect from you guys when you host Tent 2 during the day?

We couldn’t be more excited, it was an honour to be asked and with artists from two of our favourite labels on board (Innervisions and Rush Hour) its gonna be one to remember! From us you can expect a day of soulful sounds in the sun from our residents, before the big boys come to play.

For Le Trier, could you tell us a bit about the mix you made for us?

I recorded this mix on 1210’s in my bedroom at home. I would like to think that people will listen to this mix outside in the sun, as I feel it’s got a summer vibe. Can’t wait to play at One Day One Night, the dj’s i’ll be playing alongside are inspirational.

Will SDS be making any festival appearances this summer? 

We’re doing Noisily Festival where we had a stage last year. This year we are hosting a stage during the day and we can’t praise those guys highly enough – the setting and production is unreal. We are also heading up to Beacons Festival with a couple of our residents which will be fun too. An exciting summer building up to our birthday in September which is going to be a big one!

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