Homosocial Australian dance party Trough debuts in London this weekend for a spectacular clubbing experience as part of Waterloo’s Vault Festival. Here, Trough promoter Nik Dimopoulos gives us the lowdown on this arty, cruisey, sexy new club.
How do you describe Trough for those who have yet to experience the club?
Trough was conceived in Melbourne, Australia back in 2005 inside Australia’s biggest men’s cruise venue, Club80. 2005 was the first time I visited Berlin and London, and I thought to myself ‘Why don’t we have parties like this back home?’ So I just did what one does when one can’t find something they are craving: I did it myself. My background is design and art direction, and I have a lust for music, art and cinema. So I wanted to incorporate all my areas of ‘interests’ to brand this event, to make it look unique. Trough is still a dance party and all dance parties –
no matter what they are named or who’s on its flyer or who is DJing or performing – is still a space where people come together, move to a pulsating beat and connect personally or physically.
Where did the name come from?
A friend of mine, Timothy Moore, and I ponded over the name. It had to be short, and a name that no one would ever want to use, almost ugly. In Australia, ‘trough’ not only means the vessel animals drink from but also another word for a urinal. We liked the image of guys chatting over the urinal with their cocks out plus we liked the animal reference. For a long time people that were not in the know thought Trough was a piss party and were too scared to come. We liked that too! We didn’t want to shy away from the sexual component of Trough.
Is there a cruise element to the night?
In Melbourne there is definitely a sexual cruise element to the party because it is held in a cruise club. In Sydney, with my promoter partner Benjamin Smith, it has a different dynamic. In Sydney I run the party in a great warehouse basement called Oxford Art Factory, and it gets as sexual as a bunch of randy hot men dancing around in jockstraps, micro shorts and harnesses can get.
And what’s your crowd like in Oz?
Melbourne seems to have a much more diverse crowd than Sydney. I guess the home of any party in any city will eventually attract a bigger crossover. Melbourne tends to have a diverse crowd in terms of age, body type and culture, which is also great and something I’m so proud of. Sydney is similar but it is more of a body conscious city, being so warm and full of beaches and outdoor recreation. Trough in Sydney tends to attract what you might call more of a circuit crowd aesthetic, but it still mixes very well with an alternative queer crew who love the style of party.
How did launching a London event come about?
I’m a Greek citizen as well as an Australian citizen so I travel to Europe and London. I came in search of a venue where I could host this party, but to my amazement not many venues could match what I’ve got back home. After two months of searching and pleading I approached Vault Festival and they were very interested from the off.They were keen on having this party in their venue purely because it visually and aesthetically fitted into their more artistic vision. If you have ever had the chance to wander through these incredible underground archway tunnels and warehouse style multi level mazes you too will understand why I jumped at the chance to do it here.
What do you love about the London gay scene?
Over the years it has changed a fair bit. London to me still has an extraordinary and thriving gay scene but I find more so in East London. A few worth praising include The Glory, Sink The Pink and Chapter 10. I also love more established institutions like Horse Meat Disco at Eagle, Duckie at The RVT, Vogue Fabrics, and fetish master parties Hard On and Hotwired.
And what will the music be like?
In 2005 I was inspired by the clubs in Berlin, especially Berghain ,which played the most progressive and fierce music to a then predominantly gay audience – to me that was heaven. So for London I decided to bring a bit of Berghain by featuring resident DJ Boris as our main special guest. Boris has headlined the biggest gay fetish international parties, such as Berlin’s Snax and New
York City’s Black Party, so expect lots of big butch beats