Q and A with Emma Kroeger about our new night Shellac Discotec: May 2016
What is the principle behind your new night Shellac Discotec?
Shellac Discotec was created as a showcase of the super talented ladies I know in East London – I wanted to create a night that breeds collaboration, not just musically but in terms of installation and performance as well.
Who and why did you come up with the night, or want to put it on?
In addition to being a showcase of talented women, Shellac was borne out of a frustration at how male-dominated gay parties can often to be. You either have the choice of lesbian nights, or gay nights. Musically, I have always loved disco, but every gay disco night you go to tends to dominated by men. I have gone to nights where I’ve been made to feel really out of place as a woman, which is super disappointing. The misogyny you experience in the gay scene can be really appalling sometimes. Plus I know so many queer gals who love disco and are damn good at playing it!
In addition to that, so many of my friends (male, female and otherwise) are far more queer and open in their self-expression, and I wanted to create a queer space that really celebrates the feminine and the amazing women I know, without being exclusively female. I describe it as a girls-to-the-front queer night for everyone.
Favourite track to play at a Shellac?
Elles brought the Merrilyn Fox track ‘For Ladies Only’ to my attention. It’s a total tune (and a pretty fitting Shellac anthem!)
Where did the name come from?
The name Shellac Discotec is a way of celebrating the female as well as parodying notions of what it is to be feminine. Shellac Nails also represent the faux glamour aesthetic of the night – when things go so far beyond tacky that they are actually the greatest. In a word, camp.
Who do you run the night with?
I started the night myself, but I’ve built up a gang of really killer ladies who are all doing amazing stuff individually – and that’s what it was all about from the outset. There’s Dance Armstrong who I run Disco Spritz at Dalston Superstore with, Elles & Violet who are both incredible DJs & producers in their own right (and actually put out an all-girl cover of Mike Dunn’s So Let It Be House on International Women’s Day – so GOOD), female drag queen in need of no introduction – Victoria Sin, amazing dancer & performer Georgie Bee & Ella Lynch AKA Bobby Dazzler who has done set and costume design for Passing Clouds to Glastonbury, and whose work I have always really admired. The club night is basically a means of celebrating and bringing together the work of super talented local women. For the second night, I’ve just added the phenomenal Nadia Ksaiba to the bill, who has a weekly radio show on NTS with Dan Beaumont called Rhythm Connection. Can’t wait!
What do you see for the future of Shellac?
I would love to get more and more girls involved in Shellac, and to keep growing the art installation aspect. We had a giant boob and shellacked hand at the first one, so who knows what will come next!
Why do it at VFD?
VFD is such a perfect little disco den. Because it is so stripped back, it is an amazing space to decorate (which is a huge part of Shellac Discotec.) Plus, I love that the size keeps the party super intimate – it basically feels like you’re at your best mate’s house party.
If Shellac was a drink, what would it be?
A pornstar martini. Or a wet pussy shot. Or triple goldleaf vodka on the rocks.
Any hints of who will be playing the next Shellacs?
A slew of amazing laydiezzz, that’s the only guarantee <3