Pap-il-lon is a brand spanking new, offbeat London night, inspired by Indonesian psychedelia, Nigerian high life and South American culture. Dress code? Kaftan.
“Dance, drink and then dance some more.” That’s all Mireia Lopez, one-half of the Pap-il-lon dream team, suggests you get up to down at their psychedelic club night. First crossing paths at a club in Kings Cross, Belle Dunbar Whittaker, the other half of the Pap-il-lon pairing, describes the meeting like this: “We were both following around a boy in a band. Same band, luckily not the same boy!” After finding out how each other had promoted various nights and events around and about London over the years, they soon got to chatting about teaming up. Discussing their burning ambition to organise a more experimental kind of party, to get everyone dancing and letting loose, the penny dropped and Pap-il-lon was born.
Influenced by world music and the film Pap-il-lon, Mireia and Belle set out to encapsulate the LSD scene from Easy Rider in a room full of friends and mind-tripping tunes. Releasing mix-tapes and short films over a short period of time, the public’s interest was pricked and the Pap-il-lon concept was an instantaneous hit, before anyone had even got onto the dance floor. i-D donned some star-shaped specs, climbed aboard the girls shag pile throw and went on a joinery through time and space, Pap-il-lon style.
What’s the big idea behind your night?
M: We’ve been promoting DIY gigs and club nights for years and at some point we just felt that there were too many similar nights out there and we really wanted to do something a bit different. We want to get people dancing to stuff they may not know about or that might not be seen as “cool”.
What prep has gone into organising the night?
M: Initially we thought it would just be a low key party with our friends, but we were overwhelmed by the response we got from the idea. So I guess we just ran with it. Shooting our own promos, making mix-tapes, a lot of meetings and a lot of late nights!
What will we be listening to?
M: Awesome Tapes from Africa, does what it says on the tin really. And for the rest of the night you can expect to hear everything from Indonesian Psych to Nigerian High Life, South American hard rock to Bollywood classics. A lot of stuff you might not have heard of but also some good old psych classics too.
Your aesthetic looks kinda tripped-out, what are your sources of
inspiration and your reference points?
M: The aesthetic of the music we play is amazing… from the looks of the artists to the album covers, everything is so visually stimulating! I’m a big fan of album covers and sometimes I’ll buy a record just because I like the cover so much.
B: We also take a lot of inspiration from our friends, someone tells you about this amazing band they’ve just discovered and from there you discover that band’s inﬂuences and it just carries on and on.
What do you do by day?
B: I work in Post Production as a producer.
M: I’m a freelance graphic designer.
What comes next?
M: We want to make Pap-il-lon more than just a club night. We want to get involved in different things and work with different people. The most exciting thing is that people are approaching us with collaboration ideas and we’ve already got our next event in the pipeline. Keep your eyes peeled!
Pap-il-lon Launch Night will be held on 7th October at The Moustache Bar, Dalston with DJ’s Awesome Tapes From Africa, The Silent Whale of Luna Sea, Leeuw and the Papillon girls themselves.