15 January 2012
  • Words
  • Features

Throwing open your doors for an afterparty is a noble sacrifice.

Words: Duncan Dick
Illustration: Graham Samuels

They are the four little words that can change everything. Sometimes they’re the result of long contemplation and soul-searching; sometimes they slip out unexpectedly to light up the night and crackle in the ears like a firework. The words are ‘All Back To Mine’… and you’ve just declared yourself a rave hero.

But are your motives pure? Can you really take the party to another level, or do you just want to be within a few feet of your own bed when you decide to stop raving? Are you such an egomaniac that you only want to listen to yourself DJing? Or is it just an excuse to get someone you fancy back to your house and impress them with your leather-bound books and apartment that smells of rich mahogany? If it’s the latter, you may wish you’d picked up those skid-marked under-garments from the kitchen floor and hidden your epic porn collection. Male readers should be OK, though.

There are, of course, two distinct types of ‘All Back To Mine’ events. And the difference hinges on that word ‘All’. The pure ABTM, beautiful and rare as a golden unicorn, involves inviting absolutely, positively every mofo in the venue back to yours. This could well result in the best night of your life. Alternatively it could result in 30 people toasting marshmallows on a bonfire in the front room while you help a stranger throw your TV out the front window and try to figure out why the house looks so familiar.

The second type involves inviting the group you’re out with, maybe with the addition of a few random new club BFFs. Regular readers will know that egalitarianism and inclusiveness is the way this column rolls, but let’s not kid ourselves: there are some people who should under no circumstances be invited back to share the crack on.

People who believe the phrase ‘crack on’ should actually involve crack, for example: watching someone searching the floor with a magnifying glass for stray class A crumbs like something out of a cancelled pilot show for CSI Hackney quickly gets old. Randy couples can be boring too, unless of course you’re toting the mephedrone wronghorn yourself and feel like engineering an orgy – in which case remember to pick up some baby oil from the all night garage. Practical jokers I find quite tiresome, though sometimes nothing livens up a party more than coating a sleeping reveller’s head in white emulsion and supergluing their phone to their hand.

People who you see leave the club cloak-room with actual luggage are a risk, unless you want to take the blame for the poor bastards missing their flight or train and are prepared to take on new long-term house guests. The key thing to remember is that people whose general manner or appearance engenders mild paranoia and bad vibes in the club will be far, far more harrowing once they are lounging comfortably on your sofa, scratching flakes of dry skin from their elbows, asking if they can make toast and talking vaguely menacingly about immigrants.

The people who should be on your quickly improvised guest list are those who understand the rules: that all consumables must be shared, to a reasonable extent, that dancing is encouraged and that each person may be asked to perform a feat of physical daring, like popping out to the shop for fags or drinking a shot of gasoline-based Serbian schnapps.

I’m a slightly neurotic host, a little too eager to please, often feeling the need to go round the house looking every guest in the eye and asking them needily if they are having a good time (slightly awkward if they are on the shitter). You’ve got to take a relaxed approach once people are all back to yours, be prepared to reap the whirlwind and see the funny side. You can’t be like the guy who once threw our editor out of his girlfriend’s afterparty at knifepoint for the simple crime of stripping down to his pants with a friend and taking a dip in her parents’ whirlpool bath.

And when the dust clears the next day/week, and you emerge unscathed, having helped prolong the weekend with little more on the debit side than a blown amp, some pissed-off neighbours and a rug soaked in baby oil, you’ll know it’s all been worth it.

My place next time, I promise. Maybe.

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