Swiftly does it (Picture: Getty/Swiftogeddon)
From its roots as a one-off night back in 2019, Swiftogeddon is fast becoming something of a clubbing phenomenon, with dozens of nights springing up around the UK and beyond. But don’t expect to hear classic Ibiza anthems or explosive grime flows, because it’s a full-on night of back-to-back, non-stop, undiluted… Taylor Swift!
‘Absolutely 100%, pure Swift,’ confirms night founder and DJ Dave Fawbert. ‘Why would you play anything else? There’s no need. Every set I’ve done has been different, and there are so many incredible songs to choose from.
‘And all the people who come are so lovely, and it’s such a joyous atmosphere – people sharing in their love for these incredible songs.’
‘She is quite simply the greatest songwriter of our generation,’ he adds of the US artist whose hits include Shake It Off, Blank Space, Bad Blood, You Need To Calm Down and Willow. ‘Her melodic ability is incredible, the range of styles she’s mastered is amazing, and lyrically she is a million miles ahead of anyone else.’
Aware of nights dedicated to Fleetwood Mac (Fleetmac Wood) and Bruce Springsteen (Hungry Heart), it was hearing Tay-Tay’s pulsating 2015 hit Style played ‘full blast’ in a club that inspired Dave, a Taylor fan since 2010’s Speak Now, to take a punt with a dedicated night in August 2019.
‘I thought, well it’s worth a go and even if no one else comes I’ll really enjoy it myself,’ recalls Dave, who has a background in journalism and the music industry, where he has worked with the likes of The Wombats and Biffy Clyro.
Taylor’s made some bangers in her time (Picture: MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
‘I just went ahead and booked the Moth Club in Hackney, and I didn’t sell a ticket for a month,’ he says.
‘Then out of nowhere I suddenly sold 30 or 40 tickets, and word started to spread, and unbelievably it sold out.’ With a playlist of Swifty singles, album tracks and extended mixes, Dave says the night exceeded his wildest expectations.
‘I played All You Had To Do Was Stay [a track from album 1989] about half-an-hour in, and the place erupted – and it became clear that everyone knew every single word to every single song. It was absolutely incredible!’
The night was such a smash that after a second Swiftogeddon, at Manchester’s Gorilla, Ms Swift even commented on socials, posting ‘WHAT!!!!!!!! This is amazing!!!!’ and sealing the night’s reputation.
More: Metro newspaper
And today, despite the pause for Covid, Dave finds himself helming a rapidly growing Swiftogeddon empire, with nights in not just London and Manchester, but Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Dublin, Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Brighton – as well as further afield.
Swiftogeddon mastermind Dave Fawbert reveals his favourite moments from the performance
‘I thought, well it’s worth a go and even if no one else comes I’ll really enjoy it myself’ (Picture: David Jeffery-Hughes)
The Floor Filler
‘I mean – basically every single one! But You Belong With Me always absolutely goes off, every single time. But there are so many more…’
The Deep Cut
‘One that I love that particularly works well on the night is Starlight, from Red. Any other artist would have built a career off a song that good, for Taylor it was just another album track.’
‘There’s a few actually, but I always love playing Long Live, from Speak Now. It’s so epic and grand and heartfelt, it’s a great way to end the night.’
The Personal Fave
‘I will never reveal anything beyond my Top Five – and that’s always changing! However, I will forever hold Style close to my heart – it’s such a gloriously evocative, late-night mood – and I’ve done an eight-minute version of it which I sometimes play out that is, if anything, still too short.
‘There’s probably only one song I would definitely never play, out of respect – which is Ronan, which is a beautiful song but not right for a club night.’
‘The most outlandish place I could think to do it was in the States – a Brit doing a Taylor Swift night in the US feels a bit like selling ice to Eskimos – but I found a couple of venues in New York and Philadelphia willing to give what on the surface seems a pretty ridiculous idea a go, and booked them,’ Dave says.
And Dave tells us that he has his sights set on European dates next, so watch this space. ‘Her music is so universal – and so brilliant – that I quickly realised that wherever there are people, there are Taylor Swift fans!’
Swiftogeddon – The Taylor Swift Club Night is on tomorrow at The Shed, Leicester. For more dates and venues see the Swiftogeddon website.
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