Pin It
Nimmo - 2
Nimmo live at ‘Curated by Nimmo’, House of Vans LondonPhotography Mike Palmer, courtesy of Vans

What went down at Nimmo’s euphoric, female-led music and art party

The duo brought artists including IDER, Kelly Lee Owens, and Sink the Pink to the party they curated for London’s House of Vans on Friday

On Friday night, dance-pop band Nimmo threw a massive party at London’s cavernous House of Vans space, a multi-room venue for music and skating underneath London’s Waterloo station. Following on from their recent Songs From the Credits EP, the duo – childhood friends Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett – took over the space for a rager called ‘Curated by Nimmo’, the first in a series of ‘Curated By...’ events coming to House of Vans, inviting Kelly Lee Owens, Sink the Pink, Girli, and Ider to join them.

Speaking to Dazed shortly before doors opened, the duo explain that their Vans collaboration has evolved organically since they played a gig at House of Vans over the summer. “They’re putting on gigs in amazing venues with loads of talented young up-and-coming artists,” says Nimmo. “They’re just really supporting live music, which makes the collaboration so easy and natural for us.”

The duo said they decided to make their ‘Curated By...’ event – an all-female talent showcase – as an antidote to the music scene’s male-dominated line-ups.

“There’s a lot of queer female talent on this bill, but we didn’t place a ’queer artists only’ restriction on it,” Nimmo explains. “I read something recently about St Vincent being the only female artist on the bill at a rock festival, so it’s still really important to really drive women – all women – forward. This is about creating a whole night of music, performance, and art made by amazing female creators.”

On the night, the venue’s cinema room showed screenings of Cry Daggers, an affecting film by visual artist Hannah Perry which explores the time period after a break-up by mixing footage of West Coast road trips with clips from highly sexualised music videos.

Performances came from London dream-pop duo Ider, who delivered coolly hypnotic bops such as “Mirror” and “Body Love”, and punk-pop upstart Girli, who sang personality-packed jams including “Play It Cool” and “Hot Mess” accompanied by her hype guy. “So many girls look up to her, and for the right reasons,” Gauntlett says. “She’s a rock star and she’s very unique in her style of pop, which is why we wanted her here.”

Between performances, queer party collective Sink the Pink kept energy levels up with a series of short, sharp DJ sets. There was also a non-musical show from Holly Blakey, who showcased her dreamy and moving choreography in the main room right before Nimmo’s headline set. Just before 11pm, the duo took to the stage for a triumphant performance that included everything from emotional alt-R&B to spoken word interludes to euphoric house-influenced bangers. Their energy was infectious: whenever Nimmo punched the air or Gauntlett began pogoing, the crowd joined in.

The night then played out with a DJ set from special guest Kelly Lee Owens. “She’s just bossing the electronic scene right now,” Nimmo says. “Dance music especially is so male-focused, so it was important for us to bring someone from that world forward. But at the same time, we end our nights in clubs, so we wanted the end of this night to have that kind of undeniable dance energy.”

Before the event, Gauntlett said: “We want this to be a really visceral, intense, meaningful and moving party. We’ve tried to put in all the ingredients that give a party soul.” Tonight at House of Vans, they definitely succeeded.

Listen to a playlist, selected by Nimmo and featuring some of the artists from the night, below.