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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2019 » March » 09

Badgers, coke and Zac Efron: why Hollywood gets club culture wrong

Delivered... Leonie Cooper | Scene | Sat 9 Mar 2019 11:00 am

The life of the DJ is often presented as a utopia on screen. Can Idris Elba’s new show Turn Up Charlie buck the trend?

Vacant-looking women in bikini tops. Huge fluffy mountains of cocaine. Pretty people gently rutting on a brightly lit dancefloor. No sweat. No shirts. No one over 30. Congratulations! You are watching a film about dance music and DJ culture! Yet anyone who has ever been to an actual club will know that the chasm between what we see in movies and on television compared to the real experience of being in a sticky warehouse in Hackney Wick at 1am on a Friday night is vast. From the lurid It’s All Gone Pete Tong and glossy We Are Your Friends to the pilled-up gurn-fest that is Human Traffic, we have had well over two decades of clubbing on our screens, yet it is rarely depicted truthfully.

Evidently, there is something about the role of a DJ that is impossible to capture, but the new Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie, starring Idris Elba as a washed-up garage DJ, comes closer than most. That’s mainly because Elba’s character is far from a major player. There are no sold-out shows at Printworks, weekly residencies at Phonox or headline slots at Dekmantel for Charlie. Instead, Craig David pities him, he does wedding sets for £50, dosses about with his perma-stoned sidekick – played by Man Like Mobeen’s Guz Khan – and ends up as a nanny for a spoilt 11-year-old whom he takes to Cyberdog instead of the cinema.

Related: Kill Your Friends review - Nicholas Hoult is a poor man's Patrick Bateman in tiresome comedy

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