This small but colourful, no-frills basement club plays host to a wide variety of events, promoters and music genres so no two nights are likely to be the same. Tucked away down an alleyway in the heart of Dalston, this is a great pre- or post-midnight destination from Thursday to Saturday, where you’ll find a cosy dance floor, simple but adequate drinks menu, and serious sound system.
It’s not easy to spot the small sign hanging above a lone doorman in a dark side street off Stoke Newington Road in Dalston. This is not a club that is trying hard to be seen. But that’s all part of its charm; if you really want to find Tipsy, you will. After descending a narrow staircase, you’ll enter the club, which is essentially a long rectangular room with a few tall tables surrounding a dance floor. A very small but well-stocked bar greets you on your right as you enter, with a small raised stage at the farthest end of the club for DJs and bands.
The first thing you’ll notice is the ceiling, which is painted in psychedelic stripes leading you to the heart of the dance floor, where a small disco ball shines brightly. Exposed brick walls are broken up with large mirrors to give you the sense you are somewhere bigger. And a few well-placed coloured lights give the whole venue a sense of warmth. The toilets are wallpapered in sheet music, which makes for an interesting read while you queue for the ladies - and queue you will if it’s busy. Phone signal can fluctuate, as with many basement clubs, so prepare to head to ground if you need to send a text or make a call.
There is no shortage of hipsters in Dalston, so expect the usual trendy feel you find in the area. This is mixed in among a broader blend of clientele, depending on the entertainment, which varies wildly on any given night at Tipsy. The door policy is very relaxed and reflective of the vibe inside, which is constantly reinventing itself for the night in question.
Tipsy plays host to everything from charity auctions to famous DJs, bands and more. Much of the entertainment is made up of monthly club nights by outside promoters, which bring a loyal following with them. Past nights have featured genre-defying DJ Ben UFO, house music veterans Disco Bloodbath and a 90s hip hop retrospective. One thing’s for sure, though – whatever the entertainment, you’ll be hearing it in quality sound.
A small bar in a small venue with a small number of staff requires an equally small but thoughtful drinks menu, so don’t expect a substantial selection of cocktails here. Take enough cash to see you through the night, as Tipsy doesn’t take card. Beer, wine or spirits are the order of the night, with pints (Kozel or Peroni only) ranging from £4-£4.50, and bottles at £3.50. Most spirits with mixers are £4, and to make it simpler still, all shots are £3.
The Last Word
With its mix of new and established club night promoters, there’s bound to be something for everyone at Tipsy. So if you’re looking for an intimate, affordable club that will continuously surprise and delight you with its diverse range of entertainment, friendly staff and bright décor, this is definitely a venue to try. With no door charge most of the time, there’s really no excuse.