I.D. HANNA-A Londoner in Athens

Athens, November 20, 2009. «Ι need some alone time around 7 o’clock because I have to interview Victoria Beckham for a piece», was the first thing I heard her say to the other side of a phone line while sitting in the back seat on the way from the airport to the centre of town. This didn’t strike me as being at all odd as Hanna writes articles of such a nature for reputable publications including the Sunday Times and i-D magazine as well as various music magazines, blogs, sites and fanzines.

One of those is the The P.I.X., possibly the best alternative fanzine, published in poster format, and of which she is the director alongside the legendary Princess Julia. She gets really fired up about it as we walk through Exarcheia; she also

really likes the area’s neighbourhood feel but she cannot grasp why Greeks love coffee so much. «It’s all about the people and what they say about you. I came to Athens because my friends in London keep talking about this club night», she said while getting a taste of Greek coffee. In a few hours she will be playing in SKULL bar for the monthly alternative club night, hosted by Yes It Does!! Sure It Does!! She seems stressed as she’s heard that the audience is tough here and is worried that her mixture of heavy electro, disco remixes and indie classics might not have the same party feel effect on these shores. Saying that, she is a really experienced jockey having played nights such as Durrr, the successor to Erol Alkan’s legendary Trash night, as well as Ponystep, a fashion-club that took over from the brilliant Boombox. Every country and its party goers have their own history and she is well aware of this. Hanna insists that she’ll wake up early enough the day after the party to make it up to the Acropolis. It’s her first time in town and as a proper English girl she wants to check out the sites. The party ending after six in the morning made her change her plans. «Those parties that feel ‘back to basics’ are amazing, really powerful, that’s why I can’t wait to come back – maybe things around here do feel smaller, but that’s not a bad thing- it makes it feel more real», she utters as she downs a glass of vodka during our bar hop. She seems to love the fact that it’s the end of November and she can be sipping her drink outside. She loves Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon in particular, and her eyes sparkle as she speaks about their latest gig, something hard to digest when you are familiar with her DJing. As far as the last conversation we had, I think I was trying to explain what the familiar local “bomba” drink is: «Why the hell would someone do such a thing? ». Of course it is hard for someone who comes from somewhere like London to understand how a scene can be harmed by the deliberate mistakes of people working within it. Not everything in London is perfect though either; the UK capital’s classic Sunday parties are apparently facing problems due to the British X-Factor being aired at that time…

Text: Lucas Mexis & Vangelis Kamarakis

Photo: Ioanna Hatziandreou