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we are a london club night playing indie pop, northern soul, tamla motown, girl groups, and sixties heartbreak



HDIF on New Year's Eve is now SOLD OUT. We may have some returns to sell on the door but we don't know until the night itself. If you're looking for somewhere else to go dancing this weekend, we can highly recommend our sister club, Great Big Kiss, which is at The Phoenix, on Friday December 30th. More info on that here


After last year's storming New Year's Eve party at The Montague Arms, we're very happy to announce that we'll be doing it all over again at the Monty this year.

As with last year, we'll run the usual times of 9pm-3am, but the pub will have a license to 5am, so if we want to carry on past 3am, we can (and most probably will!). Three night buses go from a stop near the pub, one of which goes to Oval, where you can pick up the tube. There's also three local cab firms.

Advance tickets here - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/379395

Getting to and from The Montague Arms

The Montague Arms is four minutes walk from Queens Road Peckham overground station.

Three night buses run from a stop on Queens Road a few minutes walk from the pub. They are the N89, N136 and N171. The N89 goes to Elephant And Castle and then Trafalgar Square. The N136 goes to Oval and then Oxford Circus. The N171 goes to Elephant And Castle and then Tottenham Court Road.

How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
31st December 2016
The Montague Arms
289 Queen's Rd, London SE14 2PA, map of the venue here
9pm-3am, £10

We play:

The Smiths * The Supremes * The Go-Betweens * Dusty Springfield * Belle & Sebastian * Love * Tammi Terrell * Aztec Camera * The Ronettes * Orange Juice * Beach Boys * The Temptations * Velvet Underground * Felt * The Shangri-Las * Primal Scream * Otis Redding * The Field Mice * Dexys Midnight Runners * Camera Obscura * The Four Tops * Melba Moore * The Orchids

For more on the club's music policy, go here

Photos from previous HDIF New Year's Eve parties are here:

31st December 2015
31st December 2014
31st December 2013
31st December 2012
31st December 2011
31st December 2010
31st December 2008
31st December 2007
31st December 2006
31st December 2005

You can plan your journey (including night buses, if necessary) to either of the HDIF venues using the TFL journey planner. Just click below:

Guardian Indie Pop feature 2004 - excellent piece about indie pop and HDIF

Hilarious piece about HDIF from the Big Issue - "This, it would seem, is where young librarians go to let off steam"

What the ladies and gentlemen of the press have said about the club:

"Tortured soul convention. Unusual but it works" - The Guardian Guide (number four club of the week), 15/6/02
"Emotional and sincere songwriting from across the board gets the treatment it deserves" - The Guardian Guide (number five club of the week), 17/8/02
"London's premier indie pop Motown club" - Dotmusic
"Highly recommended club night this - especially if like me, you're hurtling at 100 miles an hour towards 30 years of age and can remember when there were club nights around for sensitive boys and girls who liked their indie music a bit jangly and want to hear it mixed with the best of Motown" - myislington.co.uk
"Digging deep into a 60s to 70s selection with the Temptations, Beach Boys, The Shangri Las and into the 80s with The Smiths, Belle And Sebastian - 'a celebration of an emotion in motion'. Deeeep." - Time Out London
"Who said clubbing's dead? Pah! It's just fractioned back into smaller parties where it's all about the music and the vibes (maan!) This is rockin' its stockin's off!...No dollar sign aspirations in sight!" - Time Out London (15/1/03)
"Resolution 52. I will dance to the Beach Boys and The Smiths again." - Time Out London Critics' Choice (14/1/04)
"A success that surprised even the promoters. No bank note rolling intentions, just a rockin' party!" - Time Out London (14/1/04)
"Absolutely the best night in the whole of the world!" - Laura Barton, The Guardian (19/7/04)
"Rediscover your sensitive indie side at this fabby, intimate party" - The Times, critic's pick (9/4/05)
"Legendary indie club" - NME.com (17/8/05)
"Smack bang in the middle of town, this extra special party really knows how to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step (ie it feels good!)" - Time Out London (13/12/05)
"With a music policy to die for ... expect a night of indiepop, sixties girl groups, Northern Soul and Motown, all enhanced by the awkward, exuberant dancing of the city’s twee brigade, as once a month the skinny ties come out in force to pick their vintageheeled way towards the Jericho Tavern. The DJing is normally spot on, second-guessing what the crowd wants to hear before the crowd really know themselves. Good times then, this is the closest you will come to being loved by a club night." - The Oxford Student (25/5/06) Read the full review here
"Sensitive types are devotional about this lesser known indiepop night that wears its heart (ache) on its sleeve. Everything from The Beach Boys and Dusty Springfield to Belle and Sebastian and, of course, The Smiths gets played, with the overriding theme being unbridled emotion. Bowl haircuts, rim glasses and anoraks are preferable but not essential. A tortured soul, on the other hand, is a must." The London Paper, Sept 2006
"How Does It Feel To Be Loved? is a twice a month extavanganza of northern soul, revelling in the lush sound of pop from The Supremes to Orange Juice and Dexys Midnight Runners." - Uncut website, Nov 2006
"Sensitive indie anthems, girl-group classics, great lost singles and the pick of the Sarah and Postcard imprints." - Top Five Clubs Of The Week, Ed Potton The Times (16/8/08)
"HDIF's Ian Watson delivers a wonderful mix of indie pop, northern soul, Motown, girl groups and '60s heartbreak." - Time Out London (Sept 2008)

"The venue reminds of the birthday parties I used to attend when I was a child; in dimly lit halls with naff décor and a little too much space to dance – but I soon realise that this is its charm. It gives the night its character; it’s quaint and the sparkling fairy-lights circling the ceiling give it a certain home-made feel. It has a sense of exclusivity to it, everything seems to have been thought out and cared for; from its hand-crafted membership cards and badges to the stamp on my hand as I walk in which tell me in well-thought out letters that I am ‘LOVED’. How Does It Feel To Be Loved fulfilled everything that I hoped it would be; it was refreshing and fun and its personal touches went a very long way to making it stand out from the crowd. It certainly felt wonderful to be ‘LOVED’." - Pennyblack Music (Nov 2008)
"Bedsit indie, girl-group classics, great lost singles and the pick of the Sarah and Postcard labels, plus live turns by the Ballet, Help Stamp Out Loneliness and Pocketbooks." - Top Five Clubs Of The Week, Ed Potton The Times (3/1/09)
"We wouldn't really know how it feels. Best ask Ian Watson, who once more
rounds up smitten indie and girl group classics at HDIFTBL?" Top Five Clubs Of The Week, The Guardian (3/1/09)

"Sensitive souls who assume clubbing might not be the ideal weekend diversion for them because they'd be better off at home cataloguing Raincoats 7" records and sewing new buttons on to their cardigans should think again - cult night How Does It Feel To Be Loved is the perfect nightclubbing comfort blanket. Twee in the best possible sense, the club's staunch music policy means that your eardrums will always survive the night intact as the DJs pleasantly skip around from classic, soul-swelling indie and 1980s jangle to the dancefloor friendly sway of 60s pop, northern soul and vintage girl group giddiness - no big scary guitars or brain-bashing techno allowed. They're also more than open to requests here, so don't hold back on asking to hear your favourite Françoise Hardy number. Tonight's guest DJs have been plucked delicately from lo-fi popsicles the Wave Pictures." The Guardian (16/5/09)
"C86 is um... C09. C86 was the birth of ‘indie’ as a genre and the secret inspiration behind every guitar ever set to ‘jangle’. And now it’s back! Indie pop has come full circle, bringing with it a wide-eyed generation of soppy alt.romantics ramming clubs like Twee As Fuck and How Does It Feel To Be Loved?" NME (6/6/09)
"We were in for a treat afterwards when the How Does it Feel to be Loved night took over the onsite marquee. Spinning the finest in heart-wrenching Northern Soul, Motown, ‘60s girl groups and ‘80s miserablism, this non-conformist indie disco is prime territory to spot and observe the twee-pop dance in its glory; a sort of self-conscious pogo or half-hearted shake; horn-rimmed spectacles and record bags bopping long into the night." God Is In The TV, Indietracks review (4/8/09)
"How Does It Feel To Be Loved? is my favourite club night, and I really mean that. It caters for the unashamedly twee, with a taste for 60s girl groups (yes!), indie pop (yes!) and early soul and Motown classics (woop!). And it does all of that without a jot of pretention. Get along to this Soul and Sixties Special and, quite probably, check out my dance moves when The Shangri-Las get a play." We Got Tickets (22/8/09)
"Veteran London indie-party organisers How does it feel to be loved? take over two rooms of the legendary Brixton Windmill for a one-off '60s extravaganza. As tonight happens to be Halloween as well, expect the rock 'n roll and soul sounds to be supplemented by spooky songs from the era of beehive haircuts and horn-rimmed specs. Jon Slade from Born Bad guests on the decks and the onus is most definitely on getting up and cutting a rug to the Shirelles, Ike and Tina Turner rather than staring at your (blue suede) shoes all night long." Flavorpill London (31/10/09)
"How Does It Feel... is a renowned monthly club night for the twee at heart, playing a harmonious mix of jangly indie-pop and '60s soul and pop, the latter comprising the Motown, northern soul and girl groups traditionally beloved of cardigan-wearing types. The standard of guest DJs is really rather good, in the past including the likes of Stephen Street, Stuart Murdoch, Huw Williams and Kevin Rowland, making this perfect for a weekend shuffle." Spoonfed (7/1/11)
"With a decade of great nights under its belt How Does it Feel to Be Loved? is one of London's most enduring and influential underground indie get-togethers." Flavorpill (22/6/11)
"How Does It Feel To Be Loved? is a million miles away from student discos and the lager n'landfill nights of Camden Town, instead expect to hear a smart mix of Indie pop, Tamla motown, Northern soul, French pop, Girl groups and Sixties heartbreak." The Quietus (16/7/11)
"With one foot in Brixton and the other in Islington, How Does It feel to be Loved is an indie night for purists only. Dedicated to the people who worship twee and love the dull pangs of melodrama, this monthly night has a strict music policy that only stretches to indie pop, northern soul and '60s girl groups. Swoon." Spoonfed (2/11/11)
"Ten years is a landmark birthday for any club night so huge congrats go to head honcho Ian Watson, who throws a special celebratory version of his popular HDIFTBL night with his usual and wonderfully twee mix of indie pop, northern soul, Motown, girl groups and '60s heartbreak with guest DJ tonight Bob Stanley from the recently-returned Saint Etienne." Time Out (18/4/12)
"How Does It Feel To Be Loved, a club night described by Laura Barton of the Guardian as 'Absolutely the best night in the whole of the world!', is ten years old this weekend. With a tag-line of ‘From the Smiths to the Supremes’ it’s the music policy that shapes the club; indie-pop and soul draw a quietly hip bunch of revelers. Best of all they are just so friendly; no aggro or posturing here – it’s all crooked smiles and handclaps. As well as the fortnightly events in Soho and Brixton, founder Ian Watson runs the How Does It Feel record label, which has released albums by Cats on Fire, Pocketbooks and Butcher Boy. And the HDIF website is a treasure trove of indie fun with a highly-recommended podcast, a London Gig Guide and a even a Twee Test." For Folk's Sake (20/4/12)
"If I could live my life at a How Does It Feel To Be Loved night, I would. It’s (usually) held in a lovely pub in central London. It’s full of friendly people who enjoy listening to indie pop and Motown, having a lovely drink, having a lovely dance, and smiling at each other. The organiser, Ian, has the air and DJ manner of somebody who knows more about music than John Peel did, sends wonderful reminder emails, and does some pretty special dancing come the end of the night. Their tenth birthday sees Bob Stanley (out of Saint Etienne) as guest DJ, and a band T-shirt dress code. Best of all, their imaginative re-entry hand stamp means you’ll go home branded with the message ‘LOVED’. Book a ticket immediately. Unless it’s your mum’s birthday or you only like dubstep, in which case you’re excused." Le Cool (21/4/12)
"Ian Watson's unusual and wonderfully twee mix of indie pop, northern soul, Motown, girl groups and '60s heartbreak - now in its tenth year - always makes for a great night out." - Time Out (22/9/12)
"Swoon along to The Smiths and excitedly twiddle hair slides to a selection of indie pop, northern soul, Motown and 60s girl groups at Brixton’s longest running indie club." - Brixton Buzz/Lambeth Weekender (5/10/12)
"How Does It Feel To Be Loved has, since 2002, easily been one of London’s best club nights. Its unpretentious and welcoming nature, often fuelled with everything from Belle & Sebastian and Orange Juice to Tamla Motown and Dusty Springfield, swipes away any negative connotations our capital has for being a cold, brutal and rather heartless place." - Music OMH (31/3/13)
"If you’re looking for something raw and soulful on a night out in London, an antidote perhaps to the blood and thunder of trend-obsessed hipster hangouts, then a humble eleven year-old club night by the name of How Does it Feel to be Loved? might well set you on fire. The clubnight is run by ex-Melody Maker writer Ian Watson, and rings with the poetry of outsider pop music, affectionately merging Motown classics and obscurities with the classics of popular indiepop and the kind of awkward, often shambling guitar-based indiepop music that’s been left in the shadows by the market-driven mainstream music media." - Roar (18/9/13)
"Much-loved indie-pop institution, a club night which shuns britpop and shoegaze in favour of the fey and bittersweet, making for a readymade school disco vibe which is readily swallowed up by its followers" - The Quietus (7/1/14)
"Ian Watson and guest DJs deliver a wonderfully nostalgic mix of indie pop, northern soul, Motown and '60s heartbreak at this much-loved club night. After the closure of the Buffalo Bar, where HDIFTBL was located, the night has moved to a new home, Dalston's Shacklewell Arms. As ever, the dancefloor should be packed with bearded guys and cardiganned gals dancing as if their vinyl collection depended on it." - Time Out (5/1/15)
"David Gedge of The Wedding Present DJs at this popular club, which supplies the loyal crowd with indie, Motown and northern soul." - Time Out, Critic's Choice (14/1/15)
"Impeccable indie club night How Does It Feel To Be Loved? relocates to The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston tonight, with David Gedge from the Wedding Present on the decks. Expect tracks from the likes of The Smiths, The Shangri-Las, Hefner, Jonathan Richman and Aztec Camera." - Londonist (16/1/15)
"This much-loved club night was re-homed after the closure of indie haven the Buffalo Bar, where it spent a good few years. Now in Dalston's Shacklewell Arms, the dancefloor is still packed with dapper crowds who dig grooving to the wonderfully nostalgic soundtracks on offer. Dance as if your vintage vinyl collection depended on it." - London's Best Indie Clubs, Time Out (29/1/15)
"This Friday night, dress up in your hippest vintage threads and head to the most legendary indie club night How Does It Feel To Be Loved at The Shackewell Arms. Playing the soundtrack to your soul (indiepop jams, northern soul tunes and throwback 60s music) you’ll dance the night away without a care in the world. There’ll be plenty of love going around with special guest DJ Bill Botting of All Darlin’, a performance by dancers The Britpopettes, and it being HDIF 13th birthday party celebration." - Le Bonbon London (17/4/15)
"At any given HDIF you’re likely to be plied with juggernaut indiepop hits like ‘This Charming Man’ to lesser-known-but-nonetheless-worshipped anthems such as the Magnetic Fields’ twee romp ‘The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side’." - East End Review (20/10/15)
"The long-running indie night parks up in Peckham, supplying the kind of indie-pop, Motown and vintage grooves that we’ve all come to love it for." - 21 Amazing New Year's Parties, Time Out (27/12/15)
"This northern soul and indie pop institution welcomes Kevin Rowland, he of Dexys Midnight Runners fame, back for the fourth time to grace the Phoenix with a DJ set and - fingers crossed - another singalong. The setlist may talk heartbreak but most woes can be healed with a healthy dose of jangly guitars and soulful pop." - Time Out (28/6/16)

A great review of the John Peel Tribute Night on LondonNet.Com

And a few kind words from Jo who attended the January night. A text message apparently sent from Jo to Chris.

"Ta again for helping me find the holy grail of nightclubs!"

Go here for some other kind words from HDIF-goers


Thank you all!


take me home