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Boogie over to Moogie

By This is Kent  |  Posted: April 08, 2011

<P>Something new: Artist Lucy Noakes prepares the 'hugging arms' for the wonderfully eccentric Moogie Wonderland club night</P>

Something new: Artist Lucy Noakes prepares the 'hugging arms' for the wonderfully eccentric Moogie Wonderland club night

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M OOGIE Wonderland is a club night unlike any other you've been to in Medway.

The free monthly event at Poco Loco in Chatham is what happens when art installation meets dancefloor fun.

Equal parts twee and alternative, Moogie is worlds apart from the atmosphere of a traditional club. Each night is themed, with art installations to match.

DJs play cuts from underground indie bands such as Los Campesinos, Belle & Sebastian and Super Furry Animals.

This month's Wonderland, on Saturday, from 9pm to 2am, will see Poco Loco transformed into a launderette by the Rochester artists who run it.

Founder Matt Ashdown, 28, of Rochester High Street, started it five years ago when he was struggling to find a job after graduating from art college. He now runs a website but spends a lot of time planning Wonderland events.

He said: "We entice people with the music then get them to see the art. We described Moogie Wonderland as an absurdly individual view on the world."

Between 100 and 150 people come along each month.

Last month was based on Rome, and a Valentine's special before that had fabric arms protruding from the walls for anyone in need of a hug.

Preparing each Wonderland is time-consuming for Matt and his team – Rochester artists Lucy Noakes and Biancha Laukkamen, and David Goggin in London.

Matt added: "There used to be a couple of good club nights in Medway, but there's not now. We're really keen on other nights starting up. People who come here are starting their own things up now."

One such night is Typical Girls, which is centred on art zines and music by all-girl rock bands.

"We don't want to be the only people doing what we're doing," said Matt.

The Moogie team have branched out to start The Sipping Sessions, a more chilled-out affair.

The next Moogie Wonderland takes place at Poco Loco, Chatham High Street, on Saturday.

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