How Gorillaz turned a club into their home

Glimpses of last weekend’s experience at De School Amsterdam.  


Yes way, it happened! Last weekend the Spirit House—a collaborative endeavour between Sonos and Gorillaz—finally opened its doors to the public, allowing guests into the sacred space of the eponymous band member’s home. Living up to their acclaimed aesthetic, we were swamped by high-tech sound and indulged in otherworldly visuals that were, to say the least, a feast for the eyes. Plunging straight into another timeframe, guests were transported to a strangely wondrous realm tinged with dark dismay the second they stepped foot in De School Amsterdam. And while the club is a familiar stomping ground for local music and art devotees, the space had become barely recognizable, making it hard to believe you’d stepped foot in the same building.



Straight from the screen, the ghostly universe encountered in Saturnz Barz was translated to its physical state in a total of three cities: New York, Berlin and Amsterdam. Although the setting and décor were specifically tailored to each venue, all of the experiences engendered the eeriness emanating from the music video through ghastly décor. In Amsterdam, visitors first stepped straight into an all too familiar morning after scene with traces of greasy pizza clinging to the walls and a sink filled up with cigarette butts and mucky dishes. The experience’s first area included two dim spaces: a kitchen and a living room. The more time you spent in them, the more you discovered. Each audiovisual area was filled with intricate details including a deliciously filthy fridge, as well as the light box from Kong Studios, and real-life magazine covers graced by Noodle, Murdoc, Russel and 2D.

Coming from Gorillaz’ living confines, the Spirit House’s temporary residents were next led into a brighter space where the band’s brand new audiovisual work took centre stage, next to memorabilia collected by Gorillaz throughout the years. With pounding beats emanating from Sonos’ PLAYBASE, the videos for Andromeda (with a guest appearance by D.R.A.M.) and Saturnz Barz (with a guest appearance by Popcaan) came flying in various sides. The overwhelming, 3-D-like presentation was suitably finished with a futuristic view into outer space. If anything, Glamcult left Gorillaz’ house a bigger fan of the band—and dreaming that all afterparties would sound this good.



Listen to Gorillaz’ new record here

Photography: Dennis Branko

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