Royalty: Chesca Ches’ Guide To Dalston

Just in case you’re not from these here parts, and have crash landed into Dalston wide-eyed and weirded-out by the sheer brilliance-vs-bizarrity that makes this place great, fear not. Chesca Ches from the band Royalty, an E8 local who’s lived here for like, ever, runs us through some of the things that keep Dalston close to her heart…

Describe a night out in Dalston…Where you you go to eat?
When in Dalston I generally eat Turkish food because it’s pretty much all we have…even when you go to the “Italian” in Dalston, they are really Turkish. Not sure if the Chinese from Shanghai are also Turkish, but their stuff is nice (and a bit overpriced). I’d say my top hit is the arguable “falafel wrap” from the infamous Ali Baba, £3.50 on the go…and open really late.

To dance?
Dalston Superstore of course – best music and best tranny bottoms.

For an after-hours tipple?
At my neighbours, flat 13, above mine. They have massive parties every weekend, I usually go upstairs with a baseball bat around 5am, but maybe I should just relax and join them for a drink.

When did you move to Dalston, and how would you describe it to someone who had never visited it?
I’ve lived in Dalston since I first arrived in London in 2007, with $100 to my name. Kinda like when Madonna arrived in NYC in 1982, but I couldn’t sing or dance. The first room I got was in a cheap disgusting flat, infested with rats, roaches and vegans from New Hampshire. A dodgy guy used to come collect £87 every fucking Saturday morning… in person. Imagine that. Fortunately that was many years ago, now I live in a super-nice, overpriced loft on top of a trendy vintage mega store. Something between these two scenarios is a pretty accurate description of Dalston.

Where’s your favourite place to spend time in the area? Any secret spots?
My favourite place to spend time in Dalston is the hair shops. Pak’s has the best clerks. Last week one asked me where he could find some nice Italian girls online.

Who’s your Dalston hero?
The guy with the moustache from Poundland that tells me I look like Boy George every time he sees me with my hat on. I love Boy George.

Favourite bands/DJs from the area?
Too many to mention…I’d say listen to – best radio station, coming out of Gillet Square.


Royalty play the Vortex at Land Of Kings on Friday 4th May