Carl Cox is going to play a house set at the House of Commons

DJ Carl Cox is playing and they’re calling it ‘House the House’

Usually, Wednesday at midday is the headline slot in a parliamentary week. This is PMQs: when Cameron squares off against Corbyn, Tory indignance taking on Corbyn’s blithe detachment. Very occasionally, there is an upset – Cameron tells someone to “calm down”; John Bercow’s wife’s been in the tabloids again – but otherwise, it’s your usual: middle-aged people enjoying the pomp and ceremony of being called “right honourable gentleman”.

Though for a single night in May, there will be a new headline slot, and a new headline act. Call it the “Saturday night on the Pyramid Stage” of the parliamentary session, call it the most bewildering thing you’ve heard this week: DJ Carl Cox is “playing the House of Commons”.

It’s called House the House (or #HouseTheHouse2016), and it’s part of a competition open to DJs between 14 and 24. Aspirants must raise £50 to enter; the money will support children in conflict zones around the world. You upload your mix on Mixcloud – the winner will play a set with Cox in the Commons on Wednesday 11 May.

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Usually, this is the sort of “live music” you get in the House

It’s a star signing for the House – which is yet to prove itself on the international festival circuit. Sure, there was that time an MP “played” a “guitar” in session (strummed a thick wad of documents) and that time George Osborne looked bug eyed and sweaty, like he’d rolled in after a night of heavy drinking; otherwise, it is short on big gig anecdotes.

Sadness in his eyes

Sadness in his eyes

On the other hand, DJ Carl Cox is an 80s rave veteran, has won three International Dance Music Awards, and is currently ranked as number one global techno and techno house DJ on the “DJ List”, an industry metric. He played the Millennium NYE twice, by performing in Sydney, then flying back over the international date line and playing a set in Hawaii; he played at Manchester’s world famous Hacienda. He ran the Velvet Underground club on Charing Cross Road in 90s, a venue that has now acquired the status of legend.

This is him playing at Belgian festival Tomorrowland last year.


It is being billed as a “once in a lifetime rave”; for once, this is not parliamentary bluster.