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Loyle Carner headlines exclusive Frieze afterparty at KOKO

Loyle Carner performs at KOKO (Dave Benett)
Loyle Carner performs at KOKO (Dave Benett)

Frieze week is in full flow and yesterday’s fair rounded off with yet another exclusive afterparty, this time at House of Koko in partnership with Stone Island. Frieze director Eva Langret and Frieze Masters director Nathan Clements-Gillespie played party hosts as guests arrived. The pair were out to celebrate their hard work, and Langret told us she was very pleased with the fair’s success.

We did a loop through the labyrinthine members club and found artists Wolfgang Tillmans and Jeremy Deller chewing the metaphorical fat and eating some actual sweetcorn salad. Naturally we pulled up a chair. Despite the Frieze directors high-fiving, Deller told us he won’t be going to Frieze London, which he called “the other Frieze.” Ouch. “A lot of what’s there will disappear. At least at Masters you know you’re there with things that have made the grade,” he said.

“I walked around Frieze Masters. I studied art history so for me I’m at home there. It’s like time travelling. It’s the only reason I’d wanna have money - when you go to Frieze Masters and think I’d like to have that,” he added. Tillmans took a different view. “I like to go to Frieze to look at art work close up in the flesh. I had a good look yesterday,” he said.

“A lot of people frown at art fairs. They say it’s just a circus. It is of course hugely distracting and it is difficult to stay focused, but it is a unique opportunity to see several hundred works.”

We asked Tillmans about his yearly Frieze dinner parties, lauded by Princess Julia, and he became shy. “Don’t say anything because noone will want to go!” Deller interjected. He had a point. The coolest parties are often the ones no-one knows about until afterwards.

Meanwhile, lurking in the smoking area was Lady Helen Taylor’s son, Cassius Taylor, also known as ‘the bad boy of the royal family’, according to Tatler. He told us this was just one of his invitations tonight. Where to next? An event hosted by his art dealer father, Timothy Taylor. Also there were BBC radio DJ Edith Bowman, fashion designer A Sai Ta, musician CKTRL, and Stone Island vintage collector, Arco Maher.

With the party in full swing, guests flocked next door to KOKO Theatre in time for a special performance by Loyle Carner presented by Frieze Music and BMW. But it was Bowman who was first onstage to warm the audience up and introduce the musician. Then Carner grabbed the mic and played his set to a bouncing crowd.