|London Clubbing 2009|
|06 February 2009|
2008 was the turning of the tide for London clubbing. Almost every clubbing institution in the capital shut their doors. The Cross, The Key, Canvas, Turnmills, Astoria and lastly and most crucially T-Bar, Unit 7 and The End. With this unprecedented level of venue closures and the rising cost of East London’s rapidly decreasing warehouse space on the independent party scene, things were looking bleak for club land. What was going on, where were people going, had they decided to just stay in? Well it would appear not. In mid October Fabric held their birthday party as did Bugged Out! And minus held their colossal contakt party at SE1, all of these parties were road blocked. That’s about 15,000 clubbers partying at quality electronic musical events across those 3 parties alone. People still want go out and dance to good music in London, the demand exists however the supply of creative interesting spaces to do so was rapidly drying out.
Enough has been written about clubs closing, it is clear London is moving into a new phase of night club culture, in this article we look at new venue’s and ventures the capital has to offer those of the nocturnal persuasion in 2009.
First off the bat is a venture from two of the End’s promotional team. “We Fear Silence” led by Ajay Jayaram (ex-Head of Promotions at The End) and Ryan Ashmore (ex-Promotions Manager at The End) is a weekly Friday night promotion at The Arches on Southwark St near London Bridge SE1. Buzzin' Fly launches the new season on Friday March 6. Head honcho Ben Watt will deliver his first all-night set for three years in the 600-capacity main room, spanning house, techno, disco and his roots in Brasilia, jazz and alternative. Future parties will include Giles Peterson, James Holden’s Border Community, A Bunch of Cuts, Eat Your Own Ears and Warp Records - plus “loads more to be announced.” The revamped venue boasts a spanking new Nexo Geo sound system and is updating its facilities to celebrate the new programme.
“Shake It” is another “End” team spin off. Layo; Liam, the general manager of The End and a familiar face to anyone who walked down West Central Street over the club’s 13 years; and Bushwacka are behind this series of warehouse parties. On Saturday March 7th in a Central London warehouse, two of the best and longest running residencies from The End find a new venue and new style for 2009. Laurent Garnier will play all night in Room 1, with Layo & Bushwacka featuring all night in Room 2. March 7th will be the first of four parties running through the year. The warehouse will be kitted out beautifully with immaculate sound and lighting, the attention to detail that The End is famous for, and many familiar faces working as part of the team. Other guests will be announced over the year.
“Ghost” is a brand new subterranean venue in Clerkenwell. Jaded made their transition there from AKA New Years Day and gave us a sneak preview of the uncompleted venue, the club has now been fully renovated and their official launch will be Sunday the 15th of February with Berlins “Bar 25” resident Red Robin, VVVRI’s Tim Sheridan, Zombies Ate My Brain and Jaded main man Raymundo Rodriguez. The Jaded Mark III blueprint will be altered in other ways, with an earlier 4am opening time, a bigger capacity than AKA and visuals designed by Roland Hamilton, the man responsible for The Gorillaz’ Live Shows. A decadent new breakfast menu with cocktails, smoothies and fresh fruit will also be on offer in the tradition of the Italian Afterhours parties that are the inspiration for Jaded’s early morning format.
“Roadtrip” is a new Shoreditch venue following in the footsteps of T-Bar (kind of) They have an impressive list of home grown British labels on board. Tsuba, Immigrant, Hypercolour, Fear of Flying and Sounderground are just some of the labels involved, giving ze Germans a run for their money. Music runs until 2:30am and entry is FREE. Their south facing outdoor terrace will no doubt elicit summertime 'al fresco' raving as they have a front area where doors open out onto Old St. They envisage “ a cool summer music crowd” and so do we!
Speaking of free parties “Fuse” is a new weekly Sunday party that has been growing exponentially over its short few weeks of existence. Guests like Danton Eeprom, Geddes, Hector, Ryan O Gorman, Richard Nxt and resident dj/promoter Enzo Siragusa have been packing the Brick Lane venue each week. The absence of door tax, it’s central Shoreditch location (93 Feet East) and it’s quality musical programming seems to have effortlessly filled the void left by T-Bar.
Other venues to look out for in 2009 are “Satchmo’s” in Dalston, now being run by “We Love” resident Scott Martin. The ex jazz bar has had a facelift and has some great parties planned over the next few months. The Lightbox another relatively new venue in Vauxhall with a (you guessed it!) blinding 15000 interlocked LED lighting system. Issst and Zombies Ate My Brain have already done events there and a promising new party called Cadence launches with Audiofly and Livio &Roby this weekend in this visually striking venue. matter didn’t immediately set the world on fire in the same way their big brother but they do seem to be putting more effort into their programming in ’09 with Bugged Out, Cocoon and RAM records all looking good in the ensuing months.
So it’s all change. The warehouse parties have flown south, the end of the end is a new beginning and the independents will be breathing fresh life into London’s late night music scene. It’s onwards and upwards in 2000 and mine!
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