Dollars To Pounds: Join Our Club

April 17, 2008


Last year I wrote about how the conglomeration of Kings Cross nightclubs (The Cross, Canvas, The Key) had all closed down to make way for something that means you’ll never have a good reason to go to Kings Cross again. At Easter another semi-legendary club, Turnmills in Farringdon also shut. It hadn’t exactly been an essential stop-off since big beat was the in-sound, but at least it was somewhere. One-off warehouse/basement parties are all very well, but London does also need small-to-medium clubs that have things like flushing toilets and proper sound systems and enough money and stability to attract decent DJs rather than some local herbert with a stack of 128kbps MP3s. What I’m asking is: where can you go in London these days to hear some decent European house music and maybe not have to step over the corpses of K victims to do it?




Unit 7

This is a pretty new club in Cable Street Studios, a complex which has hosted loads of warehouse-style parties in the past. Roll Deep’s studio was also upstairs last time I looked. I went on a Friday to see Cassy (pictured) who is one of the best DJs in Berlin. She was great, but the place was shamefully empty. I put this down to it being the first night of a new venture and it being waaay East in Limehouse. But people are going to have to get used to that journey because like Dan from Disco Bloodbath accurately pointed out, Shoreditch is now like Leicester Square. With a bit of love, Unit 7 could be the new Key.


Bar 54

I like this place but it always seems strangely underused. From the outside it looks a bit like one of those vaguely menacing places in Camberwell where 2-step never dipped out of fashion, especially as it’s always eerily empty until at least 1am. Luckily there’s a new night starting there next month on Fridays called 2am (cos that’s when it kicks off, night owls). They’ve got Pig & Dan and Williams and Zoo Brazil and all kinds of cool people playing. Looks promising.


T Bar

What is up with this place? The music is usually amazing and it’s free to get in. But the hassle you get on the door is outrageous, they still haven’t bothered doing up that part of the bar which looks an oil rig canteen, and when I went the other week it was full of city boys and hen dos (see earlier Shoreditch / Leicester Square comment).


Plastic People

Always good.

East Village

This place opened up in Shoreditch last month with a nice cosmic disco slant to the programming. I haven’t been yet cos I’m still getting used to the fact it used to be a really crap place called the Medicine Bar, plus it’s in the heart of Whoreditch. But my friend Leo has done a night there and says it’s extremely pleasant, so I trust him.


Café 1001

By day this is a garishly-painted hippie café on Brick Lane, albeit one where they have to search your bag before you buy a chick pea salad in case you’re a smack dealer. I really don’t like the idea of going to a club night there but I’m going to make an exception this weekend to see Ame and The Chromatics so I’ll report back.


Corsica Studios

Scene of many a glorious D2P collapse. A weird little place putting on nerdy underground techno and bass music with two major things in its favour. 1: It’s in Elephant & Castle which means most North Londoners can’t be bothered to go there. 2: It’s got a grimey little semi-covered terrace that almost convinces you you’re in Berlin and not facing onto Britain’s ugliest roundabout.


Club Aquarium

Someone keeps sending me emails trying to get me to go something called Thursdays Are Click at this place. To be fair, their line-ups look really solid: John Tejeda, Terry Farley, The Foreign Muck fellows (who used to put on great nights at The Key). But the swimming pool in the middle of the venue doesn’t swing it for me. Last time I was there I wondered why I couldn’t see any of the people the Russian doormen were letting in ahead of me on the dancefloor. Then I peered through a window and they were all bombing and petting in the pool. It was like the nightclub had a window into the Nizhni Novgorod leisure centre.

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Dollars To Pounds: Join Our Club