With an all night tube at the weekend, 2017 is the year to explore London’s temples of dance music, from underground basements and hidden away dancefloors to the superclubs that have been making this city shake it for years.
2016 was a rollercoaster year for Fabric, which was temporarily shut down due to drug issues. After a huge outcry it’s back up and running, but expect security to be some of the tightest in London. As the city’s most famous club, Fabric is a true urban legend, from the walls of sound to the inevitable loss of friends the moment you step on the dance floor. From Detroit electro love-ins to drum and bass mega parties, it’s all here – week in, week out.
Shoreditch’s cool as anything club, XOYO has been a stalwart of Shoreditch clubbing for years. Andy C has a residency until the end of March, when The Black Madonna will take over for three months. Two floors of foot stampin’ tunes from the biggest DJs across the world, XOYO’s programming is legendary, with one-off residencies that prove London still counts club-wise.
Part of Hackney’s rise to the top is due to the borough’s Pickle Factory, a part of Oval Space and host to the coolest club nights and after parties for years. And yes, it really once was a pickle factory. Expect to see achingly hip, next-big-thing DJs and live bands alongside the kingpins of the city’s electronic dance music scene rocking all-night-long sets.
Newbie on the block is Printworks, over in the formerly staid area of Surrey Quays. A former print factory (the largest in Western Europe), it is now one of the largest club spaces in the capital, with capacity for up to 6,000 people. Some of the machinery is still in place and clubbers can weave their way between six rooms on different industrial levels with completely soundproofed walls. The events space can be used for other things but huge club nights are where it’s at – from Snowbombing’s UK launch on February 11, 2017 to The Hydra on March 4, 2017.
Deep in residential Elephant & Castle, Corsica Studios might be out of the way but this means the club captures the spirit of an illegal rave. Two rooms pulse to the beat of one of the best sound systems in London, with nights that range from techno, to charity events and offbeat electronica and art installations. You’re guaranteed a night you won’t forget whichever date you go.
This former equine hospital is one of London’s most quirky clubs. Proud Camden is on the smaller side with a network of rooms set across the former stables and there’s a funky roof terrace come summer. Visit during the day – it’s a relaxed bar and art gallery – but by night, this is where the fun of Camden comes alive.
Ministry of Sound
You can’t mention London clubbing without the behemoth that is Ministry of Sound. Found between Borough and Elephant & Castle, the club helped spawn the original 90s ravers who have been waving their glow sticks around ever since. Now a global franchise and record label, the club knows its audience and sticks to its house and dance groove – expect to see a variety of DJ legends and newcomers on the decks.