Underground dance music has played a pivotal role in my life. Along with skateboarding it helped introduce me to various forms of art, music and culture from every corner of the world. Somewhere along that journey i became obsessed with club culture,the first time i pulled back the curtain at Plastic People and was hit with wave after wave of thumping bass and enough sweat and humidity it could feel an olympic sized swimming pool; i knew i was home. The virtues of a going out with friends or on a solo mission, to lose yourself in a dark space surrounded by like minded people whilst listening to your favourite DJ don’t need to be explained, you either get it or you don’t. But that’s something slightly a miss when it how we (in the United Kingdom) understand club culture to be.
The fall of 2013 i visited Berlin for the first time and got my first dose of the Berghain experience. We all know how amazing the Berghain is so i won’t bore you trite-laden sentences about listening to Oliver$ tear Panorama bar a new for 4 hours. But what surprised me most was the vibe of the club. There’s something about having to queue for 30mins+ pretending you’re not with your mates, and when you finally get to the front you’re eye fucked for what feels like an entirety by a guy who looks like he came out of a page from Sin City. But somehow all that built up tension washes over you as you’re inside. Being a naive Londoner i always equate sketchy/aggressive vibes from bouncers to equal mess of club once you get in. Yet Berlin throws that assertion out of the window, its as if the more prone you are to being denied the better club is, and more often than not, when you finally do get in you understand why they make such a fuss about ‘picking’.
Unfortunately its the total opposite in London, where clubs are more concerned with running a profitable night, than ensuring the vibe inside the club is ‘right’ (which i totally get, its a business at the end of the day). But the consequence of that is you end up with a club full randoms, some which they’re sole purpose is to get as wrecked as they can on whatever class A drug they can get their hands on. It’s a recipe for disaster; as fabric has found out.
Obviously there’s a lot more subtext to fabric’s closure (property developers looming, dubious intentions of police officers and out of touch local counsellors) but the real takeaway from this is; two teenagers when out to a nightclub and never came back – that in it’s self is a reason alone to close the fabric chapter for good.