FABRIC TURNS 15
DJ Mag celebrate with 15 hours in the club
Photos: Nick Ensing
Whatever your stance on Fabric, which like any club has it haters as well as die hard fans, it's diffiicult not to get nostalgic around their 15th anniversary celebrations.
Look at the photos from their past decade and a half, during which time the venue has grown into one of dance music's most iconic and respected brands, or check out the staff selections of their favourite tunes, and sums up a huge preiod of electronic music history. Not confining itself to any one genre, its industrial-styled interior has witnessed numerous fads and fashions, musical and otherwise, come and go. The rise of Fabric is synonymous with the rise of electronic music, and by making its home by Smithfield Market it was one of the very first steps towards East London's transformation into the capital's nightlife centre.
While the club's birthday celebration rattle on all weekend with three nights and two days of eternal night, the smart money is on Sunday's activities. It's perhaps a bit optimistic when our alarm goes off at 8am but by 11.30 we're in the queue, Skream nearby straight off the plane from ADE, hoarse and voiceless but stil sparkling in a sequin jacket.
With only Room One open when we arrive, Seth Troxler is playing to an absolutely heaving audience. Perhaps another one just off the plane from ADE, in our all too sober state it all sounds a little linear, so we spend much of the time in the garden playing 'spot who has been here since Saturday'. Maybe it's the mix of this fresh energy and exhausted jubilance but there's a midday buzz that makes chatting with strangers especially enjoyable.
Dixon and Ame take over, their current standing in the public's estimation shown by the giant cheer that greats them whenever a kick drops in. We're up in the balcony toilets when Dixon drops his current trademark tune, Fatima Yamaha's 'What's a Girl to Do', but what's a boy to do? It's still the standout track by a country mile.
After lunch, pints and a rendezous with friends in Weatherspoons (wristbands allow re-entry up until 10pm in Sunday night), its back into the darkness. Up on the balcony, we find some room to look down on Ben UFO, the dancefloor gearbox having been wacked up to full speed then given a blast of nitrous, acidic techno pummelling the floor and giving us a welcome change of pace.
From here, details become hazy. At some point Room Three joins the fray as the club starts to swell in numbers. Levon Vincent has released some of our favourite records, but up top we're not certain whether he's playing for new arrivals or those who've been here all day or even all night. Step in Ben UFO once more, this time bouncing off Gerd Jansen with a a back to back set, Fix's 'Dope Computer' dosing us up with some p-funk techno.
Despite hearing a rumour when we arrived that he'd cancelled (something not beyond the realms of the imagination), Villalobos, the day's main draw, is doing his thing in Room One. Fabric's unofficial DJ mascot, renowned for his never ending set, we hover around the peripheries for a while. At this late stage, though, the wall of flesh demarking the edge of the floor is now too hot and sweaty to penetrate.
Instead, we spend our last hour listening to Matt Tolfrey's tech house groove before stumbling out into the streets sometime around 3.30am, a rather fitting, celebratory 15 hours under our belt...