Poll Clubs 2009: Paradiso | DJMag.com Skip to main content
Paradiso
Position: 
21
up 56

Strange that in a city in which you can indulge almost any devilish vice, one of Amsterdam's biggest attractions should be an old church. Not that your soul will be in any better shape after a visit to Paradiso, mind you.

For it's not the sound of heavenly choirs but those of ballistic beats and guitars that reverberate around the rafters here, and have done in myriad forms ever since this church on Leidesplein was reopened as a club and concert venue in 1968.

The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols and Nirvana are amongst the bands to have performed here, and as punk began to usurp the hippie counterculture who call Amsterdam their spiritual home in the 1970s, so the Paradiso became the Dutch centre for punk nights, before giving rave culture a big sweaty hug when 'peace and love' and happier drugs came back into fashion in the 1990s.

But whilst styles and sounds might have changed over the years, the interior of the club never really has, which is one of the main reasons Paradiso is such a memorable venue. Beyond the Gothic facade, the main room still retains the same choir stalls and stained glass windows it had a century ago, and the coloured light streaming in as dawn breaks is quite a sight to behold - although the gurns on some of the faces it illuminates are often less pretty.

Paradiso is a major port of call for huge international tours by acts like Razorlight and Amy Winehouse, but for clubbers the real party begins after midnight when it opens for nights such as Dekmantel, featuring techno DJs like Robert Hood and Underground Resistance, whilst No.1 DJ Armin Van Buuren has also staged Armada trance parties here.

However, stunning as the main room is, one of the best things about Paradiso is the other places to explore. With a rabbit warren of corridors throughout the building, the smaller upstairs room plays host to up-and-coming bands like School Of Seven Bells and Andrew Bird, as well as more diverse DJs from local promoters like Kindred Spirits, during the club nights, and wandering between the two can often be something of an adventure in itself, as Bruce Carter from The Whip discovered when the Mancunian rock 'n' ravers played there recently.

"It's the perfect club because the place somehow manages to feel dirty - in a clean way,' says Bruce. "There's a really relaxed atmosphere, even in the seedy little booths. I can't believe how vast the main room is but I prefer the bar room upstairs because I could have stayed in there forever. I left a little piece of my heart in that room and I need to go back and find it as soon as possible."

1
BERGHAIN
2
FABRIC
3
SPACE IBIZA
4
WOMB
5
AMNESIA
6
MINISTRY OF SOUND
7
PACHA IBIZA
8
WATERGATE
9
D-EDGE
10
The End
11
Cocoon
12
GUVERNMENT
13
ZOUK SINGAPORE
14
SUB CLUB
15
WARUNG
16
SANKEYS MCR
17
DC-10
18
Plastic People
19
SIRENA
20
21
Paradiso
22
Pacha Buenos Aires
23
Beta Nightclub
24
ROBERT JOHNSON
25
Ruby Skye
26
Matter
27
The Arches
28
Space Miami
29
Club Volume
30
Pacha Miami
31
AGEHA
32
Hardpop
33
RAZZMATAZZ
34
CIELO
35
Eden
36
Alte Börse
37
The Rex
38
Batofar
39
Studio Martin
40
Avalon
41
Club JB's
42
My House
43
CAVO PARADISO
44
FABRIK
45
Noxx
46
TENAX CLUB
47
Fuse
48
Clash Club
49
PRIVILEGE
50
Onzi-eme
51
ANZUCLUB
52
52 Crystal
53
Vanguard
54
Villa
55
Metro City
56
Kristal
57
Club Midi
58
360°
59
Harry Klein
60
MANSION
61
Circa
62
ARMA 17
63
Club Der Visionaere
64
Vision
65
Vinyl
66
Caves
67
CHINESE LAUNDRY
68
Goa Club
69
Stereo
70
Bar 25
71
Byblos
72
Warehouse
73
Heaven
74
Air
75
Florida 135
76
Culture Box
77
MINT CLUB
78
Dirty Dancing
79
Circus Afterhours
80
Tribehouse
81
Cabaret Voltaire
82
Pacha Sharm
83
1015
84
Haoman 17
85
Prince Of Wales Bandroom
86
Numero Uno
87
MOTION & MARBLE FACTORY
88
Barfly
89
Café D'Anvers
90
Stiff Kitten
91
Factory Club
92
93
TRESOR
94
Global
95
YALTA
96
LUX FRAGIL
97
Sq Klub
98
Le Queen
99
Weekend
100
Le Bataclan