UPDATE: According to The Independent, "New documents obtained through a Freedom Of Information request suggest Fabric closure was a long term plan orchestrated by a hard-up council, with the police as pawns and drug legislation as a constant, convenient excuse."
By now, you’ve no doubt heard the awful news.
For those of us who have admired her murky depths, waking up to the loss of superclub Fabric is a devastating one. I've never before really grasped the outrage or sense of bereavement which others expressed when London clubs such as Cable and Plastic People slowly but surely disintegrated into the night - yet as I scrolled feverishly through the report during last night’s hearing, I suddenly understood the deep sense of attachment one can have to a building. Alongside the horde of clubbing and music fans who feel the same today, I'd like to do a bit of public grieving and reminiscing... I hope you'll indulge me.
I have lived in London for four years and can count the number of times I have been, purely by the lineup posters that litter my wall. They are all, perhaps unsurprisingly, from Fridays. DnB Fridays - it was a thing.
The very first time I attempted Fabric, I failed miserably. Fresh to the country, clubs such as Fabric and Ministry of Sound were revered as bucket list "must-dos." Places to tick off in order to successfully assimilate to the London lifestyle. Living with a group of mates from home, we all decided to go for my best friend Cat’s birthday; conjuring status updates in our sheltered little heads, we donned sky-high heels and began preparations. Never fear though, before I could naïvely attempt Fabric in a ridiculous dress and heels (what an absolute plank) I prepped a touch too enthusiastically - and comaed on my bed... Where my mate's boyfriend stripped naked and took a photo for posterity.
...SO. The next time I went to Fabric, a boy had just slapped pizza in my face (there are worse things to be slapped in the face with, hold your pity) after I accidentally insulted his Birmingham accent outside a pub in East London. To be fair, I did sound like a terrible Beatles knockoff. And the Beatles are from Liverpool. But once the pepperoni laced crocodile tears had subsided, I shit you not, my next words aloud were: "Fuck it, let’s go to Fabric." The answer to life's immediate problems. Fast forward five hours and there we stood, straight but loving life, my friend, her new Swedish boss (!?) and I, in the glorious but slowly emptying room 2. Tears gone, evening saved. That beautiful dark bass jungle.
Inside this grand institution, I have been flipped in the air by a stranger, lost my shit to the likes of Foreign Beggars, Andy C and Chase & Status, and misplaced absolutely all my friends in the vortex that is the stairwell. I have been sober, deliriously happy, and bamboozled by the dual sex toilets and their foot taps. I have had the door staff’s mitts right up inside my bra (ironically, their drug search was incredibly thorough) many a time - a comforting indication that they cared about and enforced their drug policy. Although I have never been offered drugs inside, I’m not about to deny their existence in the culture - but am quickfire to add that this is not what defines it, and should not be what ultimately closed it.
Alan Miller, Chair of the Nightlife Industries Association, is starting what is dubbed the Fund For Fabric to fight the decision."If it wasn't for places like Fabric, we'd have none of our culture: it's where we get inspired, where we fall in love," he said while addressing a crowd after Fabric's license review. I could not agree more with the sentiment behind this, and urge you to get on board, however that may unfold.
You may be skimming the tirade above and thinking, "So you got pizza’d and went to a nightclub you dig - who cares?" Overenthusiastic sharing aside, the point I want to make is that Fabric is absolutely cemented in my experience of London. In the past, when it’s raining and grim, and someone has rubbed their crotch too slowly against me on the tube, I have mentally attributed Fabric as a reason to stay in London.
Iconic, bass-laden, otherworldly - it is one of the places I have held dear to me in this foreign city in which I have settled. They don’t make clubs like that at home in New Zealand - and apparently, thanks to the Islington Council, they don’t make them like that in London anymore either.
R.I.P. Fabric, my happy place.
You were mind blowing.
PS. More info to come on the Fund for Fabric soon.