Having been into electronic music for at least seven years now, I have attended my fair share of events at a large number of nightclubs around the country and have met some pretty incredible people while doing so. I’m not talking about the jokers that think Oceana is the best nightclub around, or those that arrive home at 1:30am thinking that they’ve raved to the absolute maximum, but rather those that know what it’s like to emerge from a club with daylight beaming down from above. Or those that understand the feeling of walking home with the streetlights being turned off as daylight approaches and bird begin to sing. You don’t meet these kinds of people at Walkabout or your average club, but at the greater venues that the UK has to offer. This is why I felt compelled to reel off a list of some of the best nightclubs and venues that I have ever been to, since the UK has some pretty decent ones to offer, even if the truly great ones are few and far between.
Fabric truly has to be the daddy of them all, really. You’ll struggle to find a true rave-head that doesn’t at least know about Fabric, with many having experienced it first-hand. This is the venue that has nurtured all the newest and most innovative electronic music artists of the past ten or so years. One must remember that this club is home to both regular residential nights as well as unprompted mid-week performances from artists that have been known to raise the roof and continue playing for hours after their allotted time. Need I remind anyone of the iconic Fabriclive 37, an album that gives us a snapshot of the best dubstep artists coming to prominence at the time as well as a compilation that shows dubstep in its golden age before the mainstream got its hands on it? No, I didn’t think so, and for this reason and many others, Fabric is one of the greatest venues one can hope to attend if you enjoy cutting-edge electronic music.
Cable doesn’t quite hold such a large space in my metaphorical heart as Fabric does, but it is difficult to deny this club’s importance in the SE1 area of London. The club consists of two separate rooms located in a train arch in none other than London Bridge Station. This club has the same atmosphere as The Warehouse Project once did when it was once held underneath Piccadilly station, and it has a great smoking area as well. This venue is for those that are hardcore about their clubbing, with after-hours events and even regular nights going on to the ungodly hours.
Custard Factory, Birmingham (RIP)
The building is still there but the Custard Factory no longer acts as a venue for some of the greatest electronic music nights as it once did. I never got the chance to attend the Custard Factory when it was in its prime, but I have been told stories of massive sound systems, incredible atmospheres, and the greatest electronic music artists playing at this venue. Though I’m sure it is host to the occasional rave and dance music-style event, may the Custard Factory rest in peace as a regular venue for raving and all-night partying.
Warehouse Project, Manchester
I was privileged enough to have attended a Warehouse Project event when it was still held underneath Piccadilly train station in Manchester. The event has now moved to Victoria Warehouse in the very same city, but both venues are fantastic for raving. Unfortunately, the recent deaths at one of the nights may have tarnished its reputation a bit, though this is undoubtedly an example of idiots taking things to far as opposed to a lapse in the management of the night itself. As a result, The Warehouse Project is apparently taking a leave of absence for 2014 and resuming its duties thereafter. Once can only hope that this night and venue continues to provide people with a place to rave for many years to come.