Fabric Nightclub 19th birthday, every October the underground electronic music community in the UK descend onto Farringdon for the annual Fabric marathon club birthday which starts with the Friday night Fabric Live and then a quick reset before the main event Saturday night session that and rolls into Sunday ending somewhere exclusively into Monday morning. The club has seen a lot over the past few years its closer and opening the land standing residencies and its one in particular Craig Richards still going strong.
This year the line-up kept consistency with long time residents and friends including Ricardo Villalobos, all 3 of the Appolonia gang Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom & Shonky, DVS1 with both a House and Techno Set, Joy Orbison, Rhadoo, Sonja Moonear & Helena Hauff to name a few. Up and coming talent and new blood also got a look in on the line up with names including Bobby Pleasure, Wayne Holland, Oli Silva, Dax J, & Saoirse to name a few.
We arrived into the Sunday in Farringdon to grab some booze and a few pre drinks to ease into the melle around 5pm, the streets around the club were unassuming and quiet with the few revellers coming and going. We had a relatively smooth, efficient and quick entry into the club with friendly door staff not sure on the day, the hour the time. As we breezed past the pay booth and cloakroom we could hear that background sub bass emitting from room 1 as we descending down those stairs and the chatter or people entering the smoking area.
the doors opened awash with new smells of fresh ravers and those that have outpaced themselves and lasted well into Sunday night with ease. You always get that eager anticipation and excitement to see the room 1 booth, the dj at work and what the energy on the dance floor will look like. We entered to Appolonia grooving away in room 1 with the dj booth looking lively. Appolonia still very much cart around with bags and trolleys full of vinyl which is very commendable. The sound was deep and driving, keeping the straight through crew and fresh feet engaged and interested. We grabbed a drink at the bar with walked into room 3 which just opened around 6pm. Craig Richards opened the smaller space b2b with Joy Orbison which very quickly filled up with those wanting to was into a smaller occasion or take a break from the main room hedonism. Twim TM (Thomas MelchiorTim Hutton, ) The Fall Of The House of Shadows got the crowd elated with its ghostly chords and ravey stabs. Craig also hammered N Gynn Dark Side Of The Moon EP out on Bobby Pleasure’s party turned label Pleasure Club. This release has unassumingly been making noise as the lead title track Dark Side Of TheMoon takes on this groovy shuffle with a very simply 1 chord drone that swirls and echoes. As Joy Orbison and Craig closed out the opening set of room 3 on the birth day the vibe was set with lots of breakbeat, deep house and some electro grooves.
next up we had Wayne Holland b2b with Oli Silvia 2 up and coming djs that have had stellar years with stand out sets at Houghton Festival amongst others. The pace and style picked up seamlessly as the sound eased into Cobblestone Jazz with its dreamy melody and funky percussion. By now the party was in full swing the energy in the room was very light and humorous as the djs weaved a new narrative of part tracks and forgotten classics to the old school DC-10 regulars.
Back to room 1 for a bit go main room action and the club appeared to shed a 2nd skin with fresh face dancers weaving down the stairs and room 1 was most certainly into full swing. Joy Orbison started around 9pm crafting his usual sound blending between skippy Garage instrumentals & House cuts which got the entire room shuffling and dancing. The main room sound system always delivers and as you recognise tracks being mixed in your ears always attend to new details & nuances that are heard on these big room rigs. As the time glided effortlessly towards midnight Joy flexed a Bjork remix as one of his final tracks.
Next up Ricardo Villalobos who had 3 hours to craft a story like he usually does in room 1. fabric looked very relaxed and alert, very playful and engaged as he entered the main room booth. Ricardo has a very loyal fan base and if you do ever see him play you will witness the energy and interaction the fans share. Ricardo opened his set with one of his own productions The Contempt which came out in the 90s on Landomat & then Playhouse. This is a whopping 22 minutes long and opens with Latin percussion and a sultry guitar and no kick drum for a solid 10 minutes. The metallic and jagged stabs drive the song until the kick drum joins the soiree. the track also has this repeating vocal which can be hard to distinguish which builds as the track breaks down. Tracks like this seam to palette cleanse the crowd as you literally will forget the last song played before the dj started. The crowd started to get itchy as without the kick drum which provides the metronome for the entire space was not obvious. As soon as the kick slowly built the crowd reacted and here we are, Ricardo in 5th gear and very much looking life he is enjoying himself. Room 1 became rammed and as we tried to take a bit of space equidistant from the front and back speakers we simply settled into the space and enjoyed the atmosphere. Later into his set Ricardo played LFO Leeds Warehouse Mix which came out on Warp in the early 90s and this track really gives the room 1 sound system a good workout with its outer space lead, spacious melody and driving bass line, the lower frequencies attack the room in waves and motions, big track, big reaction.
As the time etched closer to 3am Craig Richards appeared to close out the main room for the Fabric 19th birthday. Even at this time the club did not appear to ease on bodies and the bars were 4 to 5 people deep and the toilets busy with chat and action. We slipped into the green room for 5 minutes and caught up with lots of djs who has played in Fabric this year or over the precious years, the energy was high with old memories recounted and laughs witnessed. Back into room 1 to hear Craig do his thing as the sounds manoeuvred towards electro, breaks and old school techno. We struggled to track id any of the music Craig played the obvious number to a few was his own production ‘My Friend Is Loving His mind’ which has a pulsating bass line, snappy percussion and drone vocal relating the title track.
As the night slowly reached 5am the birth day celebrations came to an end with the dance floor full, lights on, claps and cheers with lots of people grinding with joy. It was now Monday morning and the club has been opened around 36 hours from the Friday night, another birthday completed, rock solid music lots of regular marquee names and also new up and coming djs making their mark. The club quite simply cracks on with its ethos, consistent music policy, up for it and open minded crowd and one the best sound systems you can find in a space this size. Now time to plot out the nights to attend in 2019 at Fabric which is going as strong as ever.