Goodbye Fabric, the greatest club London ever had
Never will another venue be such a rite of passage
After a landmark ruling last night, Fabric has had its license revoked and will be closing its doors for good.
Clubbers have come out in droves to mourn the club’s passing, showing just how much of an institution the place was for so many of us – and just how sorely it will be missed.
We thought we’d take a look back at some of the reasons Fabric always kept us always coming back for more.
It was so expensive it made your eyes water
Sure, the club itself wasn’t ever without its downsides: entry was more expensive than a flight abroad, security checks made the Pentagon look like a daycare centre, and you were always likely to trip over a ruined tourist on one of the million staircases.
For friends who had been used to going out in Manchester and Leeds, the £5 singles were definitely extortionate.
It was pretentious in the best possible way
If you look past the prices and the intense outdoor pat-downs though, Fabric was practically a techno utopia. As new clubbers, used to the (let’s be honest) shitty sound systems of our market town haunts, there was something a little magical about walking into a room playing house deeper than a philosophy undergrad’s attempts at small talk.
Finally, you had graduated from the Batchwoods and Winkers of the world and had made your first pilgrimage to the Holy Land of London clubbing. It was adult, a little bit edgy, and most importantly it was really, ridiculously loud.
Nobody cared who you were
Once you got past the initial shock of the vibrating floor in Room One and also your own desperate need to prove yourself as cool enough for your friends back home it dawned on you that nobody actually cared once you were in there.
I’m not sure I can think of a place where you could get down with your mates, bump into Sansa Stark, and party with a Polish couple in their 70s all whilst listening to Groove Armada absolutely tear the place up.
It was full of city workers
That’s part of the reason Fabric was so great: it totally transcended everything you were labelled by. You might have started off mildly annoyed by all the suited and booted marketing execs in their mid-30s, but by your third visit you just accepted that they’d probably seen more DJ Hype sets than you’d had hot dinners and accepted that they had as much right as you to ruin their expensive shoes amidst the seas of overpriced spilled pints.
Earlier this year I saw a guy in a wheelchair crowdsurf, and if that doesn’t sum up Fabric then I don’t know what does.
The smoking area was colder than the Bering Strait
When it feels like nearly every club is plagued by photographers, it was nice to be freed from the endless squad shots and Snapchat stories. Labelled as a place run clubbers for clubbers, it definitely felt like it. Rather than being crammed into a side street and constantly shushed by aggy bouncers, the smoking area felt practically palatial – even if it had no roof and was probably the coldest place in London.
There was even a separate bar area for water which was a lot nicer than having to go through the usual affair of either begging the staff for tap water, or paying through the nose for a lidless bottle that inevitably ends up on the floor.
You’d never have said it was your favourite
If asked, nobody will rave about Fabric being their favourite place in London. It was never as cheap as Bussey, it’s too touristy to match up to Dance Tunnel and The Nest and the music was a little less accessible than XOYO, but as much as you’d complain about the prices or the crowds it was always there.
Fabric was a bit like that mate from school who you’d grown apart from and whose new found love of Red Stripe and glitter wound you up but you’d always jump at the chance to drink with because they were really bloody fun.
As you stumbled down Charterhouse Street to catch the first tube on a Sunday morning, ears still ringing and feeling like your legs were going to fall off from eight hours of vigorous skanking, you still know you’d be gutted if you never got the chance to go back.