Nine years ago this month, I moved to London. My first Friday night, I went to Fabric. I had known about Fabric for years and ever since getting into dance music, it had become a pilgrimage I wanted to take.
And so I was quite moved when I woke up this morning to find out that Islington Council has shut it down.
The fact that venues and the people who want to go to them are at such a stranglehold from local councils is terrible. And the implications of Fabric’s closure could have a devasting knock-on effect for other clubs.
Ever the optimist though, I wonder if there’s some hope to glean from this.
Historically, whenever ideas get pushed to the underground, new things develop. Disco’s practically mainstream popularity in the 70s was destroyed with the racist and homophobic Disco Sucks movement. And less than five years later, house was born with Frankie Knuckles calling it “disco’s revenge.”
I grew up in a world thinking that we had surpassed times like that. The London I looked towards as a child and teenager, certainly didn’t look like that, it’s what spurred me to live here. London looked like a place in the 21st century, where all of these different cultures sat (for the most part) happily alongside one another. Don’t tread on me, and I won’t tread on you.
The rise of club cultures over the what feels like the last eighteen months is sad, but Fabric’s departure feels like a significant blow.
With club culture pushed to the fringes of society and so too with it many of the people who go there, will the sound change to? Could we have our own massive rebirth of dance music here with new sounds being created and new movements too? And if we were to paraphase Frankie Knuckles, what would Fabric’s revenge sound like?