World Dance Music Capital 07: London

Words by: Gregorio
Posted: 24/11/09 16:25

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life" exclaimed Samuel Johnson and, despite some high profile club closures in recent years, the same could really apply to one of the world's most thriving electronic music scenes.

Of course it was here in the late 80s, where, on the back of the legendary venues and music of the US (albeit via Ibiza), Messrs Rampling and Oakenfold and Holloway began a revolution that transformed the (nocturnal) lives of young people. The DIY spirit of the acid house era, epitomised by parties like Shoom, which started in a gym in Southwark, and the Clink Street gatherings was relatively brief as by the early 90s the future template was laid down by Ministry of Sound's opening.

During the clichéd 'superclub' period, the eventual demise of Darren Hughes' Home at Leicester Square was seemingly one step too far the scene and the bubble burst. I like to think what happened at that time was society's way of reminding us that our movement is a sub-culture, by definition of its values, it isn't mainstream. The backlash after the millennium dust had died down resulted in a much stronger and varied scene than before. Mid way through the decade the plethora of quasi-DIY around Brick Lane, Shoreditch and Hoxton had really begun to take hold and revitalised the London underground scene.

Recent club closures have had an impact for sure; not least just simply that iconic venues like Turnmills and particularly, The End, are no more. Ministry quickly swallowed up homeless events and you feared the worst, but matter has proven that it's prepared to play hardball and of course there is always Fabric. The bastion of undergroundness recently celebrated 10 years of keeping it deep, down and dirty with a 3 day party to remember. Here is our guide to clubbing in London.

10 years old in October 2009, Fabric continues stronger than ever and sticking firmly to its principles of providing quality underground electronic music. A subterranean maze of naked brick, archways and Berghain-esque dark corners, entrance to the club requires an almost improbable descent down stairs that just keep going and going.

The club itself is a raver's paradise; dark - natural light is well out of harm's way, industrial and there is always another alcove or cranny to discover, take away the signs and you'd probably miss Room 3. Then there is the sound system, the central tenet of the Fabric philosophy and arguably never with such an important role in a club since Levan's meticulously fine-tuned Paradise Garage rig. The Martin Audio system has been described as "an instrument" by Villalobos, one of numerous heavyweight artists that call Fabric their London home.

Long standing residents Craig Richards and Terry Francis hold court on a weekly basis alongside artists like Luciano, Michael Mayer, Steve Bug, Magda, Cassy, Radio Slave, Marcel Dettmann, Ellen Allien, get the idea. On top of all this, since the club opened, Fridays at Fabric can lay claim to being the world's best for drum 'n' bass, jungle, breakbeat, dubstep and leftfield dance music.

Radio Slave "The club has the best sound system in the UK and this gives me the chance to really stretch out tracks and experiment with different sounds and atmospheres"

Luke Slater "Fabric really is quite special, they put a lot of effort in and I have many, many emotions attached to Room 2. Before Fabric, I don't have think there was a big club in London that had done it right. It's a really good place to be and its popular with the right crowd. You put all those together and you can't really beat it."

Capacity: 1600
Nearest Tube: Farringdon
Address: 77a Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 3HN
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7336 8898
Ministry of SoundMinistry of Sound
Mention of the name is almost blasphemy to some, yet it remains the most successful clubbing brand the world has seen and its creation changed the face of clubbing in the UK. Although Shoom, Spectrum and Trip had all taken place within clubs, the outcome of their inspiration was a culture of outdoor parties; the Orbital raves, Sunrise, Genesis, Biology et al. When Ministry opened in September 1991 it symbolically represented the beginning of legal, indoor clubbing across UK and Europe. It's important to remember that the club's inspiration was the Paradise Garage and Larry Levan himself helped commission the sound system.  Located in a derelict Bus Garage in Elephant & Castle, the club was nothing more than a box ('The Box' being the current name for the club's main room) with a thumping sound system and a dedicated US house music policy. It quickly became the iconic British nightclub and undisputed superclub by the end of the 90s by which time it had begun extensive commercial activities that now include an enormous record label operations, telecommunications and even MOS branded vodka.

These days the club still provides an outstanding roster of DJ talent, ranging from mainstream electro via The Gallery's trancey Fridays through to all the big names of house on Saturdays. The club's main room 'The Box' has a sound system so powerful it rarely gets above 50% of capacity and many people who visit the club miss this room completely, inevitably finding the larger 'Bar' in the centre of the club. Regular guests include Roger Sanchez, Derrick May, Steve Lawler, Sasha, Erick Morillo, SOS and Danny Howells, with all the leading trance DJs on Friday.

Justin Berkmann (MOS Founder) on Levan's involvement: "I brought him over because Ministry of Sound had been more or less conceptualized by me at Paradise Garage in New York, and being a core member and devotee of the club and Larry, I wanted to have the 'Levan Stamp of Authority' on my creation in London."

Capacity: 1500
Nearest Tube: Elephant and Castle
Address: 103 Gaunt Street London, SE1 6DP
Tel: +44 (0) 87 0060 0010
matter matter
Located at the site of the O2 Arena, formerly Millenium Dome, Matter has established itself as a force to be reckoned with amongst The Big Smoke's big clubs. Conceived of, designed and operated by the fabric team, matter is a purpose built venue with state-of-the-art 'bodykinetic' sound system, amazing projections and, unlike fabric or Ministry, a high ceiling to really give a feeling of grandeur to proceedings. Straddling the programming policies of both Fabric and Ministry, matter has taken the bull by the horns and become home to Cocoon in London, as well featuring an almighty roster of the industry's top labels, brands and DJs.

Try Wall of Sound, Bedrock, Renaissance, Hospitality, Bugged out, Circo Loco, Trentemoller, Laurent Garnier and Aphex Twin for size. Moreover, in a similar mould to sister club fabric, drum 'n bass is well represented, as are dubstep and breaks. The size of the venue also allows for concerts and acts as varied as The Pet Shop Boys and Wu Tang Clan's Rza have appeared. Main gripes about this place surround its relatively isolated and out of the way location, but the diverse and high calibre programming more than makes up for this.

Capacity: 2500
Nearest Tube: Greenwich North
Address: The O2 - Millenium Way, Greenwich, London, SE10 0DX
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7549 6686
T BarT Bar
If not the chief protagonist in the rise of the Shoreditch scene, then it is certainly the most well known. Since the middle of the decade the coolest names in electronic music have graced the T Bar and it has been instrumental in galvanising the trends of the capital and inspiring a host of small, intimate but quality clubbing environments in the area. Originally located in the Tea Building in the middle of Shoreditch but elsewhere since this venue closed in December 2008, T Bar's reputation grew on the back of the always free parties and 24/7 dance music spirit that meant you were as likely to see Michael Mayer and Damian Lazarus on Monday as you were to see Weatherall or Billy Nasty on a Thursday.

The party just never seemed to stop, which in some ways contributing to the demise of the original location as space, licencing issues and upset neighbours demanded a move. The new venue is an even more full on affair, with Funktion One delivering the goods in the main area downstairs. Moreover, with recent guests like Federico Molinari, Miss Fitz and Anja Schneider, it's clear that the finger is still firmly on the pulse.

Capacity: 700
Nearest Tube: Aldgate
Address: 18 - 22 Houndsditch, Aldgate, London EC3A 7LP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7729 2973
93 Feet East93 Feet East
Multi-use live gig venue and club with 3 different rooms and the ubiquitous courtyard, a totally diverse selection of music peppers the week, but it is all about Sunday daytime party Fuse, which is about as close as you'll get to the old Space Terrace without jumping in a time machine and shifting the coordinates a few thousand miles south.

, Nima Gorji, Markus Fix, D'JulzAlex Celler and are just a insight into the vibe for this free/guestlist only party, which isn't so much afterhours as early to bed on Saturday ready for a full day of partying. Inexcusable to miss this.

Capacity: 900
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Address: 150 Brick Ln, London,  E1 6QL
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7247 3293
Public LifePublic Life
The clue is in the title. Surely one of the more bizarre club locations you'll encounter, this is actually a former disused public toilet, the underground type that were commonplace during the Victorian era.

Quickly developing a reputation as the afterhours destination of choice for the capital's raver, parties like Kubicle and the Lost Souls Techno Club have become. The residents are super kosher so don't worry that big names aren't usually billed, but fully expect someone interesting to turn up announced.

Capacity:  150
Nearest Tube: Aldgate East
Address: 82a Commercial Street,Shoreditch,London,E1 6LY
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7375 1631
Plastic PeoplePlastic People
A name in London clubbing since 1994, it is now almost the stereotypical cool London club, occupying a 200 capacity no frills space in the East End. What it likes in size and grandeur, it more than makes up for in terms of atmosphere and musical content, with a clued up crowd and an unrivalled progressive booking policy.

Mouthwatering names like Move D, Theo Parrish, Dixon, Luke Solomon, Âme and Benga, spread over a Wednesday to Saturday programme, speak volumes for the ambitions of this club that is underground in every sense of the word.

Capacity: 200
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 147-149 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3QE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7739 6471
New in 2009, Cable is located under railway arches near London Bridge, their Victorian pedigree provide for a raw clubbing experience; high ceilings, dark, throbbing and plenty of alcoves to get lost or found in.

Filling the 3 rooms on offer have been Circo Loco, Boys Own, Matinée, Weatherall, Surgeon, Robert Hood, Zoo Project, Seth Troxler, Get Physical.....I could go on. Great weekend clubbing addition to Londinium.

Capacity: 1000
Nearest Tube: London Bridge
Address: 33a Bermondsey Street,London, SE1 2EG
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7403 7730
Open since 2000 and situated in the heart of Shoreditch, Cargo is one of the few bar/restaurant/club/live music venues that makes this guide.

Music wise it is Clive Henry, Ashley Beedle, Jaguar Skills, The Juan Maclean and Nathan Fake that provide some of the more ordinary names you'll encounter, with literally a smattering of every sound imaginable across the rest of the week.

Capacity:  700
Nearest Tube:  Old Street
Address: 83 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3AY
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7739 3440
East VillageEast Village
You have to admire some of these venues for their sheer dedication in providing non-stop entertainment, especially those like East Village who serve it up nearly every night as well as running a full bar/kitchen alongside the music.

This is Stuart Patterson's latest project and his Shoreditch base has a cracking basement set up with almost over exaggerated low ceiling and the music policy has been nothing short of top notch. Promoters like Faith (obviously), Go!Zilla, Disco Bloodbath and Back2basics alongside in-house events starring Derrick Carter, Omar S, Scott Grooves, Tedd Patterson and Weatherall provide the benchmark. Cool as fuck.

Capacity: 500
Nearset Tube: Old Street
Address: 89 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3HX
Tel: +44 0 20 7739 5173
Corsica StudiosCorsica Studios
Not far from Ministry of Sound, the Corsica Arts Club could hardly represent something more contrary to its brash neighbour. A cultural and artistic meeting point and part of the Corsica Studio complex, this is stripped back and straight up, no nonsense clubbing at its best.

Better still the 2 room venue, which is nominated for Best Small Club in DJ Mag's Best of British Awards, can point to some inspired programming as evidence of its passion for all things underground and eclectic; see Lindstrom, Surgeon, Nicky Siano, DJ Zinc and Henrik Schwarz as a great representative mixed bag.

Capacity: 450
Nearest Tube: Elephant & Castle
Address: 4/5 Elephant Road, London, SE17 1LB
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7703 4760 
3 room venue with a great outdoor space for when (or if) the summer arrives; Egg hosts a range of popular parties as well as the notorious Sunday morning afters.

Funktion One is fitted throughout and the charm of the exposed brickwork combined with a vanguard approach to bookings make this well worth checking out. Recent and upcoming artists include talent such as Doc Martin, Sneak, Kerri Chandler, Daniel Bell, Ellen Allien and Luna City Express. Site now houses Apothecary, a separate club space next to the main club.

Capacity: 1000
Nearest Tube: Camden Road/Kings Cross
Address: 200 York Way, Kings Cross, London, N7 9AP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7609 8364
Plan BPlan B
Describing itself as a "South London nightlife institution", Plan B is back after a refit and should be anything but a Plan B venue when you're deciding where to throw some shapes.

Funktion One rig (at the cost of a million squid apparently), no bullshit design and line ups that would whet the appetite anyone who likes their music fresh. Goldie, Argy, Yoda, Sandy Rivera, Terry Farley, Bugz in the Attic, Hot Chip and Norman get the idea. It's got a 24 hour licence as well so none of this being shipped out at 3am like in Shoreditch.

Capacity: 650
Nearest Tube: Brixton
Address: 418 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AY
Tel: +44 (0) 87 0116 5421
The AquariumThe Aquarium
Club with a swimming pool on Old Street that has been around for years and makes it into this guide for the afterhours offerings you can find on Sundays, featuring guests like Glimpse, Luciano Esse and Saytek. Thursday event Clink is worth a look also with Alex Celler, Reset Robot and Shane Watcha amongst those appearing in 2009.

Someone I know describes The Aquarium as "evil"; read into that what you will.

Capacity: 650
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 256-264 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9DD
Tel: +44 (0) 87 1971 3823
Hosted Oakenfold's Spectrum in 1988 and a famous gay club, Heaven was also the London home to Digweed's Bedrock, which ran legendary monthly parties here on Thursdays, including a Sasha/Digweed/Tenaglia extravaganza in 2000 (all for a fiver too!).

Great venue under the arches of Charing Cross Station, the main room has a pulpit like DJ booth and the alternative rooms are as fun to dance in as they are to find.

That said, Bedrock has now departed and Circo Loco's bank holiday events here in Spring seem to be ice also, with the crazy circus' annual New Year's Day bash taking place at matter.

Capacity: 1300, 4 Rooms
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross/Embankment
Address: 9 The Arches, Villiers St, London, WC2N 6NG
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7930 2020
Den & CentroDen & Centro
Venue name changes are common occurrence in clubland, at best you get something like Twilo (which took place on the site of the original Sound Factory in New York City) and at worst you get one of the world's memorable clubs replaced by a pale imitation.

Sure, the bricks, mortar and legendary DJ booth (in the middle of the dance floor) of The End may still be there, but the spirit that made it a mainstay of underground house and techno goodness has well and truly gone. Laurent Garnier, Circo Loco and Superfreq have all pissed off to matter and in their place generic house and electro events have appeared that would make the preceeding owners cringe. There are odd moments of light; the deep and soulful house Sunday with Jazzie B or the odd Grooverider appearance being the examples. If The End holds a special place in your heart, then you're best to avoid. If The End means nothing to you, then forget everything I just said.

Capacity:  1100, 3 Rooms
Nearest Tube: Holborn
Address: 18A West Central St, London, WC1A 1JJ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7240 1083
Fire & LightboxFire & Lightbox
Billed as London's biggest and best gayclub, aside from one offs like Bugged Out's 15th birthday in October 2009, it is typically The Lightbox room where most of the clubbing action takes place.

Named so because of it captivating LED ceiling, there is a totally non-commercial vibe here, represented by the south of the river location and flavour of DJs that has seen Minilogue, Lopazz, Kiki, Kevin Saunderson, Manuel Tur and Format B rock it out here in 2009.

Capacity:  600
Nearest Tube: Vauxhall
Address: 6a South Lambeth Place, London, SW8 1SP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3242 0040

:: THE DEFINITELY MAYBES - Check listings or just turn up
The Horse and GroomThe Horse and Groom
I absolutely love the fact that a small pub in East London can make it into the London clubbing guide, which stands as testament to the strength of the underground scene. 

It makes the grade on the basis of a constant boundary pushing music policy that includes guest slots from Ivan Smagghe, Greg Wilson and Allister Whitehead.

Capacity: 150
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Address: 28 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3NZ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7503 9421
The Hoxton PonyThe Hoxton Pony
A really sleek looking and minimalistic feeling affair, which is possibly the quintessential pretentious Shoreditch venue.

Anyway, good grub, seasonal cocktails and a particularly tasty Thursday night party called Heroes & Villains that has had Jamie Jones, Mark Henning and Matt Tolfrey amongst the guests. The promoters behind Fuse have also recently been sniffing around doing events.

Capacity: 400
Nearest Tube:  Old Street
Address: 104-108 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3AH
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7739 9608
Sosho MatchSosho Match
Part of the Match family of bars, this Shoreditch offering provides yet another cool bar/restaurant setting for some stunning underground parties. The pick is one of the capital's premier Sunday selections, Supernova, which has starred Matthias Tanzmann, Kabale und Liebe, Lee Curtiss, Matt Tolfrey and Ryan Crosson. Surprise guests are regularly unannounced due to contractual commitments with other clubs they are playing at, but that doesn't stop them turning up!

Capacity: 550
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 2 Tabernacle Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4LU
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7920 0701
Bar 54Bar 54
The now infamous red basement of this club is one of the most popular and respected on the underground scene and is sort of the small club you've always dreamed of owning.

Former guests include Villalobos, Peace Division, Agnes, Terry Francis and Geddes with labels like Get Physical, Freerange and Dirtybird always well represented.

Capacity: 400
Nearest Tube: Aldgate East
Address: 54 Commercial St, London, E1 6LT
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7377 0666
Dalston SuperstoreDalston Superstore
Dalston is coming to get you! "Open every weekday from midday for brunch, sandwiches, burgers, homemade cakes, tea, coffee and wifi" explain the DS team, who are actually compromised of members of the Trailer Trash and Disco Bloodbath posses actually. Cool, that'll be the music sorted then.

Capacity: 250
Nearest Tube: Kingsland Dalston
Address: 117 Kingsland High St, London, E8 2PB
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7254 2273
The White HouseThe White House
Well known venue in Clapham that serves up great food, great drinks, great atmosphere and some pretty tasty line-ups to come and play in what is essentially just a bar. This has included everyone from Dan Ghenacia to Maxi Jazz to CJ Mackintosh and even Brandon Block god forbid. Never the less, a pretty cool place just to go for a drink, but be warned, you're likely to end up dancing.

Capacity: 400
Nearest Tube: Clapham Common
Address: 65 Clapham Park Rd, London, SW4 7EH
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7498 3388
Worth a mention for being the new home to Jaded, the respected Sunday morning after party previously at AKA Bar (The End), including guests like Luke Solomon, Kenny Hawkes and Ralph Lawson alongside resident Raymundo Rodriguez. Venue is a Victorian paper mill and the building's old character is very much integral to the vibe.

Capacity: 550
Address:  Old Street
Address: 113-117 Farringdon Road, Farringdon, London, EC1R 3BX
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7278 2301
Bar 512Bar 512
Definite big player in the rise of the Dalston scene, this is everything you'd expect from the fringes of the Shoreditch scene; no website, period features, intimate environment and bookings like Luna City Express, Lee Curtiss and Serge Santiago have all been in attendance.

Capacity: 250
Nearest Tube: Dalston Kingsland
Address: 512 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AE
Tel: +44 (0) 79 6094 7774
No web
:: THE MAYBES - depending on what day it is and who's playing and a bit of luck, but still worth considering.
Huge venue that can hold up to 3000 but is regularly split into smaller zones for the parties held here and within the club each separate area has a distinct vibe.

Kind of a one off party stomping ground with things like the Torture Garden, Rabid Festival and Moondance held here.

Capacity: 3000
Nearest Tube: London Bridge
Address: Weston st, London Bridge, SE1 3QX
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7407 1617
"From modest Victorian beginnings - as a steam engine repair shed - to legendary cultural venue, the Roundhouse has an enviable heritage few are able to match" reads the blurb describing this spectacular venue. Performances, live shows, DJs and every music you can conceive of will be played here. Deadmau5 chose here to support his latest album release, but don't hold that against this spectacular arena.

Capacity: 3000
Nearest Tube: Chalk Farm
Address: Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
Tel: +44 (0) 84 4482 8008
Outstanding and high spec production throughout 3 rooms makes this one of London's most modern clubbing spaces. Whilst the quality of the some of the parties can't be doubted, it lacks a solid weekly residency and Saturday night could be anything from minimal to happy hardcore.

That said, names like Len Faki and Speedy J don't turn up so regularly in London, but they have played out at Hidden in the last 12 months. Line-ups hit and miss, but keep your eyes peeled and you could find a right touch here.

Capacity: 800, 3 rooms
Nearest Tube: Vauxhall
Address: 100 Tinworth Street, London, SE11 5EQ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7820 6613
Iconic venue in London that has been around for over 125 years, formerly as a theatre and then later famously as The Camden Palace, during which time it played host to early career performances from The Sex Pistols, Madonna and Eurhythmics.

A staple on the house and trance scene during the 90s, it became Koko in 2004 and is predominantly used as a live music venue, although Carl Cox and Booka Shade have had one offs in the last year.

Capacity: 1500
Nearest Tube: Mornington Crescent
Address: 1A Camden High Street, London,NW1 7JE
Tel: +44 (0) 87 0432 5527
Brixton club that played host to The Clash as former incarnation Bar Lorca and since the 2005 refit British dance music royalty like Orbital, Basement Jaxx and Hybrid haven't been able to stay away from the place.

Capacity: 600, 2 Rooms
Nearest Tube: Brixton
Address: 261 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6LH
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7274 5537
Luxury property used for various things (hotel, restaurant, etc) but including here for hosting one of the best Thursdays in the city called '+Plus', which has seen Alex Celler, Lee Van Dowski, Simon Baker and a thousand others spin here.

Capacity: 400
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Address: 5 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0PG
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7099 3190
This 4 storey warehouse with the Moroccan inspired name and decor has a definite uniqueness and despite being so underground you're never quite sure if they're even happening, the parties include guests like Pan-Pot, Bar 25 (Berlin) and forthcoming from Pier Bucci and Frank Lorber for hot promoters CTRL_ALT_DEL.

Capacity: 600
Nearest Tube: Aldgate East
Address: 33-35 Commercial Road, London, E1 1LB
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7383 7773
Pacha LondonPacha London
Pacha New York aside, it was the most hyped and eagerly anticipated franchise of the Urgell machine, which only adds to the disappointment that its ended up the way it has.
Smack bang opposite Victoria station, it's a super polished interior and smart clobber all the way for vocal house parties that are on an even more commercial tip than its Ibiza counterpart. Plenty other, more interesting places to check.

Capacity: 900
Nearest Tube: Victoria
Address: Terminus Place, Victoria, London, SW1V 1JR
Tel: +44 (0) 845 371 4489
Brixton AcademyBrixton Academy
Large scale venue that has held concerts for such luminaries as Bob Dylan, The Smiths, The Clash and Madonna in the past and famously banned Leftfield after their bass-laden gig literally began tearing the roof apart. The big dance bands still stop by here, so The Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Groove Armada and Underworld have played over the last few years. Recently Richie Hawtin held a M-nus presents Contakt special and the Swedish House Mafia sold out two nights.

Capacity: 5000
Nearest Tube: Brixton
Address: 211 Stockwell Road, London SW9 9SL
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7222 1234
Bar RumbaBar Rumba
Much loved institution on Shaftesbury Avenue that underwent a refurb earlier in 2009 and is a long standing bastion of music to make you dance.
Think Gilles Peterson and Jazzie B and Norman Jay and lots, lots more.

Capacity: 500, 2 rooms
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Address: 36 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7EP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7287 6933
That LondonThat London
In between Matter and the Dome, a purpose built venue with a huge outdoor terrace that stays open till 6am, the only one of its kind in London, and is the club's focal point. Frequent quality nights are hit and miss really with Jon Ulysees featuring more often that anyone with the In Bed With Space party.

Capacity: 900
Nearest Tube: North Greenwich
Address: 338 Boord Street, Greenwich, SE10 0PF
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8858 8900
Big room clubbing in this former theatre of art deco design. 2009's portfolio includes Circo Loco, Groove Armada, an Innervisions special, Secretsundaze twice and Supermartxe a few times. Definite check the listings job.

Capacity: 2500
Nearest Tube: Elephant & Castle
Address: 28 New Kent Road, LONDON, SE1 6TJ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7701 1500
Shake It! WarehouseShake It! Warehouse
Disused Victorian warehouse in Southwark that has become Layo & Bushwacka!'s home since The End closed. Not much to say really other than it's a dark and cavernous warehouse with two booming soundsystems that gets very hot and oh yeah, Laurent Garnier has already played twice.

Capacity: 1500, 2 rooms
Nearest Tube: Southwark
Address: 29 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London, SE1 0NR
Tel: +44 (0) 87 0060 0100
Dex ClubDex Club
Split level action with a stunning roof terrace offering wonderful views over Brixton (!). Dex really cranked up the schedule in the summer of 09 with Jimpster, Will Saul, Caged Baby, and Sascha Dive, Xpress2 having popped down for that view (oh! and to spin some records). Sunday daytime rooftop parties are worth a look for sure, and bring your there is a hot tub!

Capacity: 700
Nearest Tube: Brixton
Address: 467 - 468 Brixton Road, London, SW9 8HH
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7326 4455
WestburyThe Westbury
Just a 'cool little pub' with all that such a remark would entail, except that it's a haven for all the alternative dance crew, meaning that Scratch Perverts, Bugz in the Attic, Rob Da Bank, Stanton Warriors, Hervé, New Young Pony Club, Hot Chip, Evil Nine, Yoda and the Plump DJs can all say they've got the 'I've done Westbury t-shirt'.

Capacity: 250
Nearest Tube: Kilburn High Road
Address: 34 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, London, NW6 5UA
Tel: +44 (0) 87 1971 5746
The ScalaThe Scala
Big old club that has been around forever and hosting all sorts of parties and gigs down the years.

Never sure what might be on any given weekend so check the listings, though live music predominates.

Capacity: 1200
Nearest Tube: Kings Cross
Address: 275 Pentonville Road, King´s Cross, London, N1 9NL
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7833 2022
12 Acklam Road12 Acklam Road
Formerly Neighbourhood, this club in Kensington has a rocking central room with Funktion One but the nights have been few and far between since Dtacs, who brought Will Saul and The Glimmers here, finished in 2008. One of the few clubs located in West London.

Capacity: 600
Nearest Tube: Ladbroke Grove
Address: 12 Acklam Rd, Kensington, London W10 5QZ
Tel: +44 (0) 87 2148 5577

Village Underground
Description: Underground (literally) club in Shoreditch that the SS gang have taken over in 2009.

Previous Music/DJs: Secretsundaze, Dixon, Âme, Layo & Bushwacka!, Cassy

Capacity: 1000
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3PQ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7422 7505
Description: Bar, lounge and club set in the crypt of an old Brixton church.

Previous Music/DJs: Anthony Pappa, Meat Katie, Barry Ashworth, Nicky Blackmarket

Capacity: 500
Nearest Tube: Brixton
Address: The Crypt, St Matthews Church, London, SW2 1JF
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7738 3366
El Paso
Description: Tex-mex bar and restaurant with tunes.

Previous Music/DJs: Berkson & What, James Priestley, Terry Farley, Luciano Esse

Capacity: 250
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 350-354 Old Street, London, EC1V 9NQ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7739 4202
The Gramaphone
Description: Bar/restaurant upstairs, 100 person club downstairs. Victorian building.

Previous Music/DJs: Tony Lionni, Berkson & What, Raymundo Rodriguez, Marc Askhen, Cesar Merveille, Robert Owens

Capacity: 200
Nearest Tube: Aldgate East
Address: 60-62 Commercial St, Tower Hamlets, London, E1 6LT
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7377 5332
Platinum Bar
Description: 4 floor townhouse style club with a solid reputation for underground vibes.
Previous Music/DJs: Spencer Parker, A Guy Called Gerald, Matt Tolfrey, Gavin Herlihy

Capacity: 500
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 23-25 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4JU
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7638 4601
Description: 31st floor private member's club occasionally taken over by club events like Superfreq.

Previous Music/DJs: Superfreq, Mr. C, Tiefschwarz, Zip, Matt Tolfrey, Damian Lazarus

Capacity: 400
Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Address: 101-103 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1DD
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7420 2900
333 Club
Description: Well loved Shoreditch venue

Previous Music/DJs: Fresh electronic sounds

Capacity: 333 (!)
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 333 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LE
Tel: +44 (0) 87 2261 0043
6ft Anda/Anda de Bridge
Description: Bar/restaurant with frequent events and great sound in a basement venue.

Previous Music/DJs: Eclectic

Capacity: 200
Nearest Tube: Kingsland Dalston
Address: 42-44 Kingsland Rd, Shoreditch, E2 8DA
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7503 9651
A10/Russian Bar
Description: Small 2 floor club on the fringes of Shoreditch.

Previous Music/DJs: Minimal, dubstep, grime, drum n bass, Inxec, Lee Curtiss, Pablo Cahn-Speyer, Mark Henning

Capacity: 250
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 267 Kingsland Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 8AS
Tel: +44 (0) 78 0942 5905
No web
Bar Vinyl
Description: Hub of electronic music in Camden.

Previous Music/DJs: All brands of dance music, famous guest appearances from Fatboy Slim, David Morales, Nicky Holloway and more

Capacity: 150
Nearest Tube: Camden Town
6 Inverness Street, Camden Town, London, NW1 7HJ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7482 5545
Description: Popular Shoreditch bar.

Previous Music/DJs: Bobby & Steve, Goldie, Luciano Esse, breaks to house, reggae to funk, soul to minimal......and everything in between

Capacity: 250
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Address: 10-14 Kingsland Rd, London, E2 8DA
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7613 4462
Cafe 1001
Description: Brick Lane coffee shop, bar and music venue/club.

Previous Music/DJs: Secretsundaze, Marc Ashken, Andy C, Dollz at Play, Poker Flat

Capacity: 500
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Address: 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Tel: +44 (0) 87 2148 0522
Lock Tavern
Description:  An institution amongst trendy London pubs. Check out the ASBO party on Saturday.

Previous Music/DJs:  Riton, Justin Robertson, Jon Carter, Mark Moore, Tom Findlay

Capacity: 150
Nearest Tube: Camden Town
Address: 35 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London, NW1 8AJ
Tel: +44 (0) 87 2148 2102


Roberto Capuano
Politics Of Dancing
Ralph Lawson