Obviously a topic for the younger crowd, though I would very much value advice from anybody...
Having just moved here relatively recently, I'm still looking for good clubs in the area.
By "good" I do not mean Ministry of Sound or other commercial tourist venues, packed with barely legal teenage girls desperate for some attention, accompanied with overpriced drinks and cheap chart music. When I say "good", I mean something with style and specific atmosphere, whatever that atmosphere might be (ranging from fetish to lego-collectors venues), as long as it's something extraordinary and worth seeing. I'd like to check out venues which make an impression on you, which have a distinct character, feeling and (not necessarily) charm - the ones you keep as a secret and would show to your friends if they wanted something different from the usual stuff.
Your quest is nearly hopeless...but not quite! Depending on your music taste, you should be happy enough with the SE1 club on Weston Street, under the arches of London Bridge station itself. SE1 has held many big nights over the years, but mainly appears to hold Happy Hardcore, Drum n Bass and Hard house/Trance nights these days....so the music policy there is fairly alternative and not particularly mainstream...maybe that might suit you?
"Lost" recently held a night there with Jeff Mills and Robert Hood playing...so they also have quality techno nights there too.
In terms of the interior, SE1 is probably my favourite club in London, it's a labyrinth of HUGE brick arches and different sized rooms that take ages to explore. It's officially London's biggest club with a capacity of will over 1,000 too.
SE1 is great area for clubbing - well it is if you like grooving to psychedelic trance!
This Saturday 29th Jan for example is the ever popular 'Antiworld' at the SEOne with trance & hard-dance across something like 7 rooms! Antiworld is pretty steep to get in (£30 on the door), but offers great decor, visuals and sound quality. When the SEOne is at capacity it is quite a sight with 3000+ raving under the same roof!!! Another of my favourite nights here is The Synergy Project which plays across 4/5 rooms, with psychedelic trance in the main room, live acts & even poetry in the others and is a lot cheaper @ £15. The Synergy Project is coming your way in February (18th) & March.
The Elephant & Castle Coronet is another great venue in the area. I've been to a number of psychedelic trance nights here, including Fairy Tales, Digital Tribes and Wingmakers. More are coming up, including Audio Relief, a benefit night for the victims of the asian tsunami (Sat Feb 5nd) and Fairy Tales (19th Feb).
For a complete listing on all that's going on in 'underground' London check out www.accessallareas.org
What a coincidence! SEOne was next on my adventureous list...so we shall see.
In the meantime, I'm awaiting further recommendations. Thanks so far.
And I promise not to call, James. At least not for the night listings.
another recommendation for SEOne - there are 3 Synergy parties coming up in as many months, here's the blurb for the next one... truly awesome, guaranteed!
The Synergy Project
Friday February 18th 2005, 10pm - 8am
SEOne, Weston Street, London SE1
£15 / £10 Concessions (students, unemployed, partner NGO members)
‚ÄúWITHOUT DOUBT THE BEST, MOST CREATIVE CELEBRATION OF LIFE AND ART IN THE UK.‚ÄĚ
-Markinside - Psy-Forum
London's most diverse, creative and progressive night returns with 4 rooms of eclectic multimedia from the cream of London's creative underground. Synergy stalwarts are joined by old and new friends to explore global environmental consciousness to become much, much more than just a trance night. With wholefood cafes, healing, performance art, drama, poetry, conscious cinema, drum circle and the friendliest of community vibes, Synergy is setting the new standard in post-commercial partying.
Synergy has now arrived - heralded by a growing number as the best party in London, if not the UK, for it's diverse creativity, high production standards, a friendly and relaxed, unpretentious crowd and for the constantly evolving nature of the project - no two Synergies are ever the same, with new organisations, artists and campaigners teaming up with veterans to produce inspiring new collaborations.
Above all, Synergy stands aside from the hedonism and consumption of conventional club-land with the ever present intent of raising awareness of contemporary environmental, social justice and spiritual issues, while generating a strong sense of purpose and a feeling of being part of something bigger, and more meaningful, than the isolated individual.
For the forthcoming event, Synergy welcomes back the Liquid Connective, who will be hosting a room of light, funky psy-trance, bringing new and fresh ideas in deco and light installations to the mix. A true celebration of cutting edge dance, trance and live performance. ID Spiral return with their mesmerizing blend of performance art and global chill, conscious visuals and live tunes set in as ever breathtaking environments. This time IDSpiral will collaborate with London Rising Tide, part of a grassroots network, confronting the root causes of climate change and promoting local, community-run solutions to our energy needs.
The Spiral Chill will also host the Conscious Fashion Walk - an initiative to combine ethical designers and NGO's to raise awareness on the ills of the global Fashion Industry whilst wearing positive solutions such as organic textiles, hemp, fair trade, worker's co-op and DIY fashion.
The Small World Stage, stringing together live musicians from around the world, also returns with their uniquely diverse array of performers. The Gallery space welcomes the Gods and Goddesses Galactic Cabaret, hosted by Galactic Federation Agent 82 a.k.a. Paradox and features the cream of London's progressive performance poets, singer song-writers and the legendary open mic session.
Synergy is proud to welcome the return of Shamanic rapper and ritual theatre host John Crow for a roaming presentation of Participatory Synergistic Intervention, a short drama which will spontaneously manifest itself throughout the party during the course of the night. This ritual drama-happening will be developed from scratch in a workshop held early in the night - so come early to make sure YOU are in it!!! It is conducted by the director, playwright, poet and performer John Constable aka John Crow - the author of The Southwark Mysteries and the man who adapted Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast for the stage. John is regularly seen performing his own highly original performance work at Synergy - now he's encouraging you to bring out your inner performer.
A vibrant Conscious Fringe hosts campaign stalls from non-governmental organisations such as Oxfam, Actionaid, Survival International, Corporate Watch and Tourism Concern alongside whole food cafes serving chai, organic cakes and vegetarian sushi and healers practicing massage and other relaxation therapies.
All this, for less than the cost of many run of the mill night of DJs and the occasional live act: £15 on the door, with a £10 concession for students or the unemployed (current proof required)