Updated: Jun 23, 2018
Having frequented many of the popular Northern clubs over the past year and become resident faces at Gatecrasher we decided that we would change the shape of our weekend (if just for this once) and check precisely how large the other half were having it down in cosmopolitan London. Where better to head for a sample of what was available than the very up and coming Fabric where our man Sasha can be found residing at least once a month. Tonight was one of those occasions and we were warned to arrive early as the queues could get frighteningly long.
Following a lengthy journey down to the capital and invariably getting lost we arrived at Fabric to find the queue unsurprisingly big. Thankfully though people were entering the club at a rapid rate so it wasn’t too long before we were all in and ready to hear what was being offered.
My first impressions of Fabric were that it was a little confusing. The lighting is dim and dark; it was almost misty inside and the cavernous layout of the club often left me wondering exactly where to go next. That is not to say though that I disliked it, quite the contrary it made me even more interested as to what I may find around the next corner. After some searching we found our bearings a little and made our way into room1 where Tyrant was playing. Deep trance, it’s thumping bass and erratic harmonies were being thrashed out through Fabric’s excellent sound system to a crowd who seemed a little restrained to begin with but eventually began to let themselves loosen rather. Following a short stay there we decided we would try our luck in room 2 where at 12 Hybrid were to begin their live set. Entering the largest of the rooms was comparable to Cream’s courtyard at its busiest. Pushing our way through the heaving crowd to try and gain some space to move was a real task but worth it to get a place as near to the front as possible to view the live show about to begin.
12 o’clock, enter on stage the members of Hybrid fronted by a towering MC. Korgs, Rolands, drums and all; Hybrid struck up their individual style of rapid moving energy powered dance music. Hybrid are even more exciting live than anything you are likely to hear come off a vinyl and their talent is instantly recognizable. They filled the densely packed room with a multitude of pulsing beats and breaks, playing several tracks off their recent album “Wide angle”. An impressive display of MC timing, exciting electro sounds and powerful tunes went down a storm with a crowd who were beginning to get their flow in readiness for the appearance of Sasha at 2am.
We remained in room2 while the crowds cleared a little and made use of the space to stretch our dancing legs to the sounds of Rennie Pilgrim playing some pacey beats and sounds. Shortly though we had to head into the busy 1st room as Sasha began his set a little earlier then the programmed 2am start (not that anyone was complaining). The smoke cleared a little and figures in the DJ booth could be seen a little more clearly.
Sasha never fails to impress and his mixing skills are nigh on faultless, a consummate professional in every sense yet one who shies away from the media as much as possible. He refuses to let anything around him break his concentration, focused from the moment he begins to the second he finishes and it shows throughout his heart churning sets.
The crowd was now well warmed up and the atmosphere in the room started to lift as Sasha’s tranced out melodies began to take a grip of everyone’s emotions. Fabric was soon being thoroughly rocked as people became more and more involved in the music that was pounding this packed venue. The music flowed continuously, breaking only to build up with more power and pace. His set, as always, was an enlightening experience and it’s a pleasure to hear him play and watch him perform.
Next up was Craig Richards returning back to a more a deeper trance style. He begun with very deep house and shortly progressed onto trance, a rather different approach not altogether what we are used to hearing, still though we remained interested and begun to groove along as we slowly got more and more engaged. Sasha must really love playing Fabric because shortly after vacating the decks he returned back to continue with another set of his finest tunage. An unexpected treat for us all and a rare one too.
We left a little earlier than we thought but tiredness caught up and we were sapped of our energy following our long journey. Appearing also that night had been the ever popular Adam Freeland who has recently made a name for himself working with artists such as BT. Also that night were Lee Burridge and Tayo and in the more chilled third room Amalgamation of Soundz. Fabric displays a selection of talent but it could be quite a refined choice. It’s moody but with an air of style and it has to be said has by far the nicest door staff I think that I have ever met. It’s very busy and bustling, takes it’s time to really get going but it is an exciting venue to visit. Many thanks to Fabric and the lovely door staff (except the blighter who tried to take my camera pass off me) and a big cheers to Alistair and clubber for arranging it all.
Review by Richard Isaacs
Date: 4th December 1999