Friday, February 19, 2010

Southwark Clubbing History

Excellent article by Tim Burrows in the Daily Post (5 February 2010) on the clubbing history of Southwark. There's even a helpful map for the South London disco tourist. Among the places featured are:

- the Royal Oak, Tooley Street (demolished to make way for the Hilton hotel) - the location for Nicky Holloway's pre-acid house Special Branch soul/disco nights in the 1980s, where Danny Rampling, Pete Tong and Gilles Peterson also DJed.

- Dirtbox warehouse parties in Tooley Street (where Hay's Galleria now stands) put on by Phil Dirtbox with DJs including Jay Strongman and Rob Milton.

- Shoom - Rampling's early acid house night, held in the Fitness Centre on Thrale Street (Southwark Bridge end).

- Clink Street - home to the RIP parties in 1988, legendary hooligan house: 'Chelsea fans and Arsenal fans would warily eye each other up but later on they’d be having a right good chat and dance, just chilling, which was obviously due to the ecstasy' (Mark Easton).

- Jacks, 7-9 Crucifix Lane - still going, this was the venue for Andy Wetherall's Sabresonic parties in the mid-1990s.

- Cynthia's Robot Bar (later Club Wicked, now Astria), 4 Tooley Street - location for 21st Century Bodyrockers, electroclash AcidHousePunkRock nights in 2002.

Much of this activity took place amidst the ruins of dockside industry, but before the developers moved in. Until the 1960s, the Pool of London between London Bridge and Tower Bridge was a thriving dock, but it was all over by the end of the 1970s. The article quotes Rampling: “It was rundown. The whole south side of the river was a series of closed warehouses and industrial units, so it was like a ghost town after dark. But the night spots that sprang up drew people into the area from far and wide.” In this supposed wasteland, London acid house and rave culture was born.

The Daily Post is a temporary free newspaper linked with the Red Bull Music Academy, a month long series of musical happenings with its HQ also on Tooley Street.

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