Saturday, 31 January 2015


Fabric is such a mainstay in the European clubbing scene that it’s hard to imagine a London without it. Hosting gargantuan line-ups from all corners of the underground music scene, the trips become so regular it can often feel like coming home. So you can understand our shock when at one point it looked as if there wouldn’t even be a home to go to with the sudden threat of closure facing the establishment.

Throughout the week, social media was awash with the news that Fabric’s license was under review, citing four drugs-related deaths in the past three years. In an amazing show of support, more than 30,000 people signed a petition on to renew Fabric's license. This was followed by an announcement that although the club would stay open, a number of drug-prevention measures would have to be adopted in order to maintain its license, including sniffer dogs and ID scanners.

With the weekend approaching, and thousands of people expected to arrive for two sell out nights, many were unsure of what to expect. However, in a post on their blog Fabric released a statement of solidarity, explaining that none of the proposed measures would come into effect until they had properly assessed and challenged certain points made in the Council’s report.

With the outcome of this appeal process still uncertain, what is evident is that the powers that be are tightening their grip on the London clubbing scene; many of us are still reeling from the loss of Cable less than two years ago. But we were happy to see that, for now, nothing has changed; Fabric is still the international music institution we know and love. Fabric is here to stay. 

No doubt grime has seen a resurgence recently as some genuine talent has started to once again rise through the ranks. With the likes of Novelist and Stormzy releasing a string of bangers and performing live on Jools Holland respectively; the new generation are proving that the sound still has room for innovation and growth. With such a renaissance comes a revitalisation of the fan base, and their presence was noticeable at this event. Half of the crowd would have still been in early primary school when “Wot U Call It?” came out. We must stress that this is in no way a bad thing. Instead it’s exciting to see a culture that was sinking into nostalgic territory suddenly start connecting with a fresh audience.

However, this night was all about the originators, and one man in particular: Skepta. With his releases throughout 2014, Skepta returned to the underground sound he had left behind, dragging Eski-beat out of the Noughties and into the limelight once more. Taking to the stage here, his energy and presence reminded us why he’s an aspirational figure to many MCs. Based on the eruption of the crowd to “It Ain’t Safe”, he has succeeded in once again affirming his position on the throne. Much like Fabric, Grime is here to stay. Long may they both reign.

By the time DJ Barely Legal stepped up at 5am, she faced a crowd lagging from a night of relentlessly energetic grime sets. Instead of falling by the wayside, she force-fed the main room a dizzying second wind; prescribing serious drum and bass interspersed with grime sing-along classics like Dizzee’s Jezebel. Her solid mixing ran circles around most of the other evenings DJs without the assistance of any MCs. Known for her eclectic style; Barely Legal is also a personification of this new wave we’re experiencing. By combining UK garage and grime classics with the sounds of the near future, her set epitomised this exciting movement being laid on the foundations of a decade of UK underground music culture. We can’t wait to see where it goes.