Fabric: 22nd Birthday

“After over two decades standing proud as a clubbing institution, the past 18 months provided an opportunity to pause and draw things back to what makes the space so special; the people, the music and excellent production.”

Hot on the heels of its rapturous reopening, Fabric recently celebrated 22 years of welcoming dancers to the hallowed vaults beneath Farringdon, for a 39-hour weekend of breaks, beats and everything in between. As per tradition, familiar faces appeared on the all-star lineup but with 18 months of lost time to make up for it was set to be a welcome celebration for one of London’s clubbing institutions. 

Since its reopening in the summer the Fabric team have sought to realign, keeping their mantra of championing music at the forefront but being more in tune with the currency of London’s nightlife scene post pandemic. After over two decades standing proud as a clubbing institution, the past 18 months provided an opportunity to pause and draw things back to what makes the space so special; the people, the music and excellent production. The club stands as a torch bearer for the industry, with the space and the team behind it remaining a vital part of the scene, who are committed to a positive evolution of the space. With a re emphasis on the no photos policy (that had faltered in recent years) and experiencing the moment, the club is promising longer parties and partnering with and platforming the marginalized communities inadequately recognised in most mainstream spaces, and whom remain an integral part of all we love about the culture.

At around midnight on Saturday the queue was pulsing with revelers. With a long list of DJs playing longer sets, the birthday was nothing short of a marathon but was the perfect opportunity for Fabric to make true some birthday wishes. 

© Photography by Jake Davis of Khroma Collective

Saturday

IMOGEN was warming things up in Room 2 diving straight in with heavy percussive rollers that got the crowd ready for a hefty bill of techno. A newer resident at the club, her track selection and energy is unmatched, and the perfect guide for the impeccable programming that Fabric is known for. With a string of international sets and a regular NTS show she is one to watch. Mastering the newly centered concrete booth with ease and providing a focal point for the room to expand around.

Oscar Mulero 

Next up was Oscar Mulero, a revered name in techno and with three decades under his belt the Pole group boss took the helm in the early hours of Sunday morning, using the room 2 system to full effect. Smattering a sonic assault of deep-set kicks and jagged hi hats to an elated reception, the crowd was energized and as the ghoulish whisper of Joey Bertram’s energy flash swept the dancefloor it was clear that people were happy to oblige in its call to hedonism.

Sunday

Over the standard weekend the crowds come and go at Fabric. With Saturday night being a kitchen sink of London nightlife. The Birthday Sundays however are often more of a family affair, where those that work in the nighttime economy and fabric regulars come together. While Harry Mcanna provided the Sunday afternoon tonic for sore heads, upstairs in Room three Crossbreed’s Kiwi and Ruby Savage played harmoniously with disco laden rhythms to a crowd whose commitment to dance was unfaltering. The loft vibe of room three allows for more intimate moments, to seek out connection away from the cavernous space of the main room, with Fabric using the space to full effect and curating its own identity in the club’s narrative.

Craig Richards

Downstairs in Room 1, Craig Richards was transporting the dance floor through his exquisite collection, with the synth pop hook of Bronski Beat’s Small-town Boy beckoning the Sunday dancers to chase away the Monday blues into the smoke-filled vaults of EC1. Following Craig was Perlon mainstay Sonja Moonear with her set being nothing short of a masterclass in club music, injecting some much-needed energy to the weary and setting up the crowd perfectly to enter the Ricardoverse.

With Room 1 suitably ready Ricardo took the reins. An indisputable figure in dance music and with his sets at Fabric renowned. Playing with Craig and fellow Perlon artist Sonja Moonear this was always going to be special. Mixing with the kind of fevour and pomp that only he can, what followed were a golden few hour as he mixed tracks in his signature style, the crowd receiving the amorphous whisper of Joey Beltram’s Energy Flash for the second time that night, and the hi hats of downhill Rhodes guiding dancers through the night.

After a solid stint of dancing came the early hours of Monday morning and the crowds thinned. Fabric says it is never not making noise, well I hope it continues to celebrate many more rides round the sun. The setlist mentioned of a special birthday b2b2b but that will have to remain a mystery…

Fabric’s website can be found here.

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