If you’ve talked to either one of us for more than 5 minutes you’ll know that we really, REALLY like raving. And no that doesn’t mean we get dressed up in neon clothing, strap on stupid amounts of glow sticks and dance ourselves silly to David Guetta all night… That would literally be torture. Primarily fans of House and Techno, but dabbling in other electronic styles on occasions, we made it our mission to seek out the best rave clubs, DJs and parties in London during our time there.
This is why we were particularly upset to hear legendary superclub Fabric was shut down by the fun police earlier in the year, but also why we were stoked to hear of it’s re-emergence, albeit with a proposed strict set of new rules. So before you all flock back to Fabric with the rest of the masses, here’s a look at some of our favourite lesser known London venues, all located out east, that could help you get your rave fix.
Dalston. One of those areas that many non east Londoners don’t actually know anything about despite hearing their hipster friends talking about trendy new bars, cafes and pop-ups that they’re enjoying day in and day out. Well as far as #lbfadventures are concerned it lives up to the hype, and The Nest truly makes Dalston an ‘all nighter’ kind of area. One of the smaller venues in town The Nest epitomises the ‘underground club’ culture perfectly; its dark, the security is almost non-existent, and the music is LOUD. The barely 300 person capacity makes for a perfect setting for intimate electronica acts and sweaty rave fests alike. We caught ‘bro-house’ (Blair’s newly coined term) heavyweight Tchami here in July 2015, who took all of about 10 minutes to transform the dance floor into a manic frenzy that simply wouldn’t have been anywhere as intense in a larger club. The Nest books a wide variety of acts and styles, including house, techno, grime, garage and everything in between. Best of all many events won’t even cost you a tenner!
Ever wanted to get a really good view of those weird silo shell structures dotted along Regents Canal? Well this is the club for you! Unlike The Nest, Oval Space prefers to let natures lighting provide the ambiance, with a gigantic window backdrop creating a dramatic view out over the eastern boroughs. Oval Space isn’t so much a club as a multi purpose arts/entertainment venue, encompassing a main terraced area along with a new separate small venue The Pickle Factory, which gives it the benefit of being the club of choice for a more eclectic range of gigs and performances, so you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes. We opted for one of the now legendary Morning Gloryville midweek morning raves, where green smoothies, wild costumes, facepainting and some of the craziest dancing in London replaces the usual raving environment. Secret Guests Rudimental added an extra dose of party energy and we don’t think we’ve ever felt so alive on an otherwise normal Wednesday morning!
Smack bang in the heart of Shoreditch, XOYO continues to be consistently one of the homes of quality electronic music in London. Slightly bigger than the others we’ve mentioned, XOYO is noted for always having a rotating roster of resident legends and rising stars to soundtrack your partying. Minimal techno master Scuba, party house pioneer Tiga, garage god Oneman and BBC1 babe Heidi all absolutely ripping apart the dance floor during their 2016 residencies, bringing a wide range of special guests along too for some epic B2B sets. For a smaller club the lights and lazers of Xoyo are pretty impressive, and the extra space means you’ve always got room to cut shapes into the early hours. We’d recommend getting a few pre-drinks in just over the road at The Magic Roundabout, a funky bar in its own right that’s definitely worth checking out. Drum n’ Bass animals watch this space… XOYO just announced Andy C as the first resident of 2017!
A hidden gem in the heart of Brick Lane, on first look it can be deceiving. But don’t be fooled by it’s unassuming look or the bill of seemingly unknown DJs. It is a haven for new talent and local showcasing, most recently the hosting The Little Festival, a group of young lads aiming to, ‘Bring the Festival Vibe Inside’! But 93 Feat East is most famous for its Sunday parties, Fuse. Most of the events hosted here are daytime into the night, finishing at about 1am (this can change depending on event). You definitely get a local vibe from this club, the crowd is chilled and a bit quirky, but are clearly avid House music fans. It has 3 different rooms on the ground floor and a considerably large courtyard area for when you need a break from the heat. Even on popular days like this it never feels packed, and there is enough room on the dancefloor to showcase your signature moves. A good option if the pub you’ve been drinking in has closed, if you want to go dancing but you don’t want to spend 30 pounds on entry fee, or if you need to stay out til the sun comes up.
Have you been to any of the clubs on our list of recommendations? Love other clubs in East London you need to tell the world about? We’ve been to many other places that we couldn’t fit on this list, so let us know what you think and we’ll chat! We love discussing nightlife with like minded people.