Fabric is one of the worlds most famous night clubs, just about every Londoner has been. But what is it like on the other side of the decks? Recently we accompanied Metalheadz artist FD to find out.
I can't definitively remember everything about my first ever night out at Fabric, but I do know it was a Playaz (then True Playaz) night around 2002/2003. Rushing to get ready I remember managing to burn my stomach with a hot plate of lasagne leaving myself with a pretty formidable red mark! Another memory that sticks with me is almost falling over the first time I heard Dillinja's "This Is A Warning". Anyone who has been through the London club cycle over the years has a Fabric story or two, be it about the music, the people or those unisex toilets with the long curving urinals (who remembers those?).
Over the easter weekend I tagged along with Metalheadz artist FD who was playing in room three, to rekindle those nostalgic nights and see how far the club had come since my early memories of clubbing. It's no secret that here at Organic we can be overly high brow when it comes to drum & bass, so I wanted to see what was going on in the jump scene. Completely out of touch with the latest generation of weekend ravers I wanted to re-engage the energy that originally attracted me to this music.
Room one hosted by Playaz provided my re-education in up front drum & bass with DJ Hype, Pascal, Goldie, Hazard, Original Sin, Taxman, Sub Zero and Potential Badboy. The first thing that hits you is the absolute love that the kids on the dancefloor have for the music. As much as a feel long in the tooth whenever I go clubbing these days I was hugely envious of the unbridled fun that they were having, it reminded me of a younger me that had slowly faded away over the years. From the beginning of the night there are lone trigger fingers shooting across the dancefloor and calling for the rewind. By around 10pm room one is already starting to look busy, these kids are turning out in force and as much as they are all together, each one seems as if they would be just as happy alone. Very simply they're loving it. This is what for me drum & bass was about in my late teens and early twenties, piling into a car with your mates or getting the last tube into town, getting into Fabric for around midnight and having unbridled fun until they kick you out at 6am.
Of course there is another side to Fabric. This is a club that has backed drum & bass week in, week out since its inception. I asked FD what it is like from the other side of the decks?
"Fabric means a chance to play at one of the best known clubs in the world - it's a real badge of honour in a way. It also means a chance to hear all your new tunes on a great system, whatever room your playing in - a really good testing ground. And also that you'll be playing to a full vibing crowd and you can really see how stuff goes down.
To prepare, I'll hassle people up for tunes, get as much fresh and new stuff as I can so that I can hopefully have some bits to surprise the crowd and my peers. I'll also go through all the stuff I got from the last few months again, make sure I haven't missed any gems (which happens quite often!) and get them all together too. I come back to old tunes a lot too, there's been so many great tunes in the last few years that seem to be forgotten, but totally stand up to the mixdown test and the idea test, and I love drawing for these. They may as well be brand new if someone hasn't heard it before - and while I think it's really important to play a lot of new and forthcoming material, I also think it's really important to draw from the thousands of tunes that have come before too!" -FD
I've known FD for quite a few years and he's one of the friendliest, most open people in drum & bass I've come across. His personality really comes across in his DJ sets. He sticks to the script if you like, common sense DJing. A mixture of forgotten gems from yesteryear and upfront cutting edge music that places you firmly in the now. It's an approach that is true to drum & bass' core values of looking forward without forgetting your roots. At it's best drum & bass is very personal, it evokes memories and brings people together in the present - This is also a good way to encapsulate my re-initiation with Fabric.
"I really don't remember my first time there haha! As for great memories, I'll always remember Goldie dropping the whole of 'A Sense Of Rage' to a packed Room 2. It's one of my favourite tunes ever and I just totally lost my shit - I was that annoying guy in there just absolutely shocking out. That tune on that system, it was a really fantastic and memorable moment for me." -FD