Decline of the Superclub

House | Thursday 13th June 2013 | jim

London used to be home to more than five ‘superclubs,’ which boast multiple dance floors, sometimes on more than one level, multiple bars and huge capacities. 

Now though only a few remain. Only a few months ago, Cable nightclub in SE1 London Bridge was bought by national rail, seeing the removal of yet another club in the London Bridge area. Ministry of Sound, arguably London’s most famous nightclub is also in danger of closing down. If plans go ahead to build a huge block of flats directly opposite the entrance then residence would be more than applicable to make noise complaints, which would almost surely end Ministry of Sounds reputation in the capital.

Of the major ones that is still going strong Fabric stands out. Situated in Farringdon, within walking distance from the very center of London, fabric is a three story bass driven club that has found the perfect home in an old slaughterhouse. Every weekend the best DJs in the world find residency here and entertain packed rooms of revellers. But even Fabric has been wavering in popularity in the last few years.


Does this mean the end of clubbing in the capital?


Most certainly not! It may be true that the superclub’s primacy is dying, but in its place has seen a huge resurgence in the small and intimate club. Throughout the whole of the capital smaller clubs, featuring only one room have been popping up and the queues outside them have been growing as bigger and bigger DJs play to more intimate crowds.


These clubs do have their downsides but I think the positives may outweigh them. Due to their incredibly small size packing people in like sardines in a tiny tin can the sweat can begin to pour of the people and even begin dripping down the walls. Despite being situated throughout the heart of the capital the humidity inside these rooms is like entering a rainforest in South America. This is not to everyone’s liking and can leave the smoking areas bulging like a fat man’s trousers. But, get beyond these negatives and the rewards to be reaped are large.


These clubs however small have been seeing some of the biggest DJs and producers in the worlds grace their decks, playing incredibly intimate sets for incredibly small crowds. Not only are the best DJs playing these small venues but the prices to get into them are far lower than the near extortionate fare of clubs like fabric. In fact, in many cases some of the clubs actually offer free entry, which does mean the queues are big, but your are left a near £20 better off.


However, the thing that really gives these clubs the edge is the vibe they produce. Often housing speakers of a similar calibre to the larger clubs, but in a much smaller room, the sound is massive, shaking the crowds, who are left really felling the music. With a smaller room as well the smoke and lights really fill the room and produce a far more intense clubbing experience.


While the smaller clubs may not hold nights with so many different artists over multiple rooms they are still keeping clubbing very much alive in the capital.


Here are some of the best ones to check out in London.


Corsica Studios


The Nest


Plastic People


The Lightbox


The Alibi


Plan B


Written by Jim Roberts