Thursday, 22 September 2011

Brixton’s Big New Nightclub: Is It Ready?

By Christian Rose-Day.

In a word: no.

Remember The Fridge nightclub in Brixton? You probably recall a number of unsavoury “incidents” occurring there at alarming regularity. You might even recall a few nights that were drama-free and actually loads of ravey fun. After shutting its doors for the final time in early 2010, what was once The Fridge is now Electric Brixton, set for its grand launch this weekend.

A million quid has been spent on refitting this 1700 capacity club and the launch has been pushed back by a month already. When we visited the site for a press gig on Tuesday to watch indie band Hard-Fi, it was easy to see why it’s taken longer than anticipated. This club is far from ready. Baring any miracles that have happened in the last few days, Electric Brixton still looks a building site. In fact, whilst we were sipping our first pint of Gaymers prior to Hard-Fi’s set, a group of dusty workmen strolled through the bar with their tools. And down on the main dancefloor, a crane was still in place as revellers were ushered in through the front door. In the toilets, sink basins sat atop exposed piping and wooden frames. The black sheeting covering the crumbling ceiling wasn’t very convincing either and the steel pillars seemingly holding up the roof above the stage didn’t instill a sense of security.

I did consider taking photos of this definite work-in-progress, but I reconsidered; I’m not one for needless churlish behaviour. Instead, I’d rather comment on the fabulous noise that emanated from the vocal chords of Richard Archer and the fingers of his Hard-Fi bandmates: top gig lads!

The electro-house grand opening of Electric Brixton this weekend, featuring Felix Da Housecat and DJ Hell, certainly sounds enticing, but my advice would be to give it another month before paying Electric Brixton a visit (and hold out for the billed weekly Friday slot at Get Loaded). Hopefully by then south London’s brand new answer to the Kentish Forum or Camden’s Koko will a fully functioning fortress of fun. All new venues go through a teething stage when they first open, right?

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