Never has any club ever felt quite so close to our hearts (well with the possible exception of Beyond) as it was this club that signalled our birth come creation and one that forged a number of close friendships that mean so much to us. Both as a social soiree & a weekly clubbing event, it has been a staple part of our lives for the whole of its existence, having been launched as more of an experiment back in January 2008, although quickly establishing itself as a household name on the social & clubbing calendar. And in its home, Barcode Vauxhall, this club night has sported some truly enthralling events, from birthdays to bank holiday’s, pre-parties to post celebrations, not to mention having witnessed much mixed fortune in a scene where many have failed to survive, while it has continued relatively unscathed.
Industri very much captured our imagination on that momentous January just under three years ago, and whilst we have seen many changes throughout its relatively short history, many constants have remained, not least the friends & faces that make this club so special Yes, there have been some unfortunate developments, the halting of the back-to-back D.J.’s sessions by the dynamic duo of Paul Heron & Brent Nicholls, their duties being split into alternate weeks, the removal of the original weekly go-go dancers, two of a few moves that met with disapproval by the faithful, although at least in Barcode Vauxhall, Industri had secured a rightful home and a place where it could really associate its identity, attracting all those supporters that make this club the special social soiree that it is. However, when the shocking news hit that Industri was possibly to be no more, much rallying was required and a rescue package secured, seeing our treasured weekly wonder survive, but on a new day and at a new destination, meaning we simply had to be there as it closed one door & opened another in its heavenly history.
So, the final fling of Industri as we know it (or as we now knew it) was to be the first Thursday in December, the capital in the grip of some pretty freezing weather, although nothing that was going to keep us away from making our final homage to our favourite Thursday nighter, driven on by the prospect that faces both new & old were going to make this a farewell to remember. Plus, with Paul Heron taking charge of the decks, we were sure to be in for a feast of Industri anthems, or at least plenty of superb sounds to serenade this special evening in our lives. Arriving at just on the stroke of 10 p.m., we entered a pretty desolate Barcode, the usual buzz & mix of off duty scene figures, club kids & social butterflies, distinctly absent from this final fling of our favourite club night brand. But within minutes there was a veritable stream of familiar faces flooding in, Industri pals of old Chris, Stephen, Paul & Terry making their impressions on our attention, while the hostess with the mostest, Minty, swished in, immediately lifting the lack lustre atmosphere and bringing a hearty smile to our faces.
Popping our bits & bobs behind the D.J. booth, we found it mysteriously absent of an incumbent Mr Heron, although our planned early arrival had been hampered by rampaging students which had seemingly brought the transport network to a grinding halt, yet it was then mere moments before Paul pounced on us to take his spot and kick start this final Vauxhall based Industri in earnest. And by golly did he get our attention or what, a whole string of classic Hed Kandi style house hits that gave this Minty meet an extra special feel, admittedly not quite what we had been expecting from the musical might of our man behind the decks, but a delightful delectation nevertheless that captured the moment magnificently. Then, it was just as though the music had met a mass of ears outside as Barcode flourished with folk that wanted to join the party, filling out Industri for its final foray on this side of town, the influx including pal Tom Fuller, D.J. & crazy man Craig Daniels, who had his posse in close call, the colossal character that is Frank, the equalling endearing Clington and plenty more besides, all dropping in to wave a fond farewell to this Thursday institution.
Now this eventful evening was in full swing, Paul having picked up the pace of the music, bringing us bang up to date to some barnstorming beats & dancefloor anthems, many of which had been a feature of Industri’s recent history and with the drinks suitably flowing, including the famed “Sassy Bitch” shots, we sunk into the night, savouring each & every final moment of his last Industri outing before its move across the river to Soho, everyone entering onto the spirit of the event with gusto, not least our pal Stephen who was the source of much entertainment & hilarity throughout the night, especially when he precariously balanced himself between the bar top and the floor, feeling slightly sozzled from his indulgence in the spirits. So, with the final moments of a truly enthralling night arriving all too soon, it was time to toast the success that had been Industri & Vauxhall & look forward to the West End debut of Minty & her men the following Wednesday.
And so we jump a week and jump a venue, Industri’s hop skip & jump of a move from Barcode to Barcode finding it situating itself in Soho and with the anticipation of a new dawn & a new life on a new day, the switch from a Thursday to a Wednesday part of the package, along with a launch event heralding the return of the much loved & missed back-to-back D.J. duo format of Brent Nicholls & Paul Heron, which had so much been the magic of the original formula of this splendid social soiree. Plus, with the Soho crew oozing excitement that Industri had made the switch, throwing their wholehearted support behind the brand, there was much hope that the transition would prove a tremendous one and give our favourite foray some fresh new dynamism. And, despite feeling pretty much under the weather with a recurring stomach complaint, wild horses would not have kept us away from this new chapter in Industri’s history.
So, with the prospect of our threesome reunited for this special launch, we arrived in Soho not long after the revised 9 a.m. start, interestingly the original timing when Industri was launched back in 2008, but like a number of unwelcome modifications at the time, was shifted back an hour, moves instigated by the bar’s management team very much changing the complexion of the club somewhat, indeed this move itself, from Vauxhall to Soho & from Thursday to Wednesday, altering Industri’s appeal to its faithful who have supported the brand through thick & thin. But then, we Industri stalwarts are made of sturn stuff, so nothing was going to stop us supporting this switch, indeed as we entered the doors of Barcode on Archer Street, we were pleasantly surprised to see a selection of faces that had made the curtain call the previous week, present again, although were nearly as struck with the absence of the third link in the terrific Industri trio of Minty Brent & Paul, Mr Heron mysteriously missing & no news of his apparent absence.
But with a delivery in hand, the Candyman had arrived, the now traditional supply of strawberry strings & liquorice allsorts raising the usual rapturous response from both Brent & Minty, while we retired to the bar to seek refreshments, catching up with Industri faithful’s Chris & Stephen, two faces that, like us, had been there right from the start back in 2008 and, like us, had seen the fortunes of the club wax & wane, although, like us, have remained wholly supportive of the club brand through good times & bad. But we digress, so back to the action, Barcode Soho buzzing with an eclectic crowd of Soho socialites & transient others, some none the wiser to this Industri event, as, save for Brent & Minty’s presence, there was no real indication anywhere in Barcode that this was a special night. However, this mattered not one wit to us as our attention was firmly on our pals, we entering into the spirit of the evening with Chris, Stephen & a whole collection of people who passed by to mark the occasion of Industri’s arrival in Soho, familiar faces including Polish boys Maruisz & Norbert, the adorable Suzana Quentin and off duty D.J.’s Joe Publik & Stewart Who, all popping by to give Industri the new start it thoroughly deserved.
And with Mr Nicholls on fire behind the booth, selecting a whole string of superb sounds, our captivated corner was alight with action, Chris, the Polish boys & even Stephen trading dance moves with us, very much in the “Doing The Disco Matt” vein that, for a few moments at least, banished all thoughts of our grumbling & quite painful stomach compliant that had been plaguing us, the dancing distracting us sufficiently, not least when he pulled out our favourite tune of now, the truly brilliant & funky re-work of “Now Or Never”, which had our name written all over it, along with plenty of others. But, with the drinks downing & the conversation flowing, the 1 a.m. finish arrived all too quickly, although it being a healthy indication that a good time had been by all, Minty and her mini Industri posse of people deciding to continue the partying over at The Shadow Lounge, while we chose a charge home to reflect on this Industri re-launch with intent & interest.
Now the best way for us to sum this reflection on our most favourite social soiree & clubbing brand (and believe us we care about Industri so much) is to look at it in two parts, the old & the new. So what of the old? Well, as we have already said but need to re-enforce, Industri has been so much a part of our lives and has been responsible for forging such strong friends & friendly relationships, some of which have truly transformed our lives, that we care deeply for this club. The memories it holds in its now former yet original home, will remain with us, perhaps forever and having been established in Vauxhall, it still feels the rightful place for Industri. Yes the nights of late may not have packed out the place, but for us, it filled an important gap in the market and the Thursday slot was found to be so appealing in so many ways, so whilst the club has now moved on, the memories of its time here will live on, through the many pictures & fond recollections that time will never fade.
As for the new?, well it is a new……a new dawn, a new day & a new life for Industri which we sincerely hope the team behind it, but especially the host venue management, embrace with enthusiasm, which we sure they will. Yet, the stark reality is that, despite this being a re-launch, the absence of weekly rag press coverage as well as the distinct lack of any sort of identity to set Industri aside from just another regular night at Barcode, left us feeling that this so called new dawn was more like a false one. And as for the new day, Wednesday’s have never really been associated with being a clubbing night, and as one person aptly put it, it’s now an extra day of work to struggle through, whereas at least with Thursday’s it felt like the start of the weekend. That said, Industri at Barcode Soho is very much in its infancy and maybe time is what the club needs to find its feet, but as time waits for no man, we fear that unless it can strike that very necessary identity, not least through the full weight of publicity & promoting behind it, then it may become just another sad statistic in a string of soiree’s that have sunk without trace. Did we leave this re-launch with spirits high?, well maybe not, but as high spirits have always been part of Industri’s makeup, high spirited people, high spirited music & high spirited entertainment, we will be back, with high spirits, high hope & high expectation that this, our splendid social soiree, will serenade Soho for a long time to come. (DISCO MATT)
In recognition of Industri both past & present, we thought it appropriate to share a special compilation mix from resident D.J. Brent Nicholls, marking the re-launch with a collection of terrific tracks, many of which received airplay during the evening of 15th. With the 72 minutes of magnificent music kicking off with the very apt “Gotta Move On”, this masterpiece also includes the amazing Lizzat & Voltaxx remix of the classic “Now Or Never, as well as a clever re-work of George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex”, to mention just two gems, to get your piece of Industri memorabilia, go his website or to direct link http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2010/12/13/podcast-industri-2010-gotta-move/