Posts Tagged ‘Turnmills’
Having not long returned from Berlin where we sampled a true clubbing legend in the form of Berghain, the byword for techno in this most dazzling of cities, it seems appropriate that we take a preview look at another clubbing legend, which may not have the purist techno base in its music like Berghain, but is definitely on the tougher side of the house music fence. And this coming Sunday marks a special celebration, as one very special clubbing brand turns 20 and looks like partying in true decadent style, like it did all those years ago when it launched itself on an unsuspecting public at Turnmills in Farringdon, going on to become one of the biggest phenomena’s of our time, transfixing everyone & anyone that graced its doors, meaning there is only one club we could be talking about here.
Trade certainly has made a huge impact on the global clubbing scene, yes global, this afterhours audacious event that started as an experiment in 1990 by Laurence Malice & his small team, soon grew into a brand that extended right across the world, regular tours of countries including Australia & South Africa and continents including Europe & Asia, meaning that there is hardly any corner of this wonderful world that this brilliant brand hasn’t touched in some form or other. Plus, Trade when mentioned to any ardent clubber, evokes everything that is exceptional about afterhours clubbing, the foundations of this legend in our lifetime, very much cemented in Sunday mornings, but often extending deep in Sunday afternoon, not quite the 18 hours of Berghain, but plenty long enough to make it one of the longest running afterhours, not just in time but in years.
Those years, 20 of them to be exact, have thrown up a veritable feast of D.J. talents & scene faces that have become inextricably linked with Trade, Laurence Malice without question being top of the pile, this larger than life character always the lynch pin in the success of the brand, both in London & overseas. In the halcyon days of the club at Turnmills, not a week would go by without Miss malice wafting around the club & even quite often diving onto the microphone come midday or 1 a.m., sometimes extending the party deep into Sunday afternoon, meaning that trade is never the same with Laurence in attendance. Other huge character’s in the clubs history include Trade Mark, the man responsible for all that iconic, Andy Warhol inspired art, that was very much the stamp on Trade as a club, the Trade baby probably THE most notable piece of his work, but scores of other creations making the walls of Turnmills at each event, the flyers for the club & the adverts in the press. But if you want to look to one man (apart from Laurence of course) to tell you everything you want to know about Trade, then Tom Fuller is your man, for many THE face of Trade, or at least the first face you would see on entering the club. To say that he has the most memories & the most memorabilia on the club is an understatement and our reflection pales in comparison to what this man could tell you about Trade.
Laurence, Trade Mark & Tom aside, the list of others is endless, but no look back or preview (as this is) of Trade would be complete without listing some of the legendary D.J. talents that were very much Trade in those amazing years from 1990 through 2000, those incredible first ten years, for us meaning names such as Malcolm Duffy, Alan Thompson, Steve (Janet) Thomas, Rachel Auburn, Ian M, Tall Paul, Pete Wardman, Gonzalo & not forgetting the truly legendary Tony De Vit. Yes, plenty of other names have been linked with Trade, both in the latter part of the first 10 years, some more predominate in the second half of the clubs 20 year history, we including The Sharp Boys, Guy Williams, Fat Tony, Nick Tcherniak, Gabriele Cutrano, Lady Bianca, Lisa German & Pagano, to mention a few, but it will always be that original line up in those simply superlative days at Turnmills that will always be Trade.
Plus, in terms of D.J.’s no one can deny that. Like Laurence being the face of Trade, the D.J. most recognisable with the club will always be the late great Tony de Vit, a talent & individual who, without doubt, had the biggest following of any and commanded the most respect from his peers. Tony’s talents were simply incredible and not a week would go by without his sets being the pinnacle of perfection & peaking the club at its brilliant best. Whilst the whole concept on the music was to be a gradual build in pace, from the relative sedate style of Malcolm Duffy through the more rousing & raucous beats of Alan Thompson & Steve Thomas, to the ultimate end of Pete Wardman or Tall Paul, Tony’s music was right in the middle of the jubilant journey of sound that always had the biggest following & the best reaction. So, his untimely death in 1998 was a huge loss to the brand, although the magic of the divine Mr De Vit survives in the myriad of mixes he recorded for both Trade & for his own individual releases, “Global Underground” our most favourite & among the six separate Trade CD compilations he is featured on, represents the greatest memories of this magnificent man’s music.
So, those are some of the clubs legendary people, but what about Trade itself over the years? Well, it has transcended both the gay & straight markets, has attracted mega stars & celebrities through its doors, notable musical figureheads including Grace Jones, Madonna, U2, Boy George, & George Michael, while it has also be featured in a number of T.V. programmes, even a special documentary have been recorded back in 1996, recording for posterity both Trade back in the U.K. and its tour of South Africa with our own legendary Trade team of D.J.’s Malcolm Duffy, Steve Thomas, Alan Thompson, Tony De Vit & Pete Wardman. Moreover the club has featured in all the top music magazines, has been listed in both the gay & straight media as THE afterhours clubbing choice and was always an intrinsic part of the yearly Pride park parties in London, also featuring large on radio stations including Kiss FM and (of course) Radio One. Beyond that, Trade has been featured on virtually every single piece of merchandising you can think of, we even have our very own “Trade” bomber jacket which we continue to wear with pride.
But of anything which connects with Trade the most is Turnmills, a venue has featured large in the clubs history and remains its ancestral home, although with its demise as a clubbing hotspot in 2002, Trade has since found occasional homes at Ministry of Sound, The Arches, Fire & Colosseum & Laurence’s own club The Egg, and whilst weekly parties have given away to more infrequent gatherings, dates such as Christmas Day, Easter &, naturally, their birthday, continue to keep the Trade phenomenon alive. Now nearly 20 years old, the passion for Trade, particularly with those that were around in the early, dare we again call them, halcyon days, these people aptly called “Trade Babies”, remains as strong as ever and whilst they would all say, Trade is never quite Trade unless it is in Turnmills, nevertheless will be making the homage to this awesome afterhours event come Sunday 31st October.
And, of all the parties in recent years, their 18th anniversary at The Arches is probably the most notable, hence the team deciding upon a return for this landmark big two zero turn, the myriad of rooms as close to Turnmills as you could get, recent updates to this Southwark base (now called Arcadia) heightening the appeal and closing the deal as being the place to celebrate Trade turning 20. With the D.J. line up finalised & all other details confirmed, our preview of this brilliant brand is complete, so keeps your eyes peeled for our weekend post coming up, honing in on that all important info on Trade’s 20th Birthday, but make sure 31/10/10 is a date & Trade is the place as if, like us, your clubbing history is steeped in Trade, you simply cannot miss this euphoric event. (DISCO MATT)