fabric’s 16th Birthday – Sunday Afternoon 18/10/2015

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Ahhh fabric’s birthday. My favourite club in the world – when everything is taken into account.

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I’d say Amnesia is a more amazing experience, but if one is taking a full overview of everything that fabric does, and everything that it stands for, then it is head and shoulders above any other nightclub I have ever been to.

Fabric is my wife that I’ve spent so much time getting to know over many, many years and that I love dearly despite the odd imperfection (Saturday night tourists mainly) – Amnesia is the beautiful young lady that I very occasionally have amazing sex with.

I ummm’d and ahhhh’d over whether to go for some time. Going to fabric’s birthday was actually on my 2015 list of goals to achieve. But it’s been a very busy month – I’m miles behind with studying, behind at work at the busiest time of the year and way over budget.

Once I found out that 3 of my really good friends, possibly 6, and some others I know were up for it then I drunkenly agreed for definite to go. On the Sunday, of course. First train in the morning mission.

But by Saturday, those who had said they were up for it, were either incommunicado or simply not going. Hmmmm. Was I going or not?

With no definite accomplices, I’d talked myself out of it by Saturday night.

I did however wake up at 2am and quickly checked RA to see the line-up times. Curiously, Ricardo wasn’t starting until 12:30pm. There was still time in case my clubbing companions decided to confirm their attendance.

Once I awoke, I decided against going, and switched on a repeat of Question Time to depress myself further. Suddenly by 10:30am it was game on. And I was still in bed.

Arriving at the delightfully wrong time of 1:30pm, almost totally sober having drank just one beer, we sailed through the doors, passed the unexpectedly jovial ticket-checker, straight to the bar, the toilet and then into action for Ricardo.

Mr V started off (for my starting time anyway) with some rather tough beats. One of the usual delights of the fabric birthdays are the odd recognisable tracks that you wouldn’t necessarily expect, and Ricardo swiftly delivered with Human Resource’s Dominator.

I cannot work out which mix it was but the above is my best guess.

His mixing was his usual teasing best – I don’t recall hearing any fuck-ups, albeit I didn’t catch all of his set. He was very much on form.

Being on form, he took us through a variety of styles – one particular bass-driven track with a fair amount of rapping over it – not a million miles away from grime/bass was a particularly surprising highlight – he took us through various strains of techno and house, with a touch of minimal though he rarely seems to play minimal nowadays, at least on the all too-rare and seemingly only annual occasions that I catch him.

My quickly-discovered insobriety, thought it could hear samples from Chaka Khan, and I do recall trying to explain to my gay friend that I could hear Mousse T’s “I’m Horny”…not quite sure what he made of my mumblings. I’m almost certain both were figments of my imagination.

He finished on the delightful Dance With Numbers.

Which I sung as loud as I could.

Then Apollonia came on it took it very much in a house direction – the total opposite of Villalobos’s variety show. It was welcome at first, with my desire to dance being at its peak. One of the three was playing some really good house tracks, I think Dyed Soundorom but I’m really not sure – one was boring me.

Unfortunately 5 hours of the same flip-flop house sound was far too much and I ended up leaving around 8pm to get the tube and train back to the dump I live in.

I’d say around 6pm I wanted a change, and by 7pm I had lost interest. They have a pleasant rounded sound but coming after the ingenuity of Ricardo it did become rather flat.  I do think that they would really come into their own at a festival in the sunshine.

We did briefly pop upstairs for the Jamie Jones/Craig Richards back-to-back but the sound-system seemed unusually quiet, though maybe this was simply due to comparing it to the beast of room 1.

I wish I could have stayed at least for Paranoid London – and certainly for Prosumer who has hugely impressed me these last two years, especially with his fabric CD.

Alas I had a 2 hour journey that I decided to make into a 3 hour journey by getting a lift from a sober friend to Paddington, except he then decided he didn’t have time so dropped me off at Angel. Which apparently is not on the circle line any more (who moved it?) cue 3 tubes, a train and a 30 minute walk. Still…last time I went to London it took me 6 hours to get home so a vast improvement.

After the troubles that fabric suffered at the hands of the fun police earlier this year, it was particularly touching and heart-warming to be celebrating their birthday.

I’ve been going to most of them since around number 7, two-thirds of them I guess, and for me it is the closest one can come to a clubbing pilgrimage to say thank you for all their effort and dedication since 1999.

Am I too old for clubbing? I cannot see a time when I will ever be too old for fabric’s birthday on a Sunday. As long as Ricardo is playing, I have most of my organs and fabric is alive, then I will endeavour to attend.

Next up – Jeff Mills at the Barbican. I get to sit down!

Thank you dear fabric and all involved.

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