The Hydra @ Studio Spaces, London 03/10/2015

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I fancied some house music. The line-up was pretty awesome – Levon Vincent, Mr G and Move D are all producers/DJs that have really impressed me over recent years – I don’t recall having seen any of them so it was an excellent way to tick a few boxes, plus I’d never been to Studio Spaces – I had heard good reports about the venue.

And life is all about new experiences.

As such I started at the really rather hipster-like Peckham Springs which was a cute mostly-outdoor set-up, apparently with an art exhibition too though I never located it. It did come with moody barstaff and some of the worst chicken I have ever purchased. I stumbled out onto the last Overground train to Shadwell (hmmm a bit of a dive, and that is coming from someone from Hull, that lives in Bracknell) – I couldn’t see the screens though perhaps looking back at the photo, someone was playing games with me.

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Entry at Studio Spaces was pretty straight-forward – albeit it has been a while since I’ve been told to spread my legs. Though I did miss the last step on the stairs – I doubt I am the only one to do so. The cloakroom queue was short, and efficient…so far so good.

Having just met my best friend…who was 2 hours late…hmmm…and having loads to talk about, it would have been nice to have had somewhere to sit down, have a drink and a chat before getting on the dancefloor, but alas, the venue is just one big rave pit. Nowhere for us relative oldies to rest our legs.

So it was straight onto the dancefloor for Levon Vincent.

For me, he played the set of the night, with quite a few of his own excellent productions and it was pleasing to see how much appreciation the crowd had for his music – it was a fairly young crowd and for them to be excited about Levon Vincent is impressive…I doubt that could have been replicated 10 years ago which shows how much the music scene has come on in the age of the internet. I really wanted him to play his remix of Mike Dehnert’s Umlaut2 – but alas he didn’t, at least when I was on the dancefloor.


I wasn’t so keen on Mr G, which surprised me – although a couple of other people in the crowd I spoke to said he was their favourite of the night. I put it down more to me – and the effect of the heat as by this point it was fucking hot, and I was struggling to spend more than 20-30 minutes at a time on the dancefloor.

The excessive heat and total lack of air conditioning did start to grind me down and it was at this point that other factors also started to annoy me.

Toilets. Why were there only two cubicles for guys in the whole place? I’m guessing the venue had 1,500 people. It was worse for girls – only about 20% of the crowd were girls so if there had been anywhere close to 50% then the wait for the ladies would have been horrendous. The venue was a bit rough too – yeah I know it’s a warehouse set-up so I should have known better but I am used to the comforts of fabric and the like.

And if you are going to insist on not switching on your air conditioning (the bain of my life), then at least provide somewhere comfortable to sit down and chill out – a concrete stage in the bar area doesn’t quite count as comfort.

Top marks though for the people in the bar area for organising a limbo dance which most amused us when the annoyances were getting to us – the music in the bar area was often good, with the disco particularly welcome. A shame it didn’t go on until the end though at least the security didn’t stop us from sitting on the concrete stage when the lights were up. The security and staff in general were welcoming and helpful.

It was around this point when I walked back into the main room to hear Move D playing The Streets – Original Pirate Material.

Had it come to this? It was now more a case of survival – endurance over enjoyment, although Move D did play some really good tracks – my spirits were flagging…and I was becoming tempted just to get a taxi to fabric.

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Yeah I know I should have attempted to take a proper photo of the club if I’m going to do a write-up!

The soundsystem was generally punchy and clear, though there were a couple of spots away from the main dancefloor were it wasn’t calibrated correctly with the beats seemingly arriving at slightly different times. Just an imperfection, it was mostly good sound quality…I am sure we have all been to warehouse-style venues with shit sound and this absolutely was not the case.

The crowd were…hmmm…young. Some of them a little immature and annoying, but mostly up-for-it party-goers and we did get talking to a few really decent people. Thankfully a lack of the sleazebags of certain clubs…when you go clubbing with arguably the most beautiful woman in the club, you notice these things. I can handle an occasional grope (it is fairly rare although the mullet does seem to have an effect on women…this is scary) but if I had to fight off attractors all night then it would really piss me off. Nightclubs are for dancing.

We left early (ish) and it took me 6 hours to get home. Don’t ask. 3 taxis, 2 trains, 1 bus and a lot of walking, after ensuring my best friend made it safely home…being even more pickled than I was. Significantly. I have to say a massive thank you to our black cab driver who was so patient with us and an absolute gentleman. It is wholeheartedly true that the service you get from black cabs is a premium service.

So am I too old for clubbing? Well, I’m too old for this kind of party. I doubt that I will be going to Studio Spaces again.

I wouldn’t want to put anyone off either the venue, and certainly not The Hydra. Both have a lot going for them, and offer a hell of a lot more than what goes on in my local town. If it hadn’t been so hot inside, I probably would have got a lot more enjoyment out of it.

If you just want to get fucked, have a rave, and can cope without your comforts then definitely give it a whirl.

But it isn’t for me. I’ll give it 5.5 out of 10.

Next up…maybe fabric’s birthday…on the Sunday. If I still have any money left. Or brain cells.

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