fabric | December 26th
It was an almost sinister walk through Farringdon in the post-Christmas lull. The cold wind whipping around each corner, the streets were utterly dead. That’s until we reached the peerless fabric nightclub, a beacon in the void. Anyone with any fight left in them had come to dance off the holiday weight at the annual Rinse Xmas party, and dance they did.
Featuring every DJ on the Rinse FM station on one bill, we were in for a monstrous long-haul line up of over 40 acts, spread over three rooms. When you’ve started life as a pirate radio station, and over the course of an 18-year journey become an internationally-renowned beast of the airways, creating solid platforms for the promotion, consumption and growth of underground music, whilst staying true to the cause at every turn … well, you’ve more than earned the right to a monster end-of-year blow out. And a pat on the back while you’re at it.
Keeping track of acts was a near-impossible feat, the vibe of each room constantly morphing and eclectic to effortlessly prevent any staleness, spanning nigh on the full spectrum of bass and electronic music, though largely centred on the station’s signature grasp of garage and grime at its finest. Roaming around fabric has, and always will be, amazing fun, no matter what sonic delights are lurking in each room, but darting back and forth to catch this or that Rinse DJ had us on our toes like a hyperactive kid in a sweetshop. Room 1 DJs came largely accompanied by an MC, the tough rhythms of Roska a particular stand out. Other unforgettable showings across the venue came from acts such as Dismantle, the man behind May’s exceptional addition to the Rinse Presents series Brackles, grime’s current golden boy Royal-T emphatically living up to the hype, station stalwart Dappa, MC / blogger extraordinaire Tippa and, of course, Monday night staple, the brilliant Youngsta.
Keeping to one room was difficult, staying static whilst in any room was impossible. Such strength across the board meant it almost didn’t matter who you were watching, though in the back of your mind would be a nagging curiosity about who you were missing.
Individual tracks stick out, such as the unabashed blast of The Big Bad Wolf by Duck Sauce sending Room 2 through the roof, and as we progressed towards our 7am the night merged into one noodle-legged, beaming-grinned blur of awesomeness.
- – - – - – - – -
Words: Claude Barbé-Brown