Hackney clubs

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Move over Shoreditch, Hackney is where the new party generation are heading

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    Buster Bennett, a Fresh Flesh dancer and Fonteyn at Images

    Sick of Shoho snootiness, early kick-out times and no free cashpoints, east-side promoters are pushing postcodes as well as boundaries and moving the wild fun further into Hackney.

    ‘Since announcing our night, we’ve found that most of the cool kids actually live around here,’ says ex-Computer Blue promoter Fonteyn. He’s joined forces with former Antisocial co-promoter Buster Bennett to launch Nuke ’Em All at the lap-dance joint Images (483 Hackney Rd, E2 9ED) on Saturday. ‘And there’s no Hoxton Triangle bullshit!’ Both hosted parties at Bar Music Hall and admit their new venue is a risk but reveal that, since they released their flyers, others have already tried to get in on their seedy hidden gem.


    There are plenty of other unpolished diamonds. Dalston basement club Bardens Boudoir (36 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ) is already established with a wealth of ace nights like the fortnightly Club Motherfucker to choose from, but daring promoters are taking lesser-known dives hostage, too. You can’t miss the neon-signposted Pier One Nightspot (93 Kingsland Rd, E8 2PB) which gets properly freaky on Wednesday 31 (the dress code is Tron Trash vs Hammer Horror) to electro house whoppers at Ultra Violent Gets Ultra Violet.

    Further up Stoke Newington High Street, the intimate underbelly of a friendly Jamaican restaurant, Passion (251 Amhurst Rd, N16 7UN) features the monthly Disco Bloodbath until 6am (next: November 3). On Saturday ace DJ Touché heads up their Hollywood horror-themed night, Living In A Disco.

    For impromptu parties, the Kingsland Road area is a hotspot; keep your ears peeled for happenings around Ridley Road Market. Above the shops in the old shopping centre is the Max Wigram Gallery Temporary Exhibition Space (not to be confused with their premises on New Bond Street) that’s used for art shows and after-parties. Another exhibition space-cum-party place resides on Shacklewell Lane. A rundown-looking shopfront, closed by day, turns into a secret exhibition space and scenester soirée by nightfall.

    Fancy throwing your own law-jumping shindig? Investigate the council blocks on Cambridge Heath Road. Apparently you can rent the scummy 250-capacity penthouse of one of them and hire bouncers to guard the back-door lift, where you’ll need a password to get in. Fewer risks await at sophisticated Broadway Market pubs the Cat & Mutton and The Dove, which are relaxed spots to sup at. Or make for the Jazz Bar (4 Bradbury Street, N16 8JN) for vintage vinyl and £4 cocktails. Its never-ending smoking area, outdoor table service and 3am licence make it a hip magnet. Venture past this cosy joint however, and there are open-all-hours speakeasy-style spaces where you can smoke indoors.

    There are more kicks over in Hackney Wick. Blaise Belleville, the 22-year-old behind All Ages Concerts, throws the crunk ’n’ bass danceathon Joyride at the Whitepost Lane Warehouse (formerly the Lord Napier pub) and the African Centre (286-290 Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 9DA). For a bargain £3 you can get down to local legends Faggatronix, Ronojoy, Skull Juice and Prancehall. Check myspace.com/joyridelondon for their next party.

    Skip past Passing Clouds (Richmond Rd, E8 4AA) and the Ada-hao Social Club (22 Ashwin St, E8 3DL), who host a Halloween party on Wednesday 31, and dash into The Dolphin (165 Mare St, E8 3RH), a Hackney institution that’s always open late and attracts many cool-meets-old-school types. Near Victoria Park you’ll find The Lauriston (162 Victoria Park Rd, E9 7JN): drop in for Elliot Eastwick's hilarious pop quiz on the first and third Wednesday each month. Which brings us back to Images, where Nuke ’Em All explodes in a wash of neon, nudity and zombified, spontaneous indulgence on Saturday. ‘It’s a whole new era,’ muses Fonteyn. ‘We’re basically creative refugees, but now we’ve got a really late licence, a great soundsystem and amazing futuristic music coming through. It’s perfect.’

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Isabella Di Franco
Isabella Di Franco

Glad to see TO highlighting the creative exodus North of Shoreditch (NoSho). Its only a matter of time. There's so much happening up in Hackney though, just check out the 2008's East Festival maps.