South London's best clubs

Like a herd of hedonistic herbivores, the capital’s clubs have sought out fresh pastures south of the river. We map out London nightlife’s new southern stomping grounds

  • South London's best clubs

    Trouble Vision at Corsica Studios © Angela Mazur

  • If you’re still mourning the loss of London’s past venues then now’s the time to stop snivelling. Party people have tried for years to stamp the south on the map, but failed. But now savvy promoters have followed in the footsteps of Matter, the new superclub in North Greenwich, and have crossed the Thames. Where fantastic line-ups beckon, rave-chasers follow, so dust down your Oyster card and head south.

    Peckham and New Cross: The new Shoreditch
    Since the closure of the East London Line in December 2007, the clubbing majority has largely avoided New Cross and Peckham. The Amersham Arms is one of the only establishments left in New Cross offering hip late-night DJs, while in Peckham, warehouse labyrinth Area10 continues to host music and alternative performance. But the area’s isolation has given rise to another wave of more underground merrymakers. New artist-led project LuckyPDF is hoping to turn the area into an arty club hub once more. Among its many exhibitions in the lime-green Unity Centre, it throws monthly happening Nightfever where live bands meet Afro-inspired DJs and steaming noodles. There are also events at the Bussey Building, a looming former cricket bat factory that’s home to hundreds of artists. When the East London Line reopens in June 2010, the scene is set to erupt.

    Vauxhall: The latest hedonist hotspot
    For all the debauchery-friendly criteria it meets (late licensing, remoteness) Vauxhall is no longer home to London’s hip gay dance scene. But London’s venue shortage has seen brave promoters swoop in to snatch its high-capacity spaces. Hard dance night Twist carries on and on at Union; The End’s drum ’n’ bass monolith, Renegade Hardware, recently moved to Area and its sister venue, Fire, and neighbouring LED-wrapped space The Lightbox have seen techno parties like Cadence:1:2:3 come a-knocking. Ex-End residents and seminal electronic crew Bugged Out! also have a series of parties planned.

    Chew The Fat! moves to South London 

    London Bridge and Elephant & Castle: The new superclubland
    SeOne has lit the way for massive indoor dancefests, but now there are plenty of exciting arches jostling for attention. The End has divided into two: the first party, We Fear Silence, strikes up a fresh new shindig just a breath away at The Arches on Friday March 6 with Buzzin’ Fly ; the second, Shake It! , run by Layo, Bushwacka and former End manager Liam, shakes up The Southwark Arches the following night. In bordering Elephant & Castle, Ministry of Sound still pulls in the punters, but warehouse-style space Corsica Studios and The Coronet are the latest dance juggernauts attracting hipster record labels and parties such as Modular Records and Secretsundaze to its quarters.

    Brixton: The rediscovered rave destination
    In recent years Brixton has suffered from a glut of stale hip hop and drum ’n’ bass nights. 2009 is set to chart a buzzier course. Pioneering dubstep night DMZ still rumbles – and Torture Garden whiplashes – out of Mass every month. What’s more, The Fridge, once home to Soul II Soul and Escape from Samsara, has been revamped and was the setting last weekend for fluoro tastemaker Niyi’s cutting-edge 16+ party, Toys R Us. Similarly, Deadly Rhythm is taking its bassline-heralding nights to street-styled club Plan B, where its tip top guests can work the Funktion One soundsystem.

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