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London’s lost nightclubs in pictures

A new book by DJ and writer Dave Haslam offers a fascinating glimpse into London’s clubbing history. These exclusive extracts and photos tell the story of three lost London venues

By Tristan Parker

Journalist and writer Dave Haslam is well-placed to document the history of UK nightlife. A former resident DJ at seminal Manchester club The Haçienda, he's also spent decades researching the subject. We asked him to tell us more about three rare photos, taken from his book, showing London clubs from across the decades.

‘Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues’ is published on Thursday August 13 by Simon & Schuster

Leigh Bowery and Trojan at Taboo club, 1985
David Swindells


‘Trojan, Nicola Bateman and Leigh Bowery at Bowery’s Taboo club in 1985. To gain entry, he said: “Dress as though your life depends on it, or don’t bother.” Later in the decade, the rave revolutionaries would, for better or worse, dress down, partly as a reaction against the style-heavy clubs.’

ufo club, life after dark
Adam Ritchie

UFO Club

‘UFO sprang out of the underground magazine International Times in December 1966. A psychedelic happening on Friday nights at an Irish club called the Blarney on Tottenham Court Rd, with Pink Floyd and Soft Machine regular performers. On the right of this photograph is John ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins; a prime mover in both IT and UFO, he died earlier this year.’
cy laurie, life after dark
Charles Hewitt / Getty Images

Cy Laurie’s jazz club

‘In the basement of a building in Ham Yard, clarinettist Cy Laurie hosted all-nighters. This was 1954. George Melly and his friends called these events “raves”. Ten years later the basement housed the Scene club, “A focal point for the mod movement”, according to Pete Townshend of The Who.’

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