London became that little bit more dull and crappy yesterday, as it was announced that one of the world’s most revered clubs is closing with almost immediate effect. The team behind Plastic People in Shoreditch have confirmed that the club won’t reopen in 2015, save for a friends and family party on Saturday titled Last Dance. It’s not known why the club’s resilient long-term owners have decided to shut the venue, but club manager Charlotte Kepel has stated simply that ‘It felt right to move on.’
Despite having had its license reviewed by Hackney Council in 2010, Plastic People hadn’t appeared to be on the critical list, making last night’s news something of a shock. Originally based on Oxford Street, Plastic People relocated to a Shoreditch basement on Curtain Road in 2000. Thanks to the slow and methodical installation of its PA by owner Ade Fakile, the venue soon acquired a reputation as one of the greatest sound systems in the world, and attracted a fiercely loyal, friendly and music-loving crowd as a result. Some of the country’s best DJs have held down regular slots there, from Four Tet, James Blake, Andrew Weatherall, Theo Parrish to current resident Floating Points.
It also played an embryonic role in UK dance music, thanks to seminal dubstep and grime night FWD>>. This hugely influential weekly bass-fest acted as a cauldron for the myriad of UK bass genres, and also proved to be the home of one of London’s last great musical scenes – a place where like-minded artists and fans could meet and create music and friendships alike.
For lovers of London nightlife and club culture, the news serves as a bitter hangover following the merriment of NYE and NYD. Coming amidst some truly savage culls in London’s nightlife venues at the moment, Plastic People’s closing makes one wonder whether any clubs will still be open for NYE 2015.
By Oliver Keens