In Pictures: Fabric 14th Birthday

Posted By: The Wild Times

Words+Pictures: Nick Ensing

On Saturday 19th October, London's electronic mecca, Fabric, opened its doors to host their 14th birthday extravaganza - a 30 hour musical marathon through the realms of house, techno and all sorts of wondrous surprises and sonic oddities in-between. Yes, we're a bit late getting this on here (sorry!) but our correspondent has now loaded some pictures and words documenting his highlights of the night/morning/day/night/morning...

Fabric 14th Birthday. Traditionally an event that demands a good twenty-hours-or-more to do it justice - twenty two is your correspondents current record. Blast off was 11pm Saturday and re-orbit was scheduled for 5am Monday. Calculations suggest a 7am Sunday morning arrival to ensure being around for the last song.

This is a good time to arrive - the queue is no longer round the block and entry is swift. Once inside, Room Two is still going almost deafeningly to the techno rhythms of Marcel Dettmann. Most attention however has switched to Room One - Ricardo Villalobos is in full swing in eclectic and breathtaking style.

The crowd of all nations mills about and presses against all four sides of the booth, peering in or hands raised at the front. Inside, Ricardo moves frenetically back and forth between the decks and his hoard of vinyl stowed in their golden lit trough. These are records in well thumbed, worn and tattered sleeves from god knows what source or origin - no shazaming will reveal these babies.

Outside the booth, the lights arc and twist in time to the music in blues, reds and yellows. The crowd pulsates all the way to the back and spills onto the packed stage.

Moving back and out to take a look at Room Three, the staff are in fancy dress and so is Seth Troxler and a gaggle of fabric family and friends. We catch sight of someone in traditional Bavarian costume, a cast member from Thunderbirds and a giant walking banana.

After Ricardo's wooing of the crowd it's Craig Richards' turn to take control of Room One - the intensity does not drop. For me, this was one of Craig's best ever sets, typical of his broad and deep knowledge of house and its antecedents. Craig plays for a good four hours and we are into Sunday afternoon and time for 'Crew Love' to take the reins. This equals Wolf + Lamb's Gadi playing with Soul Clap and a resultant riot of sound from Hip Hop through to House and Disco, and much in-between.

At 4pm the stage is cleared for No Regular Play to perform their live set. Greg Paulus combines trumpet and vocals while Nick de Bruyn injects their trademark evocative melodies. The duo are bathed in red light while the crowd move below them.

Soul Clap's Charles and Eli take over 'till 7pm and then Craig returns to carry on where he left off. At 9pm Zip makes his musical entrance and the crowd are still going strong, supplemented by fresh arrivals for the final stretch. The Perlon co-founder plays a typically mysterious mix of house (to rival Craig and Ricardo) to the crowds knowing appreciation.

The three of them bestride the long weekend like tall techy-ish titans. Ricardo takes over again until the early hours of Monday morning and then all three combine to stretch into the later hours as the sun rises outside in Clerkenwell.

After the main crowd has left the building there is something a bit more private to complete the celebrations and your correspondent can happily report that he has broken his previous 22 hour record! Yesss!!!

More pictures from the next dancefloor will be broadcast soon.

All Pictures by Nick Ensing

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