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The house of Turnmills

Reported by e99 / Submitted 13-09-06 19:31

Turnmills has always been a London clubbing institution — the original Farringdon superclub which has always kept itself on the cutting edge of dance music. It gained its world-wide reputation on the strength of two legendary nights which helped to shape the sound of hard music. Trade, one of London’s earliest legal afterparties, is generally cited as the birthplace of hard house, and The Gallery has always been a champion of various styles of tougher music, and of course a world leader for trance. However, house music events have played an increasingly important part in the club’s success since the mid ‘90s, and still form an integral part of its eclectic schedule.

The club night that really laid the foundations for Turnmills’ house music affair was the legendary Heavenly Social. It was a rather more eclectic affair than most of the club’s current roster, and it laid the foundations for clubs like Fabric and Trash with its eclectic musical policy that would see djs like Jon Carter, Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers throw together rock, hip-hop, reggae, electro, breakbeat, indie, techno and anything else that would get people dancing and shaking their arses. It started off life as a Sunday afternoon mash-up at The Albany on Great Portland Street, and after 2 years of extremely sordid parties there and at Smithfields in Clerkenwell, it went for the big time and moved to Turnmills in 1996. It ran for 3 years and hosted some of the most debauched parties in the club’s history.

Once it had vacated the venue, Headstart was set up to fill the slot, with djs like Josh Wink and Groove Armada as residents. It took some of the ideas of the Heavenly Social, but plumbed for a deeper, heavier sound that was more centered around house and techno. Once superclub Fabric opened in October in 1999, and many of Turnmills’ regular djs went to play there, the Turnmills crew decided to focus on big house sounds for their Saturday night timetable. London Calling was set up on to bring big international djs to the club and to forge a new identity for its Saturday night schedule. A cosmopolitan crowd turned would turn up to the various themed nights (i.e. Paris Calling, Ibiza Calling, Milan Calling etc.), and the night was a roaring success for 3 years, with the legendary Danny Rampling as resident. There was hardly anyone else bringing in big guests from around the world on a regular basis at the time. It was this event that really kicked off Turnmills’ relationship as a bastion of house music, on par with London’s other big house music venue Ministry of Sound. The night was rebranded as Metrogroove in 2003, retaining most of the same elements — including Rampling at the helm.

City Loud took the next spot on Turnmills’ house music timeline, with former Ministry of Sound resident CJ Mackintosh providing the dj backbone to the night. “That was all through Toni Tamborine [former promoter, currently press officer for Defected]. I got a call from my management asking me if I was up for a residency in London at Turnmills for this new night.”

The musical policy was all about good solid house — uplifting but with a hint of dirtiness. Danny Newman, the director of Turnmills, and Toni gave CJ more or less a free reign to do what he wanted with the music at the night. “At the time there was this gap in London that needed to be filled which was a slightly tougher and more uplifting side to house. That’s pretty much what I felt they wanted me to do and was quite happy to do it.”

As the vogue in house music shifted towards dirtier and more electro-led sounds throughout the Noughties, Turnmills adapted its schedule to incorporate some of these styles — but without forgetting the central theme. Nights like UP^^ and Smartie Partie take in a wide range of house music, not caring two hoots for pigeon-holing — and have resulted in some of the freshest sounding parties around.

Smartie Partie, now in its 11th year, was set up by former Ministry of Sound percussionist Trace — almost by accident. “I got a gig in the main room one weekend when Ministry was still very mighty and powerful.” he recalls. “I was so chuffed, and so I invited loads of my old mates from Essex to come on the night. 4 full coaches turned up, with about 220 people altogether.” Around this time, Trace was just getting together with his girlfriend who he met through working with Ministry. After clocking the number of people who had come down to see him play and doing some quick sums in her head, she suggested later that night that he should put on his own event.

After 5 years of rocking parties at the venue, and several years of Smartie Parties in various different London venues, Trace was approached by Danny Newman to bring his event to the venue. What started off as an occasional Saturday night affair, 4 or 5 times a year, has now turned into one of the club’s most successful monthly events. “We initially ran the night with no flyers or promotion – just using our database of former attendees and friends. We rammed the club the first night we did it and we are still doing so — with our 11th Birthday coming up in November” he beams, proud of the way his party has managed to stay independent over the years.

UP^^, a joint venture between Matthew Duffield of the Sedition DJs Agency and Will Paterson of Frantic, has its second birthday just round the corner. It has steadily grown in proportion since its early days at smaller venues like Club Aquarium, and hosting rooms for the likes of Ministry of Sound. It now boasts 4 rooms, with some of the biggest names in house music playing guest slots. Its distinct lack of musical prejudice within the house music spectrum comes as a breath of fresh air in a city where too many nights take a narrow-minded approach to musical policy.

Turnmills have never been ashamed of their desire to bring the world’s biggest djs to their club or for not being too ‘underground’, and it was this attitude that lead them to focus entire nights around a single dj. Roger Sanchez’s Release Yourself parties are amongst the busiest nights the club hosts, and now with Sandy Rivera’s Blackwiz parties, the theme continues. It allows these world-class djs to demonstrate why there are where they are today, by giving them extended sets to really show their skills as musicologists properly. “It was crazy!” exclaims Sandy, King of Tomorrow, of classy house music and of large afros. “We had 2 performances: one was myself singing a track called ‘I Wanna’ which a new duo called Red Eleven produced, which is also appearing on my new album — it’s a bit on the rock side of things!”

It’s clear that it’s not only the clubbers who enjoy these extended solo sessions though. “The best thing for me at the launch night was the last 3 hours where I was able to play deep, dark and dirty tracks. I didn’t want it to finish! The club is made for good old underground music and I love that. The lights, the crowd, the system . . .”

House music is an integral part of Turnmills’ success in 2006 — a vital ingredient in its eclectic musical blend that draws in such a wide cross-section of clubbers. 10 years on from The Heavenly Social and the venue is still a bastion for good quality, underground dance music, resting on a solid foundation of house.

Photos courtesy of Paul Underhill and Turnmills. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Saturday 16th September
At: Turnmills [map]

From: 22:00 - 06:00
Cost: Limited £12 in Advance / £15 all others
Ticket Info: Turnmills
63B Clerkenwell Road, London. EC1
Capacity: 1000
Info: 020 7250 3409
Tube: Farringdon
Doors: 10pm - 6am
Prices: Limited £12 in Advance / £15 all others
Advanced Tickets: // 08700 600100
Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
More: One of house music's all-time greats, Sandy Rivera returns to Turnmills this Autumn to present his 2nd exclusive BLACKWIZ party and a very special 6 Hour Set. The afro-haired Rivera is also of course the man behind Kings of Tomorrow and it's under this much-loved moniker that's he's brought us such dancefloor bombs as Finally, Don't Stop, Dreams, Changes and I Can't Stop. Blackwiz meanwhile is the name of Sandy’s record label – which he first launched back in 1994 originally as a hip hop label. 12 years on, Sandy is breathing new life into the label with this hot new London residency and new wave of music. Look out for a very special Live PA on the night from the artist Hadar – who’ll be performing 2 tracks; Three Days (as featured on Sandy’s new Renaissance compilation) and I Can Feel It, which will feature on Sandy’s forthcoming artist album The Night (released later this year).

It was back in 2002 that Sandy first found fame under the name Kings of Tomorrow guise, with the release of ‘Finally’ – which is regarded as one of the greatest house tracks ever made. ‘Finally’ hit the top of every dance chart around the world, making Sandy an instant star overnight. “The success of Finally was kind of weird,” admits Sandy. “It was like the longest build up ever to a club anthem. People like Frankie Knuckles and Tony Humphries had been playing it for a year or so, often as the last record of the night, but it took a long time to really hit people.” And hit them it did. ‘Finally’ became one of the biggest-selling dance records of that year – a gold-plated house music anthem which picked up a clutch of gongs, including Muzik magazine’s Tune of the Year. Sandy has also produced many more dancefloor classics in his time such as the deep n’ devastating bass lines of ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘Dreams’ and ‘You’ve Been On My Mind’, or the soulful ‘I Hear My Calling’, ‘I Can’t Stop’ and ‘Young Hearts’. Then there’s ‘Changes’; which like Finally, still remains an essential crowd-pleaser. The Defected artist has also reached new heights more recently with his multi-selling ‘Trouble’ album, which spawned yet another cult single in ‘6am’.

Back to the programme now. So with Sandy working the floor in the main room with support from Andy Daniell, over in T2 the super-cool London label Freerange Records will be your hosts for a night of deep and twisted jackin’ underground house music. Freerange are held in high esteem by clubbers, DJs and critics alike, and their blend of dancefloor electronica is infused with jazz, funk and hip hop influences as well as having a distinctly leftfield edge. Artists as diverse and respected as Switch, Jesse Rose, Kirk Degiorgio, Jake Childs, Trevor Loveys and Mike Monday are among those who have contributed to the label and with a pedigree like this it’s no wonder Freerange are one of the hottest labels around for those in the know. They’ll be bringing their vibe to the dancefloor with residents Jimpster and Palm Skin at the helm. Jimpster aka Jamie Odell is the head honcho at Freerange, and together they are both members of highly acclaimed live band The Bays. Completing the line-up will be very special guest Milton Jackson - one of the leading lights on the Glasgow underground house scene.
Region: London
Music: House. Bouncy House. Deep House. Funky House. Prog House. Tribal House. Vocal House.
DJ's: Room 1:

Sandy Rivera (6 Hour Set)
Hadar (Live PA)
Andy Daniell

Room 2:

Hosted by Freerange Records
Milton Jackson (Freerange / Glasgow Underground)
Jimpster & Palmskin (The Bays)

Room 3:
Hosted by Funka Fellas
Funky Disciples
Richie E
Mr Chip

Who's Going? (2) : House Mouse, kinetec 

UP^^ 2nd Birthday
Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Saturday 23rd September
At: Turnmills [map]

From: 22:00 - 06:00
Cost: £15 before midnight / More After / £12 in Advance
Ticket Info: Turnmills, 63b Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5NP
22:00-06:00 / £15 before midnight / more after
Tickets £12 in advance from / 08700 600 100
For more information call 020 7247 4121 or visit
Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
More: Following a series of rockin’ parties over the last two years at venues like Egg, the Ministry of Sound and the White House, UP^^ returns to their spiritual home of Turnmills for their second birthday party and it looks set to be very special night. It was back in March that UP^^ firmly established itself as London’s hottest new house event with Shapeshifters, Full Intention and the Trophy Twins giving the UP^^ faithful the night of their lives. Now we’re back on Saturday, September 23rd to do it all over again with our infectious brand of fiercely funky house that’s all about big basslines, driving dirty house grooves and those special hands-in-the-air moments. It’s going to be proper, as they say.

Once again we’re planning a party of epic proportions and an all-star line-up has been assembled for the UP^^ second birthday. Headlining in the main room will be StoneBridge who hasn’t played much in London recently which makes September 23rd even more special and the former Hed Kandi favourite is itching to get back behind the decks at Turnmills. StoneBridge is the man behind floor-filling house anthems like ‘Put ‘Em High’ and ‘Take Me Away’ which were both Top 10 UK hits, and the Stockholm-based DJ and producer put Sweden on the dance music map long before the current Swedish house mafia came along.
Most recently he’s been working on his second artist album as well as releasing a double mix CD, ‘The Flavour The Vibe’, remixing everyone from Armand van Helden to Jewel and signing new artists to his Stoney Boy Music label. This boy’s on fire in other words and you can expect to hear a crop of exclusive new tracks as part of his set.

Joining StoneBridge will be Knee Deep, another of Europe’s most prolific production and remix outfits. The Hamburg-based duo of Sebastian Döring and Thorsten Friese, otherwise known as Superbird and Toddie, are highly respected among clubbers, critics and fellow DJs alike – check out their reworking of Afro Medusa’s ‘Pasilda’, in particular – and you can expect to hear a masterclass in house music. Closing the night will be UP^^ resident and the man behind Zipcode, Ben Dela-Peña with his trademark bumpy, chunky and dirty house beats tinged with a soulful flavour and an electro edge – keep your eye on this guy, he’s one of the hottest young talents around. Getting the party started right, meanwhile, will be Lee Jarvis, the Moochin head honcho and all-round gentleman around town, with jackin’ grooves of the highest order, and another young gun DeanJay from the Hot & Spicy crew. This line-up has been put together with one aim in mind – maximum dancefloor pressure!

There’s also something pretty special over in T2 with Hot & Spicy, one of London’s finest party crews, at the helm. Joining them will be Herd & Fitz who have just mixed the Ibiza-drenched ‘Subliminal Sunsets’ compilation for Erick Morillo’s label. Jason Herd and Jon Fitz are hot, hot, hot right now and if you think ‘I Just Can’t Get Enough’ was an anthem just wait till they drop their latest dancefloor bombs. With John Paul, Nick Hudson, Giro and Steve Rothery, plus Blondie and Kevin T playing back-to-back, representing Hot & Spicy you just know it’s going to rock in there and these guys have one of the most loyal crowds around.

UP^^ is all about the best new talent London has to offer too and that’s why we’ve chosen Kriss Darang vs Jnr J to headline the third room. The Just the One? residents are among the most popular DJs in town right now and their recent single, ‘Twisted’, has put them on the production map. Expect pumpin’ electro house action of the highest order as they join forces with DIRTYdubbin featuring Sleazy-G and Gavin Bellis playing back-to-back, Bumpy & Bones, Chef and Sweet Sarah. You can expect things to get pretty damn lively.

Finally, we welcome Tongue-in-Cheek back to the party. They did us proud back in March and this time around they’ll be making the upstairs Topfloor space their own for a night of tough and dirty electro house. Billy Gonzalez, Blondie, Cooley, Glu, Luke Danger, Oliver James and Relux will be your selectors.

So there you have it. UP^^ is back and back in style. It’s our birthday too and we’re going to party just the way we want to with a superb night of musical entertainment and house music at its very finest. Anyone who was at our recent UP^^ Summer Session smash-and-grab raid at the White House in Clapham will know UP^^ is not for wallflowers!

All in all, this promises to be a night to remember as UP^^ and Turnmills join forces for a night of freshest, sexiest and downright fiercest funky house around. We’ll get the champagne on ice, so all you need to do is dress up to get down, slip on your dancing shoes and make your way to the front. The only way is UP^^, baby… Dress to flirt!

For more information contact Chloe or Matthew at Politburo on 020 7247 4121 /

UP^^ is a Politburo event…
Region: London
Music: House. Bouncy House. Deep House. Funky House. Prog House. Tribal House. US House. Vocal House.
DJ's: T1:
Knee Deep
Ben Dela-Peña (Resident)
Lee Jarvis

Herd & Fitz
Hot & Spicy featuring John Paul
Nick Hudson
Steve Rothery
Blondie B2B Kevin T

Kriss Darang vs Junior J
DIRTYdubbin featuring Sleazy-G B2B Gavin Bellis
Bumpy & Bones
Sean Campbell
Sweet Sarah

Tongue-in-Cheek featuring Billy Gonzalez
Luke Danger
Oliver James

Who's Going? (4) : DeanJay, Frantic Amanda, juicyhotlips69, yvonnesexy 

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Other Features By e99:
Fergilcious: PunchFunk & Excentrik take over The Key
Baklash take over the IceBox at HeatUK Aftermath '07
Goodgreef take on Frantic at NYE-NEC
Trevor Rockcliffe — Proactive — HeatUK & The Gallery NYE — 'nuff said?
HeatUK Evolution: Natural Selection — a look at dance music’s gone-but-not-forgottens
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.

From: Dj Brad Lee on 14th Sep 2006 11:17.12
One if the best clubs in the world! The Sound system absolutley rocks!

From: klubkid on 14th Sep 2006 13:44.17
my 2nd home - grew up there!

From: Mike Harris on 14th Sep 2006 23:41.31
Its the best club ive been to in the UK, LOVE IT! Thumbs up

From: Mizz_behavin on 15th Sep 2006 09:12.21
I Heartbeat Turnmills, one of the best venues in London in my opinion. Whenever I have been there I have always had a wicked night no matter what party is being held there... From travelling down from Darby especially for Trade back in the day, to The Gallery and for Party Proactive now.
The atmosphere on that main room dancefloor is superb and the venue itself is excellent. Nuff respect innit

From: ajay on 15th Sep 2006 12:56.38
Legend of a club - will never ever forget playing that main room! Not worthy...

From: Becka on 16th Sep 2006 20:33.53
One of the best london clubs, music is of the upfront variety! My second home LOL nowdays!!

From: K8-e on 18th Sep 2006 23:02.43
The second proper club I ever went to for the Gallery. Some awesome memories. Not worthy...

From: Trade_UK on 19th Sep 2006 12:47.43
We have been very proud to have had Trade @ Turnmills for 16 years!. The upcoming Trade Birthday will be a blast Thumbs up

The Trade Collective

From: DMX on 25th Sep 2006 14:06.15
Turnmills is such a crap venue. Poor layout in the main room, for starters. Lazer hitting your back if you face the DJ?! What's that all about? It's a shame they have The Gallery there, as it puts me off going to what would otherwise be my most frequent night out. I don't like being barged constantly on the dancefloor, thank you very much!

The soundsystem isn't anything special either. Quite surprised by the overly positive comments above me which would seem to totally ignore the aforementioned negatives.

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