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West End Ghetto Moves East ::

Reported by Ben Stroud on October 17, 2008

London’s massively influential underground club Ghetto is relocating from Soho to the East End this December, after facing an uncertain future for years, caused by the Crossrail redevelopment plans for the whole of the Tottenham Court Road area.

The hugely popular basement venue remains best known for being the home of definitive electroclash club Nag, Nag Nag though also hosted alternative, predominantly queer events, seven nights a week for the last six years.

Speaking about the relocation this week, venue boss Tommy Moss told Pink News that Soho’s club scene is dwindling due to lack of venues and ‘soaring rents’ and suggested London’s gay scene is segmenting into three distinct areas.

‘Soho for the tourists and mainstream, Vauxhall for the late night sweaty dance clubs and The East End for the arty, studenty, wacky, weird and cutting edge stuff,” said Tommy, "So you know where Ghetto and Trash Palace fit into the picture; east east, east."

Ghetto promoter Jim Warboy, whose new night ‘The Cock’s Getting Dirty’ happens at the old venue biweekly on Fridays told Skrufff he’s excited by the changes, which also involve Ghetto’s sister club Trash Palace (which is also currently Soho based).

“I think the move East could be great for the Ghetto,” Jim predicted.

“They're going to fall into Islington which tends to be quite a helpful borough at the moment if people are running venues. One of the big problems right now in the West End and increasingly in Shoreditch and Hoxton is that they are getting very bureaucratic about licenses and the amount of fun we can have in venues.”

“I've been lucky enough to see the new venue that the Ghetto team are moving to and it looks like it's going to be amazing. They're going to have the equivalent of the Ghetto club downstairs and Trash Palace upstairs,” he said.

He was less sure about Tommy’s three-zone analysis, however.

“I’m very much part of the East End scene but I see it as much more diverse than something like the Vauxhall scene,” he suggested, “The East End feels much more post queer rather than gay.”

Gettin’ Dirty is also aiming to have a fresh music policy, with electro actively avoided, Jim stressed.

“Gettin Dirty is about the new end of bassy dance music - things like fidget house, bassline and other sounds that don't seem to quite fit into genres right now. I'm liking skippy rhythms, big basslines, and bits of vocals. It all feels like the new evolution from electro house and I can see a distinctly new direction emerging,” he said.

Jonty Skrufff (