Over the last decade London has seen a vast array of its iconic clubs shut down. Whether this has been due to the weakened economic climate or personal decisions made by its owners, ravers & late night dance fanatics have had a swift reduction in what has been some of the best platforms for electronic music. Trackitdown has decided to undertake a showcase of some of the most iconic venues credited for pushing the electronic music scene to new heights. With London becoming more & more crippled by the lack of high end club spaces, we wanted to re-live some of the components which inspired & enhanced the British music entertainment sector.
Our first installment will focus on ‘The Den’ better known as ‘The End’ on West Central St.
Not many clubs in London have been able to replicate the magic experienced at The End. The club, a joint venture between Mr C and Layo (of Layo & Bushwacka) opened in 1995 and formally closed in 2009.
After almost 14 years, the converted underground station was home to some of the most iconic dance events around. This included: Bugged out, Circo Loco, Chew the fat!, Deep Dish, Dj Marky & friends, FWD, Jaded, Lovebox, progression Sessions, Ram Records, Renegade Hardware, Shogun Audio, Soma, V Recordings & many more. For many, this was the best club in London. Their reputation was well recognised globally & as expected, they hosted some of the best DJ’s from all spectrums of dance music. Just thinking about The End brings me back to some Nostalgic moments. If you ever had the pleasure of descending into its arena, you’l remember the smokey double arched main room. Although two rooms separated, the 360 degree DJ booth was the focal point (of the main room) which allowed both sections to interact with the selector. It was without a doubt a mid-sized club with a unique atmosphere, no doubt assisted by their custom built Thunder-ridge sound system.
The End had something special. It was home to great music with Techno & House on Saturday nights; Drum & Bass & breakbeat on Fridays; as well as indie on Mondays & a host of other genres on weekends such as Dubstep. Looking back at some of the old flyers is giving the Trackitdown team some real goose bumps. Its almost overly distracting whilst this article is being written as all we can talk about is the good times. What people have to remember is that although many of the Dj’s who played at The End are now better recognised & to some degree commercial, back then this was the underground movement.
“Since its opening in 1995, many DJs played at significant points in their careers. Roni Size won the Mercury Music Prize whilst hosting a residency at the club in 1997. Fatboy Slim was resident at the club when he went to number one in the UK charts in 1998, Layo & Bushwacka! released album Lowlife in 1999, Zero 7 were residents at the club for two years in the run-up to the 2001 release of Simple Things, Scissor Sisters played their first UK gig at the club, and Erol Alkan went from being chosen as Best Breakthrough DJ at the 2002 Muzik Awards through to winning Mixmag’s DJ of the year in 2006.”
For us at Trackitdown, the most important thing to remember is that The End is a fine example of the standards we should expect from venues, club sound systems, atmosphere & music quality. With that in mind, we recognise that this formula CAN & MUST be replicated Should London wish to uphold its reputation for pioneering music events.
Having decided to turn the building into a block of flats, The End officially closed in January 2009. Due to a slump in the property market. However, its developers decided to join forces with club promoters (John Alist) & opened the venue up for a short stint as The Den in May 2009.
Regardless of its closure, The end will be remembered as one of the best party spots ever curated. May its memory live on, the best are never be forgotten.