“ 63b Clerkenwell Road, EC1. On Sundays. Info: 0207 607 5700 „
Trade has been running for 10 years now, and has been through a lot. Careers have been born, entire music genres have been created, matured and gently laid to rest as a result of the place, conveniently located in a grotty area of Clerkenwell. London Borough of Islington closed the Clerkenwell Road bridge for a number of years and by the time they'd reopened it, the area was up-and-coming and hugely expensive. The Nimbys who moved into fashional loft apartments which had just been built proceeded to try and remove the club's licence each time it was applied for, complaining that they had nowhere to park the 4x4 whcih they bought specially for the school run and to go to Tesco's. The nearest supermarket, incidentally, is in even grottier Old Street, and it's Somerfield. They hadn't reckoned on that. Anyway, back to the club, which saw the immeasurable rise of melodic house, leaving straight clubs paddling in its wake. DJs like Tony de Vit would play 12 hour sets to a hardcore audience of clubbers who would go for the music. If they pulled, that was all well and good, but first and foremost was dancing in the sunken pit which is the dancefloor, watching as they laser made crazy patterns on the wall and in their minds. As time move on, so did the clubbers, and Tony moved onto bigger things, taking his music to straight venues, playing across the globe. As new DJs took his place, they brought with them different music, and not all of it was good. What once had been pioneering became bland, repetitive and uninspiring. DJs became nameless... one DJ could be any other. Once clubbers could name each DJ and when they were playing - and would clap them on the back as they emerged from the DJ box. Trade Lite moved from an informal corner of the café upstairs to a separate room beside the main dancefloor - in what was once the Big Issue offices. The grim toilets half way down the stairs became supplemen
ted by sparkly new toilets off the second room. A raid by the local constabulary netted big time drug dealers, and subsequent searches became almost oppressive... checking, for example, that your Smint container really contains Smints. And yet still it goes on; clubbers still do stuff and people remain happy; the music remains bland and people still love it. And the 30 degree sunshine which batters clubbers when they emerge from the place at 1.30 on a Sunday afternoon in June and July never changes. The only thing worse than that is having to scrape ice off the car when you emerge from a night-time club in winter.