London Social: Oval Space and Wildbunch
PUBLISHED: 16:06 07 November 2013 | UPDATED: 16:06 07 November 2013
Lorna Gangel reviews a club near an old gas works and a club for people with learning difficulties
Oval Space is a modern day epic. A setting for nu-wave Berlin inspired clubbing; where de-commissioned gas works grab your attention and remain peripherally as the night unfolds. Its terrace, with its warm, ethereal glow is both beacon – guiding trendy twentysomethings inside - and antithesis to the brutal landscape. Tipping its cap to London’s now defunct club The End, Oval Space’s insistence is on quality - and that includes the crowd. Sweaty, gurny club-heads need not apply. Its bookers select DJs like a papal conclave, attracting cultivated clubbers - earnest hipsters if you will. On my visit, a live art installation took centre stage directly behind the DJ, putting art and music side-by-side. It’s even bike friendly – so put that in your pipe and smoke it Watergate.
And they most certainly are. Wildbunch, a club night solely for people with learning difficulties is a heady experience. Held at Electrowerk, a warehouse-style club with a communal corridor, it gives clubbers the chance to meet friends, make friends and maybe even find love. But most of all it’s about having a rave. The night hosted some big and up-and-coming names from the learning disabilities circuit, all with dj support on-hand to help with any technical hitches. The atmosphere was charged, picture the scene; roly-polys on the dance floor, people ‘Gangnam styling’ with one arm in the air, another on their zimmer frame, it was pretty unique. Dragging the image of learning disability socials out of the community centre and into the clubs, the d word (disco) is forbidden and rightly so. Wildbunch rivals any of the top nights in the capital but don’t get your hopes up about going anytime soon, I hear the guest list is quite exclusive.
Biosphere, St John at Hackney, 7 nov, e9. Jaunt 6th Birthday with Octave One, Basing House, 9 nov, e2. Scared to dance, Moustache Bar, 9 nov, n16. Swing Dance, Royal Inn on the Park, 12 nov, e5. Paradox, The Egg, 12 nov, N7. Fledermaus, Trafik, 13 nov e5. Leaf and LWE Presents: CLR 7-10 Nov various locations.
Follow me @LondonSocial