London Social: Netil House and Passing Clouds

Passing Clouds

Passing Clouds - Credit: Archant

With late licenses hanging in the balance for bars old and new, I’ve decided to showcase two venues that put the patchwork community of Hackney at their heart.

Netil House

Shrugging off its former image as a ‘member’s only’ club, its new permutation puts inclusivity, rather than exclusivity at its vanguard.

Looking like a run-down, 50’s style office block from the outside, Netil House is a lesson in never judging a club by its cover.

A creative warren, it houses studios galore. But I’m not here for art – it’s the basement I’m interested in.

Attracting the biggest names on the underground scene for club nights (Boiler Room) and music videos (James Blake, SBTRKT), it’s a struggle not to name drop.

But it’s the work Netil House does to support fledgling artists and charities alike that really does it proud.

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Rallying locals to get involved by bridging the gap between residents past and present, Netil House manages to strike harmony ­between the A-list and the Altruistic.

Passing Clouds

After walking the length and breadth of Kingsland Road in my brand new cowboy boots, I finally stumbled upon Passing Clouds, tucked-away, deliberately hidden from open view.

With sore feet, I hobbled into the main room where live reggae and the sensual swaying of the crowd had me immediately intoxicated.

Upstairs the tipsiness continued as smells of home cooking and smiles from locals topped up my inebriety.

Forgetting my poorly tootsies I danced and whirled into the night. It was only once I’d left, I realised I hadn’t drank a drop. And that in short is the secret to Passing Clouds. An emphasis on quality music, attracting the right people and practicing ‘karma culture’ gives it a soul and spirit that many others could and should learn from.

Lorna’s Listings

Ghostpoet (Soundcrash), The Hackney Empire, E8, ­today (Thursday).

CatBeat, Slim Jims Liquor Store, N1. Radio Slave, Ripperton, DJ Sprinkles: Oval Space, tomorrow (Friday).

Paper Dress Presents: The Ramshackle Union Band/ Strange Seas, EC2A. The Old Queen’s Head, Boogaloo Bingo, October 28, N1.

Slimelight, Wildbunch ­October 30, EC1.

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