Monday, March 24, 2008

The Financial Times, of all papers, has a special feature covering the closure of four of London's superclubs to date, namely, The Cross, Canvas, The Key (all at King's Cross) and Turnmills, which shut its doors early this morning after one last mega weekender, called The Last Dance.

I get the economic rationale behind the closures. After all, if you, as a landlord, will be able to get ten times what you are making now in terms of rental merely by demolishing the existing property and building a new commercial development, then it would take a much stronger person than I would to stand in the way of progress.

But I am not a landlord. I am a music and clubbing lover. And I hate that so many places with history and memories are being torn down for soulless office skyscapers. I love that the buildings in London are so low compared to Singapore. But it doesn't look like it will stay that way for long.

I went to The Light Restaurant & Bar in Shoreditch yesterday evening. The Light Bar, formerly the premises of the Great Eastern Light Company, is a historical building on Shoreditch High Street, and is currently under threat as the Hackney Council wishes to site a 51-storey hotel where the bar is located, as well as on the adjacent site.

I have never been to a club like The Light before. The restaurant and bar are located on the ground floor, with the dance floor located upstairs in what I imagine is the attic, as the wooden rafters are clearly visible. There's even a rooftop terrace where you can survey the rest of Shoreditch from. It's such a refreshing change from every other club you usually get in London. And in spite of its prime location, I found the prices rather reasonable. The prices of bottled beers ranged from £3 to £3.75 (San Miguel was £3.20 while Fruli was £3.40) while a glass of red wine was £2.25. The bar staff were quite friendly too. I can't quite comment on the music as I was there on a special night (and which will be reviewed in a later post) but suffice it to say that if a DJ of that calibre likes this bar, then truly, this bar not only has historical significance by virtue of what it used to be, but also by who has played there.

Anyway, I will end off here. I am getting tired of the increasing commercialisation of the city, a little odd if you consider that I probably am one of the contributors to it given what I do and the fact that I moved here quite recently. But, as a fellow clubber put it last night, when I said, "Well, I guess I can't complain so much... I'm practically a tourist," "Not at all. You live here. You are a Londoner!"

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