- In the time it's taken me to get 'round to writing my take
on Gatecrasher, they've gone from weekly to monthly and clubland
is in trouble. These days the management are charging £18+
for 'crasher yet nothing, zippo, nada for their other Saturday
nights, (S1 1DJ).
Just as Insomniacz announced that it wants to become a super club,
again, (see Insomniacz review),
this super club looks like it's become a pooper club.
The Republic is a nicely appointed large-ish club with good sound
system and lights, featuring some well known DJs playing commercial
UK trance and, more latterly, some harder sounds.
Despite this, when I went I found it over-priced and over-packed:
no room on the dance floor to dance, so you ended up in the lobby
bit between the main floor and the Plasma Lounge.
Some (but only some) of the cyber kids had a ba-a-a-a-d attitude
problem, possibly engendered by over use of, or dealing in, mood-altering
substances. Lots of other people were very friendly though.
They seem to have brought their opening times forward to 8pm and
none of their material that I've seen mentions a closing time,
a ploy some clubs use when they're not sure how many punters they'll
get in, giving them the flexibility to close "early"
if the numbers don't warrant keeping the place open later. To
be fair, their more recent events do state a closing time of 6am.
My main memory: some managerial woman telling me to put away my
glowsticks. Needless to say I've not been for some time. Gatecrasher
can't be that bad though- they made Eddie
Halliwell a resident!.
For related insights also read my reviews of Good
grew out of Gatecrasher's determination to get rid of many of
its customers, and S1
A look at their website (15.06.03) was revealing:
- Out of date pics and events info.
- A nannyish dress code which reads as folows:
"WE AT GATECRASHER APPRECIATE GLAMOUR AND ORIGINALITY- OUR
DRESS-CODE IS BEST DESCRIBED AS "FRESH & FUNKY CLUBWEAR".
SOME WEEKS A SPECIFIC "DRESS-CODE DIRECTION" IS APPLIED
(EG. RED & BLACK). JUNE 29TH WE ARE PUTTING ON A "WHITE
PARTY" THE LAW IS TO WEAR AT LEAST ONE ITEM OF WHITE CLOTHING.
AS A GENERAL RULE: NO KICKERS, ROCKPORTS OR TIMBERLAND SHOES, NO
SPORTSWEAR, SMART CLEAN CLUBBING TRAINERS ARE IDEAL. PLEASE AVOID
ANY HEAVILY BADGED TOPS (YSL, RALPH LAUREN, BEN SHERMAN ETC) OR
ANY CHECKED SHIRTS."
"Fresh clubwear"? ! ... better make sure you're
wearing clean undies then. Gives a whole new meaning to the concept
of sniffer dogs! No wonder Insomniacz, another club which grew out
of a reaction to 'crasher, stated their dress code as: "None
- it's a club not a classroom".
Rather than focusing on their Sheffield club, the management now seem
to be capitalising on the club's past reputation and trying to build
a "global brand" by operating events abroad - many in the
USA, a market UK dance music producers and promoters have been trying
to crack for quite a while, with only limited success so far. Possibly
the first to try this was Darren Hughes, ex-Cream,
with his clubs, Home, based in London, New York and
Sydney. This all went tits up when Home in Leicester Square seemed
incapable of controlling drug-dealing on the premises and so lost
its license, an issue which plagued a number of the "super"
clubs at the beginning of the 00s, as there were a number of police
raids and actions around the UK at the same time pushing these large
venues to get a grip on in-house dealing.
Overall Gatecrasher was a very successful club at one time, (late
1990s to early 00s), providing the North of England with mainstream
commercial trance, but which seemed to lose the plot... and a lot
of its customers... at a time when there seemed also to be a seismic
shift in the clubbing market. A less succesful attempt at repositioning
than God's Kitchen.
To experience a club which sustains the intense loyalty of its clubbers
throughout the Midlands, doing pretty much the same as 'crasher used
to do before it lost its way, go to Passion.