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@ The Fridge

Monthly, Saturday, 10pm to 7am
Prices from £10; usually £18
A Fridge by any other name,
is still a Fridge

October 2003 marks Twisted's fifth birthday, a healthy lifespan for a club and better than many, so these guys must be doing something right. It's a monthly hard house night from 10pm to 7am now at The Fridge. The Fridge has a large auditorium with stage as well as a balcony area. A number of promoters have used the venue for their nights, and it is well known, having a following loyal to the venue.

Recently, the management of The Fridge were reported to have announced that they would be reducing the number of hard dance events at the venue, so when I went to Twisted, run by promoter Micky, in August 2003 I wasn't sure how busy it would be. The line up was reasonably good, with Ed Real and Ian M on the bill, as well as a selection of other DJs, including Dean Peters and Alan Yeates in a second room. Incredibly this is the old coffee bar/chill-out room; more on this in a mo'.

When I got there about 11:30, the club was still filling up, and I started wondering whether it was going to be a quiet night. I needn't have worried as the place continued to fill, and by 1am the dancefloor was packed. The lighting at The Fridge is superb, with three green lasers creating some spectacular effects. The stage was cordoned off for most of the night, with dancers performing there, somewhat irrelevantly, as they often paled into insignificance next to the lighting. Perhaps the idea is to build a rising sense of expectancy, as the stage is later opened to the clubbers, (see the pic), or perhaps they just want to make sure the dancefloor looks full as soon as possible. Whatever, it does seem a bit of a waste to close off the stage to clubbers for most of the night.

Musically the approach is to hire in from the usual repertoire of hard house DJs, supplemented by some less well known. The second room hosted three, but is in what used to be The Fridge's coffee bar, which was a small haven in which to escape, the mayhem of the auditorium and chat. This was usually packed. However, a while ago the management of the Fridge dispensed with this, and have instead installed a less than mediocre sound system which played host to around twenty or thirty clubbers dancing to hard trance. What on earth was the point? Despite the fact that the music here was great, (I heard both Dean Peters and Alan Yeates and recommend them both), the sound system did the DJs no justice, and many people in the auditorium just had no clue there was a second room going on.

Spectacular lasers and lights, and, towards the end of the night, the clubbers are allowed on the stage.
Click the pic above
to see pics from the night.

The music in the main room, was, if not pointless, certainly rehashed from any other hard house night you've ever been to, with mixing and track sequencing at times falling below the standards you would expect from top DJs. Despite the crowd being well up for it, and into it, as well as being very friendly, I was beginning to wonder whether driving down from the Midlands had been a mistake. That was until Ian M came on. Oh my golly gosh. Have you ever wondered what the "M" in "Ian M" stands for? After that set it's got to be "Maestro". What a virtuoso performance! Whereas before him we were playing "Name that Tune", suddenly we were transported to the world of proper hard dance music - techno style - the style Ian has become renowned for at Trade, and which he rarely, if ever, plays outside of London. Whether people paid £10 or more to get into that club on that night it was worth it just to hear that one set - two hours of pure, unadulterated, joyful energy. Utterly, mindblowingly, amazingly, MAGNIFICENT. After that they could have played ABBA and I wouldn't have cared. However, Ian was playing again at Twist the official Twisted afterparty at club Fire down the road in Vauxhall, which kicked off at 5:30am and ran through to noon.

Well, where does that leave Twisted? Friendly crowd, nice atmosphere, great lighting, and if you choose a night when they've put on a top DJ, great music. Not at all bad for a tenner for London on a Saturday night.
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