The most famous club night London has ever seen goes out with a bang
Foreword by Nicky Trax
“London 1990: all night clubbing, apart from one-offs and illegal warehouse parties, was about to explode as flamboyant club promoter Laurence Malice launched Trade, ‘the original all-night bender’ at Turnmills Bar & Restaurant in Clerkenwell.
‘This was a radical move in 1990, when the concept of clubbing from 4am to lunchtime was beyond leftfield and Clerkenwell had yet to become hip and costly’ recalls Trade host, Stewart Who, and unlike any other event at the time Trade revolutionised the London club scene with its ground-breaking after hours party appealing to a mixed crowd of clubbers that wanted to carry on. Its inclusive door policy and heady mix of house and techno attracted a diverse and loyal crowd or ‘family’ giving birth to the Trade babies (who went every week). Its resident DJs Malcolm Duffy, Smokin Jo, Daz Saund, Trevor Rockliffe and Martin Confusion delivered a musical journey starting with House and Tribal moving into Techno and harder electronic music before ending with House classics. Trade also went on to launch the Trade Lite Lounge playing a funkier House mix as pioneered by the Sharp Boys and Fat Tony, and who could forget Tony De Vit’s 12 hour set there!
Trade gave Tall Paul his first DJ slot as well as enjoying guest spots from Faithless’ Sister Bliss, and Trade’s clubbers included many of the UK’s up and coming producers such as Faithless’ Rolo and Felix, championing anthems such as ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless, ‘Passion’ by Gat Decor, Felix ‘Don’t You Want Me’ (Hooj Choons), ‘Age Of Love’ Jam & Spoon Remix – Age of Love (React), NRG ‘He Never Lost His Hardcore’ and Andronicus ‘Make You Whole’. With such a musical cutting edge it was inevitable that Trade as one of the UK’s first major brands went on to launch its own compilations series topping Albums Sales charts in the UK and beyond.
Before the internet and social media & aided by the success of the CD series, Trade notched up an international reputation by word-of-mouth. With such demand Trade’s heavy party schedule including hosting their own stage at Leeds’ Love Parade to 500, 000 people alongside Radio 1 and then international events at some of the best clubs in the world, including hosting huge parties with Manumission and Pushca in Ibiza alongside its residencies in LA & New York. Due to its global success Channel 4 television commissioned an hour-long documentary Trade: The All-night Bender which was broadcast on 9 August 1998.
A fave with the fashion, media, art and music crowd, Trade has fans such as Bjork, Alexander McQueen, Madonna, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Boy George, Kylie Minogue, Rupert Everett and Erick Morillo…and is rumoured to have turned Cher away at the door. Part of a scene in the huge TV show ‘Sex In The City’, Trade has won plaudits far and wide for its many firsts. A testament to its credibility and status in the clubbing firmament, DJs are still ‘gagging’ to play at Trade and they were inundated by DJs requesting to play at History – Trade: The Final on Sunday October 25th at Egg London, which promises to be their biggest line up ever…”
Interview by Dan Prince
Laurence a huge welcome back to DMCWORLD, where in the world are you today?
Hi Dan, I’m in Kings Cross at Egg and everything is fantastic. The whole team here are so excited at what’s ahead with our very special forthcoming final event. I am currently working on plans to completely change the look of the venue for the occasion and I can tell you now…you certainly won’t be disappointed at what we have in store!
I know your memory isn’t what it was, but what was the first piece of music you heard this morning after rolling out of bed?
Erik Satie – Gymnopedie No 1
So young man, as you say, the end of an era is nearly upon us, Trade – The Final Party is only days away now. So the obvious question first, why now?
It’s a case of looking back at the past 25 years with a sense of achievement and success. We started off with the intention of creating a different type of club where everyone was welcome with the right attitude, and then we set new heights with our production values and musical standards. Now 25 years later we wave goodbye with a heavy but proud heart full of achievement – 25 years is a good time to call it a day. Which goal do you aim towards after 25 years? Not many club creators or promoters even have that question in their head as it’s untenable in todays club culture. When we first started we were one of the first to play techno music and now its played everywhere – you don t need underground clubs anymore to listen to techno. And for the final event we are putting on an event of colossal scale in terms of production, visual design, multiple room music that has never before been seen on a Sunday in London. It’s going go off with one almighty bang as you would expect from Trade.
The line up is incredible Laurence, some wonderful DJs making this one of the biggest events of 2015. If you have a spare five minutes, who will you be heading off to listen to?
Obviously all the DJs I have chosen form part of a jigsaw puzzle which makes the complete picture – Trade. You’ll see me covering every piece of the puzzle…
What do you think Tony de Vit will be thinking as he looks down at the party?
He was a dear friend and I sorely miss him. I feel Tony’s spirit has been with me programming this party all the way through and Tony said before that ‘not one person was bigger than Trade’ and his spirit will be with me for the party. He will be very proud of the last Trade event.
You knew it was coming, apologies! 10 tracks that will always remind you of Trade…
‘Age of Love’ Jam and Spoon Remix – Age of Love (React)
‘Flotation’ – Vincent De Moor
‘Energy 52’ – Café del Mar
‘Insomnia’ by Faithless
‘Passion’ by Gat Decor
‘Don’t You Want Me’ – Felix (Hooj Choons)
‘He Never Lost His Hardcore’ NRG (Chill)
‘Make You Whole’ – Andronicus (Hooj Choons)
‘Let’s Rock’ – E-Trax
‘Burnin’ – Tony De Vit
Mr C once infamously said “Trade is a gay institution that has never been bettered”. What are some of the key factors that have made Trade so bloomin’ amazing all these years?
Where do you start ? First and foremost it’s got be all the quirky customers and the fantastic Trade team that have made this such a successful brand. Trade started with the unusual opening time of 3am until 9am on Sunday mornings and this set it apart from other clubs and it soon became the place to be. Its exclusivity further fuelled the desire to be part of what Trade had to offer. Trade changed club culture through the people that it brought together. While the club night was perceived to cater for the LGBT community, as long as an individual had the right attitude they were welcome at Trade, regardless of their sexuality or social background. We had bankers dancing next to pop stars, muscle boys next to stage actors and this great freedom gave everyone the chance to express themselves through art, music, and fashion. Our unique after-hours experience became a haven for creativity and expression, effecting new music and a new attitude.
Pick a few of your favourite Trade moments for us from over the years…
My all time favourite memory was Trade at the Radio 1 Love Parade in Leeds with over 500 000 people rocking a truly fantastic festival. Tony de Vit’s 12 hour set is always up there of course and Kinky Trade at Amnesia in Ibiza, really exploded on the white isle at the time. We also headlined our own stage at one of the first Creamfields Festivals with all the residents playing and Tony De Vit…and it was a perfect day and night. Also the Trade after hours at Avalon in LA brings back fond memories I’m also sitting on the ADE panel this year and that’s one I’m lookig forward to.
Your beloved Egg London chalked up it’s 12th Birthday earlier this year, you must be absolutely delighted with the club. It is now one of the leading clubs in the world…
Yes and I am so proud at what the incredible EGG LDN team have achieved over the years. It’s a family affair and we work together well as we know what a great evening, night and morning of quality clubbing can achieve. We have always really wanted to make a difference – you have to in London as it is so competitive and I am so proud of what we’ve done before and so excited at what lies ahead!
As it has become more difficult to obtain late licenses, daytime clubbing has become more popular. What is it about partying in the daylight hours that feels so good?
Basically It works with your body clock as the Trade hours did. I never really got to Trade till 7am – night time clubbing can on many occasions bring out the worst in people! I enjoy the daytime vibe much more and always have done.
What are the plans for 2016 for Egg London that you can tell us about?
We have planning permission in place to make it the biggest club in central London and with all the re-development on our door step, we look forward to our new neighbours moving in as it will benefit the area.
And finally, Trade’s home was once upon a time Turnmills, the Clerkenwell venue that was razed to the crowd and is now a posh sushi restaurant. Have you been down and paid your respects?
I look at Turnmills as the amazing birthplace and home to Trade for many years and where I’ve shared some of my best nights with some amazing people. Without that infamous venue that was open when everywhere else was closed run by the great John Newman (RIP) – he believed in me from Day 1 – Trade wouldn’t have had quite the same effect and complete respect to John, Paul, Danny and all the incredible Turnmills staff who worked at Trade in our years there. I don’t know many friends who like the new design as it looks to me a million miles away from its heritage but I will definitely try out the sushi. It will always be Trade’s spiritual home.
The ‘Trade: Often Copied, Never Equalled’ Exhibition opens at the Islington Museum, 245 St John Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4NB on October 16th 2015 to January 16th 2016 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (closed Wednesdays & Sundays). https://www.facebook.com/events/120878708247672/