The Moth Club
Moth Club - short 'of course' for The Memorable Order of Tin Hats - is a wondrously kitsch time warp of a boozer and event space. It’s a glittery mash-up of two cultural scenes colliding: an ex-servicemen’s club whose members still shoot the shit and play darts in the old bar whilst a sprightly and unsightly blend of Hackney young’uns come and embrace a lil' joyous abandon. Nice indie gigs, 80s nights, bingo, themed quizzes (Peep Show, Ru Paul, Simpsons...) and film screenings take place under the gold glittered ceiling, amid red velvet booths and the iconic red and black chequered floor. Yep it's got the aesthetic, but it's also got the kind of welcoming vibe that’ll have you spinning around to Abba at midnight without a care in the goddamn world.
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Notting Hill Arts Club
NHAC really is an institution around these parts, with the floors and walls soaked in a pretty pungent mixture of sweat, tears and musical legacy. The likes of Bryson Tiller, Nas and Disclosure have graced the stage in recent years, but now it's a lot more about themed club nights, where DJs spin vinyl and everything from old school garage nights to Drake specials take place. A late night, no-frills place for a shakedown, which are by no means plentiful around here. Be warned these guys are crazy strict on ID no matter your age, so make sure you got it (or a photo of it).
The Pickle Factory
This is how we’d like all our clubs: intimate, self-contained affairs with no gimmicks or pretensions, a focus on the quality of sound and a bill of intriguing artists and DJs. Set up by Oval Space in 2013, a former (yes, you guessed it) pickle factory has become a blank canvas for proper partying, where 200 bods can fit in the stripped-back space and get to two-stepping, head-bopping and jaw wobbling. No noise from the d&b audiotechnik V-series sound system leaks out; instead the house, electronica and techno reverberates off the walls causing committed sorts to truly shake it on down. Wear earplugs and prepare for lift off.
Heaven is exactly as God intended: a huge club nestled under Charing Cross' beautiful arches, where gays, queers and good folk can mingle, watch live performances, take part in stripping competitions and sweat it out on the dance floor. The only central London venue with a thousand person capacity, it's known around town for hosting some of the biggest names in music, like Tini Tempah, Lion Babe, Nao, Kano, Kehlani and FKA Twigs. It's also famed on the queer scene for welcoming G-A-Y's biggest club nights, including Gay Porn Idol, an amateur stripping competition, where average people wobble their bits and international cabaret superstars judge them for it. We thought hell would be naughty, but Heaven is pure filth.
More dance-class-in-the-dark-with-glow-sticks than a rave, Clubbercise classes are offered at a variety of locations around London, and for varying levels of impact, so you can chose the intensity that suits you. Get your hearts and fists pumping to good ol' 90s throwback anthems, chart toppers and disco hits. The routines themselves are easy to follow along with - what gets you going is the speed and intensity of the way you move it and shake it according to the song. We recommend the classes at Fire Nightclub if you're going for a more authentic rave-y vibe, but there are Clubbercise classes at five locations around London, just enter your postcode on their site to find one close to you!