"Does London need a new superclub?"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
The superclub is dead, or at least it has been for the last four years since the demise of Turnmills and The End, while Ministry of Sound has made a leap towards the more commercial side of dance music. Dingy basements of shops/galleries, lofts and bars turned miniature dancefloors have become the norm, usually located in the E1 vicinity. The grand opening of Pulse, a nightclub near Blackfriars Bridge with a capacity for 4,500 people (even more when the third room opens) goes completely against the current tide for fashionably DIY discos, so does London really need a new superclub?
First the bad points. The biggest complaint by punters is regarding the heat, as this enormous arched venue seems to be entirely devoid of any form of air conditioning, which is akin to opening a supermarket and not having a till. Thousands of people stagger around drenched in sweat attempting to fan themselves with discarded flyers, while the cold taps are sneakily switched off, leaving overheated clubbers to mop their damp brows with hot water or buy expensive bottles at the overcrowded bar.
On the opening night the toilets flooded, leaving punters to splash around in puddles of dubiously coloured water. The septic issues have since been remedied, but it’s still annoying that the ladies’ are downstairs and the men’s upstairs, with no signs to indicate which is which. Moreover, for a club this size there aren’t nearly enough cubicles, therefore it’s necessary to head there in plenty of time for the lengthy queue to avoid embarrassing accidents.
Dripping ceilings are a common occurrence at warehouse parties, as storage rooms and car parks aren’t built for raves and the heat causes condensation, however this supposedly carefully engineered building also suffers from this problem. To top it all they have the cheek to charge £20-£30 entry; the purpose of a club this huge is undoubtedly to make money for its owners, but at these prices it would be courteous to provide air, cold water and signs for the toilets.
So far, so off-putting, and many have vowed never to return, but Pulse has one major plus point. Unlike the trendy clubs of the East, there is none of the hanging around clutching a glass of white while chatting about what everyone does for a living; people are here to dance through the night until 10am, aided by the state-of-the-art Void soundsystem. As long as the problems get sorted this is what could make Pulse work, and the superclub may very well reign supreme once again.
Leila reviewed Pulse on Wed 04 May 2011