TRADE: Often Copied, Never Equalled Exhibition

Islington Museum, 112 St John Street, London

Event location:
Finsbury Library, 245 St. John Street The City EC1V 4NB
When:Event passed!
It was on
Fri 16th Oct 2015 to
Sat 16th Jan 2016

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Where:Islington Museum, 112 St John Street, London EC1V 4NB
Map:Map & Nearby
Times:Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 10.00 - 17.00 Wednesday & Sunday: Closed
Picture of TRADE: Often Copied, Never Equalled Exhibition

About the event

An idea was born in October 1990 that changed the face of clubbing forever …

The 1980s’ gay-club scene was already thriving, playing disco, alternative electronic and early house music in venues such as Heaven, the infamous gay superclub in London’s Charing Cross. Then, the arrival of dance music and a new drug, ecstasy, in the late 1980s changed the face of clubbing forever. Trade, London’s first legal after-hours dance club, was to take it to yet another level.

Advertised as 'the original all-night bender', Trade was launched by Laurence Malice on 29 October 1990 at Turnmills, 63b Clerkenwell Road, Islington. It had the unusual opening time of 3am (until 1pm) on Sunday mornings. This set it apart from other clubs and it soon became ‘the’ place to be. Its exclusivity further fuelled the desire to be a 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, social background or gender. The freedom to express through art, music and fashion saw this unique after-hours experience become a haven for creativity.

The music at Trade was also innovative. It was first to offer club goers the concept of a journey through sound. Hard-edged Techno music intensified the whole experience and Turnmills proved the perfect venue. Due to the creativity of Trade’s DJs, including Tony De Vit and Pete Wardman, it became the birthplace of Hard House. As a result, albums were released and tours outside London were undertaken, boldly taking Trade’s distinctive sound to a mainstream audience. Trade went on to have a hugely influential and profound effect on the British and international club scene, as well as to all those who stepped onto its dance floors. It also made appearances on TV, most notably in the Channel 4 documentary Trade: the All-Night Bender in 1998.

Trade ended its regular Sunday slot in October 2002 but often returned to Turnmills for one off events; the venue was to close six years later. Trade continued to ‘party’ at other places across London, including Egg on York Way, Islington.

This is the story of Trade - often copied, never equalled.

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