Iconic Clerkenwell nightclub Trade celebrated

Clubbers at Trade

Clubbers at Trade - Credit: Archant

A trailblazing dance club that made music history and transformed the capital’s late night scene is the subject of a new exhibition at Islington Museum.

Laurence Malice

Laurence Malice - Credit: Archant

Trade was launched by pioneer Laurence Malice at legendary Clerkenwell venue Turnmills in 1990, with a pioneering opening time of 3am on Sundays, closing at 1pm.

Being the first legal after-hours venue in the country set it apart from other clubs and it soon became the place to be.

Music was innovative, with the creativity of DJs including Tony De Vit and Pete Wardman making the club known as the birthplace of hard house music. Albums and tours outside London took Trade’s sound to a mainstream audience.

While the club night was perceived to cater for the LGBT community, Trade also became known for welcoming individuals with the right attitude, regardless of their sexuality, social background or gender.

Its regular Sunday night slot ended in October 2002 but often returned to Turnmills, in Clerkenwell Road, for one-off events until the venue closed in 2008. Since then Trade has held club nights at other venues across London

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s executive member for economic and community development, said: “When it opened in Islington 25 years ago, Trade became an iconic night out for Londoners whatever their sexuality, background or gender.

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“This exhibition offers a unique look back at a unique club that became a late-night institution.”

The Trade – often copied, never equalled exhibition is at Islington Museum, in St John Street, from tomorrow (Friday) until Saturday, January 16.

Admission is free and the museum is open every day apart from Wednesday and Sunday.