Sound and lighting designer Dave Parry, largely responsible for the award-winning sound system at Fabric, which closed its doors permanently earlier this month, has spoken to Audio Media International about the authorities' controversial decision to revoke the club’s license.
Islington Council cited major safety concerns as the key reasons for the closure, following the recent drug-related deaths of two young men at the venue.
Parry, who had worked closely with the club and its owners for many years as technical manager, is “totally stunned” by the decision. Among other developments, Parry helped introduce Fabric's famous body kinetic dance floor – the first of its kind – and used an Out Board TiMax sound processor to give clubbers in Room 2 a stereo feed wherever they were on the dancefloor.
“Fabric has always led the way in trying to keep its patrons safe, and this was confirmed by the police who have upheld Fabric as a role model in management practices – even the smallest amount of research would show that this was not about drugs or safety,” said Parry. “I am saddened to think of the 250 people who gave their heart and soul each weekend to put on the best and safest parties and who will now lose their jobs because of this.
“This is a huge blow to the UK night time industry that has already been devastated over the past few years with constant changes in licensing and costs being put on to the operators, all this will do is send the scene underground creating yet more tragedies. I would ask people to read [Fabric co-founder and director] Cameron Leslie’s final statement to the council and do a little research to make their own minds up on what this is about.”
Out Board director Dave Haydon, who introduced Parry to TiMax and later collaborated with him again on the setup for Matter, the spin-off superclub from the Fabric brand, is equally as shocked and mortified “at such a draconian decision, which seems to be based on unreasonable expectations of what an entertainment venue can achieve in terms of drug control, and totally disproportionate with what is expected of practically every other branch of the hospitality industry.”
Haydon helped implement fully networked (Soundweb) audio throughout the club, and TiMax dynamic 3D surround sound in one room for DJs to experiment with.
“In interactions with Keith [Reilly, the other co-founder] and Cameron over the years it was always obvious that the integrity of their vision was paramount to them, and core to the whole culture at fabric,” he continued. “It’s a massive shame, but I've got a hunch they'll be back…”