Video: Six clubs that changed Hackney

All six clubs had a hand in promoting certain genres, or changing the wider area in some way. The Four Aces Club in Dalston played ‘black music’ for a black audience in a borough left to their own devices by city council in the 1960s. In the early years, the club hosted Desmond Dekker and Jimmy Cliff, whilst Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger used to frequent the place.

The Four Aces became Labrynth, a key Happy Hardcore and Acid House proving ground in the late 80s into the 90s. Labrynth was the first legal indoor rave venture of its kind. Also featured is Passing Clouds, an abstract space where diversity was embraced. The club was considered an emblem of Dalston’s DIY ethic during the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Then it’s Plastic People: fondly missed by many, its role in the rise of Dubstep and laissez-faire electronic music offerings enshrining its legend.

Second to last is Dalston Superstore, an important club and creative space within Hackney’s gay scene. It follows on from previous bright lights like The George and Dragon and Boombox. Finally, Visions Video Bar: a stalwart basement bar and club, known for its commitment to Hip Hop, Grime and underground sounds.

If you went to any of these clubs and have some footage, or if you think we’ve missed out some other seminal places, let us know in the comments, or send your photos to: and we will post them on ELL.

This article is part of day two of a series on London’s nightlife called Who Blighted the Night?  Tomorrow we will look towards the future with reasons for hope, including our interactive ELL clubbing guide and four ways you can help save London’s nightlife. 

One Response

  1. Ralf March 19, 2021

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