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New Year's Eve club nights are already filling up, says james style
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The Independent Culture
With New Year's Eve falling on a Saturday this year, clubland is in more of a frenzy than ever. Sadly this means that many of the more popular events are already sold out. Megadog at the Brixton Academy, for example, is not worth bothering with as the last ticket was snapped up in mid-December. There is still plenty to choose from, but be certain to buy your ticket today, or turn up early tomorrow, as there's nothing more depressing than being in a wind-swept queue when Big Ben chimes.

18th Century Masked Ball (right) is really the Mud Club by another name, a tremendously popular regular night promoted by the oldest clubber of them all, Philip Sallon, exclusively for the youngest clubbers of them all. Bound to be a spectacle on a grandscale.

Dress: As fashionable and trendy as you can manage.

Price: £20 (071-278 4300).

Music: Good groove club classics.

Time: 9.30pm-6am.

Where: Bagley's Studio, York Way, N1.

The Ministry of Sound is holding a two-day extravaganza. This is for serious music lovers with Harvey and CJ MacIntosh spinning the most upfront house and garage selection. The highlight will be a spot by Coles and Clivilles, better known as the C&C Music Factory. The Ministry is also open on New Year's Day.

Dress: As little as possible, it gets very hot.

Price: £35 or £42 for both days (071-378 6528).

Music: House and garage.

Time: 8pm-12 noon.

Where: 103 Gaunt St, SE1.

Ashram is promoted by Spike and Neville, two Soho freebooters noted for their New Year's parties. This one features the cream of London nightlife, with more emphasis on the party atmosphere than the actual music (ie you might be able to hold some kind ofconversation). Held at the University of London Student Union, Ashram will have eight different rooms to roam through, including a comedy spot, as well as a drunken revelry room (DJ is the ex-Special Jerry Dammers) alongside the more conventional house and garage rooms. Brian Norman brings in his Fresh'n'Funky team to add a touch of soul and funk.

Dress: To the nines.

Price: £25 (advance tickets available through The Dispensary, top of Portobello Rd, Notting Hill W11, 071-727 8797).

Music: House, garage, soul, swing (everything and the kitchen sink).

Time: 9pm-7am.

Where: ULU, Mallett St, WC1.

Flipside are lucky enough to hold the residency at Iceni, one of the best venues in London, and they know how to throw a party too. Musically the emphasis is on the funk, and although there are three distinct floors, in the spirit of unity they have linked all the sound systems together, so everyone can hear Big Ben together.

Dress: Club cool or casual.

Price: £20 (071-495 5333).

Music: Funk, soul, swing and live jazz.

Time: 9.30pm-5am.

Where: 11 Whitehorse St, W1.

Billion Dollar Babes on Ice is not on ice at all. But the stars of clubland this year are hosting an intimate little party and are keeping some tickets back on the night, so although the door policy is quite tight, you might have a chance.

Dress: Scandalous.

Price: £20 (071-437 2147), some tickets on the door Music: Handbag house.

Time: 10pm-late.

Where: 26b Albemarle St, W1.

Mars and the Velvet Underground present Cinderella on Ice, and this one really is on ice, well almost. Held at Queens, the spoil-sports have gone and put a dance-floor over the rink. The venue has been turned into a Cinderella pantomime, with two different sets - Cinders's kitchen and the Prince's palace.

No expense spared with the DJs too: Seb Fontaine, Nicky Holloway, Brandan Block and Norman Jay.

Dress: Club cool (it's heated).

Price: £30 (071-439 4655).

Music: House and garage.

Time: 9pm-6am.

Where: Queens Ice Rink, 17 Queensway, W2.

Loony Toons are better known as Feet First and have the best indie club in London. So mosh along to Blur, Echobelly and Oasis. There's a rather happening chill-out room too.

Dress: Cannot go wrong in black.

Price: £11 (071- 272 8153).

Music: Indie pop.

Time: 9pm-3am.

Where: The Dome, 178 Junction Road, N19.

Whirl-Y-Gig have been persistent pioneers of ambient music and all things alternative. This year they present an all-day and all-night party with loads of live bands, the best known being Banco de Gaia. Great venue, great fun, with very friendly, open-m i nded people, but bring your own champagne as there's no bar.

Dress: Global garms.

Price: £25 (071-387 5550).

Music: Ambient and world music.

Time: 2pm-6am.

Address: Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, EC1.

Feliz '95 - A Devil of a Party brings a little bit of South America to south London. There is a live band, a special floor show and top DJs from Colombia and Brazil.

Dress: Red and white.

Price: £10 (071-498 6450).

Music: Latin.

Time: 10pm-late.

Where: Brixton Recreation Centre, Atlantic Rd, SW9.

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