When The Face magazine nominated its Top 10 Clubs of 2001, the winner (Space) was predictable, and its location (Ibiza) not even in the UK. The runner-up, however, may have surprised the inattentive. Not that it wasn't deserved. The Trash club is a rule-wrecking phenomenon, defying all clubland logic by packing in 700 people on, of all nights, a Monday, and Erol Alkan is currently the most entertaining DJ in London.
When Alkan first opened Trash five years ago tomorrow – yes, there's going to be a birthday party – he was an indie kid, and Trash was an indie club.
In 2000, the club moved to The End, the state-of-the-art WC1 venue that The Shamen's Mr C built with the "Ebeneezer Goode" millions (he may rap like Robbie from EastEnders on a tartrazine rush, but he knows a thing or two about sound systems). Since then, Alkan has dived headfirst into the deep end of remixology in a way that puts your standard indie DJs to shame. The world of proper dance music has begun to sit up and take notice.
Under the guise of Kurtis Rush, he created one of last year's best-loved bootlegs "George Gets His Freak On" (approved by Mr Michael himself), and his set is characterised by a blend of Blue Peter-style, here's-one-I-prepared-earlier mixes ("Bootylicious/Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a current fave) and sublime live flows (on this particular night, the transition from Tom Tom Club's "Genius Of Love" into Mary J Blige's "Family Affair" has the dancefloor screaming).
On a good night, the music seems to bypass the machinery and flow through his fingers as he wrings ear-bending sound effects out of a touchpad. Erol is the antithesis of the robotic smoothness of the Laurent Garnier/Pete Tong types. No hiding moodily under a peaked cap for him. You're more likely to find him standing atop the console with both fists in the air, a fag hanging from his lower lip and a crazed look in his eyes.
Call me old-fashioned (altogether now), but I do like a tune. Lukewarmly-tipped Camden Town band Ikara Colt (they're named after two different types of gun) have got everything else in spades. They've got the look (two displaced Strokes, one lost Hive and a kidnapped Breeder). They've got the sound (an impressively tense rock assault). They've got the charismatic frontman (Paul Resende, who has the aggression of Mark E Smith and the cheekbones of the devil). Sadly, they've omitted the most vital element: a hookline. "This one's called 'One Note'," says Resende by way of introduction to their second single. "'Last Nite', more like!" barracks one wit, and although what follows resembles The Strokes' finest three minutes in texture, it doesn't have the tunefulness, being a futile conceptual gag: the song does indeed have only one note. When Ikara Colt ditch their principles and shake hands with Mister Melody, the results will be awesome.Reuse content