This summer, it's a case of simply Nico and very Marilyn. Bridget Virden on underground clubbing's answer to the Factory
WITH ITS VIP passes ("Dictatorship at the door and democracy on the floor"), Halston gowns and passion for powder, Studio 54 was the Cream of its day. But alongside the ultimate in cocaine-fuelled glitz was Warhol's Factory, more Blue Note in flavour, where clubbers of artistic bent hung out. "The kids who were dancing at the Dom wanted to see the movies, the groups where all getting mixed up with each other - dance, music, fashion, movies," explains the man himself in POPism: The Warhol Sixties. "It was fun to see the Museum of Modern Art people next to the teeny-boppers next to the amphetamine queens next to the fashion editors."

In case you hadn't noticed, this is Warhol's summer, so it's no surprise to learn that clubs like 333 and Madame Jo Jo's are promoting Factory- inspired nights to match. To get in the mood, head for the Barbican and The Warhol Look. The show documents the aspects of the scary blond one that you always wanted to know about, ie, there's a minimum of yawn-making Chairman Mao prints, and a maximum of groovy exhibits on "Drag and Transformation", Interview magazine and the "Uptown, Downtown" club scene of New York in the late Seventies and Eighties. The show also tells you the coolest way to get into Studio 54 (through the back door on 53rd Steet) and is peppered with gems of contemporary enlightenment like "Fiorucci made me hardcore".

Elsewhere in London the spirit of Warhol is very much in evidence. On Oxford Street youths in Moschino dollar bill print jeans thread their way through the crowd or pause in front of Selfridges, which has given over 14 of its windows to an homage to Andy, the originator of creative window display. A live, Factory-inspired fashion shoot featuring models from Storm will take place in two windows throughout June, but, best of all, you'll be able to have your picture taken with Andy in a Photovision machine. And unless numerous Velvet Underground soundtracks to TV ads have jaded you, you'll want to see American rockers The Dandy Warhols, who have droned their way to a hit with "I Never Thought You'd Be a Junkie 'Cause Heroin is So Passe" and play the V98 festival.

Mark Webber, guitarist with Pulp, freely admits to being obsessed with Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground. "One of the reasons that I joined Pulp was that I thought they were doing for Sheffield what the Velvet Underground did for New York, being arty and confrontational, building a scene around themselves." Webber has organised a short season of Warhol films at the Barbican to run in August and a much larger screening of sixty American Underground films to run in October. For those who like to participate as well as consume, Webber runs a club night, Little Stabs at Happiness, at the ICA. It's an evening of experimental underground film which climaxes, he says, in "school disco-type dancing".

If you like your nightlife very strange, Omsk is for you. Last held at The 333 Club in Old Street, it is a movable feast of Factory-inspired mayhem. Clubbers clothed entirely in black absorb a synthesis of music, film, performance and dance which at 333 took the form of experimental short films of men in suits and falling over walls in the basement and an on-going performance called "Hot Lips" involved two girls painted silver wearing bikinis and very strange hats. A two-day Omsk mini-festival is planned for September, but true to underground form, publicity is limited to small cryptic fly posters. "Avant-hard" is the term favored by Mute Records resident weirdsters Add N to (X), who fight a constant battle with technology and their own synthesisers. Add N to (X) will perform alongside fellow mind-warpers 2nd Gen and Komputer at Irregular, another club night on the move.

But back to the pleasurably kitsch. At Madame Jo Jo's, "Andy Warhol's Shopping Spectatular" has been organised by club promotors Sparkle in conjunction with the Barbican show. In a celebration of pop consumerism, Warhol works will come to life in the form of multi-coloured Marilyns performing the "dance of the seven trolleys" and Nico and Candy Darling lookalikes handing out sweets. All Marilyn, Andy and Elvis lookalikes get in for half price and participation is a must, even if it's just downing a few vodka martinis.

The Warhol Look, The Barbican, 0171 638 8891, until 16 August. The Dandy Warhols play at V98 on 22/23 August; call 0870 165 5555 for info. Little Stabs at Happiness, ICA, 0171 930 0493, 11 July. Irregular, The Garage, 0171 607 1818, 8 June. Sparkle, Madame Jo Jo's, 0171 734 2473, 15 June

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