The second half of the 20th century saw a new generation of London clubs as new musical styles put their mark on the capital.
The first modern jazz club, Club 11 opened in Great Windmill Street in 1947. It was founded by a group of modernist minded jazz musicians, led by the saxophonist Ronnie Scott. A drugs bust brought the venture to an end althought the premises eventually reopened as Cy Laurie's jazz club.
In 1959 Scott and fellow-musician Peter King opened another club on Gerrard Street in Soho to showcase British and American jazz musicians. In 1965 'Ronnies' moved to bigger premises in Frith Street.
Other jazz clubs included the Blue Note in Hoxton, the Jazz Caf in Camden and the Vortex in Stoke Newington.
Rhythm and Blues clubs
One of the greatest of London's music clubs, the Marquee, was founded in 1958 in an old ball room in Oxford Street. In 1964 it moved to Wardour Street where it hosted successive waves of musical styles. In 1988 it moved to Charing Cross Road.
The 100 club began life in 1942 as a jazz club in the basement of Mac's Restaurant at 100 Oxford Street. Unlike the Marquee it remained in the same premises for the rest of the century.
Soho's other clubs of the 1960s included the Flamingo, founded in 1952 and famous for its all-nighters. The Roaring Twenties on Carnaby Street featured rhythm and blues and ska music from the Jamaican DJ Count Suckle. Founded in 1944, the Caribbean Club in Denman Street had 3,000 members.
Psychedelic, rock and punk clubs
The psychedelic movement of the late 1960s brought two short lived clubs to London: Middle Earth in Covent Garden, and UFO in Tottenham Court Road, moving later to the Roundhouse in Camden. Rock brought Dingwalls in Camden, opened in 1973. The main punk clubs were the Roxy Covent Garden, founded 1976, and the Vortex in Soho.
Raves and superclubs
The clubbing culture of the 1980s brought new music venues and clubs. Shoom in south London and the Ministry of Sound in Elephant and Castle set the pattern for a new generation of superclubs, located in cheap premises away from the West End.
Fabric, The End and Turnmills in Clerkenwell were typical of this new breed of superclubs. With tighter controls on drug taking, the new venues offered clubbers high-tech light and sound systems and a more expensive night out than the free gatherings they superceded.
The phenomon of 'portable clubs' also emerged in the 1980s. Clubs were not fixed to any one physical venue. Promoters would take their music and their DJs to whichever venue they could find.
Many of London new clubs sprang from London's gay culture. London's longest running gay nightclub was Heaven in Charing Cross, followed by Trade in Clerkenwell and G.A.Y at the Astoria. In 1995, London's Club Kali opened as the world's largest Asian lesbian and gay club.
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