Trash – aka the greatest indie crossover disco of all time –closed its doors 11 years ago, but its legacy is still spoken of in hushed tones by those who used to pass through its hallowed doors every Monday night down a murky side street somewhere in the Covent Garden/Bloomsbury hinterlands. The very definition of eclectic, DJ and founder Erol Alkan’s playlist – who ran the club from 1997 until 2007 – would skip around gleefully from punk to pop via rock and disco, and the club also became one of the first places to worship at the asymmetric fringe of electroclash. Here’s 10 brilliant tunes from the club’s heyday that you’ll only remember if you were regularly found on the style mag certified dancefloor of The End with all of the other beautiful people/smug art students/a really pissed member of Kings of Leon.
WIT – ‘Hold Me, Touch Me’
Icy electroclash from three immaculate women who looked like they’d probably bully the living hell out of you at secondary school.
Fischerspooner – ‘Emerge’
Probably the biggest tune to come out of the druggy, fuggy synth-pop haze that was electroclash, ‘Emerge’ remains a proper, walloping dancefloor anthem.
Clor – ‘Love + Pain’
A fizzy, Devo-esque delight, ‘Love + Pain’ was part of the new angular revolution – standing alongside Franz Ferdinand and The Rakes’ own jittery post-punk, but not getting nearly as much acclaim.
Crossover – ‘Extensive Care’
Of course the duo who made up NYC’s Crossover met while they were selling vintage clothing. ‘Extensive Care’ was their best tune, a deadpan five minutes of addictive chip-tune sass.
Bobby Conn – ‘Never Get Ahead’
Chicago oddball Bobby Conn’s irrepressible Jackson 5 take off featured some timeless words of wisdom (“you’re never gonna get ahead/giving head to the man”) as well as one of the juiciest choruses to give blast its way out of the Trash PA system.
Ladytron – ‘Seventeen’
Arch art-school posturing from the Liverpool electronica act. Their dry lyrics – “they only want you when you’re 17/when you’re 21, you’re no fun” – spoke about the problems within the fashion, music and entertainment industries years before #metoo and made it danceable too.
Adult – ‘Hand To Phone’
It wasn’t all electroclash down in the basement of The End, but there sure was a lot of it in Trash’s mid-2000s heyday. ‘Hand To Phone’ has that icy nonchalance and coldly sexy edge that defined the shortlived genre, which prided itself on sounding like The Human League after a death in the family.
Ikara Colt – ‘Sink Venice’
Angry guitars and vaguely melodic shouting – what more could you want?! Trash liked its garage rock as grubby as its bathrooms.
The Long Blondes – ‘Giddy Stratospheres’
The Sheffield scenesters’ finest hour – Studio 54 disco as reimagined by Britfops Suede. The Long Blondes’ second album, 2008’s ‘Couples’, was even produced by Trash DJ Erol Alkan in his first year off after the club closed its doors.
Peaches – ‘Fuck The Pain Away’
Ruder than a box of dildos in a nunnery, ‘Fuck The Pain Away’ was Merrill Nisker signature tune, a grimy electro-thud belter that you deffo couldn’t sing in front of your mum. But on the dancefloor of Trash? A different matter…