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The secret party history of London's £1 million toilet

From 2006-2012, Public Life held the best afterparties in the capital

  • Marcus Barnes
  • 22 January 2016
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Saturday daytimes were hosted by Antony Difrancesco and the Lost Souls crew, whose techno ethos counteracted the minimal trend, which was so prevalent at the time.

"It's one of my favourite venues I've spend time at, in all the time I've been partying in London, which is 14 years now," says Antony. "When you get that special connection between the DJ and the crowd, when everyone is in unison, it usually only happens in intimate spaces with smaller crowds. We had that vibe week in, week out. There were a lot of young, discerning people coming down who were completely up for it. It was like a big rave environment that had been distilled into this tiny space."

Due to its reputation and the sheer novelty value of being a former bog, Public Life attracted a wide range of renowned DJs during its time, often headliners from fabric, who would swing by before or after their appearance at the club. The anarchic little venue's size also meant that larger clubs felt no threat from it, and so the big guns kept rolling in: Chris Liebing, Paco Osuna, Richie Hawtin, Mr. C, Anja Schneider, and then young guns Jamie Jones, Dyed Soundorom and FB Julian.

"It was like fabric's naughty daughter. Their DJs would come down to play, and the guys at fabric were fine with it as long as it was unannounced," says Antony.

Perc was one of those relative newbies who found himself booked for a set at Public Life for the first time in 2006. He now runs the highly regarded Perc Trax label and has established himself as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to potent, abrasive techno. "I always played for Lost Souls, I was booked there as a guest once and they asked to stay on with a flexible residency. So I was there, on average, once a month," he says. "It was my first real residency. That was where I learned my craft as a DJ and it was one of the stepping stones to getting me to where I am now."

He adds, "I always had a great time there, I liked the tiled floors and walls. A great thing to note was that it was so small you could have an amazing time with 20 or 30 people in there. Often it would be rammed, probably going against health and safety regulations – I played at some very busy parties there which were lively and probably a bit dangerous!"

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