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The pub where UK garage was invented is being turned into an estate agents

A sad day for the history of dance music

  • Mixmag Staff
  • 3 June 2015

The pub where UK garage was invented is being turned into an estate agents.

In the early 90s, The Elephant And Castle in South London was the site of Happy Days, the Sunday party where UKG originator Matt Jam Lamont was resident.

The intimate, sweatbox rave was started to cater for punters leaving Ministry Of Sound on a Sunday morning. They'd leave the super club and walk over the road to carry on at The Elephant And Castle, where Lamont would play dubs of US house tracks at a sped-up tempo. His quick, subby style would eventually morph into UK garage.

Why make a big deal out of this? Well, there's been a pub where The Elephant And Castle stands for the last 250 years. And, thanks to Lamont, it has landed a place in dance music history as the ground zero of UKG. It's there that he played 'Feel My Love', the 1991 track that started it all.

Telling RBMA's Stephen Titmus, Lamont said: "When I played ['Feel My Love'] at The Elephant & Castle, that was it, the track shook the windows. The owner of the pub ran up to me and was suddenly telling me to turn the bass down. That was the first ever British garage record."

And now the pub's being turned into a bloody Foxtons.

It lost its license back in the spring and there are no plans to keep it open as a boozer. Maybe a blue plaque would help commemorate this most legendary of locations?

Take the time to read Titmus' excellent feature on Happy Days and the birth of UKG here. More info on the pub's closure here.

Happy Days was also named as one of our Greatest Parties Of All Time.

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