The Underlying Beauty Behind the Viral Photo of Fabric's Elderly Ravers
London nightlife isn't dead, it's been kept alive by Polish grandparents on holiday.
This article was originally published on THUMP UK.
Photo via Jacob Husley on Facebook.
You'll have done well to have dipped your toes in the cesspool of the internet this morning and not have tripped over the strange account of two octogenarians found in fabric at 5AM this Sunday just gone. If you've instead spent your time online looking at all those hilarious dat boi memes or doing a virtual crossword or two, here's the Facebook post that caused the initial stir.
While we've got a modicum of admiration for the old pair, the episode does raise a few questions. More than a few, in fact. We know they are in their 80s, from Poland, and that they were inspired to come to fabric after reading a review in a newspaper. Yet that doesn't go any way to explaining what drove a couple you'd normally expect to see struggling down the stairs of a village hall having watched a performance of Dick Whittington to submit themselves to about five hours of techno. Is their hearing alright? Did anyone make them the cup of tea they asked for? Did they get home okay? Why is Mrs. Elderly Polish Raver on crutches? Why does Mr. Elderly Polish Raver look a bit like he's wearing a medal in those photos?
Going by his recent interview in the Evening Standard, Jacob Husley—Wet Yourself resident and now viral photo-uploader—it seems that the couple were actually well up for a big night out. Apparently they were in the club until 5AM, and were seen on the dancefloor joining in with the action. Husley mentions how at one point, having positioned them in the VIP area, they had then disappeared, only for him to discover them in the melee of the crowd downstairs. It definitely seems that they wanted to be in a nightclub, as opposed to having mistaken 'fabric' for some sort of late-night textiles convention.
According to Husley, it also seems Mr. Elderly Polish Raver wasn't necessarily the best date: "She was really slow so he went a bit more into the dancefloor and got some dances with the young girls." That said, he also makes a point to mention that the pair of them were doing "ballroom dancing" to the pummelling kick drums, which, while surely a rhythmic nightmare, is at least a sign that romance isn't dead after all.
While there's something particularly remarkable about these two, they're not the only elder statesmen and women of clubland. Lest we forget Movement regular, techno grandma Patricia Lay-Dorsey, the wedding-reception shapes of Harlem's techno grandpa, Amsterdam's 68 year old Jan Bakker, or techno Viking's dad. All of them showcase two things. Firstly, that a love of clubland and dance music knows no age limit, that no matter how old you are you can still find a home beneath the pound of a 4/4, that there is no such thing as "too old" or "past it." They also all prove that if you can take a photo or video of an old person in a nightclub, you can guarantee you're going to do numbers.
Naturally when stories like this capture the public's attention, the celebration can be as brief as loads of people saying "LOL nightclubs and old people wtf?", but in this particular instance there is something slightly more—wait for it—earnest that we can take away. The fact is, this couple ended up in fabric because they were visiting their daughter and wanted to take in the best of London's culture when they were there. What better symbol of the cultural value of British nightclubs than the endorsement of your grandparents. If couples in their 80s are visiting from Poland and fabric stands out as a "must see," then that's a pretty good sign our clubs might be worth hanging on to. That, or we should install Stannah stair-lifts in nightclubs going forward.