Night underground at the Shunt

Having unexpectedly survived the Friday evening at the pub with my colleagues, I set off on Saturday evening to have dinner with friends at David’s place, in Elephant & Castle (which is officially the best name ever).

Once all the great food and wine and whiskey were over, we left to find a floor to dance on. We passed by the Ministry of Sound, but the queue of Swedish proportions didn’t seem that inviting, so we carried on walking towards London Bridge. Another club, seOne, also boasted a long line of the weirdest people imaginable: guys disguised as smurfs, dressed up transvestites of unidentifiable gender, gals following fashion rules of an alternative and definitely distant parallel universe. All of this in a brick tunnel pulsing with the loud, rapid hardcore beats of the music inside. We pressed on again.

Eventually, we found what we were looking for right next to the entrance of the London Bridge tube station. There was no queue at all (all the artist performances inside were already over), which reinforced the Harry Potter’s platform 9-3/4 feeling of the almost invisible door: walk quickly, pretend you’re going to enter the tube station and you’ll get into the club. Which we did.

Shunt Vaults
Shunt Vaults, by forzagaribaldi

Inside, arches of bricks expanded into a long empty tunnel lightly illuminated by sparse candles and various artsy audio-visual installations. At its end, the tunnel opened on the spacey rooms that, we realised, were all part of this huge underground club. There was a movie theatre with red velveted seats stolen right out of a surreal dream, there was a small elevated stage on which people were dancing now, there was a room painted in white with crystal lights and paper birds hanging from the ceiling, there was a babyfoot, there was a bar in a dark corner, there were impossibly immaculate toilets, and there was an improvised dancefloor with plenty of room to dance on the random pop music that was playing.

Day 51 of 365 - Love life colour and club
Day 51 of 365 – Love life colour and club, by Zepsis

For the Lausanne people, it could roughly correspond to an exponentially enlarged Romandie, processed through a series of drug-induced dreams/nightmares right out of David Lynch’s mind.

When we left, I asked the doorman what was the name of the place.

The Shunt“, he replied.

DSC_1798, by SimSullen

We walked to London Bridge. While waiting for the night bus, we stood against the chilly wind peering into the night at the Thames and, farther away, the illuminated structure of Tower Bridge.