Cabaret Voltaire The Fourth Birthday: Life’s a cabaret
For four years now, Cabaret Voltaire has been the hard act which every other club in Edinburgh has had to follow. The hard work and determination of owner Sarah David accounts for much of this success, although this year we decided to let some of her longest-serving promoters tell us why they think the Cab still casts a long shadow.
Nick Stewart: promoter, Sick Note
‘If you try to do something in clubbing and what you do with it is bland, then what’s the point? But if you want to give people a whole new experience, exposing them to music that’s on the edge whilst still having a great time, then that’s a huge thing. It’s what the Cab still does really well. With Sick Note the aim is to create a club which marries indie and dance to make for a fun pop night with proper musical knowledge behind it.’
Pyz: promoter, Split
‘Split is the Cab’s oldest night. It’s been there almost since the venue got its name six years ago, before Sarah took over. When I was younger I knew all about the Sub Club and the Arches in Glasgow, but there wasn’t one venue in Edinburgh which ticked all the boxes like they do. When you go to Berlin you look up the Water-Gate and the Berghain, and Cab now fills the same role in Edinburgh.’
Gary Mac: DJ and promoter, We Are … Electric
‘Sarah puts all her energy into the club and has built something that every promoter wants to be involved with. Of course, her staff are great too, it’s one of the few places where they all look like they’re having fun, like they all want to be there. It’s also got one of the best sound systems I’ve played on, which is really important, and it’s a proper underground club for hearing underground music.’
Frazer McGlinchey: co-promoter, Ultragroove
‘There’s a real sense of community there, the people who come down take ownership of the nights, and there’s an affinity between the people who run the place and those who go there. I know that’s why a lot of the DJs we book keep coming back – they appreciate playing to such a good crowd in such a small space.’
Solen Collet: gig booker/events manager
‘I can be a little self indulgent with bookings but I love it that we get diverse and interesting acts, people like Caribou, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, The Spinto Band, Dananananakroyd, Desalvo, Twin Atlantic and the mighty Mogwai have all played here. The Cab’s lucky to have an amazing bunch of staff that really care about the place and about making being there a fun night out. We do what we can to encourage bands to come along and support each other, especially through our free Duty Free shows, so we can keep local live music interesting.’
The Fourth Birthday runs over three events: MANDY at We Are … Electric, Wed 25 Feb; Little Boots at Sick Note, Thu 26 Feb; Erol Alkan at Sugarbeat, Fri 27 Feb, all at Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh.