There’s no limit
David Pollock checks out NORAVE as they attempt to expand the minds and tastes of Glasgow clubbers
Nights which concentrate on local guests can often come with an air of apology, and the unspoken suggestion that what’s going on is a bit second-best in the absence of funds to bring bigger guests in from further afield. So it’s refreshing to hear NORAVE co-promoter and DJ Liam Arnold speak with unswerving conviction about the quality of his new monthly night at Stereo, after a series of underground parties and the NO HO HO Christmas special last year. ‘It’s about opening up people’s minds to genres that they wouldn’t normally give a try,’ he says, ‘and to open up their minds to the vast quantity of fantastic music that’s being made locally.’
Not that NORAVE is the only night of its kind in Scotland, or even in Glasgow, but it does have some kind of implicit manifesto; an eclectic and exciting selection of disconnected live acts and a team running things who have notable previous on the local scene – all of which contributes to the fact that NORAVE is doing things on its own terms, and cares not a toss for artificial fashions. ‘The name’s a reference to New Rave, of course,’ says Arnold, ‘which, as a genre, was a complete media invention. So this is about escaping from scenes, from cliques, and from the kind of rules that people seem to follow about going to a techno night, or to a rock gig, and thinking of them both as separate things.’
NORAVE itself is actually the club extension of the NORAVE compilation, a handy audio snapshot of some of the finest music in Glasgow from multiple genres. Although the team which runs the NORAVE residency is a joint partnership between Arnold, Graham Boag and Niall Connolly, it was the latter’s Little Rock Records that released the original title. Connolly is perhaps better known around Glasgow as The Niallist, the production guise he’s used to play Optimo and Death Disco, among other places.
‘If you put a techno DJ and a rock band on the same club bill,’ continues Arnold, ‘people’s reaction is often to say “you can’t do that. I’m not going to like both of those.” That doesn’t matter. Expand your mind. NORAVE is a locally-minded club with a global attitude, and the only rule is that we showcase music we love and know is good.’ As promised, this first night of the monthly residency features dancefloor rock’n’roll from the band Tokamak, laptop glitchcore from Louts!, crunk in the style of Hudson Mohawke and Rustie from Fox Gut Daata, bassline from Bitskit and a live set from The Niallist’s new band They Live.
The ‘global attitude’ Arnold speaks of will kick in next month, as Manchester’s Blood Moon are joined by Perth’s Tayside Mental Health and a soundclash between Glasgow noise band Weenliz and electronicist Gator. It will also be the first anniversary of the release of the NORAVE compilation, which will be deleted on the day in ‘celebration’. ‘It had to be a transient thing,’ says Arnold. ‘The album was a strong statement at the time, but we have to move on. That’s what else this night is about; not getting bogged down in the past and concentrating on what’s out there and happening right now’.
Stereo, Glasgow, Thu 5 Mar.