One More Tune - Here we go again
As they celebrate their second birthday, the folk behind One More Tune talk to David Pollock about difficult beginnings
It’s overplaying things to describe it as a rags-to-riches tale, but Matthew Craig’s career as a DJ and promoter on the Glasgow circuit has come a long way since he started putting on One More Tune (alongside Ralph Thomson, who he DJs with as Define Define) as a small night for friends two years ago. It’s certainly worth looking to his example if you’re a young DJ trying to put your own night together, though, because only sheer persistence got the night any further than its second month.
‘We started off at Blackfriars Basement in August 2007,’ he says. ‘The first night the PA cut out eight times. It wasn’t a success. Then the second night only had around 40 or 50 people in, so the venue cancelled us. Only getting to two or three nights isn’t unusual for a new club, but we decided to fight back. I had to go back to the venue and get my deposit back, but I ended up chasing and chasing, and eventually ended up making a kind-of bet with the manager that I’d either take my deposit and leave him alone or would get one more chance to put a night on. That was a turning point, we knew we were going to stick with the night then.’
Needless to say – because they wouldn’t be about to celebrate their second birthday with guest sets from Rubadub’s Dan Monox and Pro Vinylist Karim otherwise – the third One More Tune was a success. ‘It’s easy to start a night just for your friends,’ he says, ‘but after a while you realise that even getting them to come down every time is hard, because there’s so much choice out there. So if you want to keep going, you really do have to make the jump to printing up flyers and posters and getting them out where people can see them.’
The night is inspired in part by the club where Craig says he’s heard ‘more “one more tune” moments at the end of the night than anywhere else’ – the Sub Club’s Optimo. ‘We play party music,’ he says, ‘but we don’t shove a constant 4/4 beat down peoples’ throats, which is what you think dance music’s all about when you start trying to play it. We use soul, Motown and salsa records alongside dubstep, house and breaks.’
After their clubbing apprenticeship at Blackfriars, Thomson and Craig – who also works at Sub City radio, runs his own bi-monthly night Cheap & Nasty at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy and will shortly start a monthly residency named Itch! at Pivo Pivo with friends – made the jump up to the much larger Art School earlier this year. ‘I think the key is to enjoy what you’ve got while still looking to expand the club,’ he says, ‘That doesn’t mean we need or want to be any bigger than we are now, but it does mean sourcing better, newer music, working on the visual side of things and just doing everything possible to make sure our night stands out.’
One More Tune’s second birthday, School of Art, Glasgow, Sat 8 Aug; Cheap & Nasty, Nice’n’Sleazy, Glasgow, first and third Saturday of every month; Itch! Launches, Pivo Pivo, Glasgow, Sat 5 Sep.