Adventures in Stereo
All good things must come to an end. David Pollock talks to the people behind house night Stereotype as they gear up for their last night
When monthly night Stereotype began at Berlin in Edinburgh’s West End seven years ago almost to the day, the intention was not to follow the crowd. That’s why the club was called Stereotype in the first place, to emphasise the fact it didn’t want to be defined by the genre of music it played. ‘A lot of nights get pigeonholed as a minimal house night, a techno night, whatever,’ says co-promoter Paul Cunningham, ‘but we just wanted to play the best records we could find and be known as a great club, first and foremost.’
For seven years they managed it, as Cunningham and co-promoter/resident DJ Jonathan ‘Huggy’ Spacynski held down a last-Saturday-of-the-month residency at Berlin which was among Edinburgh’s finest for the duration. Stereotype became so popular, in fact, that it inspired a spin-off club called Stereotype Motel, which started out at Cabaret Voltaire before graduating to the larger Liquid Room.
It’s all coming to an end now, though. At the end of this month, Cunningham and Huggy will celebrate Stereotype’s seventh birthday with the club’s final instalment. ‘It’s partly because we have other projects we want to work on,’ says Cunningham. ‘Huggy’s a producer in his own right, and he wants to spend a lot more time working on his own releases. I’ve got other club projects I’d like to try out too, so it isn’t like we’re both retiring or anything.
‘Basically, in the seven years we’ve been doing this, I feel there’s been a sea change in the club-promoting business. More and more clubs are doing their own in-house nights, which makes it a bit more difficult if you’re an independent promoter, while the increased amount of music festivals and corporate events mean that there are now far more opportunities for fans to see big name electronic acts. Which is good, but again it makes it harder for independents.’
Cunningham says all this with a note of finality, even though the plan is to do one-off Stereotype events when the situation or the guest demands it. He concedes that the night has had an amazing run already, and notes that ‘sometimes it felt like one night a month wasn’t enough for all the guests we wanted to bring in.’
Among his favourites have been ‘Switch, Layo & Bushwacka and Junior Jack & Kid Crème, who played our first birthday party. Away from that, we brought Yousef to Cabaret Voltaire and Cassius and Booka Shade to the Liquid Room.’ That’s some roster, and it emphasises why Stereotype will be missed.
While Cunningham is proud of Stereotype’s history in terms of bringing many of the above to Edinburgh and introducing their music to the night’s regulars, he also points out that other Edinburgh residencies like Ultragroove and Musika will continue to provide quality house music and guests for their crowd.
‘All clubs run their course,’ he says, ‘but to go out on a high after seven years, rather than making it to ten but really petering out in that last year or two, is all we can ask for. We’re still packing out the venue, so I’d rather be a great club for seven years and end it than be past our best for even one or two.’
Stereotype’s Seventh Birthday and closing party is at Berlin, Edinburgh, Sat 30 Jan.