A Splash One Happening resurrects influential Glasgow indie club
How cult Glasgow indie club Splash One hosted Sonic Youth, Primal Scream and Wire
Track back over the last decade or so, and the Scottish clubs which have truly captured their times are still familiar names to most: Optimo, Manga, Pure, etc. Yet head back two and a half decades, and the scene is like a foreign country. Still, anyone with an awareness of Glasgow’s rich indie history should know the name Splash One. Active for just a year between 1985 and 1986 at 46 West George Street, it played host to bands such as Sonic Youth, Primal Scream (Bobby Gillespie was one of the eight-strong committee who ran the night), BMX Bandits, Wire and The Pastels, and also such cultish names as The Loft, Submarines, Jasmine Minks and Shop Assistants.
‘We all had different musical tastes,’ recalls Derrick Louden, one of the night’s founders, ‘and we were all really opinionated about music. It was a completely DIY thing. We’d book the bands ourselves, make the posters, choose the soundtracks and make up the tapes.’ No such high-falutin’ niceties as vinyl and turntables for the Splash One team, it was pre-recorded mixtapes all the way. And so the C86 sound, and by extension Glasgow’s indie music culture as it exists today, was born.
Originally the plan for this 25th anniversary tribute night, conceived by Iain Baird of the Flying Duck and other definitive indie haunts like Mono and Stereo, had been to play music in tribute to Splash One. When Louden was contacted, though, he was happy to get involved by making up a mixtape bearing 100 psychedelic punk rock classics. ‘Why was the night so successful?’ he ponders. ‘It was in no way a business. It was just music fans doing whatever the hell they wanted.’
Flying Duck, Glasgow, Fri 15 Oct.