Glasgow clubs Death Disco and Pressure hit 8th and 12th birthdays
The Count & Sinden, Brodinski and Slam set for club birthday events
David Pollock heads down to The Arches, the venue hosting two big birthdays this fortnight as Death Disco reaches eight and Pressure is 12
Take Glasgow’s most famous venue, two of its finest and most enduring nights, add a busload of excellent DJs and sing a big old chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’. The Arches’ Death Disco and Pressure both celebrate birthdays this fortnight, so we asked people who’ve been involved from the start to take us through a combined twenty years of clubbing history.
Niall Walker, the Arches’ design and marketing manager: ‘I remember sitting round a table with the Arches’ staff and about a 100 potential names for this new night. At that point our gay night Trade had finished and it was a good few years since the place had hosted Love Boutique, so we wanted a new night that was aimed at a mixed crowd but which had a much wider club ethic. At the time electroclash was popular, so our then-residents Freelance Hellraiser and DJ Mingo-go would play it out alongside a regular live element.
‘We were lucky enough to be the first people in Scotland to book 2 Many DJs about six months into Death Disco’s life, and that’s when things really started to kick off for us. Of course nowadays you can walk into almost every club in Glasgow and hear electro, so our main aim is to keep in touch with the next big artists coming through who stay true to the ethos of the club, whether it’s electro or disco or whatever.
‘There was a time I’d go to every one, but you can’t keep that up every month for eight years! My favourite guests were Lady Miss Kier from Deee-lite, Jacques Lu Cont and Le Gateau Chocolat, who was a large black drag queen with a full beard that sang ‘Nessun Dorma’ for the crowd. We want to do more interactive things like that in future, and we’ll be experimenting with letting people play their own music on their iPods in the Playroom this time. But really the main thing is to keep on top of the best new music out there.’
Dave Clarke, promoter at Slam Events: ‘When Pressure started we’d already been doing Slam at the Arches for six years, with occasional guests like Underworld or Daft Punk, but when the venue got a drinks license for the back room we decided to start something bigger. Now we run between one and four rooms a month, each one playing anything from deep house to the heavier end of techno.
‘One thing I’ve noticed in those 12 years is the way techno has really diversified into different sub-genres and cliques, but that works for the way we’re set up because we can book big-room DJs and we can also introduce people to more cutting-edge underground music. We’ve had people like DJ Shadow, Chemical Brothers, Les Rhythmes Digitales, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills and Tiga play for us over the years, which is a pretty eclectic selection.
‘Our crowd’s been through a few generations, with the average age still about the early 20s, so our main challenge is to keep things fresh for them. We’ll be looking at booking things like Laurent Garnier’s new live project and tying in with Carl Craig for his and Slam’s 20th anniversaries as DJs over the next few months, and also trying to introduce as much fresh local talent as we can.’
Death Disco’s 8th Birthday with The Count & Sinden, Brodinski and more. Sat 20 Nov, Arches, Glasgow.
Pressure’s 12th Birthday with Mathew Jonson, Paco Osuna and Slam’s 12 Years of Pressure set. Fri 26 Nov, Arches, Glasgow.