The EF Weekender may have been reduced to one day but it’s still one of the best parties in Glasgow
Disappointment at this year’s second instalment of Glasgow’s hipster warehouse weekender Electric Frog being reduced from two days to one will be tempered by the fact that the single day should still rank among the music events of the summer. Although the Sunday schedule of the hastily-rebranded Electric Frog Summer Festival has fallen victim to unalterable building works due to commence the same day in the cul-de-sac housing railway arch venue SWG3, the typically cultured line-up from curators Pressure and Optimo will still feature some big names and special exclusives.
Headlining Pressure’s street party side of the event (it’s on the street but under cover, so have no fear of the weather) will be Dubfire, fresh from a reputedly storming set at Barcelona’s Sonar festival last month and now offering a deep and anthemic style of techno, a far cry from Ali Shirazinai’s former role as one half of progressive house outfit Deep Dish. Also appearing will be Canadian minimal producer Marc Houle and Germany’s Cocoon regular Karotte, alongside local boys Orde Meikle of Slam and Graham Reedie of Silicon Soul.
For the indoors Optimo warehouse party, Twitch & Wilkes have secured a rare live set from one of the leading lights of the 1980s’ post-industrial scene in Nitzer Ebb, originally from Essex but now based in America. ‘This will be our only UK date of the year,’ says the band’s Douglas McCarthy. ‘I know Optimo’s reputation, I have some good friends who’ve gone to the club many times, including Richard Clouston who runs Cosey in London. He went to the last ever Optimo last year, it’s a pity I wasn’t able to.’
McCarthy promises a show which will be ‘as always, very energetic and physical. We use a combination of acoustic and electronic percussion as well as a midi mallet controller – a keyboard that’s basically played with mallets like you would a xylophone. The show’s very dance heavy but there are some reflective songs to let everyone catch their breath.’ Carrying on the theme of leftfield synthesised music will be duo Instra:mental, who create a stark urban soundtrack of glitch electronica deeply embedded with an organic, soulful sensibility, and Glasgow’s own Pro-Vinylist Karim, a regular resident at the Sub Club’s Optimo-affiliated Hung Up! night.
Another source of excitement for Twitch will be the return of hyperactive ghetto house master DJ Funk to Glasgow: ‘I love his set,’ he says, ‘but he’s got too much energy for his own good. We’ll give him an hour, any more than an hour and we’ll have to inject him with valium or something.’
While no-one will surely complain at the prospect of a party like this and Sunday off to recover, anybody who feels like they’re missing out on their complete Electric Frog fix will be pleased to hear the plan is to relocate the second day’s line-up en masse to a weekend in September. ‘The Studio Warehouse is a fantastic space,’ says Twitch of the venue, ‘and the guys behind it have put so much work into it, not just for clubs but for fashion events, art events and studio spaces, it’s developed a real community feel. It’s out the way, it takes a little bit of effort to get there and it has that special Victorian atmosphere. It’s like the kind of club you’d find in London, and nowhere else in Glasgow.’
Electric Frog Summer Festival, SWG3, Glasgow, Sat 30 Jul. Details of how to exchange Sunday tickets for Saturday can be found at theelectricfrog.co.uk