Chris Duncan of Sub Club discusses plans for the venue's 25th anniversary
Double celebrations as club night Subculture also turns 18 in 2012
You’ll probably be hearing a lot more about this as the year progresses, but it doesn’t do any harm to draw your attention to two anniversaries happening in Glasgow in 2012 – one big and one absolutely enormous, and both under the same roof. This is the year that seminal Saturday house night Subculture gets the keys to the door as it turns 18, and that the Sub Club cements its place at the heart of the city’s clubbing scene as it racks up its 25th year.
Celebrations have begun already and will continue throughout the year. ‘Our Subculture Hogmanay party is the first 25th anniversary event,’ says the Subbie’s press and digital marketing manager Chris Duncan. ‘We want to make people aware it’s our birthday, and also [the Hogmanay special guest] Âme from Innervisions has been consistently one of the best guests we’ve ever had at Subculture. In fact, between Âme, Guy Gerber and Li’l Louis in December, there’s three of the strongest acts we’ve ever had.’
This quality of special guest is, as Duncan rightly suggests, down to the reputation of the club and its DJs, with many agents offering first refusal on their touring artists to the Subbie’s nights. One of the recent developments at the club has been a rebranding of its Sundays, formerly the home of Optimo and latterly Twitch and Wilkes’ Hung Up! night, and now devoted to a series of monthly nights including Optimo Presents and the excellent showcase of developing world electronica Highlife.
Alongside these, second wave Chicago house pioneer Derrick Carter has also teamed up with the Subbie for a very special exclusive residency. ‘That happens roughly every five weeks,’ says Duncan, ‘because he times them to coincide with his European dates and his trips over from America. We’ve got a long-lasting relationship with him, he’s got a big fondness for the club, and when we asked him if he could do a couple of Sunday dates for us it became apparent he was up for doing more.’ At his dates so far, Carter’s Sub Club sets have veered away from house and towards experimentation with more eclectic disco sounds.
So what does the year ahead hold by way of anniversary celebrations? ‘We’re still in the planning stages and waiting for contracts to be signed,’ says Duncan, ‘but we’ll potentially be having a whole week of guests to celebrate the 25th birthday of the venue around the end of March, start of April, and then a weekend of events around the start of May to celebrate Subculture’s birthday.’
While the spring will be focused around events in the club, summer will also see the Subbie’s DJ delegates take to national and international festival stages. ‘We’re probably going to go back to RockNess, to Sonar and to T in the Park,’ says Duncan. ‘We’ve also got Subculture resident Domenic Capello going to Berghain in Berlin to do a one-night thing.’
There are also plans for podcasts, one-off special guests and other such goodies, but as Duncan says, it’s early days for any announcements yet. Safe to say there will be big things happening and in the meantime feel free to amuse yourselves enjoying the Subbie’s 25th year in all its glory.