Trick or treat
David Pollock checks out the best spooky offerings across Scotland’s clubland this Halloween
Maybe it’s something about the Pagan origins of Halloween, but even the best clubs can’t resist hitching their night onto the celebrations. Of course, mainstream party venues will latch onto any occasion for which a greetings card has ever been printed, but the more upmarket events tend to keep their powder dry for the big festivals.
So what’s so special about Halloween? As noted, a bit of a Pagan frisson doesn’t hurt, and neither does the fact that it sits just towards the tail-end of the autumn. At this point we’re all far enough away from our memories of summer fun, and not quite close enough to the traditional Christmas blow-out, that any half-baked excuse for a party is desirable.
Plus – and here’s the bit that gets everyone going – Halloween is a great reason to try out your fancy dress skills. No matter what every hen or stag night party marauding up the Grassmarket or Sauchiehall Street might think, the best costumes are those which incorporate a lot of traditional club black, and if they feature a bit of gothic imagination, so much the better. No other occasion calls for quite so much bad taste, humour and creativity to be invested in one outfit.
As justly famous for their filthy and furious Halloween parties as much as they are for, well, everything else they do, Optimo’s Espookio night (Sub Club, Glasgow, Sun 28 Oct) is a fine place to launch yourself into the spirit of the occasion alongside the best-dressed people and weirdest, most wonderful music. For a similar but much less intimate journey into electronic rock’n’roll, Belgian cut-up masters and sometime disco-funk scene leaders the Dewaele brothers, of Soulwax and 2 Many DJs fame, bring their Radio Soulwax Halloween Fancy Dress Party roadshow to town (Carling Academy, Glasgow, Wed 31 Oct).
Mention of fabulous outfits and late-night clubbing can’t be made without mention of Club Noir, the hugely popular Glasgow-based burlesque club whose ‘Schlock Horror’ night (Academy, Glasgow, Sat 20 Oct) promises one-off live performances based on classic horror B-movies, and all the usual elegant debauchery besides. Meanwhile, Chakra (Soundhaus, Glasgow, Sat 27 Oct) will be hosting a vampire-themed party.
Similar goings-on are afoot in the East, with Edinburgh’s home of fancy dress frivolity Tackno bringing us a Halloween event entitled ‘Most Haunted’ (The Caves, Edinburgh, Sat 27 Oct). Chances are, however, if you and your mates are thinking of going as a particularly frightened-looking Girls Aloud, you won’t be the only ones to have had the idea.
‘Scary drum and bass’ is what the folks at Obscene (Ego, Edinburgh, Sat 27 Oct) are offering, along with special guests Jammin’ Jay, J Bostron and Brainstormer, as well as cheap entry for anyone in fancy dress and a prize for the best costume. If that all sounds a bit too frightening, the Fence Halloween Fancy Dress Party (The Caves, Edinburgh, Thu 1 Nov) promises ghoulish fun from the Fife indie-folk label, as well as a performance from Edinburgh’s Found, promoting their new single, among other unannounced acts.
See listings for details.