Ten Years of Animal Farm
Co-founder of Animal Farm Darren Quail on a decade of club nights, the move from Soundhaus to Sub Club and Glasgow's burgeoning techno scene
It began with techno. Or, more specifically, two friends bonding over Richie Hawtin's Decks, EFX & 909, a Dave Clarke mix recorded at Fuse, Belgium, and frequent visits to a night called TEST at the Art School — ‘a random find in the Metro one weekend’, says Darren Quail, the club’s co-founder alongside Chris Lamb.
They started out the way so many do — the enthusiastic accumulation of decks, vinyl and friends willing to show up to bar gigs, an unholy amount of energy, and a willingness to terrify said bars’ patrons with the harder side of techno. When Charles Turtle, who ran a few nights at Glasgow’s infamous Soundhaus, got involved, the name was a given. Animal Farm was go.
In 2009, they got their regular Sub Club night. ‘After the Soundhaus closed, we weren’t sure if we should continue the club route or just go back to DJing in bars,’ says Quail. ‘We’d spoken to the Sub Club about a possible one-off, just to see how it went, so we decided to go all out, recruiting the then fairly unknown Ben Klock — on a Monday, as well. The night was a complete success and reinvigorated us in terms of running nights. We couldn’t imagine anywhere better to hold Animal Farm.’
In such a competitive city in terms of bountiful club offerings, it’s no mean feat that the trio have kept the night going for such a long time, and Quail is positive about the future of techno as a crowd-puller. ‘Techno is by far and away on the up in Glasgow and Scotland in general. It’s taken the last three to four years to finally come back round again, but we’re noticing younger people attending ours and other nights, purely for the music. It really is something you have to be into to appreciate, but once people get the bug for it, they tend to dive in to the scene … ’
Animal Farm’s 10th Birthday, featuring Shifted & Sigha, takes place at Sub Club, Glasgow, Sun 28 Dec.