Meeting of minds
Sandra Marron chats to the heads behind ripped up indie and alternative night Club Olum.
Club Olum is the brainchild of live music promoter and label owner Peter Rooney and one of Glasgow’s most diverse and cutting edge DJs and Deathkill4000’s Marc Lawson AKA Dirty Marc. It’s a partnership made in heaven when you consider the format of their club night, the merging of quality live music with some seriously diverse deck action. Like all good club ventures, the meeting of minds musically is what spurns the best nights, and when Rooney and Lawson started hanging out together, the inevitable happened. Dirty Marc elaborates, ‘He [Rooney] has a lot of good contacts band wise and we came up with the idea that could come at things from more of a DJ point of view and handling more of that side and he with his experience, would handle more of the booking side and get the kind of bands that we wanted to play.’
In the summer of 2005, Club Olum got its first outing as part of T on the Fringe in Edinburgh. They ran the night on two consecutive Thursday nights at Cabaret Voltaire, putting on guest DJs and bands. Because of work commitments it was another year before Club Olum surfaced again, this time finding itself a regular weekly Thursday night summer slot at Bar Bloc in Glasgow. The idea behind their summer residency in Bloc was simple: build the night up with a solid non-student crowd and then work on the student market after the summer holidays - no small feat in itself.
‘We obviously realised that it wasn’t going to be the easiest thing in the world to put on a Thursday night club especially during the summer but it definitely helped that we did it for free; it was always free every Thursday no matter who was on,’ explains Lawson. ‘We had Marmaduke Duke play one night and even that was free and that was the kind of ethic with it over the summer.’ With the opening of the Classic Grand on Jamaica Street, Olum was on the move once more. A move that was needed to take the night forward says Lawson. ‘The stuff we did at Bloc was great and we put on a lot of good bands and we had a lot of brilliant nights in there but we always wished we had a dancefloor and now we have a dancefloor and it can run as a fully functional club where there is space to dance.’
Finally beginning this month, Olum has settled at The Buff Club and will now hold its regular Thursday night shindig there and use the Classic Grand to put on their bigger live guests at one-off events. As for the tunes he plays, Marc says, ‘In the later hours of the night, I play to the dancefloor and make sure people have a good time and keep people dancing, but not to the extent that I would ever let things fall into a formulaic territory or anything too obvious. Olum more than any other venture of this kind that I’ve been involved in has a party vibe to it. It’s about fun and dancing and having a good time and that is always in the forefront of my mind when I play music.’
Club Olum runs at the Buff Club, Glasgow every Thursday.