Colin Barr’s Network of Tunnels in Glasgow (below).
LISTINGS: GLASGOW AND EDINBURGH DIARY 69
Neds in Ichi Ni San gear pushing Ecstasy helped close Colin Barr’s Fantasy. But, as Colin Steven reports, he’s bouncing back with a Tunnel Network.
‘Forget the rave. The rave is finished for us. We‘re not interested in that punter anymore, drinking water and popping Ecstasy. It was okay last summer. when it was nice, happy people enjoying the club. but there‘s a lot of neds going about now. and we want to sift them right out and have a good class ofpunter.‘
Colin Barr has been around the Glasgow club scene for a long time, and knows what he’s talking about. For the past year, his club The Choice has been the most exclusive to be seen in for the older clubber. Their elitist door policy has become notorious (especially on Saturdays), but for Fantasy on Sundays it was relaxed and they had a hardcore following of 200 ravers. But this is where the problems began.
‘It was a great crowd, but there was that drug element,’ remarks Colin. ‘People were trying to get in and sell the young ravers drugs. gangsters basically. Last year you could tell them apart, but now they’re walking around in lchi Ni San clothes. All the neds of the day are walking about with the gear on! We never realised the problems the rave would cause. Drug dealers are coming to the door and because they’re not getting in. they‘re threatening the doormen and that’s why we closed Fantasy.‘
In its place will be Network, which will see the return of Colin to the decks along with Lars. Schlitz are pouring money into it, so you can expect big PAs from London and America on a regular basis, which normally clubs couldn‘t afford to put on. The music policy will also see a move away from the rave sounds to garage, soul and hip-house.
Network is only planned for the short term; on the horizon is a new venture, the venue Glasgow has been needing for years - The Tunnel. Fingers crossed. it will open on June 22. Situated in the basement which is currently the Imperial snooker hall in Mitchell Street, it is a perfect site. The
, capacity will be a massive 800 and it will be the
most lavishly designed venue in the city. But why did he want another club when he already has The Choice?
‘We only have a 25-year leasehold with The Choice, and leaseholds are worth nothing,’ he explains. ‘The Tunnel is a freehold. We own this property. The Choice is also too busy, people complain they have nowhere to go to get away from the music. It’s such a small place, and we’re restricted with our capacity for putting on PAs.’
Colin has such an infectious enthusiasm, it’s hard not to be infected by it. He sees The Tunnel as Glasgow’s equivalent ofthe Hacienda in Manchester, featuring all the best DJs, and be able to put on the really big live club acts. At the moment most of the shows don‘t bother with Scotland, and if they do it’s at concert halls like Barrowland which aren’t suited. ‘We‘re not getting the full potential out ofGlasgow. None of these older men that own the larger nightclubs will take the risk, and do what we do: pay £2000— £5000 for an act. Only the concert promoters will, but we’re willing to take the chance with the help of the sponsors.’
Network a! The Choice, 21 Royal Exchange
Square, Glasgow, Sundays 11pm—3.30am.
Organised by the lormer KK crew,
non-casual, geared towards students
swing beat rather than house.
For Edinburgh’s nightlife darlings, during the past live years there has only been one place to be seen of a Saturday evening — the Kangaroo Club. Here, style took on a sweaty exterior, as hundreds ol beautiful young things danced to the very best in soul, hip hop and tunk. But this weekend linally sees the demise oi the city's longest running rave.
Yet this is not the end; rather a new beginning. For already trom the ashes oi the old has arisen a successor— Power.
68 The List 23 February — 8 March 1990
Power aims to counter the tired appeal at radical chic, which exerts its ultimate unitormity on the majority ol nightspots, and to shift the perspectives at city clubbing by banishing the prevalent sense at lashionable elitism.
‘This will be something ditterent tor us', explains Ian Jackson, also the man behind Saturday indie club Immigrant. ‘Although our DJs will still be Gareth, Jim Reilly, Peter Coultas and Eric, we are aiming to attract a very dissimilar audience. Power will be distinctly
and ‘real’ people. It is going to be much more lrlendly and less designer-conscious than some other such events - what we want to do is recapture the more mature and relaxed atmosphere of the early Kangaroo Club.’
In order to achieve this, the boys intend to lose the ambiguity at old and new with their usual ‘underground' ethos and last turnover ol ldeas.
“We're going to play mostly dance music, at course,’ Ian elaborates. ‘The latest imports, but with emphasis on
However, we are also considering a possible return to our lormer mid-evening alternative slot. And also watch out for extremely inventive visual etlects, and a very unusual PA system'.
‘Power can be used as either a prellx or sullix to many things surrounding music. For us it means pure energy— that is what we intend to inject into Edinburgh’s ailing club scene”.
Looks like this one will run and run too.