If Shag was kitsch and silly what will its stablemate Parade have to offer? Avril Mairinvestigates. Colin Steven puts Glasgow School ofArt’s Moir And Swirl into perspective.
LISTINGS: GLASGOW AND EDINBURGH DIARY 71
No Noakes is good Noakes
Anyone for another Shag? Avril Mair talks to the boys behind the Viz of the nightlife world about
their latest venture.
‘lt was a choice between using the money we‘ve already made to either buy a Porsche or open another club— honestly.‘ Graham Hall. Edinburgh‘s king of nightlife kitsch. talks with typically self-effacing mockery about his latest venture. Not content with the phenomenal success of Shag. the boys behind Scotland‘s silliest club are now planning to dominate Edinburgh's Saturday scene with Parade: a ‘serious' attempt to inject humour into what is
essentially an ailing market.
‘Parade will have no connection with Shag whatsoever — it will be a dance club. but there the similarity ends'. explains Graeme Provan. who with Mick Kent. is l lall's partner in crime. ‘lnstead of the extremes of Abba and Grease. it will feature house and hip hop. yet we’ll still
retain a sense of unpredictability by slipping in i
the odd classic pop song too.‘ The opening for
Yet the triumvirate‘s achievements merit a mention with the most dedicated and respected club organise rs north of the border. From their less than illustrious origins deejaying in Edinburgh University students unions. they have now completely conquered the youth market in both Edinburgh and more recently Glasgow: attracting crowds of over (i()() to The Mission in the capital and Fury Murry's on the west coast each week.
If they are to be believed. Shag sells hedonism to disaffected clubbers disillusioned with the soullessness of most events. But what would 3 appears as arch cynicism seems more likely to be sheer commercialism combined with a clear
notion ofcreativity. Graham and Graeme are in fact trash aesthetes. well up in the art of the ' frivolous. To hard-core ravers they epitomise all that is distasteful about the club scene — but. to those watching with avid interest from the ' sidelines. their irreverance is refreshing. This is
an attitude to which they readin add their assent. ‘Steven Sleepman. Glasgow‘s so-called ‘club guru extraordinaire‘. was quoted a couple of ' weeks ago as saying that it's not easy to set up and run a successful club. That kind ofstatement is just pure crap. The only difficult thing for us is to arrange to meet at the right time with six boxes of records and (will) bars ofchocolate. Basically anybody with a reasonable knowledge of the scene and loads of bright ideas could do it. We know nothing about house. for example; we
don’t like that kind of music. When we started
playing it at our pre-Shag under-18's club in
this came with the demise of the city‘s last two strongholds for the kind ofstyle-by-numbers philosophy which the local lads reject as outdated and complacent.
‘We always felt that Spanish Harlem and Pacific State — specifically fashion-orientated clubs — had an uncomfortable atmosphere. The organisers said that people really wanted to go along and listen to these (‘hicago white label imports that nobody had ever heard of before. but it seemed
all the time they would have much rather danced to records they knew. Parade will still be somewhere to be seen. but it is going to be somewhere to be seen enjoying yourself'.
It is. however. hard to take completely serious a trio who have based their success on juvenile sexual euphemism. a playlist compiled from American B-movie soundtracks. and a propensity for distributing free candy bars. Whatever would solemn style aﬁcimuulns think ofstunts like a John Noakes look-alike contest
Glasgow we just chose the records with the grooviest sleeves without actually knowing what they sounded like. But it works.’
Preposterous as it sounds. the obvious glee with
' which it is expressed makes it more probable than
possible. As Graham l lall says. ‘I suppose that we're just tastelesst disorganised. We really
‘ have no idea at the present moment. for example. ; as to what this newclub will be like. We’ll just
have to wait until the first night to find out.‘
that the crowds were never entirely happy. They were standing around trying to look cool. while
and a competition which invited clubbers to fill their underpants with cornﬂakes‘.’
- Parade at Wilkit' I louse/rum I!) Mar, 1 / [Nil—3(1)”. ‘ £3 ([2.5().s'tudcnt).
SWIRL & MOI AT THE ART SCHOOL
Traditionally, student union discos are crap. That should make me popular with Ents ollicers everywhere. But most do seem to be stuck in a time-warp (cue
70 The List ‘) 22 March 19‘)”
Damian); on the whole they're a mix ol 60$ soul, chart laves, indie pop and ‘wacky‘ tunes again and again. This isn‘tjust the DJs lault; predictable mainstream is what most students want.
So what's special about the Art School? The lact is that the Vic Cale isn‘t your average student union and is more like a real nightlub. In the past they've been as bland as the rest, but due to recent dwindling attendances two new clubs have been prescribed as a cure. Swirl has just opened on Fridays and Moi, on Saturdays, has been going for more than a month. The
view is to build up a lollowing of not only students, and anyone else you care to sign in.
Swirl (subtitled sonic sleaze) blends 60s psychedelic pop, 70s lunk, 80$ grunge and 90s club, making it a very credible night lor alternative types. Moi, in contrast, has its linger firmly on the pulse of the independent charts. It isn't spectacularly different, but they do mix more ‘mainstream‘ indie acts with up the up and coming, without reducing themselves to the Grease or Rocky Horror Soundtrack. Other student union discos worth a mention are Glasgow College and Stuart
Murdoch's nights at Strathclyde Uni. (Colin Steven)
SWIRL TOP 10
1. Primal Scream: Loaded
2. Monkees: Mary Mary
3. Shop Assistants: Too Much Adrenalin
4. Sly Stone: Dance To The Music
5. Pale Saints: Sight Of You
6. Beatles: Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey 7. Mudhoney: Hate The Police
8.? & The Mysterians: 96 Tears
9. Modern Lovers: She Cracked 10.Nancy Sinatra: Lightning‘s Girl