Colin Steven finds out what the Slam! crew have planned for the SECC.
LISTINGS: GLASGOW 67 EDINBURGH 68
Wham!Bam! Thank you
Colin Steven stays up late with two of Glasgow’s foremost House DJ 5.
It’s taken a long time for DJs outside of London to be recognised nationally. but now every ‘style’ magazine worth its ﬂares is full of names like Dave Haslam, Mike Pickering, Jon Dasilva & Graeme Park. The only problem now of course is that it’s Manchester dominated, particularly the Hacienda. When people do realise that someone in Glasgow has to play records to the much envied 5am licence, two names at the top of the list will be Orde Meikle & Stuart McMillan. No disrespect to fellow DJs, as there are others who can now compete with them musically, but they’ve been at the forefront of the House revolution in Scotland for two years with their own clubs, and still keep one step ahead with ideas, music and ambition.
‘Clubs should be very experimental’, reflects Orde, ‘it’s very easy to find a successful formula and just stick with it, but you’ve always got to look for the new and the fresh’. This really is the key to their success. A couple of years ago Glasgow was content to be very insular and lagged behind other cities, but Orde & Stuart have made a point of trying to forge links with record companies and DJ 5 all over the country. Things have changed as Stuart is keen to point out.
‘The last time we went to London, they were probably musically behind what we’re doing in Joy. What a lot of the punters that come to Joy don’t realise is that what they’re getting musically is what they would hear in any upfront club throughout Europe. That can only be fulﬁlling for me. As a Clubber when I first starting going out, hearing old tracks week after week, I kept thinking ‘come on, lets do something different, lets change’. To actually have the facilities to play records, which you believe are good records and are upfront, in my mind can only be a good thing for Glasgow.’
Questioned on how they manage to stay so fresh, they each have their own equally valid reasons. Stuart first on how travel broadened his mind: ‘My attitude totally changed when I came back from Ibiza last summer. I discovered the Balearic attitude I suppose. There is no certain Balearic type of music, it simply is an attitude. It’s like dropping in a Bob Marley track because it’s a
4" 5‘ A. \ good record. It doesn’t even matter if it’s in the charts. I would like to think that we were ahead in what we do because we do travel around a lot. Just to see, not to copy though’.
‘Another reason we stay ahead, is that we’re looked upon very favourably by record companies’ , says Orde. They send us stuff way ahead of time. Many DJs get sent promos two or three weeks beforehand; we get sent tapes and acetates (the first pressing of the initial record) to break and give constructive feedback on.’
Stuart and Orde agree they work very well together as DJs, but point out there is another important member of the team which make up the Slam! crew (named after their now defunct Saturday night club), which is PR man Dave Clarke. Glasgow clubbers will be familiar with the three nights they currently run at the Sub Club — Joy, Blackmarket & Hallelujah. Joy is probably the best and most upfront house club in Scotland, with the other two nights being more ‘commercial’. Having built up their reputation as the best DJs in Scotland over a number of years, 1990 should be a very important year, which will see them move out even further from the boundaries of being mere club DJs: more all-nighters, another club tour, guest spots down south and abroad, making their own music and setting up a record label.
First off, a ‘cultural dance music festival’ on 31 March (not a rave!), which will be Scotland’s ‘biggest and most elaborate dance music event ever’ (press releases, doncha love ’em?). 8pm to 8am in the SECC for 3000 ravers; Lil Louis, Adamski & others live; a massive light display, projectors and special effects; the biggest ever sound system at a UK event of its type — 100K quad; a Super-X Simulator (which seats eight people ‘giving simulated high speed travel on
“at? *- . \ux.‘
snow, water, road, space using video, sound and hydraulic motion’). It’ll cost you £15 for a ticket, which might put a lot of people off, but Stuart defends the cost. ‘When you consider the acts we’ve got, I think it’s really fair. The lights, visuals and sound system are going to be amazing as well, you won’t have seen or heard anything like it at any event.’
‘I’m not going to harp on about it, but there really isn’t going to be a lot of money made from this. An amazing amount of money is going to be spent on everything. We decided what we wanted, then went and got it priced. and everything we wanted will be there.’
This isn’t the first time they’ve attempted an all-nighter, the memory of the disastrous Splashdown party at the Tramway still lingers with many people. The SECC event will see them try to win back credibility and if it goes without a hitch we’ll see more events this year on the same scale and maybe larger. Professional seems to be the key word for the SECC, as they’re both at pains to point out. ‘We’re working with Regular Music and it’s an official City of Culture event, so the organisation will be comparable to any major gig — totally professional’.
Every angle possible is being covered to make sure there is no repeat of the Tramway — if you don’t have a ticket on the night don’t bother going along and the tickets have been printed in such a way as to make forgery impossible. ‘This has to be a very professional event’, states Orde, ‘along with everything else that we do. I’m sure there’s nothing more that certain media correspondents and club owners within Glasgow would love to see than the night go badly, but it won’t.’
SLAM.’, SECC, Finnestoun Quay. 31 Mar. 8pm—8am. £15.
66 The List 23 March — 5 April 1990