The Champion in Glasgow.
LISTINGS: GLASGOW 77 EDINBURGH 78
System LWL at Wilkie House, Edinburgh and Steven Sleepman‘s new project,
Champion at the bit
Like a streak of lightning ﬂashing ’cross the sky, The Champion hopes to light up the Glasgow clubs scene. Andrea Baxter finds out ifit could be a contender.
Another challenger steps into the ring of Glasgow Clubland this week. The Champion talks big and confidently lays claim to the title of the most crucial place to be. Hardened viewers may shrug and predict a fall from grace in the third round. but The Champion‘s mean right hook is its experience — one halfof the partnership behind it is Graham Wilson. who previously coached the mighty Sub Club — and its determination to fight under its own colours. As Wilson‘s associate Helen Hutchison says. ‘We all know exactly what we want and what we don‘t want.‘
But does Glasgow really need another new venue for dancing — are there not enough already? ’Yeah. but they‘re all rubbish. that’s why nobody goes to them except dead-young crowds.‘ says Wilson. in his best Cassius Clay manner. ‘They‘re all struggling Thursday. Friday and Sunday. the only night most of them have got is a Saturday. I think it‘s about time to start reviving the scene.
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Wilson and Hutchison see the problem as being a proliferation of the same type of music wherever you go and plan to diversify their playlist to give The Champ an identity of its own. Thursday nights will feature live bands. often veering towards the type ofmiddle-range indie bands with which King Tuts have been so successful. The invites-only opening night rather idiosyncratically features a dancehall reggae act. Fridays will be given over to Steven ‘UFO‘ Sleepman's new showcase The Lab. which will be more hip-hop and soul influenced than rave; Saturdays will vary with guest DJs and special events. but will feature rap. soul. jazz. Latin and some house and Sundays. . . well. they’ll think of something soon. I‘m assured.
Every night. however. will be over-21s only (though there is an underage disco on Saturday nights). ‘I don‘t really want a load of young ravers in the place. it‘s just not my kind of thing. We‘re
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not so much expecting an older crowd. but a better one. people who are more into listening to music than the rave thing and dancing rather than having a rave every week. taking lots of Ecstacy and so on. The music policy will be more soul-oriented. more modern dance-soul stuff rather than acid and house which I think has done its time. I don‘t think it was such a bad thing. I suppose it had to happen. Anyway. I think the Tunnel will take care ofa lot ofthat market.‘
One good thing is that The Champion seems refreshingly free of hype or the pretension element that has spoiled many a promising club. ‘lt‘s going to be as relaxed as the Sub Club was when I had that. because the whole point of that is that it‘s a club. it's not a disco and people will hopefully want to come every week.‘ (Andrea Baxter)
The Champion opens to the public on Saturday 15 September.
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The recent ‘E ior Edinburgh’ event was hailed as a celebration at the new potential oi club culture, a night organised to secure recognition lor the type at contemporary sound which is now emerging irom the city. ll nothing else, it succeeded in proving that Scotland has produced a breed oi bands capable oi demolishing danceiloor preconceptions. It also produced a surprise.
Zulu Syndicate are a locally-based band with a street-toil hard hip-hop sound that comes straight irom the sidewalks oi the States. Certainly not what anybody would expect to iind
76 The List 14 - 27 September 1990
amongst the glitz and glamour oi the
, Festival City. But in case you missed ‘ :g- their recent appearance, they are giving Edinburgh another chance to catch their unique style, with a club-orientated event which aims to combat the accepted nightlile lormat.
’We’ve got together seeing as the club scene in Edinburgh is, well, a little stagnant, shall we say, with everybody playing the same house and post-acid records, and thought that we’d organise a club that is just that bit diliereni; bring up some at the stuli that’s played down south, the sort oi stuil we listen to ourselves.’
Upon consideration at the System L.W.L playlist it would appear that the boys” tastes are lalrly eclectic: ’ has been so much violence, so many disruptions. You don’t see that in England, people there go out just to enjoy themselves. But because at this element up here, clubs have closed down and clubbers stay in.’
Another resultant lactor is the denial oi late licences to promoters to enable
hip-hop, jan, soul, iusion, raggamutlin, techno, dub and look are all cited as controlling inlluences. This though, is a direct attempt to appeal to those interested in that which deviates irom the more mainstream.
‘We know there are people out there
them an airing.’
who are sick at listening to the same siull when they go to a club, and would appreciate a bit oi something diiierent. There are so many terms at music that have been neglected —we aim to give
As well as an innovative music policy, added attractions include a live set by the band themselves, dance crews, ‘MC mashin’ and DJ clashin’ (which lor the uninitiated can be translated as rap, ragamutlin, MC and mixing competitions) plus security by Tyson. Tyson? Surely not?
’Yeah, well, basically it’ll be a completely jerk iree night. The security proclamation is not a challenge - it’s just that over the last six months there
them to organise all-night events. However this is something which Zulu Syndicate do not envisage being a problem.
‘Well, we did try ior a lew more hours, but the answer was no. It merely means that we have to work that bit harderto pack everything into the short time that we do have.‘ (Avril Mair) System L.w.L is appearing at Wilkie House, Cowgate, 15 Sept, 11pm—3.30am. Admission £6 (£5 with ticket), tickets available irom City Cale, Cale Coste. Swing and FOPP.
1. Shabba Ranks—Wicked in a Bed 2. Ninja Man— Nah Hard Drug
3. N.W.A. -100 Miles and Runnin' 4. Hijack— Style Warriors Revenge 5. MilesJ-Siart Over
6. Jamaica Boys- Shake it Up