In England the Spiral Tribe and DIY sound systems have become names synonymous with a free party scene where elements of post acid-house club culture and the traditional travellers’ festival scene have converged. Here in Scotland the climate may not be as condusive to dancing in a field until dawn (and prohibitive laws discourage squat culture) but over the past two years pioneering Scottish free party systems like Desert Storm in Glasgow and Sativa in Edinburgh have tapped the energy of clubbers frustrated by curfews - dreadlocked festi-heads and old-school ravers alike.
In the two years that Glasgow collective Desert Storm has been co- ordinating free parties they’ve used warehouses, barns and airport hangars . attracting an average of 500 people. ‘The best one was definitely Bishopston Castle,’ says ‘Clanger’ — who can’t be named for legal reasons. ‘We had the dancefloor down in the courtyard and people were dancing on 3 the battlements round the sides, it was incredible.’
Desert Storm currently faces prosecution which could lead to a six month jail sentence or £2500 line under Clause 45 of the new Public Order Act. ‘lt’s a test case,’ says one of the Desert Storm DJs, ‘to see whether they can enforce the party
i laws up here. Initially it was thrown
out of court, but they want to make an example of someone.’ With rumours rife about the police scouring the music press to check up on free party activity, none of the free party organisers were keen for their names to appear in print. Edinburgh’s Sativa sound system refuses to even use flyers to publicise their free parties; ‘it’s strictly word of mouth,’ says one of the collective. ‘We’re very aware that any publicity is counter productive.’
Sativa’s legendary parties clash
- underground techno, live MCs and
percussion, performance art and
; dubscapes in a bonkers cocktail using 1 three sound systems. Contacts with the Dutcast Clan responsible for
Energy Records, Magnetic Ilorth
3 records in Brighton and Spiral Tribe
have ensured the continual evolution
of the collective. ‘Before now, most of
the free festival and party scene in
Scotland was punk and folk
orientated,’ they say. ‘lt’s time to drag Scotland into the mid 905.’ (Bethan Cole)
Capture the spirit of Desert Storms free parties with their debut release ‘Scoraig’ (Soma), out 21 Mar. Free parties are publicised by word of mouth and occasionally flyers, if you hear about one; don’t miss out!
Regular weekly clubs plus one-off events are listed by city, than by day, then alphabetically by title. Clubs will be listed, provided that up-to-date details reach our offices at least seven days before publication. Club Listings gorgpiled by Rory Weller and Bethan
I The Ark at The Tunnel. 10pm—3am. £5 (£3). Pumping house. garage grooves. lasers and as much Versace as you can fit under one roof. Michael Kilkie and Scott
McKay in bar 1. Duncan Reid and Steven McCreery in bar 2.
I Banus 10.30pm—3am. £6. DJ George Bell playing commercial dance.
I Bar 10 9pm—midnight. Free. A laid back (but very loud) soul-based set from Stevie Donaldson.
I Bennet's l lpm—3am. £4. Busy gay night with DJ Sara.
I Big Deal at The Garage. 10.30pm—3am. £3.50 (£2.50). New club. new venue. House. trance. soul and disco from Divine and Stirrup of Art School Saturday fame. I The Cathouse 10pm~3am. £3 (£2.50 with ticket). Well respected rock- orientated night reaching capacity at the weekends. Industrial/rock downstairs and studenty stripey tights upstairs. Now with mainstream chart sounds from DJ Craig (Garage) on yet another floor.
I Cleopatra’s l lpm 3am. £6.
I Club Xchange l lpm—3am. £4. Gay. brash. trashy and fun as ever with Ms Club X. Big Karn. Happy Hour Ilpm-«Zam.
I Crash at The Cotton Club. 10pm~3am. £4 (£2.50 with matric card). An eclectic mix of happy sounds packing the place week after week.
I Dolly Mixture at Reds. Strathclyde University. 9pm—2am (doors close lam) £1 (free before 10pm). Students and guests. Tam Coyle putting together a ‘credible‘ assortment of sweet student sounds.
I Fluid at R.G.‘s. Spin—midnight. Free. DJ Kev with a tasty selection ofgarage. house and club classics.
I Frantic at Floozy‘s. 10pm—3am. £5 (£3 before 11pm with a Floozy's discount card). DJ Dave Young and Mike Costa. I Futuristic at Circa. 10pm—3am. £5. Trevor Reilly and MC MC from Hangar 13 bring their underground. ‘intelligent'
; techno to Glasgow every Friday night. I Hacienda Roadshow at the Sound
Factory. llpm~3am (no curfew). £5. Smart but casual. Series of weekly dance nights under the Glasgow Hacienda banner. Regular DJ line up includes Bassgenerator. Ten. MC TNT. and appearances by Gary Robertson and MC Voyager.
I llelter Skelter at Eruption. 10.30pm—3am. £3. Long-serving rock/indie night.
I The Hip Joint at The Sub Club. 10pm—3am. £3. Slip on your Adidas Gazelles and get down to the 'phat funk, chunkee jazz and solid rap' at the Sub with DJs Nick Peacock. Mike MacCrimmon. Gregor and Crawford.
j I Katch at The Cathouse. Studio 3.
7 10pm—3an‘i. £3 (£2.50/£ l .50 with a
ticket). The Katch boys pedalling their ; blend of indie/studenty/good time vibes
that has stood them in such good stead on the east coast over the last few years. Also appearing in Edinburgh on a Saturday
I Knucklehead in the Vic Bar at Glasgow School of Art. ()prn—late (doors close lam). £2.50. A sweaty night from the dubfunking Blue Juice boys Johnny and
Hamish. Soundclash and Caravzut in the
main hall 11 March and fortnightly.
I Plink Plonk Party at Glasgow School of Art. 10pm—2.3()am. 18 Mar only. (Price to be confirmed). Launch party for the new Parasols LP with guests including Mr C. (Plink Plonk. Shamen), Megalon and Richard Gray (both Plink Plonk). plus Inside Out DJs Will and Martin.
I Reds 10.30pm—3am. £4 (£3 for students before 11.30pm). ‘Chunky funk. deeliteful disco and groovy garage!‘ With DJ Paul N'Jie. Becks £1 all night or until they run out.
I Retro at The Hive. 10pm—2am. £2. Students and guests. 70s and 80s sounds with DJ Trax.
I Rhapsody [lpm—3am. £5 (£2). All drinks £1.50. Stevie Sleepman and Graham Wilson in this much under-rated venue. with hip hop. garage. house and funk.
Catch the best Glasgow Club: this fortnight. ‘
I Sonia That Eurovision Liverpudlian of limited stature takes to the stage for one night only. Who says the hit list isn‘t eclectic? Club Xchange, Friday 11 Mar only.
I Pllnk Plonk Party Launch party for the new Parasols LP with guests including Mr C (Plink Plonk, Shamen), Megalon and Richard Gray (both Plink Plonk). plus Inside Out DJs Will and Martin. Glasgow School of Art, Friday 18 Mar only.
I Big Deal Still pleasing the starving pubgoers with chocolatiest ﬂyers on the (slushy) streets today. The Garage. Fridays.
I Shag at Fury Murry‘s. 10.30pm—3am. £4 (£2 before Ilpm). The ultimate crap student night. the one which lowers the standards to which all others must stoop — and it’s still unfeasibly popular!
I Slam at The Arches. 10.30pm-3am. £6. You wonder why everyone is staring so much, but then you realise it‘s because of those revolving slides of dead Australian soap stars. Simple really. Orde and Alex Night 11 March. ()rde and Stuart 18 March.
I Sonic The Indie Club at Rooftops (Secrets Lounge). 10pm-~~3am. £2.50 (£1.50 before 11.45pm). lndie club (as you might imagine) with £1 pints of lager on tap.
I Soundclash Republic at The 13th Note. Spin—midnight. Free. Attracting a good crowd every week. DJs Andy. Joe and Iain take you on a ‘pre-club trans dub ambient journey to the ultraworld'. Also check out the Soundclash gang at Glasgow School of Art every other Thursday (next one 17 March).
I The Volcano 10.30pm—2.30am. £4 (£3). Packed night of mainstream dance. rap. funk and pop with DJ Alan Ronald.
I Who Loves Ya Baby? at Sunset Boulevard. llpm—3.30am (no curfew). £5 (£4). A bald. lollipop-sucking kind ofclub from Kiltie and Reilly.
I Atlantis at the Sub Club. llpm—3am. £6. Orde and Harri taking us on ‘sub- aquatic excursions into the deepest nether regions of contemporary sounds. textures and ball-busting bass lines“. 12 Mar: Ashley Beadle from Xpress 2.
I Bar 10 9pm—midnight. Free. Socialise to the mellow sounds of DJ Nick Peacock. I Bonus 10.30—3am. £7. Sam Wallace with his progressive house and regular guest DJs.
The List I 1—24 March 1994 81,