Once upon a time all the best clubs were in Glasgow. Then came the Honeycomb. Jim Byers talks to the man responsible for Edinburgh’s newest. most glamorous club space.
Edinburgh has languished long in (ilasgow's designer shadow. in everything from fashion and restaurants to bars and clubs. Think about it. (ilasgow has the Italian (‘entrc. lidinburgh has Waverley Market. (.ilasgow has .\la.\aluna. The Living Room and The Gate. [Edinburgh has The (‘ity ('afe (yawn) and the new lguarra (nice try). No comparison. Then there's the clubs. The Tunnel. The Sub Club. The Arches and rrrost recently Archaos. The Apartment and Betty's Mayonnaise. All ofthem top club venues. and all of them in Glasgow.
l)on't get me wrong. I live in lidinburgh and I love it —- ljust want to be proud of it. So. on behalfof myself and all of lidinburgh‘s clubbers I'd like to thank Warren l)cighan. Firstly. for setting up The Honeycomb. the city's newest. purpose-built club space. but more importantly for putting lidinhurgh‘s clubland back on the map.
Let's put things in perspective. liighteen months
back. Deighan was managing the (now defunct) Vaults. having cut his teeth on the ('itrus ('lub. ‘When I took that job I had no intention of getting involved in clubs,’ he admits now. ‘lt was a ﬂuke. l was straight out of school at the time and it was just ‘ an opportunity. But I didnae try and kid myself that l was someone special. ljust sat and listened and watched.‘
Unhappy at the Vaults. he started to dream about having his own eltrb. ‘I felt that club promoters had done all they could with what they had.‘ he explains. ‘They were bustin' their baws to make the club scene better but they‘d run out of ideas. They couldn‘t do any more with what they had because there‘s only so much you can do in a concrete shit-hole with a bar and a sound system.‘
He continued to work. all the time making discreet enquiries into acquiring a suitable building in the city. With financial backing from his family. his idea gathered momentum. ‘I wanted to start the ball rolling in Edinburgh the way it did six years ago in Glasgow. It takes a lot of balls to put this amount of money into a business that‘s considered risky. but l knew what people wanted. Because of my age [he's only 23] I‘m close to the punters. I hear all the complaints and see all the problems. whereas most ; club owners in Edinburgh are just businessmen in it I for the money. I'm in it because I love running I clubs.‘ 1
Once the right venue had been found. there was no going back. Word got out and Deighan was asked to leave the Vaults due to an obvious conflict of
Down among the
interests. Their loss was to be the clubland's gain. Work began almost immediately on a .‘xtltl-year-old derelict vault in the bowels of Blair Street.
‘:\ lot of people thought we were mad at the start.‘ he laughs. showing off photos taken before work corntnenccd. revealing dirty. dilapidated. concrete crypts of various shapes and sizes. cmered in graffiti and mountains of assorted debris. Which is w here his dad comes into it. '\\'e had all sorts of problems.‘ recalls l)cighan. -- ‘but I was confident we could do it. and that‘s all down to my father basically. He's in
‘Most club owners in Edinburgh are just businessmen in it for the money. I’m in it because I love running clubs.’
the building trade and he pulled in all the best guys he knew.‘
So. next time you're in The Honeycomb. take a good look around. See those two smooth. sweeping bars'.’ .\lr Deighan built them. See that elegantly minimal velvet-clad furniture in the lounge area‘.’ Mr Deighan built that. And see that super-shiny classic
big noise: Warren Deighan of Edinb
[\Sl llliY WALKER
urgh’s new designer club venue. The Honeycomb
wood floor in the tnain room'.’ He did that too. Talk about a family business.
‘\\'hat I‘ve done is take all the tiny details that cause problems in other venues and make sure they never happen in my club. .-\II the clubs I've worked in had problems that distracted me from what I was meant to be doing. so instead of thinking about clubs I was wondering how to fix the toilets or something! Running a club is a hard job and you‘ve got to tnake it as easy as possible for yourself.‘
Ten months on and the club is complete. Well almost. 'At the moment. I'm 50 per cent happy.‘ l)eighan says. 'I‘ve built the cltrb. but now I‘ve got to find its identity. It‘s been such a hard job putting the place together that I would‘ve liked to just open the doors and let it all fall into place. But that‘s not how it works. I could just open this place tip and make a packet out of it. but that's not what I want. I want it to be full of individuals. not stereotypes ~ right from the staff who work here. to the l)Js. promoters and punters- '
'l'lip llama-rum!) resales tit 36-~_s’8a B/(tir Street. lirliii/2tny/r. See ('lzrl) l.1's!1'rrevforfirrt/rerdelui/s.
The List 8-2l Mar 1996 77