not strippers and drag acts. We thought we‘d give it a kick tip the arse basically.‘
As Joy became more popular however. the problems began.
‘The Calton Studios has been an education in life for us.‘ admits Maggie. ‘Nothing could have been as bad as that place.‘
The problems Maggie and Alan encountered with violence round the venue were compounded by a lack of sound system. lights and heating. ‘It really was cold and miserable.‘ laughs Alan. ‘It was basically just a concrete box.‘
After leaving Calton Studios in May this year. Joy re-entered the scene in July with a successful one-off at Wilkie House to mark their third birthday. followed by a move to a new venue. Edinburgh‘s glitzy casino- turned-club-venue. Royal Chimes. The arrangement proved short-lived. The venue was too hot; the danceiloors too small; the door security aggressive and most importantly. the Joy punters didn‘t like it. After live events they left.
By this stage though. Joy had established their residency in Aberdeen. Starting as a monthly event it quickly evolved into a packed-out weekly Friday
Scotland’s premier gay club Joy is now storming it with regular nights in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Kirkcaldy. On the eve of further residencies in Dunfermline and Liverpool and the launch of first- ever Joy single, Jim Byers talks to the club’s founders, while (below) Rory Weller meets with VIP Joy guest and the single’s remixer, Pete Shaker Bones.
it hasn‘t been an easy ride to the top. Scotland‘s night. Since then the duo have set up a monthly busiest. sweatiest. most up-for-it gay club night Joy ' Sunday night at The Sanctuary. Kirkcaldy and Alan is spent three turbulent years in Edinburgh‘s The New Blue Moon Cafe for several years. As a result. they currently preparing to host a monthly Saturday night Calton — now under new management and called became well known laces on the Edinburgh gay at Klub Kreole. Dunfermline. Most recently they‘ve Studio 24 — where it endured various problems scene. In I993. following a trip to the Eurodance been approached to run Joy at E2 (formerly The including a drive-by shooting. a stabbing. a tire and event in Paris. they began planning their own club Escape club) in Liverpool every four weeks.‘ sporadic outbreaks of violence. night. ‘We wanted to re-create that madness and that ‘A lot of people wrote us off at the start of the year.‘ While aiming to create a safe environment for gay full-on party atmosphere in a gay environment which says Maggie. ‘And to be honest. at one point. halfof people and their friends. Joy found itselfcaught up in was something that hadn't been done in Scotland me just wanted to throw in the towel. But. we both a spiral ofclubland violence in and around The New before.‘ explains Maggie. believed in the club. we didn‘t want to let it die Calton that was beyond its control. Despite these The ﬁrst-ever Joy nights at Calton Studios attracted because we‘ve worked so hard at it over the last three setbacks the night continued to attract hundreds of about 50 people. mostly friends. Things gradually years.‘ clubbers every Saturday. By May of this year snowballed until Maggie and Alan were cramming Alan agrees: ‘If you believe in what you‘re doing however. things had become so volatile at the venue 350 people into a room designed for ISO. A year you can get through the hard times. you can grit your known locally as Calton Studios that the DJ later. Joy moved downstairs into the main room and teeth. put your head down and get on with it because partnership behind Joy opted to cut their losses and Edinburgh's first gay club night was born. sooner or later you're gonna get rewarded for it.‘ move on. ‘The gay scene in Edinburgh was so boring at the Jay eelebrale the release oft/reirﬁrsr single will: a This is their story. time.‘ recalls Alan. ‘There was nowhere to go except Joy Red Ant Party. Wilkr'e House. Sat 16 Not: Pele Joy‘s promoters and resident DJs Alan Nicholls and Chaps or the Blue Oyster Club. but they were playing Shaker Bones guests. The single "lea/unips'. will: Maggie McKeown shared a ﬂat together and ran tacky stuff like Kylie and Madonna. We wanted a Few Bones remixes. is available on Red/in! Ream/s
Edinburgh‘s popular gay (and straight) hang-out the club where the music was the most important thing. from 25 Nor.
LABEL BOSS/DJ Since that initial visit, he’s been up course Joy in Edinburgh.’ _ every three months or so and got a Bones is extremely positive about Sh k ’ handle on what the vibe of the club is the Joy track. ‘Their two mixes are a a all about. How, Joy has become one good, hard, pumping stuff that would of the regular stop-off points on his work well in their club and I’ve done circuit. a hard house American mix of the
Although not an enormous name in track. Hopefully it’ll pick up Bed Ant this country, Bones is something of a a little bit and take us over the 2000
Pete ‘Shaker’ Bones is head of Bed celebrity in the States, where he mark.’ Ant, the record label behind the Joy plays extensive tours. Curiously, the 0f the two labels Bones runs, Bed track "l'ea lumps’. the 29-year-old Americans are more into British Ant is easily the harder of the two.
from Surrey hooked up with Maggie
progressive house than the Brits are, lleg Bug is a more commercial, and Alan of Joy a couple of years ago
and the scene for his harder style is handbaggy, vocal sound, while Bed
when they were trying to get on the growing. In this country, there are Ant is a bit more trancey. ‘It’s the
0.! mailing list for Bed Ant’s sister only a handful of clubbers who ' kind of stuff that isn’t so immediately
label lleg Bug, whose records were appreciate what he is trying to do, obvious,’ reckons Bones. ‘lt’s more
making it big at Joy. and he doesn’t want to compromise for your discerning clubber.’ Which is Chatting away, Maggie and Alan his style. ‘0uite a few places, after I what Joy is all about really. (Bory
discovered Bones was also a DJ, so - play a gig, don’t want to have me Weller)
as these musical relationships go - back’, he says. ‘But there are certain Pete ‘Shaker’ Bones [Us at Joy on soon they had booked him a slot at places that are up for it. Milky Lunch 16 Nov. ‘Tea lumps’ is due for
the club. He loved it, they loved him Taking Joy to the world: Pete ‘Shaker’ at Zoom in Norwich, Milk And Two imminent release on Bed Ant
and a beautiful friendship blossomed. Bones Sugars in london at the Cross, and of records.
80 The List l5-28 Nov l996