Go with the flow
Five guys from Glasgow are putting on a do. But when multi-media event promotors FLOW opens its bag of party tricks, there's more on the menu than crisps, balloons and a few tunes.
Words: Rory Weller
You would think. if you were putting on a club. that three events a year wouldn’t be too taxing. For the five core members of Flow. Glasgow's most innovative promoters. it‘s quite enough.
The outfit has been staging intense multi-media parties for six years in venues as wide ranging as churches. green houses and art galleries. combining their own skills as Dis. filmmakers. producers and
graphic artists with talent from the underground of
Irvine Welsh performed with Flow in 1993. prior to the Trainspotting hype and musicians Global Communications. Beaumont Hannant and Steffan Robbers all featured at Flow events well before they were noticed by the dance and style press.
Bored with what was on offer in the traditional club circuit. the organisers. Dene Happell. Angus White. Craig Caddis. Alistair Bell and Clyde Lawson. came together in 1991 to put on their own parties — explosions of creativity. heavy on the visuals and deep with the music.
‘We just enjoyed having parties and no one else was doing what we were doing.’ explains Happell. ‘Glasgow was going through a period of really bad clubbing and our musical tastes were different.‘ adds Caddis.
Different is probably an understatement. For one
80 THE lIST 5—18 Dec 1997
‘Anyone can go and book Andy Weatherall. But it's pretty dull stuff. We're doing it properly and having a feel for the night, rather than just playing some records.’ Clyde Lawson, Flow
Art School event Flow constructed an immense womb-like dance space. with mashed-up projections flashing on to drapes descending down from the ceiling. as a poet screamed out lines over the music. At the Glasgow bar Barbizon a tap dancer kept time with the sounds. and when the outfit took over an entire tenement block the police had to be called.
More recently. Flow has been relatively absent from the clubscene. but the collective has just been waiting for the right time to resurface. The opportunity arose' when Glasgow‘s CCA sked Flow to put together a closing party for its Wares In. Particles ()ut contemporary art season. The space has never been used for a full-on club night before. but now the gallery and bar will be taken over by Flow.
‘We only do events when we’ve got an idea. a good venue or music that we really like has come along. It's never done for the sake of doing it.‘ says Lawson. This particular event has taken five tnonths to organise. sorting out DJs and live acts. Flow also develop new visuals for each event and carry out all publicin and design themselves. When the outfit attempted to put on a monthly night at Glasgow‘s Arches they quit after three months. drained physically and creatively. hating the whole thing.
The music will he as important as the visual elements with this Flow event. following the pattern of previous nights by sourcing talent that may be unfamiliar to the lay clubber. Max 404. .limpster. Junk and Blue play live while Paul Cawley and Flow DJs take to the decks with the vibe ranging from hip hop. drum 'n‘ bass and hard house to more experimental sounds.
‘Anyone can go and book Andy Weatherall.’ says Lawson. ‘You‘re guaranteed a busy night. but it‘s pretty dull stuff. We're doing it properly and having a feel for the night. rather than just playing some records.‘
What the Flow crew never lose sight of though. is that they‘re putting on a party just like the old days. In a scene that often spends more time navel gazing than throwing shapes on the floor. it's heartening to hear. (Rory Weller)
Flow is at CCA, Glasgow, Fri 5 Dec.
'. (Rory Weller and Jim Byers)
A finger on the pulse of Scotland’s dance scene.
A SPOKESPERSON FOR Edinburgh's Hogmanay recently described the dance element of last year’s event as ‘awful, just like some massive rave'. Some clubbers, therefore, are looking west for the beats that matter. Radio One will be broadcasting live from Glasgow's Merchant City, where there will also be a hip hop stage featuring Paul Cawley, The Jengaheads and Peter Parker from Grand Central Records, plus Edinburgh's Pure going for it at the Fruitmarket. For more info, check out the Hogmanay website at: http/l:www.hogmanay.co.uk
THE BIG ISSUE is teaming up with five local DJ collectives to run a club night at Glasgow's Qudos (QMU) on Fri 13 Dec. Cake, Jengaheads, Orange Peel, Syntax and Foresight will play at the benefit with all proceeds going to the Open Hogmanay fund which will offer shelter, hot food, clothes, presents and entertainment to Glasgow's homeless. Support this clubbing with a conscience.
EDINBURGH-BASED PURE is going to be busy over the coming weeks. To go with the club’s weekly Friday night at The Venue in Edinburgh, it’s now got a monthly Friday at The Sub Club in Glasgow (next date 19 Dec), a monthly Saturday at Exodus in Aberdeen (next date 27 Dec) and a monthly Saturday at Gray’s Inn in London (next date 13 Dec). And, as if that wasn't enough, Twitch, Brainstorm and their pals also have a date at The Funnel Club in Dublin on 20 Dec. Pure fans might like to know that the club is running a bus to the London date on 13 Dec for something a wee bit different — and the perfect chance to get all that Christmas shopping done! Call 0131 558 3824 for coach and ticket details.
WANT TO GO to Rub A Dub’s universally renowned Club 69? Having problems getting to Paisley? Help is at hand: the club is now running a bus from Glasgow every Saturday night, leaving the Halt Bar, Woodlands Road at 11pm and returning at the end of the night.
Twitch from Pure looking forward to a busy month