La Belle Angele
When Michael McGuigan took up the post of Venue Manager at La Belle Angele a year ago, the club had some great history but was in serious decline. At last, La Belle has undergone a desperately needed refurbishment and boasts a club rota to be reckoned with.
After waiting a year to start refurbishments - needing to get the right programme of clubs and also the finances together - McGuigan believes that the timing is perfect. Why? ‘The options in town are low for clubbers, and with our strong club line up and the promoters all very much involved, we have the best chance of success.’
He admits that the process has been difficult. If he had walked in with a budget to blow on redoing the club, progress would have been faster. ’lf we had done the refurbishment first, it would have been so much easier to get the right promoters in,’ believes McGuigan. ’They would have seen that we meant business, but as it was, it was hard to find the right people. I tried nearly everything last year to see what clicked, and some of the clubs already at La Belle were on the opposite side of the spectrum to what I wanted. With those on the rota it was hard to convince people that it would change.’
But change it certainly has. No minor lick of paint here, the entire
bar has been replaced with slate, stainless steel and glass. The men’s toilets, which previously opened onto the dancefloor, have been moved to the corridor, and the entire ceiling of the venue has been replaced. There’s also new furniture to lounge upon. The new second room — which adds 300 to the capacity - is open, although this will only be used occasionally.
La Belle now has a number of serious club contenders on its rota. Radio Babylon has been given a Friday night slot, with David Holmes guesting on 10 March, joining
Cool as funk, house and garage: the supremely talented Ashley Beedle is at Ultragroove, Fri 3 Mar
the long-running drum & bass club Manga, the garage and house club Ultragroove (with Ashley Beedle guesting on 3 March) and deep house supremos Higher Ground. Saturdays belong to Futuristica, Joseph Malik’s new project, and the Lizzard Lounge; both run fortnightly. Midweek is also looking mighty fine, with Black Projects, Da Break and Funk Junkies taking care of
All in all, an injection of cool to Edinburgh’s much beleaguered scene. (Simone Baird)
It‘s a girl thing: Gail Sellars
62 THE lIST 2-16 Mar 2000
With an all-girl DJ line up, Shebang has been rocking Wilkie House for a whole year now. Not bad for a night that came about from what one of the promoters Gordon Band Simply calls good timing. ’Gail Sellars had approached us with the idea of doing a night,’ Band explains, 'and around that time Wilkie House came to us with the possibility of also hosting a Saturday night (in addition to Taste).’ The potential was realised, Taste showed its feminine side in cahoots with Miss Sellars and voila! Shebang was born. After the low patch following a fire eighteen months ago, which ripped through her flat and destroyed everything she owned, Sellars describes her current situation as ’brilliant, and Shebang is the best thing that I’ve ever done.’ She adds, 'I never thought I would have my own club because of the competitiveness that exists in
clubland. I have to thank Taste for everything.’
Admirable past guests have included Jackie—M—orrison, Miss Isle, Angel and Princess Julia. ’The best night for me without a doubt was when Angel played,’ says Sellars, ’purely because it was a privilege to play with someone so good.’ No prizes for guessing who the birthday guest would be then. And if the main room gets a bit too much, the back room is available to sit and chill.
Sellars describes the style of music you're likely to take in at Shebang as ’everything from garage right through to progressive trance.’ Not only an excellent DJ both technically and musically, she has an open mindedness which is the order of the day, and she is without doubt a talent to watch. (Martin Valentine)
a Shebang is at Wilkie House, Sat 7 7 Mar.
Goings on beyond the dancefloor THE VENUE HAS gone on-line in an attempt to bring everyone up to date with their going’s on; check out www.edinburghvenue.com IT SEEMS THAT refurbishment is the buzzword down on The Cowgate at the moment. Not only is La Belle Angele sporting a brand new bar and other fancies (see preview, left), but Wilkie House is also undergoing a bit of a makeover. While it isn’t a complete renovation, there are new bars, a new dancefloor and the stage is about a metre and a half smaller. And although not undergoing a physical refurb, The Attic has gained a good deal of credibility with the addition of two nights to its rota: Easy, the fortnightly tech house, and Nature, the weekly deep house bash. After the closure of The Honeycomb last September, some thought that the area would die a death for credible clubbing. Looks like there's been a second wind. AFTER THEIR SUCCESS with ’Get Up' which was chosen for the latest Ministry of Sound compilation called Clubber’s Guide To . . . 2000’ mixed by Judge Jules, Mitch and Mart are set to start their own upfront house night at EZK (formerly Eden) on Friday 17 March with Anthony Pappa their first guest. AFTER A RUN of licensing ’difficulties’, the Art School has set about making amends with some high quality new ventures. First up is Midi Hi-Fi, making the most of links with the cut up hip hop maestro’s at Ninja Tune. Saturday night has also been given a shot in the arm courtesy of turntable wizards Freak Menoovers, who will be showing off their four deck beat juggling and scratch skills on the first Saturday of every month. Best of all though, the Radar crew have managed to coax a rare appearance from the queerest fellow in electro; Richard D. James, better known as the Aphex Twin, will be taking to the decks (and scaring the pants off punters on Friday 10 March. THE SUB CLUB saga continues: passers-by will have noticed that the surrounding area is beginning to look less like a bombsite and, with the rubble out of the way, the building above the Subbie can be made safe. This means that the club looks set to reopen sometime in May, though a firm date is yet to be set for what promises to be the most over- subscribed relaunch in club history. Favoured by Judge Jules: Mitch and Mart to start their own night
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