The Vaults was the grubbiest club in Edinburgh. That's why it was great. Now renamed the HONEYCOMB, it's set to revolutionise capital clubbing for a SQCOI‘Id time. Words: Catherine Bromley Pictures: David N. McIntyre
CONDENSATION POURS FROM THE CEILING. As the moisture pools in small reservoirs around the dancefloor. you notice the sweeping torrent emerging from the toilet area and. as you sidle backwards to avoid being carried away with the sewage. you
smear your designer jacket on the walls of
this grime-ridden. godforsaken hellhole. Yes. it‘s a night out at the Vaults and you wish you‘d worn your wellies.
This is the kind of clubbing experience that Edinburgh audiences remember all too well from the old Niddry Street venue. hidden away between the Cowgate and the Royal Mile. Glamorous it was not. glitzy it could never claim to be. And yet. the paying customers that frequented the hotspot week in. week out never seemed to mind. You were. after all. engaging in the nefarious activity of underground nightclubbing. It wasn‘t supposed to be clean. commercial or accessible to the type of people who cared more about keeping their white Moschino suits spick and span than giving it on the dancefloor until the drugs or their bodies stopped working.
Times have changed and. faced with the extremity that was the Vaults. enterprising
young upstart and former fitness instructor
Warren Deighan decided to do something about this dirty business known as clubbing. After managing first the Citrus Club and then the Vaults back in l994 — a position he held at the tender age of 21 — Deighan decided that someone had to clean up Edinburgh clubbing and it might as well be him. '1 did hope that I would set a standard that others would have to follow.’ he says. ‘That wasn‘t for any selfish
reasons. it was mainly because that‘s what the public were telling me they wanted. So [just wanted to be the one that could put my hand up and say. “Well. I was there first”.‘
After gaining his stripes both on the dancefloors of Edinburgh clubs and in management positions. Deighan considered himself more than qualified to launch his own enterprise. Fortunate enough to have the support of his father and. more importantly. his father‘s building trade. Deighan bought a
Vaults next month as the new Honeycomb. Boasting two bars. two dancefloors. a sound system that‘s reputed to be the best in Scotland and a line-up that situates itself in the happy ground between commercial and underground clttbbing. the Honeycomb will most definitely be the club that transforms the way we look at night life in Edinburgh.
To gauge the significance of this development to the cultural well—being of the city we need only look at how the recent
'It was an absolute shithole but god, what an atmosphere.’
small site on Blair Street and transformed it into the city‘s first tailor-made club venue. This of course was the Honeycomb. the club in which every promoter in town wanted their night to be held during its four-year dominance of the Edinburgh club scene.
Despite the success of the first Honeycomb. Deighan never forgot the venue that had been the inspiration behind his first independent venture. 'I dreamt about it but I've dreamt about a lot of things.‘ he says. ‘Even when I had the Honeycomb. 1 always referred to the Vaults as being an amazing space. At the time it was an absolute shithole but god. what an atmosphere can be generated in the place.‘
Keen to replicate this atmosphere but in the altogether more salubrious surrounds of a space that is contemporary. cutting-edge and clean. Deighan will re-open and rename the
Doing for Edinburgh what the Arches has done for Glasgow, the new Honeycomb will have two bars, two dancefloors and a sound system reputed to be the best in Scotland
26 THE lIST 15 Feb—l Mar 2001
refurbishment of the Arches. another cavernous club space. has revitalised and rejuvenated Cilasg<m"s outlook. (‘lubbing is a fundamental part of life for a huge percentage of the population and the addition of a new venue that will encourage and nurture the activity can only be a good thing. As Deighan himself says: ‘Take all the clubs away and what have you got‘.’ You‘ve got a dull. grey. unexciting life. That Friday or Saturday night is probably the one thing that so many people have in their life to look forward to as opposed to the drag of Monday to Friday. nine to five. 01' even just ten months of the year in Scotland in the pissing rain.‘
Wise words from the young man who plays a leading role in Edinburgh's after-hours activity. The opening of the Honcycotnb on Firday 9 March will shortly precede the opening of Deighan's new style bar Speed in the West End of the city. his second style bar after last year’s PopRokit project in Picardy Place. After spending the past six months jumping from builder to designer to promoter. Deighan looks forward to the day when his job will be merely to oversee the running of three successful businesses.
Not bad then fora man who is just 28-years— old and already quite the entrepreneur. although it‘s a definition Deighan is less than comfortable with. ‘I hate that word.‘ he says. 'I really hate it. I've never considered myself an entrepreneur: it just sounds so old and fuddy duddy. The only entrepreneurs are the lan Beales in [inst/ﬁnders and I‘d hate to think that anyone thinks of me as the lan Beale of Edinburgh.‘
The opening of the Honeycomb, Niddry Street, Edinburgh, has been delayed until Fri 9 Mar.