Promise Ego, Edinburgh, Sat 17 Feb.

If the fortunes of one club could be related to the increasingly popular progressive house sound, it would be Newcastle’s Promise. This time last year, Promise was little more than a tinny beat in the collective aural cavities of promoters Mark Deakin and Leon Brewerton. But, since its launch last April, the night has been packing in the punters, rounding up the DJs and ram- raiding end-of-year ‘best of’ lists.

As Deakin admits, it's been pretty good timing. ’There was that progressive house explosion last year,’ he says, ’and we hit that, whether by chance or not. We were putting on DJs six months back that the big places like Cream have only just started putting on.’

Recent guests in Newcastle have


Shoe-gazing Slacker knows how to work a crowd

Bedrock maestro, but his career behind the decks has

included Nick Warren, Sander Kleinenberg and Anthony Pappa and an already strong residents line-up has just been boosted by the addition of Gatecrasher's Matt Hardwick. As a result of the night's success on Tyneside, Promise starts a monthly residency at Edinburgh’s Ego this month and the launch date will include spots from Simon Brown (All Points North) and omnipresent local hero Yogi Haughton in the US house and garage suite. Meanwhile, Matt Hardwick and well-travelled guest DJ 1 Slacker will be taking care of business in the progressive main room.

When we speak, Slacker’s just back from Peru. ’l was pretty much the first DJ to play there,’ he says, ’and I've been about five times in the past. Everyone out there’s very up for it. They yell themselves hoarse during the breakdowns and every DJ loves that. Last week I was headlining a festival alongside Digweed. And there’s not many places I can do that.’

Slacker may not have the commercial clout of the

certainly been an eventful one. Shem McCaulay started DJing in 1983 at the tender age of fifteen, scratching hip hop records to shreds in the cosy confines of his bedroom. He soon graduated to production, honing his skills with Tim Westwood and Professor Griff, before discovering house in the late 805. The 905 have seen him undertake production work for artists ranging from Yazz through the Prodigy to Armand Van Helden, and record a number of tracks with Paul Rogers under the Slacker moniker, including the top forty hit ’Scared’.

For now, Slacker is concentrating on new releases on his ’Jukebox in the Sky Label’, and doing one of the things he does best: playing songs he loves. ’I won’t just play a straight progressive builder set,’ he says. ’I like to put in a cappellas and speeches, to play low-down and dirty stuff as well as big, banging tunes. I’ve been DJing for years, and I know how to work a crowd.’

(James Smart)

Word up

FUNCT, THE ARCHES' ANNUAL festival of club-related culture starts up on Thu 1 Mar. During the 18-day festival, there’ll be club events with an audiovisual bent, electronic, acoustic, leftfield experimental, hip- hop, classical and world music gigs and a load of other stuff besides. This fortnight, head for the 'fuck dance let's art’ event celebrating the launch of Jamie Reid and Banksy's collaborative exhibition, with Future Loop Foundation providing the sounds. See listings for full details.

CHAOS REIGNS SUPREME at The Venue this month as new owner Ellis Johnson has made some rather ill- advrsed schedule changes By deciding to book Liverpool superclub Cream in for a monthly residency starting on Sat 24 Feb, Johnson has shafted club nights Scratch and Cool Runnings, both booked to run on this date As we go to press, the Scratch promoters are looking for another venue as they've already booked flights for their guests. Dispute also surrounds the longstanding Motherfunk which Ellis assumes he bought as an iii-house club but the promoters see it differently and plan tO take the night to The Honeycomb This Will result in two clubs running under the Motherfunk name at two different venues but those looking for the original night With resident DJs Gino and Fryer should go to The Honeycomb (as from 13 Mar).

As we go to press Honeycomb Entertainments have announced

, that the opening date of the new

Honeycomb has been put back until Fri 9 Mar. Roger Sanchez, who was

. booked to play the intended

, 3 opening date of Sat 24 Feb has been form Of Gordon GOUd'e (Who's Worked relocated to play the same night at with everyone from Gloria Gaynor to


vacuous. The latter smacks of groovy

Universal The Shack, Glasgow, Sun 18 Feb.


The Jengaheads care

More often than not, nightclubs are about music and hedonism and nothing more. There’s a Current fad for so-called conscious clubbing, where roving nights like London’s Raha ; intersperse DJ sets with talks, poetry and short films with high political content. The former, traditional route is, obviously, jolly good fun, but

beat happenings or, worse still, the kind of thing a dreadlocked trustafarian would get up to prior to yet another jaunt to Thailand. Glasgow now has a club-based organisation that manages to tread the fine line between mindless dancing and po-faced politics complete with a manifesto, ideals and a social conscience. Roots 2 The Future also combines good music with its laudable aims. The aptly named group was set up last year to bring together disparate strands of Glasgow's mu5ic scene in order to foster a bit of racial harmony via cultural exchange, which, it has to be said, beats the usual come here-get drunk-dance ’ethos’ espoused by your standard nitespot. Aside from good old fashioned nightclubbing, workshops with musicians and DJs for schoolchildren are planned, as are an exhibition of traditional instruments. Not that it's all outreach work and community projects, thanks to a crack squad of Glasgow musicrans. The artists that make up Universal, Roots 2 The Future’s musical wing, include a thoroughly commercial producer, in the

Sive, not to mention that unbearably catchy HEBS anti-smoking ad) and

ma'nStays Of the UK bhangra scene 7 Cyberball scheduled to take place on

Tigerstyle, who would be skirting the

Top 40 if it weren't for the fact that their albums are distributed on cassette without going near a chart return

fiddler Fionn McArthur, singer Julia

Currie and a pair who should be more ' (pictured) will be coming back to Dr

familiar to readers of the clubs pages, theJengaheads

The cross-genre supergroup have produced a self-titled four-track EP,

with mixes ranging from the Jenga's

surging house version to a

straightforward marriage of Near East and West Coast, with lilting Celtic

mouth music and reeling fiddles underpinned by a bhangra with a Punjabi folk edge. For the single's launch, the first Roots 2 The Future

night, again dubbed Universal, will the

feature sets from DJ Mal, Jengaheads and Tigerstyle, while

future events Will see Universal and i

like-minded bands playing live. (Jack Mottram)

Archaos in Glasgow.


heck happened to the Scottish

Fri 23 Feb needn’t throw away their rubber tea-towels just yet because the event has been put back a month. It

.. II no ha en on Fr 23 Marat record shop. Then there's traditional , W W pp I

Studio 24. EX-SPECIALS STAR Jerry Dammers

No’s in Edinburgh to DJ some of that ska music he knows so well. Apparently Mr Dammers had so much fun he phoned up the

promoters to ask if they’d like him back and they wasted no time booking him in for Friday 23 Mar.

lS Feb—l Mar 2001 THE “ST 75