Are clubbers at Behave? dancing their last at Edinburgh's Honeycomb?
Cls blame bars fr lst tde
Owners in make-or-break fight for late-night customers. Words: Ruth Hedges and Jodie Harrison
lubs are being squeezed out of the entertainment market
by a surge in style bars and late-night licences. according
to club owners across Glasgow and Edinburgh. They say that superbars with drinks promos, food. DJs and dance floors supply a package that leaves clubs with no clear role. As smaller independent venues. they cannot compete.
Martin Friel. manager of Alaska in Glasgow, is next month closing the venue voted best club by local clubbers and blames the council's ‘greed' for encouraging the make-or-break fight for customers. ‘By selling so many licences to venues. they have failed to have any foresight for those already struggling to bring the clubbers in,‘ he says.
Stuart Mackinnon manager of Edinburgh's Venue shares his view: “There's no transient crowd. Everyone goes to a place. stays there. gets drunk and doesn't move on. Being a night club is no different from being a cafe these days. and i think it's stifling Edinburgh.‘
But Euan Robb. sales and marketing manager at Tiger Tiger. Glasgow's recently opened superbar in the Merchant City defends its place in the city: ‘Ten years ago. everyone went to the West End for their night out, and look where we are now. People enjoy change and Tiger Tiger caters for a huge amount of personalities.‘
But it's not just late licences that are threatening the Club scene: the euphoric days of late 80s/early 903 is an increasingly distant smiley face. Trends have changed, and clubbing's excitement as an underground scene. leading to the massive commercialised
1 Which city do you mainiy go out in? Glasgow and bars? Yes No
nights/live music? Yes No
in a bar drinking? Club Bar
5 Do you feel clubbing has become too mainstream? Yes No
‘Being a night club is no different from being a café these days’
Edinburgh 2 Do you support moves to award more late night licences to pubs
3 Do you feel there are enough venues hosting good club
brand of superclubs. is a victim of its own success.
Warrren Deighan. joint owner of the Honeycomb in Edinburgh. has recently put the club on the market. His reasons are mainly personal. but he does believe the club scene has too many people trying to milk it. “Its success has led to peOple jumping on the band wagon, just trying to make money out of it,‘ he says. ‘But the club scene will always be there — after this period of transition it'll return to a subCulture.‘
The scene is going to have to adapt. ‘Maybe clubbing as we used to know it is dead but partying certainly isn't.’ says Stuart Mackinnon. ‘There's really good clubs here. but generally the clubs that are going to survive now are going to be smaller. more intimate affairs rather than the big superclubs.‘
He sees a big future for live music. ‘Live music‘s coming back. In the next two years it‘s going to be as big as clubbing used to be.‘
The fear is that there won't be any venues left to suppon the shift. ‘If it continues, we're going to be so far behind being a cultural city it's going to be difficult to catch up.‘
Dana MacLeod. artistic director of the Bongo Club agrees there‘s been a shift. ‘There used to be separation between underground and mainstream clubs/music and now that's merging. There's no longer a real gap — the mainstream is biting into our style.‘
The List wants to hear what you think. Where do you want clubbing to go. what do you feel about late night licences and what you want from your cities? Fill in the questionnaire below.
7 What one thing would improve Glasgow/Edinburgh’s nightlife?
4 Would you prefer to pay entry into a club for quality DJs or stay
6 Do you feel night life has improved or declined over the last two
No ordinary Joe: Coming soon
I We’ve long had suspicions that Mel Gibson thinks he's God. But now, he's gone and taken up the directorial reins he last flung away after Braveheart to make the ultimate biopic of Christ. The Passion will tell of Jesus' last 12 hours on earth. Must have been tough for him, but he's given over the meaty role to Jim Caviezel, last seen getting all spiritual with Jenny Lopez in Angel Eyes . . . Lulu is due to appear in Heartbeat this winter playing a songwriter called Deborah Vine who. weirdly enough. bashes out a number called ‘To Sir with Love' . . . John Wavolta is in talks to play a hitman who ends up being buddies with his next target after his intended victim inadvertently saves the killer's life. Joe’s Last Chance is to be directed by Andrew Bergman (Striptease and Honeymoon in Vegas) . . . Basement Jaxx have written 30 tunes for their next album. which they will aim to whittle down to a manageable number for a spring release . . . Anna Friel is tipped to play a young Anne Robinson in a TV movie based on The Weakest Link host's autobiography. Memoirs of an Unfit Mother. Co- produced by Paul Greengrass (director of Bloody Sunday), the film focuses on the period in
the 70s when Annie's alcoholism was at its height.
I years? Improved Declined
I Send your replies (no stamp required) to Club Questionnaire, FREEPOST, The List. 14 High Street. Edinburgh EH1 OAi-i or email reactOlist.co.uk by Friday 18 October. I L-----------------—---—--------------‘
4 THI LIST 3-17 Oct 2002