Green Velvet brings his techno-punk glamour to the Manchester superclub
As the towers of southern superclubs crumble and fall, business at Manchester’s BUGGED OUT! is still booming. Now it’s launching into Scotland, so what’s the secret Of its SUCCGSS? Words: Catherine Bromley
n the age of irony. the superclub is on its arse. Lazy. predictable line-ups.
extortionate ticket prices and progressive house have been the nails in its coffin
and now. as the severity of the backlash down south has shown. punters prefer the delights of schooldisco.com. To save them and us from the horror that is a .‘~()()()-capacity room full of twentysomcthings in school uniform vogueing to the Thompson Twins. a handful of the larger club nights are keeping it real with imaginative line-ups that stay true to the underground vibe that made the acid house scene so exciting. Manchester’s Bugged Out! is such a night.
(‘o-promoters John Burgess. Andy Spiro and Paul Benney launched Bugged Out! at Manchester’s Sattkey"s Soap in l99-l. Burgess and Benney had been running irreverent music mag .lm'kz'y Slur for two years and they wanted the club night to reflect their publication's dedication to underground dance music. ‘We always tried to represent what was going on in the magazine by having. say. a techno and house room and then a drum & bass room or a breaks room.’ says Burgess. ‘We wanted to reﬂect whatever was cutting edge in music at the time.‘
(‘ombining the talents of [IS house and techno gods (Derrick Carter and (‘ajmere aka Green Velvet made their L'K debuts at the club) with those of UK trailbla/ers such as Slam. Justin Robertson and the Chemical Brothers. Bugged ()utl soon becatne a nationwide franchise that can
now lay claim to monthly residencies in Manchester. Liverpool. London. Dublin. 6 Birmingham and Stoke. With all hands on decks to launch a Scottish residency in association with p lidinburgh promoters Sarah David and Tim Makin. Bugged ()ut! — unlike your standard superclub — g d will continue to put the stress on variety. value for money and good old-fashioned fun. 0 n e After all. this is the club that had drum 8: bass d a n O r r n stea d of co u n tr n th e ca 5 a C F0 55
maverick Squarepusher swigging from a bottle of
tequila as he played old hardcore and shouted: ‘("mon you cunts. let’s rave!’ at the crowd: a place where you‘re as likely to see and hear Badly Drawn Boy doing an acoustic set as you are the biggest house and techno DJs in the world. It’s a cltth where the promoters themselves still get down on the dancelloor instead of counting the cash across town; a place where they can give something back to the punters who are as passionate about music as they are. Like the time Burgess set up a mobile disco to entertain the door queue. or the time they gave out 5()() free ftrn cameras for clubbers to play with when C‘ajmere played ‘Flash‘. 01' indeed the time when Detroit techno legend Juan Atkins cancelled and they put his fee behind the bar ‘so everyone could have a few free drinks on him'.
'We probably do sometimes put more things on than we really need to.‘ says Burgess. ‘\\'e could easily jtist go home with more money in our pockets but. because we‘re music fans first and foremost. opportunities come up that are just too good to say no to. We just added Roots Manuva to our (‘hristmas date in London we had the bill in place and we’d spent the budget but the chance of having him up on the mic and DJing at the same time was just the icing on the cake. So we do like to push the boat out -— not all the time because if we did. we wouldn’t be here anymore.’
Thankftrlly for us. Bugged Out! is still going strong. The first date in lidinburgh features the lunacy of techno-punk performer Green Velvet while future dates (still in negotiation) will bring the likes of the Chemical Brothers. l-‘elix Da llousecat and DJ Sneak to the capital.
Bugged Out! starring Green Velvet (full live show), Rob Bright (Bugged Out! resident) and Fred Deakin (Lemon Jelly) at the Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, Sat 23 Nov. See club section for full line-up, prices and ticket outlets.