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Slum Village christen the new revamped Bongo
THE BONGO CLUB has long been under threat of closure, so we celebrate its relaunch at new premises. Words: Henry Northmore
he Bongo trod a path many other clubs tear to: banking on quality rather than big name lbi/a superstars. Along the way we had some blinding nights from the best the underground has to offer. be it the lel'tl‘ield guests or the unsurpassed residents. There was Messenger with its righteous duh soundsystem: Headspin’s mash up of funk house. hip
hop and everything in between: lil Segundo‘s love ol~
hip hop and Pogo Vogue’s experimental journey to the outer limits of electronica. Not forgetting all the other one-offs and smaller nights that make the Bongo what it is.
But for years we seem to have been living in the shadow of its imminent closure. While we'll all admit it‘s perhaps not the prettiest (or cleanest) club the city has to offer. there is something about its honesty that just appeals and feels oh so right. How could we live it' this all came crashing down around us'.’ Well. as you may have heard. we're not going to have this joy exorcised from our lives. it's just moving round the corner. Thank fuck for that. eh'.’
lt‘s setting up shop in the slightly larger environs of Moray House (Holyrood Road) and we should be in for a treat on the opening weekend. Slum Village will be playing on 2 October. -lhero drops by for a DJ set on 3 October and the mighty Messenger‘s back on 4 October. And that's not all as Headspin comes back on I I October and Pogo \‘ogue returns on 24 Oct with Zoot Woman (live).
So the line-ups look solid (and there’s plenty more to be announced). but what about the venue itselt"? ‘lt‘s
not that we are going to move to any sort ot‘
superclub.’ explains venue manager. Ally Hill. 'We’ve always been a small venue and we‘ll take that niche market with us. We want to hang onto that ~ lingers.
74 THB LIST 18 Sap—2 Oct 200.3
‘THE BONGO CLUB VIBE IS DIFFICULT TO MATCH'
and toes. crossed. We‘re not going to change. We'll
just haye a bit more room. which means we can step
tip and get slightly bigger guests in the same sort ot market that we hayc already.‘ But he admits that some punters might have reservations at lirst. "the biggest challenge will be persuading ey cry body that we aren't selling out. because this has to happen. 'l‘hcy are going to demolish this building [the New Street establishment] whether it's in three months time or nine months time. and we can't hay e that hanging o\ er our heads any more.‘
Willi the creatiyc team still intact and nearly eyery night returning. it looks on track to become one ol' lidinburgh‘s most innovatiye \cnttes yet again. 'livery'body”s going to miss it. despite its nuances and faults] says llill. ‘But change is a good llllllg. ()llL‘ ﬁll the llllltgs lllttl litts lk‘c‘ll impossible to do will] this place has been to reinvest due to the situation we have been under with a rolling lease. So the ability to rcimest and make a high tech \enue but keep the prices low is lantasticf
('lub residents are equally positiy e. .-\s lleadspin‘s .-\llan Dunbar says: ‘l‘m really looking l'orw'ard to the move and hopet'ully all the t‘amiliar laces will lollow us the short hop oy er the High Street. We probably could have moy ed to another \enue altogether it we wanted but the Bongo ('lub \ibe is difficult to match.‘ Pogo Vogue's Brian d'Sou/a is similarl) enthusiastic: ‘lt’s a really 11”“ ‘PUW “ml ll opens a lot more doors tor us. It‘s looking nicer and delinitely sounding better. I think it has the capacity to be the best club in lidinburgh.‘ So do w c.
The Bongo Club reopens at Moray House, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, 2 October.
THE MIGHTY VALVE Soundsystem is one of the world‘s largest purpose built soundsystems. It‘s 96k watts, comprising six stacks of speaker boxes. each measuring 18x10 feet with 52 bass bins. And that is loud. very loud. So loud, in fact. that for health and safety reasons clubbers will be given earplugs as they enter. All this lands at the Barrowland. Glasgow, on 24 October when ADSONO presents Valve Records‘ Dillinja and Lemon 0 (designers of this monster soundsystem) supplying the hard-ass drum 8. bass and promoting new album Killa Hertz, alongside special guests Grooverider (pictured) and MC Rage. The Jengaheads will be in command of the second room and the whole thing will be broadcast live between midnight and 2am on Beat 106. Truly phenomenal.
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here at The List and seems to be with you lot an‘ all. The club is now marking its third year in Glasgow with a birthday party at its usual haunt, the Renfrew Ferry, on 20 September. There will be free champers for the first 200 revellers to arrive, live sounds from the Johnny Seven as well as bubbly on offer to the most stylishly dressed punter and the winner of their limbo competition. Sounds like a night to remember.
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