Top Ten Towns and Cities visited during my time as loaded's Clubs Editor circa 1994 to (Space) 1999. In no particular order.
Swansea 1994. A geographically misplaced Northern town of disco-pubs fuelling the marauding scrums of desperation from the valleys. Off the radar of this weekend romping-clump of bodies, half way down the main drag, was Martha’s. On Friday’s it was filled with dry ice and a sound system louder than Concorde pumping out “hardcore - you know the score“. On Saturdays superclub DJs held ceremony for the glamorous, 2:1 girl to boy ratio, who failed to cop-off while competing in the world gurning championships - thing of beauty.
Norwich 1996. Honestly can’t remember a thing. The pictures looked great so it must have been special.
Woolacombe 1996. The Red Barn pub for its through-a-pint-glass Malibu-esque surf chic and The Marisco Disco with it’s mural of Jimi Hendrix and psychedelic paint-work and record sleeves made this - the only club in town, ever - worth a visit for a glimpse of baby-boomer-disco-décor-man!. The indie night was all about heavy drinking and bad dancing; the “club” night was all about heavy drinking and bad dancing. It shut early but was just the warm-up for what the town did best - the thrills of clubland without the “handbag“.
Aberdeen 1995. The techno club, run by a chief mentalist happened in a hotel basement. In an unrelated incident our drinks were severely tampered with which caused confusion for the journey home. A row of seats were removed from the plane to accommodate the legs of a real life giant. He had really big feet. It wasn’t until I was home in London watching the Antique Road Show that I realised I had left my shoes and socks in Scotland.
"On Saturdays super club DJs held ceremony for the glamorous, 2:1 girl to boy ratio, who failed to cop-off while competing in the world gurning championships - thing of beauty."
Dundee, Wall of Sound Tour 1996. Never seen anything like it. Scottish people hitting the ceiling with their heads in a show of appreciation. We ended up back at someone’s house in a different city with Mark Jones, head of WOS, using scatter cushions to silence Derek Dahlarge who was clearly mental.
Birmingham 1995. More Balearic than Ibiza, it became a sweating weekend hive of mentalists. From crusties to ‘handbaggers’ to weirdly sober but very twisted student union discos and legendary warehouse parties. Everyone was dancing... Fame!
Bournemouth 1996 - Clubland handed the children of this Tory hotspot over to the darkside. A man had cut a bucket, Darth Vader style, coated it in silver foil and walked the streets shouting at the traffic. He stood as a reminder of what happens when the mind’s knicker elastic snaps on the dancefloor. Two clubs, two nights of dancing and home in time for the Sunday Social…
Leeds. Back to Basics, last night in the Music Factory… marathon! After-hours second to none! Justin Robertson played an a couple of acid records than seemed to last all night. A typical night out in Leeds.
Northampton 1996. A third division village that proved that anywhere in the UK had world class potential for hedonism. Here we found DJ Evil Eddie Richards holding ceremony, all night “junglism” had arrived and a rare darker side of 70s disco night (not fancy dress) at Road Menders; a hanger shaped venue with a simple flower strobe above the decks was pure class.
Chester 1995. We were met at the station by a “fat Midge Ure” impersonator, an all round good bloke, who held the keys to the city/town/village. He ran a tiny “handbag” haven and had adopted a young talented DJ called Phat Phil Copper (PPC). When the night reached it’s ecstatic Ibiza-glam-wish-we-were-in-Cream height, PPC burst into song: “Who ate all the pies, who ate all the pies, Phat Phil Cooper, Phat Phil Cooper… ate all the pies.” Pies … hmmmm.
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