[box]Glasgow Guardian talks to Sam Murray from Vitamins[/box]
Vitamins seems to be a collaboration between some of Glasgow’s brightest clubbing sparks. How do you manage to contain the disparate talents of the various members?
The four of us met while working at Subcity nearly 3 years ago. We had all been involved in clubnights in one way or another and all felt the same about how the scene was going. After I had thrown Vitamins 1, with their help, we decided to band together to do the forest party last summer and from then we just became a team. It’s fun being able to ‘work’ with guys who are on the same wave length. Usually we’ll come up with a stupid idea in the pub, laugh about it and then before we know it we’re actually doing it. Cheesy & Shaun are technical wizards and no matter what gets thrown at them they’ll (almost) always find a solution. Luke is great at planning and promotion and has a good eye for dressing the venue. I’m not really sure what I do to be honest.
Clubbing remains an important aspect of Glasgow’s nightlife, but the recent closure of the Art School has taken away one of the places where a more creative, old school attitude to clubbing can thrive. Vitamins, on the other hand, recalls those glory days of the 1990s when electronic music felt revolutionary. Are you especially conscious of this heritage?
In the grand scheme of things, the Art School wasn’t as important to clubbing as say the Arches or the SubClub in the sense of bringing over major dance acts to play in the city. However, from a community point of view, there is nowhere else quite like it. For me, it was the only venue where it wouldn’t matter if there were 100 or 1000 people. Last year, it experienced a bit of a renaissance due to (Head of events) Rob Morrison’s reinvention of the Thursday night following the end of RPZ and his on point programming at the weekends. The End Of Term party in December was the best use of any club space I have ever seen in Glasgow, especially considering the budget he was working with. The loss of the Thursday nights, and with it Mixed Bizness, was felt over the summer as there was no real option for pre weekend clubbing. This is about to change though, with 520, Nice & Sleazy’s, the Sub Club and the relocated Art School Union all fighting for a piece of the pre weekend crowd. It will be very interesting to see what happens.
We definitely owe a lot of inspiration to those in the 90’s putting on out-of-club parties before the Criminal Justice Act came and spoiled it in 1995. The Desert Storm nights in Glasgow seemed to have a pretty similar ethos to ourselves and their parties around 92-94 are the stuff of legend, both for their atmosphere and the venues they used. I think the best (that I know of) is when they bussed out a few hundred people to the abandoned Sugar Granary in Finnieston. It’s that kind of excitement and surprise we want to give to our guests. You should have a look at their promo videos from back then which are Youtube. Wish I could have been there.
I don’t necessarily think that setup is a bad thing. There are plenty of people in the techno scene who wouldn’t really want it any other way. For them it’s more about coming and listening to the music and anything else extra is just a waste of time. That’s absolutely fine and some of my favourite nights follow this mould. But the last thing the city needed was another one like this.
When I first started Vitamins, I had two main principles that I wanted to follow. Firstly, that there would be a truly anything goes music policy. There will never be two Acts on the bill playing exactly the same style of music. You could be dancing to Disco for an hour, then grime the next. The reason for this was that I had enjoyed going to so many different clubs with different styIes and realized that I had met loads of different people but rarely would see them on the same night out. I figured putting on a party that caters to a wider crowd would be fun. It’s risky as you put people out of their musical comfort zone, but so far it’s paid off. You can’t please everyone though.
Secondly, that the value attached to production and setup is as important as the music itself. With every party we want to take people by surprise, whether it be with the venue, or the visuals or whatever. Clubbing is far too serious sometimes, especially in Glasgow, and we’ll do anything we can to make the experience as fun as possible. Sometimes we get slagged off for being a ‘skins’ party because people who haven’t been before see photos of people taps aff on shoulders. I just shrug this off though. If you and your bros want to just stand and chinstroke all night then on you go.
There are loads of nights that I really enjoy and respect for different reasons, too many really. We’ve worked closely with the Deadly Rhythm guys recently on a couple of projects which was a lot of fun and their residents and bookings are always spot on. I have a lot of time for One More Tune, Thunder Disco Club, Chungo Bungo, Highlife & Mount Heart Attack. Have to respect what the big guns like Number, Sensu & LuckyMe have been doing for Glasgow & Scotland on an International Scale recently. I can’t thank Ben Coghill who runs Mixed Bizness enough for his help and wisdom and i’ve had too much fun working with him over the past few years.
I think we would feel particularly close to Bigfoots Tea Party though. Although they have a more deep house/techno music policy, their approach to putting on parties is similar to ours. George (Redux) has great vision, and ability to book exciting guests in really interesting venues around the city. For their last party, they turned they Curryoke Club down by the river in Finnieston into an indoor/outdoor techno fortress. They always have nice touches for dressing the club and they put a lot of time and effort into sound and visuals which makes each party stand out as something special, They also have an ever growing roster of super tight residents. Christopher Kelly in particular, is one of my favourite DJ”s just now, and he was my highlight of Rockness this summer. It’s not a competition, but I do feel every time I go to one I think ‘Shit, why didn’t I think of that’ and that I need to up my game with Vitamins.
Next event: Vitamins 5
Sat 17th September 21:00-05:00
The Goat then “Secret Glasgow Location”
Tickets £7/£9 from Focus Skate Store,
220 Argyle Street