Subcity 20th Birthday Party

The Glasgow Guardian interviews Sam Murray following his DJ set at the Art School for Subcity’s 20th celebrations


Izzie Keating

On Saturday 21st March, the Art School hosted celebrations for Glasgow University’s very own station, Subcity Radio. Renowned for delivering something fun and more importantly unique, Subcity is still surprising us twenty years on.

As quirky as it already is in The Art School, the huge replicas of sweets dangling from the ceiling mixed with the constant flash of lights and sporadic switches in music – from techno to hip-hop to funk – gave the venue and crowd alike a new and exotic experience. The eclectic musical offerings seemed to cater for everyone’s taste, as both floors remained packed until the 3am close. A plethora of Subcity Dj’s were offered over the night – both old and new – including some of the most knowledgeable and respected DJ’s on the music scene in Glasgow. Ending the night was one of Subcity’s most notable alumni, Sam Murray, who now co-runs the Vitamins club night. I caught up with him after his set to have a chat about the event.

Straight from the stage, after shaking hands with a few of the many members of the crowd who wanted to show their appreciation, Sam was happy to meet with the Glasgow Guardian. He thought that the night went well, remarking that “As Subcity parties go, I think that this was definitely one of my favourite I have ever played at in the last five years. It’s been a lot of fun. Subcity has got a history of doing good parties.”

Have the last 20 years been plain sailing this whole time? Murray, who was at the station five years ago, provided his take on that tenure and how Subcity has evolved since. “We did quite a lot of big events. Then there was a bit of a dip for a few years.  I think the new team have brought it back. They’ve pulled it off tonight and the Art School were brilliant hosts.”

The folk running Subcity have retained a great standard of music enthusiasts on their team over the years. Murray named a few of the current group who were particularly important in making the night a success. “Michael Pellegrotti was great, and Matthew Craig who runs IAM. When I was involved in Subcity, Matthew and I ran events together, and then he went to do IAM. I went away to do Freaky Freaky and Vitamins, and then he came back to do this.  I think it’s good that his experience has evolved and he has definitely brought some good ideas to the table.”

Murray also gave props to the guys heading the revelry on the lower level: “There were people I really respect as DJ’s downstairs, like Gareth Roberts. He’s got an amazing knowledge and passion for music as well. Floyd too! She’s a great party DJ… and GK Machine! I had never heard him before until we did the SoundClash on the radio and he came on after me and just totally showed me up.”

The nights held by Subcity remain ever popular, a testament to the success of the radio station. His one-off return in the books, Murray mused that this event would hopefully inspire others to get involved “Maybe they will have seen what you can achieve when you all chip in together. The thing about Subcity is that no one gets paid, you know. They just do it for the love of music and the flip side is that you get good experience and you gain skills. But tonight, hopefully people can see that if you put your heads together, you can have a great party.”


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