Sub Club are thinking about diversity. Getting better representation behind the decks is a necessary step in making a club more welcoming to all the different type of folk that love to dance in Glasgow.
The enigmatic Moodymann was on great form on Saturday evening. Headlining the first day of Sub Club soundsystem’s annual bank holiday weekend at BAaD, he used the opportunity to showcase some of his best tracks off this year’s new album, Sinner alongside some bangers well-known for getting Glaswegian crowds going.
Sinner has been well received and two of the album’s stand-out tracks, I Think of Saturday and I’ll Provide went down well. The latter of which – like all the best Moodymann tracks – oozed sex and sleaze (“I got something/ For all your dirty nasty needs.”) Echoing his latest record, Moodymann wasn’t scared to slow it down towards the end of the evening, a tempo change that was welcomed after dancing for 10 hours straight in a literal greenhouse on one of the hottest days of the year. The second half of his set featured a number of soulful numbers including a lovely Smokey Robinson track and Fatima Yamaha’s What’s a Girl to Do. I’m not sure just how big this song is elsewhere but it is a notorious Glasgow favourite. (I’m personally not a fan as will always remind me of a party winding down and the accompanying anxiety inducing moment when you realise you have a 10 hour Sunday shift in a few hours. But the rest of the crowd loved it.) Womack & Womack’s Teardrops also appeared, as did Crazy P’s slow-burning Like A Fool. I had to grab my two best friends from the smoking area for these two; there are some songs you can’t dance alone to, especially when they remind you so much of happy mwi times in flats with pals.
It’s great to see Glasgow party in the sun and props to Sub Club for organising great events outside their usual haunt. As much as I love the dark basement, you can’t beat a boogie out in the open. The team are good at locating interesting spaces for parties – with this year’s Sub Club Rooftop parties a notable success.
Sub Club is no stranger to criticism for the lack of diversity in both it’s line-ups and crowds. This seems to be improving somewhat with many women and queer artists appearing on the line-up over the weekend. On Saturday we had Lezzer Quest and Horse Meat Disco playing, both of which put on brilliant parties for queer folk and it was great to see local talent Ribeka and Sofay taking up spots alongside the international names. All this does suggest that Sub Club are thinking about diversity. Getting better representation behind the decks is a necessary step in making a club more welcoming to all the different type of folk that love to dance in Glasgow. As Lezzer Quest’s Bonzai Bonner succinctly put it in a recent interview: “why would anyone believe that your venue caters for everyone when your line-ups have nothing beyond straight white men as the majority constantly?” Yet, to what extent an increasingly diverse line-up, alone, makes a difference to the crowd and atmosphere remains to be seen. There was certainly more of a mixed bunch than what I am used to along at 22 Jamaica St. (something that stops me going there as often as I would like to) but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Changing an institution takes time and holistic action. Nevertheless, it is good to see moves in the right direction being made to make the parties more inclusive. A homogenous crowd is boring and, if it is also overwhelmingly white and masculine an unsafe and/or uncomfortable environment for anyone that’s a women, queer or a person of colour. It is also far removed from the boundary blurring ethos that the early days of club culture promised.