Contributor Sophie McGraw meets up with local DJ Holly Calder to discuss Glasgow’s alternative mod-tastic psych scene with special mention to upcoming 60’s weekender, Double Sight.
A stroll down Sauchiehall Street on a Friday night with the gals clad in skirts that could pass for belts hanging outside the sticky-floored Garage to the constant chorus of Sex on Fire booming out of Campus (yes, still), it can often have you wondering where Glasgow gets it’s reputation of having a diverse, vibrant clubbing scene. Granted, the techno and house nights are a-plenty with places like Sub Club and Vitamins events offering something fresh for your ears but for a trip (no pun intended) back in time to when the clothes were smarter and the tunes were played by DJ’s sans laptops, Glasgow’s 60’s scene is thriving.
Local psych and garage DJ Holly Calder (EWO/Double Sight), told us how she believes Glasgow to be one of the best places to be in the UK right now for 60’s lovers, hosting a variety of different club nights catering for whatever genre you’re into, be it psychedelic, ska, northern soul or R&B, or if you’re looking for a bit of everything. These nights go on in a variety of venues around the city centre, some of note being Put The Records On, Eyes Wide Open, Friday Street, Grow Your Own and Freakbeats.
However, after spending time DJ’ing around Europe, being influenced by the atmosphere and music played, the girls behind Eyes Wide Open (Holly Calder and Sarah Quinn), decided to take the plunge and organise a garage and psych weekender in Glasgow. With a priority of playing ‘danceable’ music, the kind of stuff to expect will range from 60s pop, to psychedelic, garage and freakbeat. Bands like The Beatles, The Stones, The Doors and The Small Faces are sure to get played along with some of the more experimental of 60s music, often done by one hit wonders, with a heavy focus on guitar music from the period.
Attracting a diverse crowd, Holly informed us that there will be people coming from Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Ireland and Brazil especially for Double Sight. Keen to show them how Glasgow does it, there will be a definite party atmosphere throughout the events.
In order to make the weekender special, the girls have invited some of the best 60s/mod DJs from around Europe to play at Double Sight, including Rob Bailey from London who runs some of the biggest mod clubs in the world, and weekends such as Le Beat Bespoke and Euro Yeye under the mantle of The New Untouchables organisation. Alessandro Detassis, who has been running a Mod Weekend in the Alps just outside Milan for 19 years, and now lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, will also be playing at Double Sight. Then, from Belfasthail Paddy & Sarge, the men behind one of Holly’s favourite clubs, Dr Crippens Waiting Room.
As well as travelling DJs, Holly informs us how they are anxious to show everyone what Scotland has to offer, so a selection of some of the finest local DJ talent will also be playing, including Paul Molloy (Friday Street) and Andrew Symington (Divine) joining in as evening guests, as well as Craig Dishington (Grow Your Own) and Jamie Kidd (Freakbeats Club) helping out on resident duties.
If live music is more your thing, Double Sight has much to offer on that front as well, with some of the best 60’s influenced bands in Scotland on the bill. On Friday night, The Hidden Masters, a Glasgow band who irresistibly merge psych, pop, prog and folk will be playing. On Saturday afternoon Les Bof!, a garage band from Edinburgh, fronted by the finest French front man you’ll ever see, will be gracing the stage and Them Beatles, who we are told are more than your average tribute band (‘or they wouldn’t be on the bill!’ – Holly), playing songs from mid-late period Beatles, from Rubber Soul, Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt Peppers.
Although the music will be the main focus of the weekend, there will be vintage clothes on sale from Vintage Guru on Byres Road and records to buy so you can get the threads to look the part and take some of the tunes home with you!
Through all the excitement surrounding the planning of Double Sight, Holly also took some time to tell us about EWO records; a new label borne out of the Eyes Wide Open club nights which came together after some discussions with the guys behind Glasgow Funk & Soul label Starla Records. Encouraging Holly and Sarah to set up a psych and garage counterpart, the girls released their first 45 for Swedish psych band Teaspoon this summer. Extremely happy with the results, Holly told us that they are now looking forward to the next release of a Hidden Masters track (playing at Double Sight), which should be happening early next year.
Currently trying to find a suitable venue for future Eyes Wide Open events, the club nights will become a bit less regular, having different events in venues across the city until they are settled. The next event to note will be happening on December 2nd at Stereo – this will be Eyes Wide Open’s 7th anniversary which will be graced by Scottish 60’s legends The Poets who we are told used to cause Beatlemania style riots when they played. This being their first official show playing together in a very long time, it is surely not one to be missed. Others on the bill will include The Store Keys, The Wellgreen, Roy Moller and Belle & Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson.
Brimming with excitement for the upcoming weekender which takes place next weekend (Friday 7th – Sunday 9th October 2011), Holly is keen to show visitors how it’s really done in Glasgow, offering an exciting alternative to the charts-driven drivel of the City’s main clubs.
Tickets for the weekender are available from Tickets Scotland and cost £12 for the weekend or £7 for the individual nights. Venues will be CCA bar, Blackfriars, McChuills, The Admiral and Nice’N’Sleazy’s. Don’t miss out!