Interview: Make Do

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With Chambre 69’s out-of-the-blue closure a void was left to be filled in the Glasgow club scene. GUM caught up with Ahsan and Cheesy, one time Chambre booking manager and all round tech wizz respectively, who took it upon themselves to launch a new pop-up club appropriately named Make Do.

Meeting at the new Hope street venue on the evening before their 19th January launch (opposite the seldom noticed grandeur of Central Station), GUM descended into an empty space stacked with monitors and cables that was soon to be morphed into a venue christened by the likes of Offbeat, Cottam, Axel Boman.

“We created Make Do because chambre closed and we had lots of exciting promoters  looking for a space of that size” Ahsan clarified “Glasgows pretty lacking in medium sized venues that can cater to people being able to come in and be encouraged to come up with creative uses of the space.”

The pop-up aims to continue what Chambre was made famous for, namely the diversity of the space that allows promoters to come in and transform it to fit the needs of each individual night.

“One of the main benefits that Chambre had was that you could really make your own night” they explain, “to come in and change it up, and put in whatever production you wanted, flip it around and design it the way you liked. We wanted to offer the same thing with the Make Do space and build upon the Chambre ethos in that sense.”

Flexibility of this nature in a club is often hard to come by, and requires a solid team with enough expertise in their fields to avoid any glitches. “Cheesy is quite renowned for creating really great production in clubs, whether it be light features or visual installations” Ahsan chips in. For those of you who made it to the launch you might have noticed the stack of TV’s playing loops of old film clips next to the speakers, a Cheesy signature. “Having him on board means that promoters know the high level of technical know-how that he brings to the table.” he continues, “which is definitely a key point”.

On our first meeting before the party I was excited to hear of plans for hefty visuals throughout the night, however none were to be seen. “Half the screens just basically fucked it halfway through!” Ahsan laughs over cheesecake a few days later, “We’d only had the keys 10 days before the launch, the first week was spent dotting i’s and crossing t’s and trying to establish the block of promoters that we would be able to bring across and make it worth while opening.” Bearing in mind that at the time of my introduction to the team the space was bare, the lack of visuals didn’t hinder the eventual success of the opening.

Axel Boman @Make Do Notsosilent
Axel Boman @Make Do Notsosilent

For some, 36 hours to set up lights, haul in speakers (the Funktion 1’s I’m happy to say were a huge success this time around), and paint the walls would seem an impossible feat.

“Well we’ve had a lot of good will in the Glasgow clubbing community and we’re quite lucky by the fact that everyone was willing to come down and chip in throughout the two days that we were there building it up.” This included Cash, who used to work the door at the Subclub until the beginning of last year, and who eerily reminds one of Tyres O’Flaherty from one of my personal favorite Spaced episodes.

“This thing wouldn’t have been possible without Zambo and the guys at the Yard 52,” Ahsan continues,  “who run a studio and pa company in Whiteinch. They’ve basically thrown their not insignificant weight of bass behind us.”

Such as the Funktion 1’s? “The Funktion 1 belongs to a friend of ours, Cal, who runs Naïve, that was the same one that was in Chambre”. The main room of Make Do, which has received much attention due to it’s multi-room nature, was rigged expertly with Funktion 1’s, the mecca of clubbing speakers. The speakers went side by side with custom subs Zambo built as part of a new sound rig, which will be launched at the venue over Easter Weekend.

However Make Do, as it’s pop-up nature entials, has a very definite shelf life and we can only expect to see it open until the first weeks of June.

“With the art school reopening and Chambre looking to find a new location we’re just trying to fill the void and give the promoters that we’ve worked with over the last two years a place for them to go, city center wise there’s not really a similar place” Ahsan explains.

The launch night itself saw Offbeat playing in the front room with headliners Cottam and Swedish DJ Axel Boman, from whom the only words I was able to extract on the night, shouting over the DJ booth, were “It’s fucking great!” The night was packed, almost to it’s 565 capacity, the only criticism being that the fog machines were on overdrive. Headliner Boman’s signature forward thinking deep house kept the crowd going until the 3am cut off.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback, a lot of promoters who were on the fence about working with us came down to the night and saw the space, and now our phones have been ringing over the past couple of days!”

GUM recommends you enjoy the venue while it lasts.


Words: Alexandra Embiricos


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