Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Still Alive and Kicking

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Still Alive and Kicking

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Tyneside's most famous dance brand celebrates a dozen years of success this month. Luke Edwards delves into the eclectic culture of clubbing.

For a sub-culture which many had predicted was on the verge of dying, clubbing appears to be remarkably healthy in the North-East.

Since the boom years of the mid-90s when so-called super-clubs such as Liverpool's Cream regularly attracted as many as 6,000 people to their Saturday night parties, commentators have argued the movement would soon be going the same way as the Mods, the Rockers, the New Romantics and the Punks - into social history books and television archives.

Yet, instead of collapsing, clubbing reinvented itself, shunning the mainstream and heading back to smaller, more intimate nights of no more than 1,500 people.

And out of this has come more musical diversity than ever before, with club nights playing techno, hip-hop, R'n'B, garage, breaks, drum and bass, as well as the more stable House music diet.

For Scooby, resident DJ at the North-East's flagship club night, Shindig, the shifting trends have had nothing but a positive impact on Newcastle's nightlife and has revitalised a culture he has embraced ever since he and longtime DJ partner and mate, Scott Bradford, were teenagers in the acid house heyday of the late 1980s.

Shindig celebrates its 12th birthday on May 2 with a party for 6,000 in Newcastle's Time Square - Britain's first urban based dance festival - and is still going strong, but Scooby (real name Lee Melrose) says the fact there are now other nights, playing different music on different days of the week, has been like a shot of adrenaline for the region's clubbers.

He says: "There is a lot more diversity in terms of what you can listen to in clubs in Newcastle than even five years ago.

"You've got clubs like World Headquarters and Foundation putting on midweek nights as well as weekend nights and they are doing really well, playing all sorts. …

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