Over the past quarter of a century under our two monikers Upshot & Revolution, we have delivered over 2,000 DJ promos to the nation's alternative club nights on behalf of our client labels. The Alt. scene has always been hard to pin down, a multi-genre gathering point for young people who are looking for something more fulfilling the mainstream nightlife culture, a place to dance, sing along, hang with friends and make new ones. A safe haven to enjoy a wide range of music created by bands, producers, solo artists, experimental supergroups, an ever changing landscape that shines a light on the cultural nuances of their particular times. The diaspora of club nights under this banner range from indie, rock, left field dance and electronica, plus all it's attendant splintered sub-genres, a melting pot where you can actually see and feel a public reaction to new music.
Over 25 years, times and tastes have changed, begining at the burning embers of Grunge, through the heady days of Britpop, the mash-up meld of indie and rock and sampling that became Big Beat, the infiltration of Electronica, the influence of the internet age with out-of-nowhere one-hit-wonders, the post-punk revival, DIY to the no barriers multi hybrids of sound that make up todays left of centre artists.
As for the list, there's no particular governing rules, much like the spirit of the alt. club scene it's derived from; a mix of the biggest, most influential, some personal favourites, unexpected hits, and game changers. It's by no means a list of the best 100 tracks of the last 25 years in the alt. clubs, just cribbed from ones who passed from our hands as promos to those DJ's who rocked our worlds each weekend. The only rule was no more than 2 tracks from any given artist. It's not here to be judged, just enjoyed. If you ever frequented an alt. club night over the past 25 years, there might be something here you know and love, or something that you may hear for the first time and fall in love with. That's what indie clubbing was all about, after all. Our heartfelt thanks go to all the labels, artists, management companies, DJ's, promoters, and past employees who made this little niche in the music world happen. It's been a heady ride..
THE GO! TEAM
Brighton's Go! Team whilst obstensively an indie band, were no doubt influenced by the sample and genre melting pot culture of their home town at the time. 'Ladyflash' is like a dig through charity shop vinyl bargain bins, all clatter, scratch and boing, topped with Duble Dutch chants, and a tinge of Blaxploitation style to give it a unique quality, and is the true essence of the DIY indie and sampling hybrid that was all the rage at the time. An absolute smash on the floors, and still sounds great.
Embrace were all about the anthems, and set their stall out to that effect with this bombastic debut single. Released via Fierce Panda, a label run by the affable Simon Williams that was getting a reputation for first releases, having been the jump point for the likes of Coldplay, Boy Kill Boy and The Maccabees, AYGGP is an arms around the shoulders top of the lungs holler par excellence that captured the upbeat mood of the late 90's perfectly. Embrace had many more big tunes, but this is the one.
ALL YOU GOOD GOOD PEOPLE (1997)
RUDE BOY ROCK (1998)
Ska and Big Beat were always going to be perfect bedfellows, and no-one captured the equation better than Lionrock, especially with this jam. Obstensively a studio based outfit comprising of Justine Robertson (stalwart of thr Hacienda and Bugged Out) and MC Buzz B, Lionrock had paved the way with the likes of 'Fire Up The Shoesaw' and 'Packet Of Peace' before landing this top of the night must have, grabbing an inspired sample from The Skatalites and turning it into ska anthem finery.
PURE MORNING (1998)
Already huge after the success of their debut album., Placebo were facing that 'difficult second album' syndrome that strangled so many bands of the time. Step forward PM, the opening salvo from their follow up 'Without You I'm Nothing', and it was clear they'd not even considered it a problem. All their trademarks are here, Molko's faux US drawl, big guitars and dark sentiment, but somehow bigger, wider and bolder than before. It's no surprise the band are still going strong today.
TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB
UNDERCOVER MARTYN (2010)
There's clearly something in the water on the Emerald Isle that gives all their bands - no matter what their genre - an acute sense of pop sensibility. TDCC's first promoted track to the clubs underlines this and was an instant hit; sugar sweet and energetic, a 2.5 minute no fat indie pop canter that just made you bop and grin, sliding in effortlessly with the growing new wave of more polished and refined indie at the time. More hits followed but the fresh innocence of UM is their key moment.