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..
PUSH UPSTAIRS (1999)
By the end of the 90's a more straight up version of electronic dance music was permeating the alt. club scene, and few acts were more poignant and influential than Underworld. Often under appreciated and stymied by the weight of their mega-hit Born Slippy in '95, their '99 album Beacoup Fish was a masterpiece, and this track was the headliner. The rolling techno pulse, Italo house, and slurred 'poosh eet' vocal made your feet itch and your brain melt. Underworld were the real deal..
PRAISe YOU (1998)
A second top 20 entry for Fatboy Slim (not including his remixes) with the peerless Praise You, which tore up the floors in '98. Every trip down to Brighton's Middle Yard to see the Skint crew seemed to proffer some sonic gold, and this was no exception. Built around an inspired vocal sample from Camille Yarbrough's 1975 soul classic 'Take Yo Praise', some hymnal piano chords and a funked up guitar lick, it offered up something a bit different from the Fatboy, who at this point could do no wrong.
We recieved a white label 7 inch copy of this track, released under the name 'Manson' through their own fledgling label, Sci Fi Hi Fi in '95.. all swaggering riffs and sneered vocals, we knew instantly they were going to be huge. An amazing run of singles such as 'Skin Up Pin Up' and 'Egg Shaped Fred' followed, before they really broke through with the Attack Of The Grey Lantern album in '97, We loved this band who offered a different slant on the Britpop fayre of the time. This one kicked it all off..
TAKE IT EASY, CHICKEN (1995)
NANCY BOY (1996)
No club night was complete at this point without dipping into the dark and salacious world of Placebo. Taken from their debut self titled album that also proffered the likes of Teenage Angst and Bruise Pristine, Placebo were unique in their field.. hard edged rock with a pop edge presided over by Brian Molko's androgynous, pseudo Americanised vocals, Nancy Boy became their signature tune and a staple for any self respecting indie DJ's set. Pure energy and contained anger in 3 minutes.
BOBBI'S SECOND WORLD (2019)
A very recent one, and worthy of a top 20 placing. At a time where 'indie' and 'alternative' seem to cover just about anything, The Orielles are a true indie band who's blend of styles and sounds puts them in a category of their own. This quirksome tune simply should not work, stuffed to the gills with afro-beat, 70's funk, 90's indiepop, even a cowbell solo, but just flows in ways no other track has in years. Add in that it's about the double life of a cat and you know you're listening to genius.