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..
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS
WHEREVER I LAY MY PHONE (1999)
By far the greatest band of the era, SFA released some classic early singles, but their quirksome arrangements often made them tricky for the club environment. With the release of the masterful Guerilla album, we managed to persuade Creation Records to make us an exclusive 12 inch of this album track, in an attempt to get some floor action. It's quite simply a brilliant and bonkers tune that delights and confuses in equal measure, the essence of a band in a creative world of their own. Peerless.
SWEEPING THE NATION (1999)
I used to have a tiny slot on Gary Crowley's show on the then fledgling XFM, every Thursday, charged with bringing in a future floor filler in the indie clubs. The trouble was, this was always the day after our co-hosted club night 'Midweeker' which was always a scene of carnage. On the day I took this in, I was still quite drunk, but GC loved it, and it became something of an anthem. Indie fuelled Northern Soul goodness, the band never really made it, but this track was a stroke of genius that won hearts.
Yep, of course they had so many bigger tunes that became part of the fabric of the alt. club world, but this track from their oft maligned Dig Out Your Soul album re-ignited their waning flame in the clubs at the latter end of their time together. All the hallmarks of those early tunes are present here, big guitars and rolling riffage, Liam on full rasp.. whlst a bit of a lost classic now, in 2008 this was smashed out wall to wall, reminding everyone that Oasis on full pedal were as good a rock band as any.
SHOCK OF THE LIGHTNING (2008)
SOMEBODY TOLD ME (2003)
As mentoned before, it took a few attempts to get The Killers to stick in the collective conscious of the club-goers, and it was this track that finally opened the door. We had word that the track was becoming something of a simmering floorfiller in the gay and lesbian alternative scene, with it's anthemic, androgynous sentiment and dirty-cum-glamorous sonics kicking it into life, and spilling out across the nations indie floors like wildfire. A final promotional push sent it over the edge, the rest is history.
THE REVEREND BLACK GRAPE (1995)
Let's be honest. No-one was holding out much hope that the drug addled post-Mondays Ryder and Bez teaming up with the Ruthless Rap Assassins was a good idea, but how we were all proved wrong. Rev. Black Grape was the first release from the No.1 LP 'It's Great When You're Straight..Yeh' which also spawned In the Name Of The Father and Kelly's Heroes. This is Ryder at his best - 'there's nothing more sinister as ministers in dresses' he whines, and we know we're all gonna be blessed.