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 BETA BAND
SHE'S THE ONE (1998)
The Beta Band - lead by the stoic charm of Steve Mason - were one of our favourite acts, with their first 3 EP releases becoming cult classics that are still as resonant today. TBB were laughably charged with becoming the new Stone Roses, but were much more akin to the likes of Super Furries, with their drawn out, hippy tinged psychedelia and stomp beats, and STO is a central track in their canon, building slowly through chanting vocals, cantering acoustics, before the mind bending crescendo.
LC! were vanguards for the emerging DIY indie scene at the end of the 2000's and Y!M!D! was a standard bearer for the 'you can do it too' ideology. Wonderfully messy, over-filled and over exhuberant from start to finish, like the sound of a box of cheap instruments being tipped on a solid oak floor, this track simply bursts with the simple abandon of making raw and glorious sound without limits, finding a perfect line between twee pop, emo and indie pop rock. A tune to lose your shit to.
YOU! ME! DANCING! (2008)
The Coral were a huge act in the late-90's, skitting between the 60's psychedelia of 'Dreaming Of You' and the pastoral sweet pop of 'Pass It On' and 'In The Morning' before seemingly disappearing from view. Their re-emergence in 2014 was as unexpected as it was welcome, especially when this rumbling desert-psyche tune came calling, laying a marker for a band reinvoigorated and back to their best. Moody, groovy and underpinned by Scully's vaunted vocals, a golden nugget from the dust.
CHASING THE TALE OF A DREAM (2015)
Jon Spencer blues explosion
TALK ABOUT THE BLUES (1998)
Jon Spencer's rag tag garage blues band were cult figures through the 90's, bringing a libido-groove to the party that had them manspreading on the sofa between Nick Cave and Jack White. The emergence of the LP Acme brought a new flavour, with Dan The Automator at the controls, leading to a heavier beat laden sound, grimy bass lines and of course, Spencer's haunted Elvis style larynx, and it was wonderful. TATB is as dirty and groovy as it gets, a juddering peacock strut of a masterpiece.
This was the first promo we ever did for the legendary Mo' Wax label, and has a special place in our hearts. WTS is a dark hip-hop-cum-trip-hop classic, a mid-paced mood setter straight outta the dusk of NYC's underground, classic sampled beats and rough cut samples, glued together wth the overdriven vox mantra 'all alone, no-one around, and all I can hear is this fucked up sound'. There were alot of pretenders around at this period, but this is a diamond of a cut that stands the test of time.