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..
BRIMFUL OF ASHA NORMAN COOK REMIX (1997)
Cornershop - a much loved but oh-so mid paced indie band - had never had success in the clubs, but all that changed when Mr. Cook worked his magic on this track, re-setting the dials for the heart of the dancefloor. We initially promoed this track on a clear blue 12 inch vinyl, which warped in the post, but it didn't stop this becoming an instant hit across indie floors, and propelling the band to the top of the charts. The simple joy in the sound and subject matter could get anyone on the floor... pure gold.
YOU & ME SONG (1994)
Lumped in with the growing Britpop scene, You & Me Song is anything but. Sweden's Wannadies just made great pop, and despite the quiet verses on this, the chorus is pure dynamite. We became very close with this band, who were refreshing and fun to be around. They just loved what they did. The lyric 'you and me, always, and forever' made this an anthem for friends and couples, or you could just bounce and twirl in sheer abandonment... A special band, and this was their signature tune.
Proof if ever there were, that the key to a big alt. club track is a big riff and a big chorus. Lonely Boy ticks both in spades, an earthy rock pop stomper, thal also posesses a chorus you can park a bus on.. once heard, never forgotten. Rock enough for the moshers, pop enough for the groovers, LB was an instant hit across the nation's floors, with people trying to emulate the moves of the dude from the famous video. Mint.
THE BLACK KEYS
LONELY BOY (2011)
LONER BOOGIE (2018)
A more recent one, and one of those wonderful moments when a track comes from seemingly nowhere, and just does everything right. Another indie rocker, but possessing that catchy pop edge to go with the driving rhythm and energy that makes this so special. The main thing is that there is not an ounce of fat here, not a wasted note or second, clocking in just a little over 2 minutes of pure pop briliance. The production brings out the best in the petulant vocals, and has the whole song riding on that riff.
BUDDY HOLLY (1994)
Weezer - the fun side of the US grunge scene - dropped a run of amazing single such as The Sweater Song on us at this time, and without doubt this was the cherry on the cake. The Beach Boys as rock band vibe, nostalgia dripping themes, and yes, that essential catchy and uplifting chorus combined for a staple mid 90's floorfiller. Even without a signature riff to speak of, the harmonies soar to fill the void, and bring a positive and fun filled version of the oft sombre US rock scene at the time. Fire!