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..
Arguably the most pioneering and influential band of the past three decades, Radiohead had become indie rock gods with their debut LP 'The Bends' before embarking on their beguiling musical oddessey that had drawn a blank on the indie floors during 'OK Computer'. We were charged with re-igniting this with their next, even more radical masterpiece LP 'Kid A', promoing the entire album to selected DJs before pushing on with this majestic dark electronic opus. Utter genius.
Whilst more dancefloor friendly tunes would follow later from Bloc Party, such as the techno fizz of Flux and electronica of Talons, BC were at their best when going full tilt, band style. Helicopter is aptly titled, a blistering post-punk bruiser, Matt Tong's hurricane drums not letting up for a second, guitar chopping in the cracks, and Okereke's vox at their squeaky best, like a squeegie on a sopping window. This track cemented them as one of the most urgent and essential bands of their era. Breathless.
NOT NINETEEN FOREVER (2008)
Courteeners are the epitome of the hard working ethose of the indie band, and whilst not hogging the critics pages, have amassed a legion of dedicated fans over the past decade. NNF was the final single to be lifted from their breakthrough 'St. Jude' album and is very much their standard bearer. All heart on the sleeve, driving guitar indie pop rock, with a sentiment that fires straight to the centre of the younger end of the indie club dancefloor. Arms in the air, sing-a-long goodness..
STEADY AS SHE GOES (2006)
Formed around the 'alt. rock supergroup' pairing of Jack White and Brendan Benson, The Raconteurs weren't here to change the paradigm. perfectly fusing the sound and style of it's main protagonists, it's a straight up Detroit rock track, and despite the staccato verses, had the clubs jumping thanks to the huge chorus. I remember an Arsenal fan friend changing the lyrics to 'steady Ashley Cole', after the solid Gunners defender, and now I can't hear anything different to this day!
SHE LEFT ME ON FRIDAY (2008)
It would be fair to say that Shed Seven were never regarded the coolest of bands, with critics often dismissing them as a work-a-day baggy indie pop outfit, but there's no denying their success. 15 top 40 singles and 4 top 20 albums is a phenomenal return from the York outfit, and SLMOF was their indie club highlight. Witter is in full pomp as he takes you though getting over being dumped before the weekend but going for it anyway, something many on the indie floors could relate to.