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..
SHE SAID (1996)
Whilst not the biggest of the Britpop bands, certainly one of the best. We had alot of love for Longpigs, fuelled by the soft to screamo vocals of Crispin Hunt and marshalled by the big guitars of Richard Hawley. Whilst 'On & On' became their best known track, as a ballad it had limited dancefloor appeal, so it was down to the re-release of this early single around the time of their vaunted 'The Sun Is Often Out' LP that rang out through the indie clubs. A swaggering, thrilling and shrilling single.
Ska/Punk outfit Sublime were straight outta Long Beach, CA and were the very antithesis of those Cool Britannia years. Their self titled third LP had been a huge success in the US, reaching 5 times platinum, and the smoke-a-joint in the sun vibes of 'Doin' Time' had become a cult classic here. This was their club moment, summing up a stoned on the beach round the campfire sing-a-long feel, a mid paced mood changer. Main man Bradley Nowell's death the same year makes it even more poignant.
WHAT I GOT (1996)
A THOUSAND TREES (1997)
This was the debut single from one of the UK's most enduring bands, a full steam rock pop classic that rode in on the wave of Oasis-mania, and crashed on the beach like a tidal wave. Kelly Jones' gravel dry holler is the highlight, adding urgency and clarity to a standard rock format that others had tried and failed. 'It only takes one match to burn a thousand trees' was bellowed from dancefloors across the alt. clubs, no more so than in their native Wales, where the band were considered royalty. Big.
SHELTER SONG (2014)
Kettering's Temples are an unashamedly 60's psychedelic rock throwback, filtering the bygone sound through a modern filter and a legion of inspired remixes. 'Shelter Song' was the opening track of their critically acclaimed LP 'Sun Structures', a masterful and strutting dip into the past, all twelve string and floor tom beats, with a hint of shoegaze and psyche shimmer. The LP was reworked in it's entirity by Erol Alkan (Beyond The Wizards Sleeve) and stands up as an incredible album in it's own right.
22 GRAND JOB (2006)
The Rakes were a reasonably short lived band that joined the throng of post-punk acts such as Franz Ferdinand and The Futureheads, and burst into view with this after the cult success of their single 'Strasbourg'. 22GJ is the sound of Young London at the time, Alan Donohoe taking the moniker of a nonchalant upwardly mobile worker measuring his life via his salary band. There's a touch of Britpop era Pulp here which gives it an extra edge, and this was a big hit across the alternative club scene in 06.