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..
away from here (2008)
Coventry three piece The Enemy brought the working class fire back to the alt. club scene at a time when deck shoed hipster indie was running amok on the decks. Not cool, not new, but with a knack for pulling the masses with their energised pop rock, The Enemy debut LP crashed the charts at No.1, and this was their clarion call. A peacock strut of a tune, fired by Tom Clarkes pithy vox, the 'away-oh-woy-oh-way from here' chorus was bellowed to the ratfers in city and town clubs across the land.
In a relentless world of Britpop, it was getting harder to stand out, but Glasgow's The Supernaturals found a moment of indie pop gold with the release of 'Smile'. A track that could get both the girls and the boys on the floor, the upbeat rhetoric was an anthem for these bullish days, and the song was nominated for an Ivor Novello alongside the likes of Radiohead and The Verve. It was the '97 re-release that gave it a chance to shine, and has since been used on TV ads and TV show theme tunes.
ELECTRIC SOFT PARADE
IF THAT'S THE CASE THEN I DON'T KNOW (2007)
Marked out as pretenders to the bloke band throne after the success of early singles 'Empty In The End' and 'Start Again', but there was clearly more depth to the White Brothers' scope. We had worked the second LP 'The American Adventure' for BMG, a masterpiece but less commercial, and seen them bury it in the sand. Third LP was picked up by indie Truck Records and remains one our favourite LPs of all time. ITTCTIDK is a sublime track from a very special band that continue to this day..
EVERY DAY'S THE WEEKEND (2017)
Melbourne's Alex Lahey produces classic indie power pop, the ultimate fuel that lights up the alt club scene. EDTW is a perect execution of the craft, from the sentiment of the upbeat lyrics, chant along chorus extolling the magic of the two days off, complete with an air punching 'wah-oh-wah-oh' to boot. The whole 'I Love You Like A Brother' is a modern day classic of straight up indie pop rock goodness, angst and release ethos, and plain old good time indie rock n roll soundtrack.
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH
THE SKIN OF MY YELLOW COUNTRY TEETH (1996)
CYHSY were one fo the first bands to harness the power of the internet to gain initial traction, leading them to release a self titled debut LP through indie Wichita in 2005 in the UK but had no US label. You could say CHYSY were an acquired taste, Alec Ounsworths strangled vocal style, akin to early David Byrne, divided opinion, but for those who fell in love with it, fell hard. TSOMYCT is classic check shirted and trucker cap US indie, like the awkward lovechild of Grandaddy and Talking Heads.. it's just magic.