Sian's First Club: Clubbers Doing Chain-Saw Sculptures and Fruit Plates
"These were all staple Dublin clubs before the shit went down and they closed due to guns, drugs, or both."
My First Club takes us back to the beginning, transporting DJs and producers back into the depths of their memory, asking them to take us on a trip to those pivotal first nights in clubland. This week's subject: Octopus Recordings label boss, Sian.
My first ever experience in a club was in Dublin. It happened at a space called ¨Ormond Multi Media Centre,¨ which was basically an abandoned building taken over by squatters to do "cultural events," a.k.a. raves. It was a mind-blowingly free time in Dublin: before rave-act restrictions and very liberal. It was like a small, chill version of London. I remember transexuals doing chain-saw sculptures on the dance floor and very pretty elf people handing out fruit plates. There were giant visual screens with very simple looped animations of a snake winding across a desert in POV. There was that beautifully open 90s style of music between techno and trance that seems to have evaporated somehow into sub-genres. I was 14 years old and way out of my depth.
I can still remember who was playing that night. It was a legendary Dublin DJ, François K, a very humble and talented guy who managed to meld huge melodic vibes into stripped down warehouse techno. Very freestyle and hypnotic. I've seen him play a few more times locally in Dublin since. Growing up, I had a few regular spots that I went to for my musical fix. I used to go to UFO, Sides, and The Temple of Sound a lot. These were all staple Dublin clubs before the shit went down and they closed due to guns, drugs, or both. I was introduced to these spots by my older brother and some friends. They were responsible for my slippery slide into club-world.
In Dublin, there were about four record shops that I would frequently go to each week. They were typically cliquey and hostile bedroom DJ hangouts, but good selection of tunes. If you knew how to steal, it wasn't too expensive! I'd have to say that the DJs I was schooled by were the likes of Andy Weatherall, Dave Clarke, Jeff Mills etc. They all seemed to break rules and were not afraid of emotive or epic sounding big room music.
I'd like to big up the residents of the Temple of Sound in Dublin. They should have gotten more attention. Johnny Moy, Billy Scurry etc. They were real underdogs and brought this music to Dublin. Aoife Ni Canna was another early Dublin pioneer, who mixed up everything from funk to techno in a very unique way. This club closed due to underworld issues and corruption unfortunately!
After all this, my first night as a DJ was scary, being on the other side of the decks. I felt like I had a lot to live up to. I still do, and those nights remind me that many people are looking for experiences and tripping out like I was. It's kind of a responsibility.