Bookmark and Share

London’s Alternative Underground Scene Prospers ::

Reported by Tristan Ingram on December 14, 2007


Uber-credible club promoters Jim Warboy from All You Can Eat and Scottee from Foreign chatted to Skrufff this week about the state of London’s nightlife scene and both singled out pricing as a key component of their success.


“The Gay scene is officially dead - so it looks like I won my battle,” Scottee laughed, “December saw DTPM close its doors and Heaven shuts in January. You can either move with the times or the times move you. The rest of clubland  seems to be getting the hint too. You can’t charge people £15 to entertain themselves. They want decent visuals, a bit of a show and a credible line up,” the former Anti-social/ Yr Mum, Yr Dad star laughed. (Ed: DTPM is now re-opening January 1st at Fabric, though just for occasional parties).


Jim Warboy revealed he’s long been expecting a global recession from his days running seminal club kid/ alternative event Kashpoint with Matthew Glamorre though pointed out ‘it never seemed to come’.


If a recession does happen now then maybe people would realise how people in my social circles survive,’ he suggested, “We’re used to being in situations with very little money and financial security.”

“I think a lot of the good clubs in London operate with very little money and have a crowd with very little money – largely artists, students, and low earners. This is never easy for them but it proves something can be done. It’s nothing new either,” Jim added.

“Clubs like All You Can Eat, NagNagNag, Kashpoint, Anti-Social, Boombox, Foreign and Trailer Trash, to name a few, have a history of offering people entertainment, cheap entry, new music and artistic ideas. More people would probably come to these kind of clubs when they realise the ridiculous prices that the large clubs charge are not within their means anymore.

I imagine we’d also see a new bunch of affordable nights arise with names like Slump; Nose Dive; Collapse; all perfect for the K-holers and pill heads,” he predicted.

"Great" Britain needs recession - It creates a great feeding ground for new artists, clubs, musicians etc. to emerge,” Scottee concurred, “Clubs and entertainment are usually the last things to be effected. During World War 2, pubs, theatres and the like were booming. No matter how bad things get people always like a knees-up (dance)” he added.


Scottee also welcomed London’s recent smoking ban (‘I've suddenly turned into the most sociable person in the world; begging, borrowing and stealing fags off people is the best conversation starter in the world’) though Jim was not so sure.


“It’s definitely had a strong impact on clubs. Yeah, it’s great that you no longer stink of cigarettes but the cost has been a much weaker atmosphere because people are always outside for a cigarette, or queuing to get out or on their way back. It’s like there’s this constant underlying awareness that people are missing from the party,” he said.

“Also, a lot of clubs I go to now are finding it harder to get people in earlier. I think it’s because people just decide to stay at home longer, knowing they have the freedom to do what they want. The knock on effects of this are that it takes longer for the atmosphere to pick up in the club and that the venue is likely to make less money on the bar. This will probably all settle down eventually.

It’s got to the point where people now have to pay a pound to get a wristband that allows them to go out and smoke now. A typical example of the way certain clubs will find any way they can to squeeze more money out of people,” he noted.

Scottee revealed he’ll be starting 2008 working in a book with Dazed & Confused photographer Ellis Scott as well as taking his first holiday in seven years while Jim’s planning a new club concept as well as working on DJing and mixing.

“I think 2006 was an amazing year where lots of ideas burst through and 2007 was a bit flat for a lot of people,” he added, “I think 2008 has the potential to be an exciting year but I tend to be reasonably optimistic.” (Jim Warboy) (Scottee)


Jonty Skrufff (