Sunday Circus 8th Birthday at The Old Fruitmarket, 30/8/15

Esteemed promoters and Glasgow institution Sunday Circus celebrate their eighth year of survival, indeed thrive(…al), with tonight’s rampaging shindig.

Only the moaning of a miserable old bastard prevented this event taking place at the unlikely location of the Kelvingrove Bandstand: I get to be so candid because I’m also a miserable bastard who resides there, only I wasn’t the one ludicrously complaining about the noise from a venue with an early curfew operated only a handful of times each summer.

Shame on you, sir, shame on you.

Incidentally, the gig that seemingly drove this joyless tosspot into apoplexy was Echo and the Bunnymen and they sounded uncharacteristically excellent from the pub down the road… and I don’t even like them much.

Anyway, Fruitmarket it is… and what a wonderful space we are plonked into: only been here once before and that was for roughly ten minutes before being lobbed out the athletes’ party after the closing of the Commonwealth Games last year.

With the old fixtures and fittings speaking of commerce gone by, the ghosts of the past meld with ghosts of the future; digital spectres of machines and aesthetics yet ahead of our time.

Which brings us (a touch too neatly) to openers Machines in Heaven – and what a brilliant performance they deliver: 45 minutes or so covering Mondkopf-type brutal ambience and juddering beats all the way up to four to the floor thumpers; enjoyed from a rickety old table and chairs with me feet up; what more could you want at the end of the weekend?

Really worth keeping an eye on these Glasgow fellows – it’s pitch perfect and rather impressive; more please.

After that we ramp up several gears as the crowd filter in – including the inevitable, still at it from last night, contingent – and, despite the relatively cavernous environs, the intoxicating claustrophobia of house, techno and sweat takes over.

Fine sport is to be had observing the dressed up lassies in vertiginous heels attempting to scale the gloriously weathered and uneven floor but the, at times thunderous, music blasting all and sundry eclipses even that jollity – and I speak as someone who enjoys the sight of someone ending up on their arse.

Affi Koman and Tricky deliver solid as ever grooves of dubbed out European house and tech before Soma artist Petrichor envelopes us with some warmly blissed out Balearic sounds (emotively suggesting the end of summer) and a whole handful of straight up bangers and forays into 303 acid delirium; indeed I’m informed by a friendly fellow at the bar that everything is banging and I’m inclined to agree.

Solo by this point in the evening it’s still a dance-along romp powered by a sound system that, whatever it may slightly lack in clarity, more than makes up for in raw and bassy power.

Kompakt’s Michael Mayer offers up a three hour set of pretty wide ranging intensity from Detroit flavours to UK to German to god knows where: all round expert manipulation of the frothy and gradually compressing hoard; a thing of beauty and by the time Inner City’s perennial ‘Big Fun’ leaps out the speakers it’s a moment of pure joy – who doesn’t feel a surge upon hearing that piece of perfection?

Answer: no one… unless you fail to, in which case you are dead or tasteless; in fact stop reading this right now if you are so afflicted, you’re banned.

Excellent stuff and a suitably cathartic end to a pish summer; though the notion of hearing crashing electronic music at the lonely Bandstand in the West End with our blankets and flasks of tea will for now remain tantalisingly out of reach; boo to sour-faced gits with all the rounded cultural appreciation of a damp squirrel in a bin.

Actually strike that, I’m being unfair… to squirrels.

Long live Sunday Circus and all who sail within her: a jewel to be treasured in Glasgow’s illustrious clubland.

Words: Vosne LePro

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