Guest Selector: Shapes At The Jail

We speak to DJ and promoter Ryan Hamblett on what to expect from Shapes At The Jail, the party outfit's first ever day event at Stirling's Old Town Jail

Feature by Claire Francis | 09 May 2018

What can you tell us about the history of the Stirling Old Town Jail? Any ghosts or gruesome stories we should know about?

The jail was built in 1847 as a new prison for Stirling. It’s a castle-style structure with a large old guarded wall surrounding it. It served as Stirling’s prison until 1888, then was used as military detention barracks until the Second World War. It reopened in 1996 as a visitor attraction – unfortunately I’m not a horror fan so I’ll be staying well away from any ghost /gruesome stories!

Big Miz and Dixon Avenue Basement Jams are headlining the event – why did you select these two particular acts?

I have always followed the Dixon Avenue guys. They played a previous event for me in 2015 (The Magic Sun Festival) and it’s been great to see their label go from strength to strength. Also, with the release of Big Miz‘s album [his debut LP Build/Destroy, released in January] and the timing of the Jail event, it‘s worked out perfectly. 

How has Shapes evolved as a club night since you first started out in 2015?

The main aim has always been to bring bigger acts to Stirling, as well as helping push through local DJs. Plus it's been great to see some of the local DJs I've got in to play gaining experience; some have went on to start up their own nights, which is great to see. 

Do you think the Shapes At The Jail event could pave the way for bigger outdoor music events in Stirling in the future?

YES DEFO! I have some huge plans in my head and the event at the Jail I think will be the stepping stone that will open doors to hopefully bigger outdoor events in Stirling. I know the possibilities are there so I think it's time to make them happen. 

What can people expect from the setup on the day?

There have been events at the Jail before – Bigfoot's Tea Party ran events there for a couple years with the help from Creative Stirling. However, we are putting our own stamp on the Jail this year. With help from Neil Connell at Motion Systems we are bringing in a Void Acoustics Nexus 6 sound system – that's just a small part of what you can expect from the setup. 

Where’s the strangest location you’ve ever played/seen a dance music gig?

The strangest place probably has to be tied in with one of the past jail gigs. Back when Bigfoot's ran their jailyard events they managed to secure an after party within the jail, which was set in a corridor with a few jail cells down the right hand side. So you could party in one of the cells with a bunch of your mates – it was great fun! 

Current influences...

Paul Woolford – Erotic Discourse
I've been following Paul Woolford for years ever since releasing Erotic Discourse, which is still one of my favourite tunes to play out. Most recently his Untitled tune is awesome as well.

Big Miz – Good Thing
As soon as Big Miz released Good Thing on DABJ that was it. I've always wanted to have him back through to Stirling to play.

Skatebård – Sgnelkab
Last year seeing Skatebard at Sub Club Soundsystem was unreal. He was amazing, the tunes were great!

Griff – Pawn The Monkey
My mate Griff has been smashing it recently! This was released last year on Doorly's new label Reptile Dysfunction. He has a new tune coming out in the summer called Discoball so keep an eye out for that!

Slam – Harem (Gary Beck Remix)
I always think back to when I started Shapes and what I wanted to achieve... it's all been a bit surreal to be honest. Having the likes of Jasper James, to Alan Fitzpatrick, as well as Slam and Gary Beck, at our events has been unbelievable.

Shapes At The Jail, featuring Big Miz / Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, Ryan Hamblett, Riccardo Chicarella and Bud Burroughs takes place on Saturday 12 May at Stirling's Old Town Jail