Sub Club Soundsystem @ BAaD, Glasgow, 26-27 Aug
Sub Club's two day celebration of electronic music brings together a varied line-up in a unique setting
Sub Club Soundsystem is held in the Barras Art and Design (BAaD) centre, which can be best described as a giant greenhouse with a sun trap of a courtyard. It’s a pleasant part of the East End of Glasgow where quality food can be found along with an ambience to match. The Skinny arrives in time for the Instagram-happy Peggy Gou, who, as well as DJing, also models, designs clothes, composes her own music, and generally seems to live life to the fullest performing all over the world.
Sporting a baseball cap emblazoned with the words 'Have a GOU time', she has already won over those who perhaps were unaware of the talented DJ with her sense of humour. She makes it look easy and with tons of style bobs along mixing old and new house cuts, smiling and interacting with the crowd. The highlight is Lil’ Louis’ French Kiss which garners a massive response from the sweaty crowd. With the sun piercing the greenhouse glass and smoke machine in full effect, geriatric thoughts of 'can’t they open a window in this place' preced regular trips to the courtyard to catch a cool breeze and to rest weary legs.
Jenifer Cardini then takes over from Gou, but not before fans show their appreciation for the South Korean by raising their shoes in the air, in respect to Peggy Shoe – a now regular occurrence at Peggy’s performances. Cardini is well known in the world of techno and was at the forefront of minimal in its infancy. Unfortunately, the sound quality seems to vary depending on where you're standing in the venue; from The Skinny's spot towards the rear of the venue, Cardini’s set feels a bit flat.
Dixon is the headliner for Saturday night and the stalwart superstar needs no introduction. For the final hour of his rampant set the courtyard is closed, meaning the already tightly packed venue is compressed to deep-sea levels. With the daylight fading, the multi-coloured strobe lights, neon string artwork above and floating orbs along with Dixon’s hypnotic, driving techno mean the Saturday night finale does not disappoint.
On the Sunday, another day of sunshine means The Skinny can enjoy some of the food on offer in the courtyard, hopefully curing the hangover caused from the previous night. In the courtyard Sensu and friends are playing, and we are treated to some chilled electro/house – highlights include Mr.G's Give Thanx!, Dorisburg's Tundra, Pepe Bradock's Deep Burnt and finally Supreems' Us Together, a prog-house track with some electro thrown in.
Back inside, it's time for the jovial Norwegian Skatebård. He appears to be enjoying himself, laughing and joking with punters and smiling throughout as he plays some spaced-out electro and italo disco. Later than planned, Robert Hood and his daughter Lyric Hood – the duo aka Floorplan – take over from Skatebård. Robert Hood has fame in being a techno pioneer from Detroit, a city that gave birth to the genre.
Seeing the father and daughter combo together is at first a tad unusual – Lyric, it seems, can barely see over the mixing table and stands with intense focus on the controls. Robert occasionally leans over and points to or alters a setting, but Lyric undoubtedly holds her own, mixing funky, techno beats with harder, signature Hood techno towards the end. Their last track of their set – New Order's Blue Monday – almost blows the roof off and Hood senior ends by shaking hands with revellers hanging over the barrier.
Closing out the festival is Sub Club resident Dominic, who is substituted in at the last minute for the missing Maceo Plex (a Facebook post from the elusive DJ blamed airline issues for his missing the gig). Dominic knows exactly what he has to do and the veteran has no problem in playing a high intensity set, with tracks such as Green Velvet's Flash rounding out two days of great music from a unique and varied line-up in a fantastic setting.