Lost Club Culture
Written for Native Magazine by Fliss Baker.
It is evident that there has been a decline in Coventry’s house music scene. Where do we go after a few drinks in town? People flock to Earlsdon before facing the ultimate decision… Shall we go to Scholars? The odd house event graces the city and others stay in the shadows so where are the haunts that drive us out from our homes at the weekend to dance with like-minded, house obsessed, music lovers?
I remember a time when it was impossible not to be drawn to Coventry’s house music scene. We had diversity of genres and could make the toss-up between headliners or underground up and comers. We had venues, small and intimate as well as crowded dance floors for the masses. In a nutshell, we had choice.
It’s an open debate as to why Coventry’s house music scene has diminished. Have we progressed into a ‘drinking’ culture instead of a dancing one? Does Coventry even respect quality house music? Has the city lost its great venues? Has the loyal house crowd been enticed by bigger and better events in surrounding cities? Have licensing laws and noise complaints put us back into the ground? Does the council and police jump on any designated house venue ignorantly associating them as hubs for drug and gang culture?
Maybe the city has faced so many challenges the passion has slowly seeped away and we think of the problems associated with our house scene instead of the opportunities.
I believe I am an opportunist, forever positive that we have a hidden crowd of creative, open minded ‘house heads’, panting to be educated by quality house music. However, I did go to a recent house event and I kind of understood why the passionistas were on debbie downers. The tech house beats sat on the surface, lacking honesty, depth and credibility and the set missed the opportunity to create a journey from beginning to end, lifting and uniting the crowd and inspiring with a track selection that roots you to a spot all night.
You know it’s good when you send your mate to buy the drinks because you’re waiting for the drop and simply cannot stop dancing or you’re madly smiling at the stranger next to you thinking ‘fuck me, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world apart from here!’
Smoking a rollie outside I asked a few people what they thought. One guy said it was “wicked” and another girl raved about it. However, when I mentioned the random drop of a mismatched house track, MC’ing lyrics off a mobile phone and witnessing two fights they either got defensive or changed their opinion and agreed with me. It made me question whether people really know what they wanted out of their house music experience or whether they had they bought their ticket based on the street chat that this DJ is cool.
Maybe, like me, they felt they had no choice. There was nowhere else to go for house music.
Native put a shout out about Coventry’s house scene and man, did we have a response. Coventry’s finest DJ’s, producers and clubbers wanted to tell us what they thought, which screamed one word to us…’enthusiasm!’
We may be facing a house music dip but we know it hasn’t always been this way. In fact, we know that Coventry was a damn fine place to go clubbing showcasing some of the world’s serious DJ talent. With Coventry smashing the acid/rave scene with the Eclipse, packing out the super club Ikon and the creation of cult followings for Crazy Daisy’s and Traffic at Careys.
We have seen superstars including Carl Cox, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Lisa Lashes, Claude Von Stroke, Solomun, MK and so many more. We wanted to know more so we went digging and we went deep. Thanks to all your voices we have been able to write a series of features about Coventry’s changing music scene and we hope you can celebrate it as well as question with us.
Change is driven from thought and discussion and we’re putting it out there.
First feature is dropping soon and we’re going to hit you in the face with the acid house and rave era celebrating the infamous Eclipse. And guess who we’ve managed to chat to…the unstoppable and super talented MC Man Parris, the resident lyrical master who smashed Pandemonium, Amnesia, Fantazia and Helter Skelter events alongside top DJ’s including Fabio, Grooverider and Mickey Finn. I won’t give too much away but he is one cool, interesting guy who has lived an era I am more than gutted to have missed.