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Not the song, the club (http://www.optimo.co.uk/). I spend an unhealthy amount of time daydreaming about this club and how much I want to go - see the playlists on the site, it looks awesome. I downloaded one of the Optimo mix cds (the one which opens with 'Some people live all their lives without knowing which path is right....') and it blew me away. Hopefully, I should be heading up to Glasgow in a couple of months to check it out so I just want anyone who's been to tell me what it's like, spill any anecdotes and prattle on about anything else Optimo'y.

It astounds me that a club playing no wave, girl group, classical, punk, soul, krautrock, etc etc etc etc etc can be a huge success but by all accounts it is. Could this happen in Manchester/Liverpool/Kent/Cardiff or is is a Scot thang? Mr Optimo should franchise out the Optimo brandname and become a 21st century Zilkha, or all clubnight-running guys should just rip him off wholesale (I know I intend to).

If Stirmonster is reading, how did you set the whole thing up? Was it a blazing success from the off or did you have to build it up?

Also, if anyone has the mix cd as teasingly described on http://www.optimo.co.uk/download.htm then please please let me get a copy of it somehow (soulseek? cd-r tradey stuff?)

Ian SPACK (Ian SPACK), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 17:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

do you mean the Frenchbloke & Sonof mix?

it does sound great, i wonder if i can obtain a copy from the chaps - will investigate

stevem (blueski), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 19:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one of the bands i work played a night at optimo, and it was insanity. the place was rammed with kids dancing literally all night and drinking and doing god knows what else to excess. i was told that some employers make people sign waivers that they won't attend, and that as it's on a sunday the party is the city's leading cause of absenteeism. that sounds like an urban legend, but i'd be inclined to believe the latter as one of the afterparties was carrying on into the next afternoon. definitely make the trip up.

lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

what a fantastic club! how is the new subby, stirry?

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Steve, yeah that's exactly the one. Do your damndest to grab a copy. You should get this other Optimo mix off me, I reckon you'll love it. I can send it over MSN while Ssk is down.

I can't believe that a club with *that* music policy is so popular, how on earth has it worked so well? Lauren, what's their secret? And why haven't clubs all over Britain followed suit?

The first I heard of it was in the business pages of The Sun (!) where they mentioned how the djs hung a mic over the crowd dancing, sampled them, made a song out of the noise and played it back out minutes later. Unreal.

Also, is it always on a Sunday? I thought it was a Friday night thing.

Ian SPACK (Ian SPACK), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Those scots must be real crazy (and arty) party animals. Always thought scotland was just full of kids with Ocean Colour Scene/Cast/Oasis or Byrds/Big Star/Pavement/Sonic Youth/Neil Young/Pixies/Nirvana albums.

Had that impression the 2 years i spent in Glasgow. The rest of scotland was full of hardcore rave/gabber kids.

Billy, Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

how on earth has it worked so well - i honestly have no idea. i had been playing straight(ish) 4/4 music for ten years and was chomping at the bit to do something a bit different. the oppurtunity to do a sunday night came up and it seemed the ideal night to plunge into the depths of my record collection. really, the intention was to do something for a lot of people i knew who were a bit older and wanted to hear music that doesn't normally get played in a club. for about the first 18 months, we were lucky to get 100 people in but as it was a sunday and we had no expectations, that was great.

then one week three hundred people turned up which we thought was a fluke, but the next week even more turned up and it continued to grow from there. our home, the sub club burned down and we were in temporary homes for three years but returned back 'home' a few months ago. since then it has gone even more ballistic. last sunday there was a blizzard going on outside and we expected it to be really quiet but we had the biggest crowd we have ever had and had to turn a couple of hundred away. it's insane, i tell ya!

the really strange thing for me is that we have a really young crowd who will freak to records they don't know from before they were born! i guess people are bored and want more from their night out. people in scotland also party like their lives depend on it!

we have been lumped in with electroc(l)a$h, post punk, bootlegs, too many djs etc but really, we are none of these things. i follow music, not what anyone else does and doing this in relative isolation up in scotland has been great for us. it means we don't belong to any scene and will always operate outside what is happening in the media. as fads come and go, we will still be here just playing music.

one of the reasons it might have worked is that after ten years of being techno djs, myself and my partner really know how to work a crowd so even though we play all types of music, we put it together in quite an energetic way and mix records that should never work together. i mean who'd have thought mo tucker kept such good time but it's possible to mix live the whole of 'waiting for my man' over some slamming techno track . likewise johnny cash's 'personal jesus' or a whole multitude of other songs. also, using a powerbook live lets me do things that leave people wondering 'how did he do that?'. but most importantly, it's fun - i might play reallly obscure records from the sun city girls, billy childish, the ze or 99 label or whatever but i always know when it is time to give the crowd a dose of fun.

i hope i don't come across all arrogant here. i'm not but i truly love what i do and it is the most enjoyable thing i have ever done in my whole life.

and finally, it CAN work elsewhere - we have taken optimo to new york, paris, helsinki, belfast, munich and stockholm and it worked every time.

if any ILM'ers ever come and don't enjoy themselves i will personally refund their costs for getting here.

stirmonster, Wednesday, 5 February 2003 21:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

My sister lives in Glasgow so I'm sure I'll make it sometime, I had planned to go anyway, though admittedly that was after I'd read the articles which said it was electroclash and post punk. I did look at the setlists linked to ages ago on that other thread and I would definitely go if I was around judging from those.

Ronan (Ronan), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 22:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

look for maybe possibly some stir dates in some clubs in the NYC roundabout time for the Liquid Liquid show on March 7th.

presumptuous? never

mosurock (mosurock), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 22:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

likewise johnny cash's 'personal jesus'

What is it about this song? Erol Alkan (of Trash) namechecks it in this month's Jockey Slut. I really must try to make it sometime. I missed thema at Auto too, despite being there. I was probably stuck in the murderous beer queue. Unfortunately whenever I'm up in Glasgow I'm usually travelling back down south on a Sunday. I will get there though.

Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 22:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"the really strange thing for me is that we have a really young crowd who will freak to records they don't know from before they were born!"

that's what really struck me about the night. the crowd went mad whether they knew a track or not. there is no way to manufacture that kind of enthusiasm, and it's really exciting to see.

lauren (laurenp), Thursday, 6 February 2003 15:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i'd love to head over as well,i've been listening to that cd a lot recently...
any plans to put on a show in dublin?

robin (robin), Thursday, 6 February 2003 16:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ronan if you go, can I come with you?

Cozen (Cozen), Thursday, 6 February 2003 18:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...
what's new in the zoo?

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 01:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

same old same old - 'it's not as good as it used to be'™

stirmonster, Wednesday, 26 November 2003 01:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

some of the best nights of my life. Thats it. So when Cozen?

jed (jed_e_3), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 01:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i met you once didn't i jed? at the opening of some bar where we were prostituting ourselves and playing to a disinterested audience. i am really bad at remembering faces so if yr ever at the 'mo, do come and say hello.

gygax, how's the old fmbb doing?

stirmonster, Wednesday, 26 November 2003 02:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

it died about 06/2002, or when jon left... take your pick.

i was in thinking today of crazy things: optimo global tastemaker early 2000s nostalgia. but in a very chris marker exotica way. crazy things.

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 02:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yes i met you at a silly bar opening when i'd stood someone up, shameful! ive been down twice in the last month or so - its been nice to make friends with the other S****ers but im ususally too busy dancing. and yer busy!

jed (jed_e_3), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 02:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

are you and your lovely lady paying us a visit anytime soon, mr.stir?

lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 05:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i am coming over to play APT on january 6th but i don't think the lovely lady can afford to join me. let's meet up!

stirmonster, Wednesday, 26 November 2003 11:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 12:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I nearly went again on Sunday but err.. didn't. Some leather-clad homo-electro act from San Francisco seemed quite a draw.

N. (nickdastoor), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 12:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i don't want to look up, bt ws this the thread i ws a dick abt optimo on w.out really knowing anything abt it on? oh dear. yeh, optimo! glasgow's lucky. still haven't been but i definitely shd. best club night in town?

raphael diligent (Cozen), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 12:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

...nah theres that really good microhouse night at jumpin jacks.

yes it is.

jed (jed_e_3), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 13:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

that would be zeigenbock kopf, n., and i don't think they actually made it up. one of them injured himself terribly in london the day before.

lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 22:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

from rolling about on stage on top of bottles of jd they had smashed, no less!

jed (jed_e_3), Wednesday, 26 November 2003 22:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

is optimo weekly then? i am in glasgow over the weekend and this sounds grinchy. any other heads up on what to do in glasgow would be grate too.

nebbesh (nebbesh), Wednesday, 3 December 2003 11:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

weekly, sundays, subclub, details: www.optimo.co.uk

jed (jed_e_3), Wednesday, 3 December 2003 12:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

what can anyone tell me abt lucy m4ckenzie's 'flourish', if anything?

(i thk i know wht she looks like, really pretty, bowl cut, i thk i saw her at the latest 'mars hotel' gig.)

raphael diligent (Cozen), Thursday, 4 December 2003 22:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...
did Ronan ever make it to Optimo?

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 04:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No. I keep telling him to come. Also, what happened to the brwh scheduled for the 5th? Did it get rescheduled?

Next Optimo for me: The Go! Team one, I think. Would like to do Clinic too but don't think I will.

New Year too.

Alba (Alba), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 09:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I am stuck as to whether I can do new year this year. I love new year optimo, but I have a potential (as in nearly confirmed) start date on a new job, in London, on 4th Jan.

So, when they confirm I have to find somewhere to live and move. And do NYE Optimo. I am sure it is possible somehow...

3underscore (___), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 09:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It surely is. When I moved up here I sorted out a place to live in advance and moved my stuff a week before, because I had Glastonbury in the way.

Alba (Alba), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 09:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

But the week before is Christmas Alba! These christian festivals are going to ruin my hogmanay!

3underscore (___), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 09:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ronan should come to aberdeen optimo.

take the megabus, ronan.

cºzen (Cozen), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 10:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i would like to go to optimo

charltonlido (gareth), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 11:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

wouldn't it be fun, if we could all be at optimo together?

lauren (laurenp), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 12:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

shall we go in december. perhaps the 17th?

*@*.* (gareth), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 12:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i mean, that weekend. a christmassy thing

*@*.* (gareth), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 12:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

can i come?

Freelance Hiveminder (blueski), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 12:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


lauren (laurenp), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 12:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

lauren van pelt

Freelance Hiveminder (blueski), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 12:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I think there's a London crew heading up to Optimo for Hogmanay and renting rooms / crashing somewhere the day after, not too sure yet - and depends what the Bugged Out lineup is like, but personally I'd prefer Glasgow...

MattR (MattR), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 13:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

YAY! come to Optimo!

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 15:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Sort it out the week before Christmas, ___. You don't want to be desparately looking for a place in a few days once you arrive in London, surely? You often can't move in straight away anyway. London accommodation is crappy and it takes a while to find something good unless you hear about something ON THE GRAPEVINE.

Alba (Alba), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 15:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

:( knoxville is a long way away.

i attended the 1999/2000 hogmanay optimo at the art school..... i don't remember a single thing except a friend of mine stealing an entire case of mini tonic bottles.

You've Got to Pick Up Every Stitch (tracerhand), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 15:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That is unacceptable behaviour. It's people like your friend that make it cost £25.

Alba (Alba), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 15:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Stevem, never mind those bullies!

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 15:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not going if he goes.

Alba (Alba), Tuesday, 16 November 2004 15:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

YES ME TOO! bvms

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 30 July 2017 09:48 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I will be there. First "Optimo" I will have been to in Glasgow, not sure I'll have the stamina for the Sub Club after but let's see ;)

Chewshabadoo, Wednesday, 2 August 2017 20:25 (eleven months ago) Permalink

envious over here. have fun

-_- (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 2 August 2017 20:35 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Where are you headed from, Chew?

I'm make-believe. (jed_), Wednesday, 2 August 2017 22:20 (eleven months ago) Permalink

And will you have friends attending? If not (or even if so!) then send me a message on here and we can say hello! X

I'm make-believe. (jed_), Wednesday, 2 August 2017 22:29 (eleven months ago) Permalink

(That goes for Paolo too, it would be good to meet you)

I'm make-believe. (jed_), Wednesday, 2 August 2017 22:34 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I'm coming up from Brighton. This rather neatly coincided with my birthday and some friends who were already going.

Chewshabadoo, Thursday, 3 August 2017 07:33 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Set times are up on facey b

paolo, Thursday, 3 August 2017 08:23 (eleven months ago) Permalink

And would be good to have an ILM meetup. Are you coming Boxedjoy?

paolo, Thursday, 3 August 2017 08:24 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Here's my Twitter which is probably as good a way as any of getting in touch: https://twitter.com/matthewbalaam

Chewshabadoo, Thursday, 3 August 2017 09:45 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Ward, you can see NWW adult. King Ayisoba and other things for a pretty small fee. Just come along. We can hang out!

Cake hawn. (jed_), Friday, 4 August 2017 02:31 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Thanks jed, love your enthusiasm on this thread. Couple of non-ilx pals are going and just last night were also encouraging me to come along, so will definitely look out for you down the front at NWW if I do make it.

Bernie Lugg (Ward Fowler), Friday, 4 August 2017 09:38 (eleven months ago) Permalink

loving the mix.

in 86/87 i used to go to Microwave in Rickys/Leeds every monday night, and this is exactly the stuff they used to play.

mark e, Friday, 4 August 2017 10:50 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Buzzing for this. Will be there with paolo, happy to meet up and have some awkward chat with anyone else on here who's about.

off-site man days (Mr Andy M), Saturday, 5 August 2017 19:37 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I'm gonna regret not going and hanging out with you all

starving street dogs of punk rock (Odysseus), Saturday, 5 August 2017 19:48 (eleven months ago) Permalink

feeling that post

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 5 August 2017 19:57 (eleven months ago) Permalink

If anyone wants to find myself and my girlfriend, we look like this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154605964567518&set=t.666387517&type=3&theater

Chewshabadoo, Sunday, 6 August 2017 09:02 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Will keep an eye out :) I'm going for a drink with Mr Andy M in the 78 beforehand if anyone wants to come and say hi

paolo, Sunday, 6 August 2017 09:48 (eleven months ago) Permalink

have a great time everyone!

boxedjoy, Sunday, 6 August 2017 11:34 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Well that was fun. Good to meet you Jed.

Despite making a pact to "have an early night" with my girlfriend and just do the daytime stuff, naturally we ended up still front and centre at 3:15am in the Subbie. First time visiting it - I can see it’s reputation is deserved.

Chewshabadoo, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 12:29 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Thanks for coming! I'm still on the biggest natural high ever from this. It exceeded our wildest expectations and that was really down to the amazing people who came; in 30 years of doing this I have never felt so much love concentrated in one place before.

Jed may well have a list of things that could have been improved. ;-)

stirmonster, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 13:01 (eleven months ago) Permalink

That was really something. NWW were probably the highlight, closely followed by The Bug and King Ayisoba. One of the best Sub Club experiences I've had afterwards as well

paolo, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 16:54 (eleven months ago) Permalink

You guys must be just about the only people on the planet who could play Duelling Banjos in the sub and get away with it

paolo, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 16:54 (eleven months ago) Permalink

i hadn't played it for so many years and for about the first minute thought i wasn't going to get away with it this time but thankfully....

stirmonster, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 22:06 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I should've figured out a way to get to Glasgow for this. Glad it went off!

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 8 August 2017 22:37 (eleven months ago) Permalink

i think i remember duelling banjos coming out quite late at T in the Park one night, possibly 2004...

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 09:11 (eleven months ago) Permalink

that version of Zombie Nation played where it just kept teasing the main riff was spelndid

electrobiscuit, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 16:08 (eleven months ago) Permalink

the original plan was to never actually bring the main riff in but i am weak and finally crumbled.

stirmonster, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 17:21 (eleven months ago) Permalink


mark e, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 19:23 (eleven months ago) Permalink

You probably could have got away with that and just cut the sound off and let the crowd sing it for you.

electrobiscuit, Thursday, 10 August 2017 21:56 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Jed may well have a list of things that could have been improved. ;-)

i do!

hold on, no, i don't... Optimo has enriched my life beyond measure. I barely saw any of the acts at the festival because I was too busy talking to all of the people I have met through Optimo over the years. If I could rewind it again and again I'd see all of the acts but Optimo is about connections, connections with people, so I'd do the same again. It has been a treat!


Cake Hawn (jed_), Friday, 11 August 2017 01:17 (eleven months ago) Permalink

that was a bit less elegant than intended but who cares? Optimo has made my life much much better. Immeasurably better.

what else can you say?

Cake Hawn (jed_), Friday, 11 August 2017 01:24 (eleven months ago) Permalink

this looked like a completely amazing event and makes me want to cross the atlantic should I have the opportunity to make it in the future

mh, Friday, 11 August 2017 01:54 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Paolo and Andy M, sorry I didn't see you!

Cake Hawn (jed_), Saturday, 12 August 2017 01:54 (eleven months ago) Permalink

That's OK I'll probably run into you at some point

paolo, Saturday, 12 August 2017 17:50 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Yeah no worries mate, we'll catch up another time no doubt.
I had a total blast at this. Nurse With Wound & King Ayisoba were particularly impressive, but really everyone that I saw was good. After-party in the Sub was loads of fun too obv, so many classics.

off-site man days (Mr Andy M), Saturday, 12 August 2017 21:41 (eleven months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

can anyone ID the track on Optimo's Walkabout mix that is the phrase "Car Sick" repeated over and over again? Stirmonster, are you out there?

Neil S, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 12:31 (eight months ago) Permalink

i'm afraid don't know as that mix was all jg wilkes' work and i don't have a copy to hand. is it not in the tracklisting?

stirmonster, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 21:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

it's not car sick it's "co" then "exic" which repeats then becomes "mex" "ic" "co"

It's Mexico by Thomas Brinkmann.


Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 21:55 (eight months ago) Permalink

thanks stirmonster and no worries, I was being lazy while at work. Turns out it was a Thomas Brinkmann number called Monomexico, very good it is too.

thanks Jed, that has BLOWN MY MIND

Neil S, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 21:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

no problem, NMQP is my choice cut from that album:


Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 22:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

at the risk of a thread-derail - stirmonster, have you ever seen this?


Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 22:06 (eight months ago) Permalink

i have!

stirmonster, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 22:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

haha, is it because i already asked you? i had a feeling i had!

Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 22:59 (eight months ago) Permalink

you have!


stirmonster, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 23:15 (eight months ago) Permalink


Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 23:20 (eight months ago) Permalink

Anyone going to So Low at The Poetry Club tomorrow? Everything on that label so far has been AWESOME

paolo, Thursday, 9 November 2017 09:13 (eight months ago) Permalink

Low chances on Jed being there. In fact, if he is there I'll buy the whole club a drink. ;-)

stirmonster, Friday, 10 November 2017 17:51 (eight months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

absolutely LOVE Miracle Steps, btw.


Heavy Messages (jed_), Friday, 2 February 2018 00:04 (five months ago) Permalink

sorry you all lost out on a drink in November!

Heavy Messages (jed_), Friday, 2 February 2018 00:04 (five months ago) Permalink

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