Preview: Waverley Riverboat Shuffle W/ Melting Pot, Optimo & Vitamins
PREVIEW: Waverley Riverboat Shuffle W/ Melting Pot, Optimo & Vitamins
If you’re going to be steaming on The Clyde its best you do it in style. Calling in the Coast Guard because you’ve been swept into the North Sea on an inflatable dinghy from Asda just isn’t a good look, so it’s best you leave it to the professionals and one of the most prolific steamers in the world (and we’re not talking about Big Barry Buckfast from Sighthill). As boats come, The Waverley Paddle boat is up there with HMS Victory, The Discovery and that odd amphibious bus that ferries sightseers across the Thames. Built in 1946 and claiming its title as the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world, The Waverley has been described as ‘a vessel of pre-eminent national importance’, serving a multitude of venerated purposes over the years, including the annual Riverboat Shuffle organised by Glasgow institutions Melting Pot and Optimo.
Originally launched in 2009 after what we can only imagine must have been a valiant effort in persuasion, the infamous party has attracted thousands of revellers, taking them on a voyage which they are unlikely to ever forget. Returning this Friday for what will be an indisputable highlight of the clubbing calendar; you can expect the ship to be relieved of its normal tourist duties to make way for the aforementioned Melting Pot and Optimo, as well as relative newcomers, Vitamins.
All three club factions have been influential in Glasgow over the last ten years, with Optimo of course recognised as one of the finest and most eclectic events in the world, Melting Pot as a long-running purveyor of all things Disco, House and Soul, and Vitamins lauded for their forward-thinking perception of just what clubs can achieve in 2012. With all three unified in giving you a damn good time, this is one party which is unlikely to capsize…
Check out a recent residents mix by Melting Pot as well as an interview with the collective below:
Synth: So this Friday you take to The Clyde on the world famous Waverley Steamer, what makes the boat so special and what can people expect from it as a party venue? Boat parties seem to becoming more popular on the river, what sets this experience apart?
Melting Pot: There's no contest when it comes to The Waverley and other boats. The sheer size of The Waverley allows us to have two separate music rooms, so we can accommodate different musical styles, and also around 700 people - which always leads to an amazing atmosphere. It’s also a piece of Scottish history which isn't used as a club venue very often, well, except when we do it! So you can feel rather privileged to be rocking down the Clyde when it's normally rather more restrained with OAPs having tea and cake! The engine room is exposed and everyone can see the impressive engineering involved in the boat's construction, and the fixtures and fittings in the lounge areas are a lovely addition too.
Melting Pot: There will be two separate areas, with Melting Pot and Optimo in one and Vitamins and Optimo in the other. We'll also be piping the music from the Melting Pot / Optimo room up to the deck area as well. From Melting Pot you can always expect a mix of old and new. Though we are sometimes known as a disco club, we do like to mix it up and play house, techno, soul and funk as well. You never quite know exactly what's coming; as long as it's got soul and works on
the dancefloor, it will get played!
Synth: Melting Pot is of course still going strong after eleven years, would you say the face of the club has changed at all during that time or have you stayed true to its origins?
Melting Pot: I think we have stayed true to its origins, as that's part of the staying power. We were never part of a fad, trying to chase a market; it was always born out of the love of the music that we wanted to play. We are always trying to improve the Melting Pot experience and that is a big factor in still being here 11 years later. We pay very close attention to our sound system and take things many stages further than any other club does; that's the benefit from our relationship with Loud & Clear Hi-Fi. We were the first club in Glasgow to use a vintage American rotary mixer, a custom made 3-way isolator from Japan, and have continued with high-end phono stages amongst other things - even the power leads we use - to have the best system in Scotland, and pretty much the UK (The Loft excepted). The only thing that has changed over the years is the amount of guests that we have, it does get harder to put on nights year on year, and people do tend to be very guest orientated, though we still find a place for resident nights amid the mix.
The Waverley: E'steamed
Synth: You've hosted everyone from Todd Terje to Ray Mang at Melting Pot, is there anyone you'd really love to book who may have escaped you over the years or someone particularly special you have you your eye on?
Melting Pot: That would be telling!! You'll need to keep a look out for our upcoming bookings and see if we manage to come through with any of them! There are some MP favourites that we’d like to bring back, but we always plan to have some MP debuts thrown in during the year too.
Synth: You've also started a new event called Classic Album Replay at Loud & Clear on St Vincent St. What was the inspiration behind that and how do you choose your featured album?
Melting Pot: We were inspired by a couple of our favourite MP guests: Greg Wilson and Colleen "Cosmo" Murphy. Greg started a blog called Living To Music two years ago. He suggested that once a month we should sit down and listen to a classic album without any distractions: no phone, internet, talking, and simply concentrate on the music. He chooses an album for the month and writes a blog about it. Cosmo loved the idea and thought it would be a great idea to have an album listening session as a collective. She used part of The Loft's high-end hi-fi equipment and started to do her Classic Album Sundays event in a function room in a bar in London. I was at the first one and thought it was a great idea, and since I work at Loud & Clear where we have some fabulous hi-fi, I thought it would be a great idea to do it there too. It just so happened that the first month we planned to have it the BBC did a feature on Cosmo's event and the idea really took off from there. I still follow Greg Wilson's blog for the album choices of the month. We have taken it out of the shop for one Classic Album Sunday’s event in The Berkeley Suite in February - which was fantastic, and are looking to do more in the autumn.
Synth: Finally, the Boat Party has of course been going strong for a few years, are there any parties which stand out or highlights which were particularly memorable?
I think they've all been memorable. It's such a different experience to play on a vessel like The Waverley, and a real honour. Something that was a real highligh for me was playing The Waverley in Glasgow and then heading down and doing it all over again in London two weeks later a couple of year back. That's the beauty of an ocean going boat Opening up Tower Bridge on The Thames was pretty special, not that we'll get to experience that in Glasgow!
WHAT: Waverley Riverboat Shuffle
WHO: Melting Pot, Optimo, Vitamins
WHERE: The Waverley Paddle Steamer, Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay, G51 1EA
WHEN: Fri 22nd June // 8pm-11pm
TAX: £25 (Advance)
TICKETS: Tickets Scotland
FACEBOOK EVENT: http://www.facebook.com/events/439774009368424/
Melting Pot on Facebook
Optimo on Facebook
Vitamins on Facebook
Electric Frog Website