I have to admit when I saw the call for artists for 'Tribal Takeover' I wasn't sure how it would work, images of over eager ravers smashing into paintings while pissed up students put the world to rights wasn't really appealing. Also the fact I don't drink anymore (2 day hangovers and booze sads just aren't worth it) has led to a rather fraught relationship with pubs and clubs. Its not that I can't enjoy them sober, ill dance with the best of them if the music is good but I guess I've just reached that point where the peace of my garden on a warm evening is more appealing. That said, Vladas got in touch and his enthusiasm was pretty infectious and as I often talk about supporting events it was time to practice what I preach!
I'd only recently met event co organiser Vladas through his volunteering at Nuart & Look Again Festival. His enthusiasm for both was great to see, he even added a bit of music to the Record Store exhibition by brining down his turntables and spinning vinyl all day while people browsed the downstairs. When we set off to check out the event it was with 2 black eyes and the lingering effects of a nasty bike crash in which I smashed myself up pretty bad. My energy levels still weren't quite back to normal but it was nice to be out in the fresh air. We ended up going to the wrong venue as Origin has recently shifted to the other end of Langstane Place but the extra walk gave us time to explore some of the back lanes around Bon Accord Street so it wasn't a wasted detour.
When we finally arrived at the venue I was pleased to see a few bodies milling about outside, always a good sign. The venue (Shack / Origin) is like a rabbit warren of pretty decent sized rooms. The first room we came to had a psychedelic projection screen which people were wildly dancing in front of, swaying to the eclectic beats being pumped into the room. Through in the larger room we found the DJ tucked up the back while VJ Fighting Crow aka Ben Sievwright controlled a plethora of custom built screens, projection mapped onto an elaborate 3D wall of shapes. Its the first time I've seen proper projection mapping in a club and it was pretty mesmerising. Forming these moments of synchronicity with the music, it made me question my quitting of the VJ game.
Up stairs in yet another room we found the exhibition featuring a range of works from Ade Adesina to a rather cool collage piece by Vladas himself. The temporary walls were filled with work of varying styles and mediums while a pop up projection space had been created round the corner. We didn't get a chance to catch her but I believe local waka poet Lauren Davidson delivered some visceral words in front of the screens, flanked by some dress makers dummies. It was nice to have a separation of spaces to enjoy the different aspects of the evening.
One of the best moments came from a local dance troupe who popped into action and performed a synchronised routine in front of another projection screen ( I think they had 4 or 5 set up altogether) while the crowd cheered them on. And strangely where I expected some Britain's Got Talent type cheese fest I was instead treated to a pretty powerful performance, there was a little cheesy bit about one love but the energy of the dancers and the enthusiasm of the crowd actually made for a nice spectacle.
After listening to some of the tunes for half an hour it was finally time to head home, with 2 hours to go I'd hoped the venue would fill out and people would dance into the small hours. All my initial apprehension was totally wiped away by what I saw but also what I felt. The vibe of a club can make or break a good night and a venue like Shack doesn't have the best vibe but the Tribal team managed to make it their own. It was an ambitious undertaking and one that could easily have fallen flat but the team effort and shared vision led to one of the best club events I've been to in years. I just wish I hadn't been bashed up or else I'd have been grooving on the dance floor til the break of dawn! Still its nice to leave a club night and feel like every aspect of the event was curated to make you feel welcome and part of a community, you just have to take that chance and step out of your comfort zone a little. I'm glad I did! Thanks Vladas.
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