Riverside Festival: An interview with Slam

DJ duo Slam will play the fifth Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival in Glasgow this bank holiday weekend – an event they say is the annual highlight of their year.

In fact the pair, Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle, who have been on the Glasgow club scene for a couple of decades, believe this year’s festival will be the best yet.

The duo, who organised a few big ‘nighters’ early in their career, including events at the SECC, Tramway and Slam in the Park in 1990, and are regulars at the city’s Sub Club – love how the city’s club scene has evolved.

They said: “We saw four thousand ravers in a big tent at Strathclyde Park with Derrick May, The Orb and 808 State joining us.

Slam at Riverside

“We were also doing the Sub club every Saturday at the time so like now, we balanced the bigger occasional event with good underground club nights in Glasgow.

“We never looked too far ahead – we could never have imagined how the club scene would evolve back then – certainly playing at the Riverside Festival in our hometown is an annual highlight.”

Glasgow is a thriving city with a club scene that boasts some talented and unforgettable acts, like DJ Harri,  Optimogeddon, Jasper James, Jackmaster and of course, Slam.

Slam explain that Glasgow has changed over the years like everywhere else, the city is very ‘healthy’ with plenty of DJs and recording artists coming through.

They said: “We are proud to see that – a continuity with the past and flourishing right now. There are many more nights of course and possibly too much focus on guest DJs rather than residents led parties- but the whole scene is very event led right now. ”

The Riverside Festival is a joint venture between Electric Frog and Pressure, with Slam taking the role of musical directors. McMillan and Meikle have been involved since the beginning and like to get right into the nit and grit of it.

Slam said: “We’re part of a team – musical directors but also travelling and touring a lot we get the odd idea on stage set-ups – we are quite hands on with the sound and light guys.

“There’s a team working on this event all year getting organised -a massive undertaking.”

As co-curators of Riverside, Stuart and Orde believe that the two day event is a whole new level.

They said: “It’s the fifth year and the whole team are pulling out all the stops to make it the best yet.

“The lineup has plenty of international big hitters with a good balance of underground artists and some great local talents. And Glasgow is one of the party capitals and should have world-class lineups at big events.

“It’s cultural significant to many Glaswegians and attracts loads of visitors to the city from far and wide.”

The festival is a mostly, a daytime venture, and the bigger scale of it is different to playing the Sub Club or Pressure, says the pair.

“The atmosphere at the festival can be electric as people get into the vibe over a longer time than normally at the clubs – we open at 1pm and go until 11pm so that’s a great musical journey if you get in early.

“The crowd here are second to none – really fun, knowledgeable about music and up for it – what a combination.”

The duo never finalise their set lists for the festival and don’t even know what the other might play, making it a fun and creative way to DJ.

Talking about what fans should expect from them on Saturday, May 27, Slam said: “We’re playing on the Pressure stage in the afternoon on a stage including underground artists like Paula Temple and Surgeon and also 2 of the world’s leading Techno artists Rødhåd and Nina Kraviz.

“This allows us time to join Sven Väth and Levon Vincent on the Cocoon stage where we play back to back with Alan Fitzpatrick which should be interesting!

“Later we play the SWG3 afterparty… no rest for the wicked!”

Slam will perform at the Riverside festival on Saturday, May 27 back to back with Alan Fitzpatrick. They have a few Glasgow dates coming up with Joseph Capriati at the Sub Club on Friday June 9 and then Ben Klock at Pressure, Saturday June 10.

Tickets are still available for Sunday, May 28.

Line-up

Groove Armada (dj set), Loco Dice, DJ Koze, Jackmaster, Art Department, Hunee, Mr G (live), Scuba b2b George Fitzgerald, Derrick Carter, Jasper James and Natalie & Becky.

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