- The Glaswegian star helms the first-ever rave at one of Scotland's most prestigious venues.
- The current state of Edinburgh's nightlife scene divides opinion. For some, the city plays second fiddle to Glasgow's booming club scene. Others swear that Edinburgh is reemerging as a dance music hub in its own right. Whatever the case, one thing is for certain: Tom Ketley, who runs FLY Club, is responsible for some of the most adventurous events in the capital right now. From club nights at Cabaret Voltaire to open-air festivals at Princes Street Gardens and the stately Hopetoun House, Ketley and his team love to dream big. Their latest party, helmed by longtime affiliate Denis Sulta, was no exception. It was held in the Usher Hall, a grand concert venue near the city centre built in 1914 and renowned for the quality of its acoustics. As Sulta, Honey Dijon and Horse Meat Disco performed in the Beaux Arts-style hall, they marked a new milestone in the venue's rich history: its first-ever club night.
The young-looking crowd trickled in slowly for Horse Meat Disco's opening 5 PM set. The foursome initially played to a small audience, though by 7 PM it was as if the venue had woken from a deep slumber. The impressive sound, perfectly balanced throughout the space, was instantly noticeable. In the steep aisles of the hall's upper circle, lycra-clad girls danced, holding their drinks aloft. As Horse Meat Disco dropped playful tracks, a throng gathered on the wooden dance floor. Martin Solveig was followed by Sex Pistols. Barbara Tucker's sassy "Think (About It)" slotted in beautifully ahead of the infectious disco cut "Space Base" by Slick. The dance floor ballooned.
Next up was Honey Dijon, who has had a remarkable year. It was a pleasure to see the Chicago-born DJ so comfortable onstage, sipping champagne and dancing non-stop in between selections. She instantly won the crowd over with her opener, an edit of Talking Heads's "Once In A Lifetime." With her deft moves and crafty technique, her performance was as thrilling to watch as it was to listen to.
Sulta went last, though his influence was evident from the beginning. The DJs were all accompanied onstage by flamboyant dancers, who gyrated before the gleeful crowd. After Horse Meat Disco, a five-piece band played a traditional cèilidh tune, to the hall's bemusement and delight. When a brass band assembled before Sulta's set, the Glasgow DJ assumed the role of music director and seasoned conductor, dressed in loafers, leggings and a kimono-style robe. This sense of humour carried through to Sulta's two-hour session, full of joyous house and disco bangers, mid-set teasers and unwavering energy. It was the party's peak and the performance that the giddy crowd were there to see. His ear-to-earn grin was matched only by the smiles on every face around me.
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