“You know any Dave Clarke?”

Pies in a box The Warehouse, AKA Zoo, AKA Bliss and Envy, AKA Electric Whispers, met its demise in 2016 as the bulldozers moved in…

So for the benefit of killing some quite funny urban myths, here’s the real story behind the penultimate “Spiced at the Warehouse”, a once-popular club night in Perth that arrived as soon as it departed in 1997.

Frazzle Dazzle (proper DJ and pub quiz legend Fraser Thomson) had started the night a few weeks hence but had to head south for a while and left the blossoming club night in the capable hands of his musicologist friends who would take it in turns to man the fort.

The first go fell to Steve “Lovejoy” Tallach and I. Not being much of a dance expert, I packed nearly my whole CD collection into my old yuppie leather briefcase (which I never took to work after being laughed out of the office the first time) – featuring such gems as an Eternal album I got off Britannia Music by accident, Hue and Cry’s greatest hits, a “best of 90s dance” compilation borrowed from my sister (dated 1993) and two genuinely decent bits of dance vinyl borrowed from Stevie Peacock.

Apprehensively we turned up at the club well before opening time and started messing around with the dry ice and lights – “just run your hands over the buttons. It just kind of works,” said Lovejoy. The bouncer winced as the first Beatles medley got rattled off.

The first punters arrived about 10.30, and for the first hour or so, our decent music was heard by about ten people.

Sadly we didn’t have any lighting in the booth, hadn’t brought any, and could barely see what we were doing on the CD decks. Nor did we get any headphones other than the wee Walkman jobs I had in my pocket – so mixing was more guesswork than art. “Wait for a few seconds before the end and move the fader” was about as good as possible.

All was fine-ish until a young guy came up and said, “you know any Dave Clarke?” I knew a DJ from Perth called Dave Clarke who did some of the pubs – my pal’s flatmate – but sadly, that’s not what the guy meant. Over time, this particular bit of the tale (possibly borne of a joke I made about it once) has turned into me playing “Glad All Over” by the Dave Clark Five, but that’s not actually true :)

The guy wandered back to his seat and grew ever more agitated as his request for a Dave Clarke mix didn’t come up. Eventually, he approached the booth with a somewhat broken beer bottle, venting foul language at us, only to be removed. Again this bit of the story has turned into “raining bottles on the DJs while we hid under the desk”, but that’s only partly true too :)

We were into the “best of 90s Dance” CD, which was going down well enough. Until I was a total plank and pressed the wrong button, beginning playback on “Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble” by PJ and Duncan. This is the point I hid under the desk – I couldn’t have told you if bottles were raining or not :)

A bus pulled up from Fife, just to add to the drama, with a collection of people claiming to be a Prodigy fan club. We’d already played Firestarter (possibly twice by accident). Still, they demanded it again, so on it went – causing a notable groan from elsewhere. We went on to play most of Prodigy’s “Fat of the Land” album to keep them quiet – but you could feel a bit of an atmosphere. A brief respite via Beatles medley kept the local punters quiet, given it was meant to be the 60s/70s/80s night!

So one of the Prodigy folk – who notably had one eye – approached the booth, saying, “you’ll do all right if you’ve got some Reggae!” Did we? In a collection spanning everything from Hue and Cry to Half Man Half Biscuit? Did we fuck.

So we let the one-eyed Reggae fan loose on the briefcase of woe – and he managed to plunder enough gems from two Trainspotting original soundtrack albums to see us through to a bit of Oasis at the end, and 2.30am didn’t come quick enough. Shouts of “CRAP” didn’t bother me. The 25 quid each was well earned, though.

Nobody really knows the best bit of the story is that I dived to Edinburgh the next day to see Saints at Hibernian. When I got back to the bus station at home, a guy shouted, “you’re that fuckin guy from the Warehouse last night, eh?” – thankfully, my sister was waiting to pick me up, so that was the last I ever heard of it.

It also turned out the drunk guy with the damaged bottle was waiting at the front door till 3am, so now we know why the bouncer fired us into a taxi at the back door the night before.

And so ended a unique DJ career, and of course, when our two friends took their turn at “Spiced” the following week, they were duly told it would be our last go at it!

So apologies for ruining your blossoming club night Fraz, but it didn’t hurt your career that much :)