Poll Clubs 2009: Sub Club | DJMag.com Skip to main content
SUB CLUB
Position: 
14
up 16

Imagine strolling to the door of your local club. Instead of their usual dissatisfied snort, the doormen welcome you in with the cheery greeting of a long lost family friend. Once inside familiar hands are shaken, as the few alien faces offer instant smiles. Odd. As you settle on the cosy dancefloor the two residents drop everything from the latest DFA promo to obscure '70s disco, surge into a '92 hardcore cut, dip into '60s surf-rock before levelling out with a 12-year old Carl Craig beauty. But wherever their taste takes them, the crowd follows them every step of the way.

This is Glasgow institution the Sub Club - home of JD & Twitch's cult Sunday party Optimo.

As each working week looms, the duo dispel with era and genre concerns in their search for classic tunes that capture the present moments. Each week, live guests like Cut Copy, Alter Ego and Padded Cell write the sonic sicknotes for their unpretentious congregation.

But with equal threading to the Sub Club's rich fabric is Saturday's weekly Subculture. Run by stalwart residents Harri and Domenic, the pair might be touching middle-age but they're still pushing the freshest deep DJ sets in the city, whilst their faultless programming covers guests like Prins Thomas, Carl Craig, Andrew Weatherhall and Steve Bug.

Born back in of April 1987, the venue affectionately known as 'Subby' has grained the entire evolution of Glasgow's tight-knit house scene. The neighbouring Arches may be Slam's spiritual home but they enjoyed their first residency - Joy Fridays - in the Sub Club back in 1989.

Glasgow's tech-funk legend DJ Q ran a Thursday night here in the '90s, and after popping his clubbing cherry here, Milton Jackson still regularly pops in for a spot of clubbing.

Ralph Lawson, meanwhile, describes it as "simply the best house club in the world".

But despite Lawson's cheeky suggestion that Subby's magic is "in the Irn Bru", the real secret to its success lies in those behind it.

"Everyone who works there, from the owners to the door staff to the glass collectors, has been a diehard clubber," explains Optimo's JD Twitch, aka Keith McIvor. "They've experienced just how bad clubs can be but also how good they can be - how they should be inclusive rather than elitist.

"The actual space and intimacy is very, very special," he adds. "As a DJ it's a delight to play, and as a promoter they're great people to work with. From the start, the owners were very receptive to the spirit of Optimo. Back in 1997 any other club owners would have told us to take a run and jump but they had the vision that this could be something popular. We didn't, we were just doing it for a laugh. No-one came for the first year and most other clubs would have shown us the door. But they stuck by it."

Is the Sub Club the best little local club in the world? There's no probably about it.

1
BERGHAIN
2
FABRIC
3
SPACE IBIZA
4
WOMB
5
AMNESIA
6
MINISTRY OF SOUND
7
PACHA IBIZA
8
WATERGATE
9
D-EDGE
10
The End
11
Cocoon
12
GUVERNMENT
13
ZOUK SINGAPORE
14
SUB CLUB
15
WARUNG
16
SANKEYS MCR
17
DC-10
18
Plastic People
19
SIRENA
20
21
Paradiso
22
Pacha Buenos Aires
23
Beta Nightclub
24
ROBERT JOHNSON
25
Ruby Skye
26
Matter
27
The Arches
28
Space Miami
29
Club Volume
30
Pacha Miami
31
AGEHA
32
Hardpop
33
RAZZMATAZZ
34
CIELO
35
Eden
36
Alte Börse
37
The Rex
38
Batofar
39
Studio Martin
40
Avalon
41
Club JB's
42
My House
43
CAVO PARADISO
44
FABRIK
45
Noxx
46
TENAX CLUB
47
Fuse
48
Clash Club
49
PRIVILEGE
50
Onzi-eme
51
ANZUCLUB
52
52 Crystal
53
Vanguard
54
Villa
55
Metro City
56
Kristal
57
Club Midi
58
360°
59
Harry Klein
60
MANSION
61
Circa
62
ARMA 17
63
Club Der Visionaere
64
Vision
65
Vinyl
66
Caves
67
CHINESE LAUNDRY
68
Goa Club
69
Stereo
70
Bar 25
71
Byblos
72
Warehouse
73
Heaven
74
Air
75
Florida 135
76
Culture Box
77
MINT CLUB
78
Dirty Dancing
79
Circus Afterhours
80
Tribehouse
81
Cabaret Voltaire
82
Pacha Sharm
83
1015
84
Haoman 17
85
Prince Of Wales Bandroom
86
Numero Uno
87
MOTION
88
Barfly
89
Café D'Anvers
90
Stiff Kitten
91
Factory Club
92
93
TRESOR
94
Global
95
YALTA
96
LUX FRAGIL
97
Sq Klub
98
Le Queen
99
Weekend
100
Le Bataclan