Glasgow club The Tunnel is getting .. wired for the future, says Rory ‘ Weller, as owner Ron McCulloch gives a sneak preview of his most revolutionary redesign to date.
It‘s not a relaunch. it‘s not even a reﬁt. It’s a totally new concept. Six years into the life ofGlasgow‘s premier style club The Tunnel. and two major changes along the way, owner and designer Ron McCulloch has decided now is the time for big change number three. When the club opened in I990. inspiration came from the bars and buildings of Barcelona. in the years that followed it took on a
more industrial feel.
ln I996 though, the themes getting McCulloch excited are luxury and technology. bringing a bounteous past together with a progressive future.
To thrill you from the off, The Tunnel has bought up the sizeable bar next door (formerly Danny Kanes) to use as the new club's entrance. A multimedia hall will open day and night. offering a huge audio-visual wall. a trio of touch screens. PlayStations, terrestn'al TV. satellite TV and a ﬁbre optic link to head ofﬁce
Sinking down into the club we ﬁnd computer
speaks like a teenage techno the huge array of equipment
thing has got to such a point and parcel of the whole club
outstations. mammoth projections. banks of TV screens and cameras. These will synchronise to stimulate the Clubber with sounds and images. created by a full-time. in-house multimedia team. McCulloch junky when describing
‘We need to keep The Tunnel as current and leading-edge as we can.‘ he says. ‘The audio visual
impressive already. McCulloch claims that the system will only come into its own as other clubs (preferably owned by him) begin to follow The Tunnel‘s example. Ultimately. clubs would be able to link up and have a DJ playing in one part ofthe world. a PA somewhere else and world clubbers interacting with
So. could all ofthis be a gimmick? ‘lt's just another facet of the club.’ McCulloch says defensively. ‘The real essence of what The Tunnel is about is music. but you can only do so much. There‘s nothing more stimulating than relevant visual information being linked to it [the music]. and that is where the key lies.
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to be installed.
that it can now be part experience.‘ Although
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The Tunnel: designs on the future of clubbing
A gimmick implies that it's here today and gone tomorrow, but multimedia will become an important element of what is expected in the club environment. There is a certain inevitability about technology becoming involved.‘
The gadgetry is just one aspect ofthe new-look Tunnel. With six years of trading behind it. the club believes it knows how to make a night there as good as it can be. Practical issues like bigger cloakrooms, more toilets, bigger danceﬁoors and bars have been tackled. Walls have been knocked down and spaces opened up that you never knew were there. The decor is more comfort orientated. focusing on colour. shape. texture and volume. The desired outcome is to re-establish The Tunnel as one of the most contemporary clubs in the UK. as was the case when it ﬁrst opened.
More than half a million people have been down the twisty Tunnel stairs in the last six years. With its new hi-tech look the club looks like being on the fast track to greeting its millionth customer.
The Tunnel opens its (new) doors on Wed I 1 Dec with an invite-only parry. See listingsfor details.
First things first. How did American underground house OJ Kerri ‘llaos 6:23’ Chandler acquire the bizarre tag ‘Kaos 6:23’? According to the OJ, it refers to the date 23 June (hence 6:23), a day which seems to haunt him every year.
‘Every year, around June 23rd, either a month before or a month after, something bad happens,’ Chandler says. ‘This year, my great grandmother, my uncle and my cousin died - a day after each other. One time my house burnt down with my records, my equipment, everything. Another time, someone got into a fight with me for no
Staying underground: flew Your house or Kerri Chandler
reason. Another time, I had to move from my favourite studio because it got flooded.’ Like he said, it’s a bad day.
Chandler grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, a small comunlty where his neighbours included OJs Tony llumphries, Kenny Carpenter, Oave Camacho and singer Michael Watford. llis passionate love of music was inherited from his father Joseph - still a practising OJ. ‘lle’s been mixing since before I was bom,’ says Chandler. ‘lle thought he was going deaf so he gave me his whole collection. He’s still playin’ clubs now though, playin’ pretty much the same stuff as me. We swap records, be steals mine.’
Chandler made his name in the late 80: through a series of high quality house and garage productions - most notably with Ten City, Kristine W, Ce
Ce llogers and Three Generations. llis sound retains a resoluter underg‘lound, raw edge typified by his famous ‘A Basement, A lied light And A Feeling’ compilation. We might call it garage but he prefers ‘house music, pure and sinnle’.
Over the years, Chandler has remained fiercely committed to the underground scene. Why? ‘Because the underground is about a feeling,’ he says, - ‘the feeling that you can do anything you want. It’s your sunshine in the morning, it’s your moon at night. It’s how you live. It’s whatever you wanna make it. That’s why I like it.’ (Jim Byers)
Kerri Chandler [Us on three decks at Urbansole, The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 30 lie I. Andrea Mendez sings. Craig Smith (SoIeIusIon) and Colin Cafe support
The List 29 Nov-l2 Dec I996 75