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RIP Optimo (Espacio)

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Nick Dempsey Nick Dempsey | 15:10 UK time, Tuesday, 27 April 2010

optimo_ears.jpg

Named after a tune by New York art-disco band Liquid Liquid, Optimo (Espacio) was founded by Jonnie Wilkes and Keith McIvor (aka JD Twitch and JG Wilkes) at Glasgow's Sub Club. It started as a bit of a laugh for their pals in late 1997 when Glasgow's club scene was getting pretty stale. They would play whatever took their fancy.

650 nights later, Sunday 25th April 2010 was Optimogeddon - the last ever. I was one of the lucky 550 who made it into the massive queue in just enough time to get in. People travelled from all over the UK, from Canada, New York, Belgium...Even the atmosphere in the queue was something special.

And what a night it was...at many times the crowd were making so much noise it was a struggle to hear the Sub Club's (very loud) sound system. A waterfall of sweat dripped from the ceiling, ruining my shoes. It was a fittingly explosive end to a Glasgow institution that joins the ranks of those few legendary inspirational clubs people talk about long after their demise.

But it was really much more than a club...and I'm not going to write a big spiel about it here, because other people have already done a great job elsewhere on the net.

There's a lovely set of testimonials on electronic music site Resident Advisor. The official Optimo site carries a blog from Keith listing the top 250 Optimo tunes as selected by regulars. You could do a lot worse than try to obtain all of those records for your collection. The Skinny ran a piece on it.

But to really give you a feel for the atmosphere last Sunday, take a look at this video snippet of the tune they played second from the end, after the official 'last tune' (which was Feeling Good by Nina Simone incidentally). The deafening demands for 'one more' were just too much to resist I guess :)

Optimogeddon: The Chain from Mike D on Vimeo.

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