Highland Club Culture

Audiolife

2004 - present

Audiolife began in 2004 then under the name Frequency. After spending many years before DJing and trying to get gigs within Inverness the realization was nowhere in Inverness played or would accommodate the music audiolife was trying to promote, so to start up an independent club night to promote this new sound was the only option. They’re aim was to provide Inverness with a more diverse club scene, a safe environment where people can come and enjoy the music within, promoting electronic music, arts & culture, using the latest technologies in lighting & sound and to give local DJ's and artists a stage to perform. Frequency 2005 @ The Spectrum Arts Centre Inverness

audiolife began hosting outdoor parties under the name Frequency then quickly moving onto local village halls and social clubs around Inverness. In April 2005 taking a massive step and moving into Inverness town centre and hosting a night in the Spectrum Arts Centre. With the help of Limelight Event, holding 2 successful club nights there just before the closure of Blue nightclub. Unforeseen circumstances brought an end to these nights. Disheartened by it all and on the birth of Alan’s first child Alan and Darren stopped promoting nights under Frequency. Then in April 2006 after much discussion not wanting to put all their hard work to go to waste they decided to relaunch the night feeling a fresh start rebranding under the name of audiolife.

So starting over they went onto secure a monthly residency at the old Club Zone Dingwall now the Picture House. On February 2007 audiolife held their first monthly residency at the Picture House in Dingwall. Every month audiolife would invite local DJ's along to play, DJ’s that had been running nights and playing gigs before audiolife were asked to headline. DJ’s like Steve Dell, Steven Flynn, Michael Blyth and Kam Cheng were regulars at audiolife and were very supportive and influential from the beginning with Steven Flynn going on to become a resident DJ with audiolife. New upcoming DJ's were given a chance to play out live, a chance Alan and Darren never got when starting out. DJ’s like Ally Ridgers, Martin Gowans, Liam Mackenzie and Ross Kinder were invited along to play the first hour all going on to run their own successful nights. Alan and Darren would play in-between guests supporting the local talent and building up their nights, a typical audiolife night now consisted of 4 DJ’s split over the course of the night always showing respect for new and old.

audiolife nights quickly expanded going on to play at various clubs and nights in and around Inverness still supporting local talent, audiolife would travel to neighbouring towns like Aviemore, to the Vault nightclub, becoming close friends with then manager John Brownlie and Kevin Irvin who now own the Vault. Onto Elgin they met friends at ‘Electric Nights’ Raymond MacIntosh and Roy Fraser and also played at the Mad Ferret Festival Kinloss with good friend Scott Divers.

They finally got the chance they’d been waiting for to take audiolife to the next level in terms of production. The Ironworks music venue was Inverness’ first purpose-built rock venue it opened in July 2006 and was predominantly a strict rock music venue. On several occasions of trying to host a club night there and been turned away. This to them was the pinnacle of what they were trying to achieve, a place audiolife wanted to call home! The venue had been fitted out with not only the best sound systems in the Highlands but one of the best systems in Scotland and would compliment everything they had set out to achieve in promoting electronic music, arts and culture. audiolife 3D party

So on the 26th July 2008 under new venue manager Paul Ashton, their perseverance and hard work finally paid off, audiolife played the first club night at the Ironworks Venue. They hosted a 3D party the Highlands had never seen before. With dedicated 3D visuals and projections, all that attended were given 3D glasses that allowed you to see the visuals in 3D. The night was filmed and the extra lasers, lights and visuals almost a carbon copy of the Frequency nights at the Spectrum Arts Centre in 2005 became a standard for their nights at the Ironwork's and other nights to follow. This night was hailed as a success at the cost to audiolife but opened the door for more club nights to follow. audiolife 23rd July Ironworks - 3D glasses.

It was early in April 2008 while driving up to their residency at the Picture House in Dingwall Alan played Darren a CD of a little unknown producer at the time, Deadmau5! Alan thought it would be a good idea to try and book him as a next step to the nights as a stepping stone for bigger acts to follow. What harm could a simple email do.

Darren in agreement to what he had just heard got straight onto it. It wasn't till months later they heard back and little did they know that in this space of time he would go onto become one of the biggest DJ/producer in the world. At one point not knowing if they could even financially go ahead with the gig. Later after a phone call to the agent they were told “look guys this will be last chance you'll get to book Deadmau5, after this shows he will be selling out festivals and to big an act for smaller nightclubs” Alan decided there was no option, knowing this was their only chance he decided to take the financial risk and go ahead regardless. So audiolife booked Deadmau5 for the Ironworks Inverness 23rd of August 2008. It was one of the biggest club nights Inverness had seen. The same weekend on the Friday Deadmau5 played at Colours, the Arches in Glasgow then audiolife in Inverness on the Saturday and Creamfields Festival on the Sunday. The hype that surrounded this gig was unbelievable and something I've never witnessed in Inverness since.

Alan warming up to Deadmau5, Ironworks, 23rd August 2008

In typical audiolife style they decided to run a local DJ competition. With DJ’s having to submit an hour long mix, with the best submission opening up on the night. Word spread beyond belief, with entries coming in from all over the UK and as far afield as London. Alan remembers some real quality mixes coming in the post, going well beyond anything they had ever expected they didn’t anticipate this kind of response and unfortunately not in a position to cover costs outside of Inverness so had to offer this opportunity to a local DJ.

Deadmau5, audiolife Inverness

The night was a complete success and is to date the only club night held at the Ironworks where they had to turn people away from the door as the venue was full. Even from this huge success audiolife were still unable to recoup their losses from their previous night at the Ironworks.