Highland Club Culture

Passion Fruit

1995 - 1997

The story of Passion Fruit is one of three young promotors back in the mid-nineties pulling their two small events together to create one big night for the Elgin dance music scene. Dominated by the Bishops nightclub at that time the three promotors wanted to put something different on in terms of the music policy. The guys that ran Just a Bitch and Some Cookin got their heads together and created Passion Fruit.

The first night on the 25th November 1995 was fantastic with over 700 people through the door packing the two rooms with Gary McAndrew, Adrian LuvDup ], Festiva on percussion and our excellent local djs in room 2. The night did have some issues as the headliner Mathew Roberts called off due to illness but overall a belter of an opening night. Next up was 9th March 1996 as the venue was difficult to get dates for due to normal hotel events. The Eight Acres hotel was a venue high in demand and it was actually perfect for club nights. The two rooms could hold in excess of 900 people and the low roofs and great acoustics made the 10k sound system rattle every bone in the punters body until that final tune. Up next was the Rhumba ringmaster Zammo and man of the moment Michael Kilkie. With the venue at capacity Gary McAndrew of Sanctuary Kirkaldy warmed up things nicely before Zammo treated the crowd to some melodic flowing house which chugged on till 130am and up next was Michael Kilkie. Well if we wanted a show then Michael was always up for the task. He proceeded to rip through tons of bangers as he does, rounding off with Lisa Marie Experience – Keep on Jumping which had the 900 strong crowd dancing their heads off with the lights on and some very bleary eyes in sight.

Its 4th May 1996 and Passion Fruit started the Renaissance journey and booked the extremely talented Anthony Pappa. Well what a night to remember as this guy put together a set which waved through some of the most obscure house and progressive house music. His skills and unique style was something to behold and a breathtaking sight to watch. To add to this Michael Kilkie returned to play a different progressive set but it was just as explosive plus great support in room two with the introduction of the Scott Langley from Inverness and the outrageously talented Ollie Kneale in the main room warm up. All in all, this was a special night which again the 900+ punters loved and will have fond memories of for sure.

Moving forward to 13th July 1996 and up comes the mighty Park and Wilson from Renaissance and Tilt. It was scorching weather in Elgin that summer and the place was a complete sweat box. With over 1000 people in the club, Kevin Wilson warmed things up nicely ready for Parks and Wilson. They took the punters on a crazy journey of their driving progressive house and trance sound which blew the roof of the place. In room 2 Jim Finlay was playing some fine hip-hop tunes with the dancefloor packed as well. 3am and the lights come on and there is not a dry shirt in the club. It’s been a night to remember for everyone and now the three promotors need to get their thinking caps to top this one.

Things then unfortunately take a turn at the venue as many of the local residents make complains on the noise levels and the hotel decide to pull the plug on the next agreed dates. Two further nights in Forres and Lossiemouth did happen in late 96 and early 97 but they the venues were not quite the same and never had the same buzz and appeal.

Passion Fruit had two reunions over years. First night was on 6th April 2013 at the Loft in Kinloss. This night had the legendary Hacienda dj Graeme Park and Dream Frequency. This was a night with a little twist and a real step back in time for the music. Graeme played a huge mixture of old tunes which the punters loved, and Dream Frequency played their top tracks from yesteryear. It was great seeing many of the old faces from 20 years ago and the night was cracking. Local dj Cheynie and Ollie Kneale warmed things up and are both hugely talented guys. Next came the overseas reunion in Dubai on the 25th January 2018 with Graeme Park, Michael Kilkie and CJ Marland. The night was a sell out with over 300 people coming to hear two of the best Djs Scotland has ever seen. Both Graeme and Michael played a mix of old and new and the night ended with back to back with Michael Kilkie and Passion Fruit long standing resident CJ Marland. It was more a bit of a DJ battle as both guys tried to better one another with the biggest tunes from the 90s. The dancefloor was packed all night and there were lots of resounding cheers for one more tune at the end of the night.

Passion Fruits journey was very short lived as at the time the three young promotors were still finding their journey in life. But it did contribute towards the dance music scene in the region and has many happy memories for people.

We would like to thank all the local and international Djs for coming to play for us over the years and all the punters that danced their feet off and make the night so memorable.