Photo by Hendo Wang on Unsplash

How the Glasgow Crowd Made a Song & Dance of it to Keep the Party Going

The club was going off. 

Tom Middleton was DJing in The Playroom at The Arches all night. We were broadcasting the night on Radio Magnetic, as we did on the last Friday of every month from Slam’s flagship nightclub, Pressure — a champion of house and techno at the legendary Glasgow venue, The Arches. (Which closed down and was a sad loss to the city’s cultural scene, but has happily been reincarnated in a new form in recent years.) 

Middleton had just dropped Kenny Dope Presents The Bucketheads – The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind). Instantly recognisable, the crowd were into it, getting ready for the verse to kick in, and then suddenly, the PA cut out. Stone dead.

In many places, that might have killed the vibe. Not in Glasgow. For some reason our live streaming setup still had power (as did the lighting rig). So as soon as the music died, my colleague Don and I turned up the sound on the room mics. We took a feed from the main music mix, but we always had mics on the room to capture the crowd noise because even in the most sedate club venue, the crowd made good noise. And you could never accuse the crowd in The Arches of being sedate.

Because when the music died, something amazing happened. Something unique. I don’t think I’ve experienced anything like it before or since. The crowd began to sing. They sang the The Bomb! from where it left off, up to the first verse — which is all instrumental, as I’m sure you know (and if you don’t listen now, it’s a stone cold classic).

“Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh-de duh-de duh-de-dah, duh-de-daaaaah!” Go the horns. (That’s quite hard to annotate, I hope you get the gist.) They kept going right through to the chorus, “these sounds fall into my my-ee-ay-ee-ay-ind!”

When the power to the PA came back on, Tom Middleton mixed into where the crowd were at in the tune. The beat dropped and the room blew up. It is still one of the best nightclub experiences I have ever had. And it sounded amazing on the live stream. 

“Glasgow Rocks, Pressure Rocks, you rock. You ROCK!”

Tom Middleton

Tom Middleton said on the mic at the end of the night.

“Did you get that? Do you have the recording? Can you send it to me?” he asked me when we were packing up. “If that happened in London, everyone would leave the room, but in Glasgow people sang to keep it going. That’s why this place is so special.”

And it really is. If you have never been out in Glasgow, come and visit. I’m a lot older now, but I’ll still take you out clubbing.

Anyway, I tell that story because it’s special to me and it’s a wonderful example of how a live digital experience can capture a live real-world activity in a unique way. Because of the way we approached the situation, the audience listening online felt part of something special. 

Our media partnership with Pressure was like many of the relationships we have enjoyed in the music, and wider cultural, scene. The promoter (shout to Crae, and all of the Slam and Soma team, then and now) recognised the value in create a live digital shared experience that the online audience could be part of. And many of the regular online audience would make a point of travelling to come to the club in person.

We’ve been doing that kind of thing since 2001. And we will keep on doing it, in one form or another for as long as we can. We can also help you do that, in your own way. Get in touch and let’s chat.

By the way, it’s worth noting that our internet radio station, Radio Magnetic  — which my old friend Tom and I started together in March 2001, is now 23 years old. That’s how old we were when we graduated from university. You can listen to the current roster of specialist programmes on the website ( or over on Mixcloud (