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Suction
@ Exclusive
Cannon Street
Birmingham


Every two weeks - on Friday.
9pm - 2am
Entrance: £4
Website
Nice start for a new club, but taking a big risk.

Any new club starts with a handicap... nobody knows of it. If the promoters use a popular venue, then they start with the advantage of the in-built customer base of the venue. Unfortunately in this case nobody knows of Suction, nobody's heard of Exclusive and though a fair few have heard of Birmingham, not many people know where Cannon Street is. I went along on Friday July 11th. at the invitation of the club's promoter, Micky, and found a pleasant surprise: a nicely laid out small club, (about 250 capacity), with a good sound system and lighting, pleasant decor, reasonable drinks prices, (£1.80 for a bottle of water), and a smattering of clubbers.

Unfortunately the lighting over the dancefloor was slightly on the blink, as one light was stuck permanently on, and as a result the dancefloor was a bit too light for my liking.

Guest DJs included Mark H. and JP & Jukesy and the music was good and hard. The only thing missing here was a crowd, though the people who were there were the right sort.

Suction, July 2003

Micky tells me he has plans to run an event in August with Insomniacz at which Ian M will play, which he thinks will be a sure fire crowd puller, but this is going to cost him a small fortune, on the success of which the future of the club will ride.

DJ Jukesy & Suction promoter Micky

Obviously the people who own the venue need Micky to get a fair few customers in otherwise they make no money on the bar, and they have their staff, including security, to pay. If numbers don't reach a necessary level then they'll eventually pull the night, so Micky is right to recognise the need to do something here. But August?... Insomniacz? ...on a Friday?

I'm left to wonder at the wisdom of launching a club just before the summer, when many people are away on holiday and when there are a number of expensive events which suck money out of weekly clubbers' pockets.

I wonder why Insomniacz is expected to be such a great draw when it has failed repeatedly to establish itself in Birmingham when times were more favourable for the hard dance music scene.

Beyond this I wonder about the entire dance music market right now, as this seems to be shrinking, with evidence of decline clearly apparent in our section on clubbing mags.

The reason club promoters are called such is that they need to promote their clubs to their target audience. Never was the need for strong promotion clearer than here. I would suggest to Micky that he works with the venue to develop this, as it's in the interests of both to do so, and that he thinks long and hard about the Insomniacz gig, especially if he finds that the venue isn't interested in collaborating with him.



In the meantime, I do recommend this club. The venue is just about perfect for a new club night on a Friday. The location is good - close to New Street station and car parks, (it's off New Street between Needless Alley and Corporation Street in the centre of the city), and the music is fine.
Exclusive on Cannon Street, Birmingham

Update: August 2003...
Went to the so-called Insomniacz event with IanM as the main guest, held the weekend before Creamfields and the Bank Holiday. As I feared, it was money down the drain.

Apparently the club spent £1,000 on IanM and the Insomniacz name, (which amounted to their banner being hung in the club and their logo used on the flyers - i.e. Suction paid Insomniacz for the priviledge of advertising Insomniacz in Birmingham!... go figure) and the turn out amounted to about 60 people. They were treated to some good music from Strange Dave, Ian M and Micky, but were subjected to the sight of a go-go dancer who I swear turned three straight lads gay just at the sight of her. Apparently Iceland has resumed whaling; none too soon say I.

The club is still too bright, and most of the time the people didn't dance on the dancefloor. Ian had problems with the decks, resulting in that old fave ad hoc solution to skipping needles, Blu Tac on the arm:


The issues I outlined earlier still remain. On top of those is the closing time of 2am, which is unusually early for many clubbers now used to going out 'til 6am or later on Saturday nights / Sunday mornings.

Whether Micky will get things sorted and get more people coming is now debateable and I begin to see yet another attempt at starting a small Friday night hard dance club in Birmingham going the way of the dodo. If he can ride out the summer maybe things will pick up. Maybe.

Next Suction event: August 29th with five DJs including JP & Jukesy and Mark H in as many hours. Same day as Inukshuk's free party at The Sanctuary, and Storm with guest Mark Tyler.

In the meantime, if you've got a grand to spare, I have some 2Klub banners in storage, and I can call Ian M. I'm sure we can do a deal!

Suction at Suction?
 
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