Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Soul Buggin' says goodbye to Moog...

With the imminent closure of Moog in a few weeks time I felt compelled to put down a memorandum, a few words, thoughts and feelings before we have our last Soul Buggin' party at the venue on New Years Eve as it gears up to close its doors in January. I guess I do it partly to shine a bit of a light on a place that needs putting on a pedestal for reasons I shall go into but also (and more importantly) so when future generations look back upon the blandness of Nottingham in years to come, no doubt viewed through a usb memory stick plugged into their central cortex, bored with the nonsense that a night out in the city centre on a Saturday night will no doubt involve, they may just ask the question "was Nottingham always this shite?"

The simple answer of course is no. We can all reminisce of the bygone days of classic clubs and weekenders till the cows come home that this city has been responsible for but that's not what this short tale is about. Lots of stories of good times have already been documented regarding the nightlife of Nottingham but few words have been put down on paper that particularly concern the madness of a certain little boozer in deepest Radford and the effect it had on many people who entered through those double doors.

I always found trying to explain Moog to people who had never been quite a comical endeavour, especially if the person in question was used to being dazzled by the more prominent glittering swanky bars of the city centre. In a nutshell I guess I best described it to new comers as a pub that was a bit bigger than your flat, had a bar in it, a few wonky taps, smelt very odd in places but more importantly felt safe, recognisable and a bit like a house party where even if you went on your own you'd leave with new friends, partners or as was the case on many occasions, a new carer. However to get straight to the point the best two words to describe this little adult youth club of unadulterated fun was quite simply 'rave pub'. While many late night sauce dens and boozers may attempt to label themselves as such due to their newly extended licenses they would be wholly and foolishly mistaken. The manager, the staff or djs do not decide if you are a rave pub. Your punters do and with Moog they most certainly did.

With it being situated on the outskirts of the city centre it tended to attract quite a few unique characters, the sort of people of all ages and from all walks of life that once upon a time you would of possibly met in the dark confines of back room way back when this city had a beating club pulse for more discerning sounds. You'd often have bugger all in common apart from the fact you both despised the rigmarole and rammell that a standard Saturday night in Nottingham involved. They'd of probably found their way to Moog much the same way you had on your first visit; namely being bundled into a taxi from town with friends, not having a clue where the journey was to lead but had been promised the pub was 'quite a laugh'. These very people who frequented Moog would never need much encouragement to let their hair down or chat nonsense until the sun came up despite hardly knowing you.

It was for these very reasons why we chose Moog for the home of our Soul Buggin' parties some 3 years ago. It just seemed to tick a lot of boxes, it had a dance floor for starters that could be as big or as small as you wanted, the staff and manager were sound as a pound and the punters would always come with an open mind and in most cases with an expectation of musically being served up something a bit different. When we decided to start inviting djs and producers from outside the city who had never been to Moog before we hoped they would understand the vibe, the crowd but more importantly why we chose to ask them to play to a room full of only 100 or so people when many of them were used to audiences several times that. Pretty much all of them got it instantly, often leaving buzzing with a smile from ear to ear (although a lot of that might of been the copious amounts of booze Moog had fed them as a warm welcome).

When I heard the news regarding its closure in January I was properly gutted, not just from the point of view as a promoter of a night that would have to find an alternative venue but more as a punter who over the years has had so many blinding nights under that roof. Unfortunately my brain cells have been subject to much mangling in that venue and I have been finding it hard to fully recall all of the episodes I've experienced but I think that's probably a good thing. Moog for myself and countless others was the very symbol of debauchery in Nottingham but luckily for us all walls haven't learned to talk just yet. Phew.

So Soul Buggin' will be packing up its bags and moving on in the new year and although we're looking forward to hosting our last party at the venue on 31st December I'll be surprised if there's not a tear or two come closing time. What time that will be will be anyone's guess as like everything in Moog, you never quite know what is going to happen but one thing will be certain, Nottingham will be a poorer place without it.

Thank you Moog for the memories, the silliness, the mentalism, the headaches, the stresses and the randomness but most importantly thank you for being different from everything else.


For full details of our New Years Eve party please read below. We look forward to having one last boogie with you.

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