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Darker nights draw in this winter as city club show Alternative X – playing best in rock, metal, industrial and more – arrives at the Tooth and Claw, Inverness for first night in five years after previous homes at the Ironworks, Cake, and Karma Lounge

By Kyle Walker

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FIVE years on from its last big night, Alternative X is rising from the dead once more.

The club nights – which melded rock, metal, darkwave and more under one banner for alternative culture lovers – had been delighting Inverness revellers across several venues in the city.

During its run, the nights brought bands and DJs to the Ironworks as well as now-closed and still-missed venues Cake and Karma Lounge.

After Karma closed its doors in 2014, the club nights subsided without a venue – until now.

The club returns for a night at the Tooth and Claw this Saturday, offering a raucous alternative to the typical St Andrew’s Day fare.

And for Angela Ellis, one of the two people at the heart of the club night and its revival (alongside Debra Allan), can already feel the butterflies about the night’s return.

“I’m excited! I’m also really nervous about it!” she exclaimed. “We were talking about reincarnating it and bringing it back from the dead.

You know, it’s alternative. It’s alternative music.

“We’d spoken to a few people about it, but obviously we just hadn’t got that motivation – I’m in uni and Debra’s been really busy.

“And then Steve [Robertson, Tooth and Claw booker] was like, ‘Do you want to do the 30th?’ and we were like, ‘Aye, we can do that – that’s fiiiiine!’

“It’s just me and Debra now so we’re really, really looking forward to it. But also kind of catch up with what the scene’s like and what the music’s like as well.”

Returning to the decks after a five-year absence, Angela recalled the tricks of the trade she used to draw upon to give Alt X its character. “My idea of DJing is, ‘Who’s on the dance floor? What songs do I know will get them up?’” she explained.

“And I think I was always at a slight advantage when it came to DJing because I know most of the people in Inverness, and if I couldn’t think of anything I could put up, ‘Right, what did we listen to when we were 14?’

“It’s reading the room, and I had my stupid little dancers behind me going mental behind the DJ decks!” she remembered, laughing. “And then Debra was always more nu metal. Another DJ, Andy, was more like Beastie Boys, Deelite...it was just a mix.”

That broad mix – from rock and metal to industrial and darkwave – is at the heart of the philosophy. “Alt X is very eclectic, and I think that’s why I liked doing it.

“Instead of going, ‘Right, we’re just going to play metal all night or rock all night,’ it was like ‘No, we’re going to put in some Pendulum. We’re going to put some Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite in there,’ and a bit of Talking Heads.

“You know, it’s alternative. It’s alternative music.”

Alternative X returns to Inverness on Saturday night at the Tooth and Claw. Doors open at 9pm and entry is free. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/AlternativeXInverness

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