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Basement platform for acts

NXT News
9 February 2018
Derrick Johnstone

THOSE LOOKING to Dundee for touring potential should take note of Conroy’s Basement (cap. 100), a venue booked and hired out by DIY punk promoter and record label Make That a Take (MTAT) since 2006.

Co-founder of the collective Derrick Johnstone, who also uses Abertay Student Centre (cap. 350) for larger events like annual weekend festival Book Yer Ane Fest, says that the basement has long since diversified in its output.

“We probably do a couple of MTAT shows a month these days, although that goes up or down depending on circumstances,” he says.

“Our basement is also available to other promoters, and we’ve hosted a large variety of acts, club nights, meetings, spoken word acts and fundraisers.

“We’ve certainly been fairly busy recently, and we’ve had a bunch of sell-out shows over the last few months. Book Yer Ane Fest in particular was crowded chaos.”

Johnstone notes that Dundee has its fair share of homegrown talent, too.

“Kaddish will always be the greatest band on earth to me, so it’s always a pleasure to host them, and beyond that, Please, Believe!, Goodbye Blue Monday, PMX, Holy Snakes, Delinquents and VFLambda are the first local acts killing it that come to mind,” he says.

When it comes to booking acts, Johnstone looks for high standards in both music and attitude.

“MTAT only put on bands that we like – that is pretty much the sole primary criteria, and everything beyond that is subjective and discussed by the collective,” he says.

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