Longtime Pin Ups regular Natalie has written a really warm and generous blog on her Tumblr about some of the best nights out she has had at Pin Ups.  She has kindly allowed us to re-publish it here.

To prove we’re not getting too pleased with ourselves, and because my favourite reviews in my teenage reading of choice (Melody Maker, the NME, Mean Machines) were always the ones that tore apart rubbish gigs or albums or video games, as an accompanyment to Natalie’s rose-tinted remembrances I have picked out some of our most disastrous evenings!   it’s the Best Of Times and the Worst Of Times – enjoy!

pin ups memorobiila 300x300 BEST OF TIMES, WORST OF TIMES

BEST OF TIMES (Natalie, Famous When Dead)

All good things must come to an end. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. There are plenty more club nights in the sea.

I need some clichéd advice, people, because as of March 30th 2012,Glasgow’s Greatest Club Night will cease to be. I’ve heard the reasons and I understand them all but it doesn’t stop it being a heartbreaking thought to lose your best night out of the month.

Do you think I’m being over dramatic? Well, of course I am but that’s because Pin Up Nights was not just your local indie club night to me, it’s the place where I danced, laughed and drank through my late 20’s/ early 30’s. I have met and bonded with some of the best friends I will ever have on its sweaty dancefloor and I’m honored to have been allowed to even spin some tunes of my own once or twice. Whatever the original idea of the night was I don’t think even John D can believe what a success it has become and how important it ended being to so many people. I hope he and the other boys are very proud of what they have achieved. I have had glimpses of behind the scenes a few times and its incredibly hard work amongst the madcap ideas and comedy props. Anyone who thinks that these guys have done this for profit must be mental…

So, in tribute, here are my favourite Pin Up Nights that I can remember (which obviously cuts it down a bit…)

Rick Witter (Shed 7), Woodside Social Club, Feb 2007 

The Woodside was always brilliant regardless of the sweat dripping from the ceiling, the bar queues and the stench of damp after the smoking ban. Straightening your hair beforehand was a wasted exercise but it didn’t matter as the mirrors in the toilets were invariably missing or covered in condensation so you never saw how bad you looked. Watching cult hero Witter cut up the dancefloor TO HIS OWN SONGS was fantastic and I remember not sitting down all night. I think Ruth won maracas in a competition too and er… for no apparent reason we all drew tattoos on each other. What wags…


Video footage of the dancefloor that night is here!

Merry Cliffmas, Stavka, Dec 2006

Shiona sat on Santas knee, I won a prize for doing nothing and Martin nearly choked wining the Mince Pie Eating competition. WHAT ELSE COULD YOU WANT FROM A XMAS NIGHT OUT?!

Stephen Street, Woodside Social Club, September 2005

My very first Pin Up Nights experience. Full of Smiths fans and complete drunken bedlam. I thought: I belong here.

Hogmanay, The Flying Duck, Every New Year since 2008

New Year is always a let down so you might as well bring in the bells with friends and then dance for 4 hours solid! Jeez…what the hell am I going to do now?!

Pin Up Frights, Halloween, The Flying Duck, Oct 2011

Every Pin Up Frights got bigger and better so by the time it got to the last one it was all out mardi gras. Marred only when both the Log Lady’s log AND the Goblin King’s baby were stolen before midnight. (The log later turned up presumably because whoever took it couldn’t be bothered to carry it to MacDonalds at 2am..)

The Last One?

Please sign their petition to GET COCKER, the elusive DJ at the top of the Most Wanted List for years!  To be honest though I will be happy if they kick it old skool with the fantastic Pin Ups Night DJ’s as long as Springsteen features in the end credits…

Thanks for everything Pin Ups, sorry for asking for The Smiths so much…

Natalie (


24 Hour Party Pin Ups, Tony Wilson (Factory Records), The Arches, September 2006

This pulled about 330 people (justifying booking a bigger venue than the Woodside), and made a profit, so it’s probably a tad harsh to put this one on the list.  However it was the biggest event we’d ever done up to that point, and there’s just lots of things I’d now do differently.  (The press, incidentally was great – we got big interviews with Tony Wilson printed in both The Herald and The List.) 

The first problem on the actual night was that we had what what we thought were very witty posters round the venue saying “special 24 Hour Party Pin Ups badges were designed by Peter Saville but unfortunately posted too late by Peter to be distributed at tonight’s event”, but people were just grumpy that there weren’t any badges.  (Prospective promoters please note: if you get enquiries or complaints about what is clearly a joke, then it’s a fairly good sign that your party is going to the dogs.)

Following that, there were a lot of grumbles about the New Order/Joy Division tribute band we’d booked.  “Barney Sumner” admittedly looked unsettlingly like Ricky Gervais, and folk were saying “why didn’t you book ‘Re:Order’, they’re a much better tribute”.  (The truth was that we’d tried to book Re:Order, but they hadn’t been available!)  Unfortunately Tony Wilson then came good on his threats in The List and Herald interviews to play a “screamo set”.  Yours Truly then took to the decks and was thoroughly bamboozled by the iPod mixer which Guest DJ Manda Rin had brought along, leading to the music completely stopping.  Several times. 

In summary it was great to meet Tony Wilson, but the rest of the party just didn’t really work. 


The Cureheads, The Beat Club, October 2007

We had bailed out of the Woodside Social Club in August 2007 because we had been offered the opportunity to take the night weekly at a shiny new club in Sauchiehall Street.  With hindsight the switch from monthly to weekly was a huge mistake as it robbed Pin Ups of “special event” kinda status.  Still, the first month had gone great, including well attended Guest DJ sets by Mystery Jets and Terry Hall of the Specials.  Things had gone so well, in fact, that I was completely unprepared for this train wreck! 

As Natalie has mentioned above, we had promoted Smiths tribute band The Smyths a couple of times in 2005 and 2006, and they had been great parties.  My theory was that there had to be a similar latent and untapped appreciation of The Cure.  It was merely a case of booking a quality Cure tribute act and sitting back to watch the hordes flood in.  I must have set out my case very plausibly to Beat Club owner Dave Ross, because he stumped up the cash for the booking (sorry Dave).  I don’t think my judgement on this was completely disastrous – see Crystal Castles’ very popular collaboration Robert Smith in 2010 – but yeah, I got this wrong.

On the night one of the band members missed his flight and had to be collected from Prestwick rather than Glasgow, and I also made a mercy dash to borrow a 12 string guitar from The Legendary Rick McManus.  (Prospective promoters please note:  if you are scrambling about for a guitar then it’s a fairly good sign that your party is going to the dogs.  If a band has a ridiculous demand 3 hours from showtime simply refuse!)  The gig was modestly attended, and Iain OC likes to keep my feet on the ground these days by reminding me at regular intervals of “that time in the Beat Club when we had to dredge through the Alternative 80s compilation CD to keep those old goth birdss dancing”.

Art Brut, The Beat Club, December 2007

Bouyed by a trip to a well-attended Art Brut gig in the summer of 2007 at Oran Mor, I reckoned Eddie Argos and Jasper Future woud go down a treat as festive season Guest DJs.  A “misunderstanding” with their agents led to their flights having to be rearranged, at not insignificant cost (prospective promoters please note: if agents are yanking your chain about something as surely clear-cut as flights, then it’s a fairly good sign that your party is going to the dogs.)  Literally almost nobody turned up for this – I think Dolby Anol were texting Eddie and Jasper to arrange where to meet them post-club.  Probably can’t blame ‘em.

Guest DJs Super Furry Animals, The Winchester Club, May 2008


While I wasn’t expecting a complete re-run of the Furrymania of April 2006 (when the Woodside Social Club was completely sold out by about 11pm), I did think this would be a pretty good night, especially since it came hot on the heels of a very busy opening night at our new venue The Winchester (live acts on the first night were The Phantom Band, Ross Clark and a proto-Three Blind Wolves, The Plimptons and There Will Be Fireworks – not bad eh?)

Instead it was pretty horrendous.  A rubbish turn out (about 200 less than the previous month), and I was left doing lots of daft stuff like running round Merchant City venues looking for a stylus for the Furries after midnight. (Prospective promoters please note:  if you are scrambling about etc etc.

Headliners Trike from Canada were an interesting duo who were nice as nine pence on the night, took their not ungenerous £100 payment – then wrote a quite vicious blog a few days later entitled (I think, I can’t find it) “Super Furry My Ass”.  I think their gripe was that the Furries had been too stoned to watch them, the Glasgow crowd was “too cool” to dance with them, and that they had to stop playing at midnight because of the Winchester’s licence, meaning that friends from the Second Hand Marching Band couldn’t get onstage for an encore.  I had given them fair warning of the timescales, but hey.  It was a nasty experience and I don’t think I booked a band from outside Scotland for about a year afterwards.  I think members of the Second Hand Marching Band probably still tear down Pin Ups posters in Sleazys to this day.  If any of you are reading: sorry about the mix-up.  If either of Trike are reading: kiss my super furry ass!

John D.

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