Edinburgh’s nightclub scene has often been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent months, as much-loved venues such as Studio 24 and Electric Circus announced plans to close their doors.
But the Capital can also boast a proud history of clubbing innovation, with venues that hosted gigs by the likes of Radiohead, Nirvana, Juan Atkins and a host of other musical greats.
And even if your clubbing days are far behind you, you’re sure to have fond memories of a few of these long-gone Edinburgh party spots.
1) Century 2000
Early 1990s clubbers will better remember the Picture House on Lothian Road as Century 2000. It was regarded as a bit of a dive during that decade but later gained a bit more respect after its rebranding as the multi-purpose HMV Picture House club and gig venue. The building has since been turned into a large Wetherspoons pub.
2) The Wilkie House
In its heyday, the Wilkie House was one of Edinburgh’s most respected clubs. Located on the Cowgate just under South Bridge, it hosted nights such as Sublime as well as a string of top name DJs. It has had many names over the years, including Sin and Faith. The building is today a popular live music venue called Stramash.
3) The Cavendish
Now known as Atik, the “Cav” on West Tollcross has had many names and incarnations over the years, including Clouds, Coasters, Texas, The Hoochie Coochie Club, Outer Limits, The Network and Lava & Ignite. It also had a starring role in this year’s T2 Trainspotting film, providing the backdrop for the dramatic reunion between Renton and Begbie.
4) The Venue
The Venue opened as the Jailhouse on Calton Road back in the early 1980s. It served the city exceptionally well, introducing Edinburgh punters to an eclectic mix of traditional guitar-based bands, as well as major dance and electronic acts. Among the many top names to grace its stage over the years were The Stone Roses (twice), Sonic Youth, Manic Street Preachers, Suede, My Bloody Valentine, LCD Soundsystem, NOFX, Hot Chip and The Comsat Angels.
5) Eros Elite
When it opened in 1999, Eros Elite was one of the largest superclubs in Europe. Boasting no fewer than 10 bars, the massive venue in Fountainbridge was capable of hosting 2200 people between two interlinked clubs. However, only four years later, the club was closed permanently following a string of complaints about violence from bouncers and partygoers alike.
6) Electric Circus
A recent departure from the Capital’s clubbing and live music scene, Electric Circus on Market Street announced its closure at the end of last year. The venue had established itself as a vital performance space for young and upcoming bands in Edinburgh and confirmation that it would close sparked an outcry in the city’s gigging community. However, it looks as though this story will have a happy ending as the building is set to be taken over by the Fruitmarket Gallery as part of a major £11 million revamp.