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Moshulu/warehouse


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Would it survive as just a club now we have Korova?

That was my initial thought but then I suppose it seems strange that a city with two major universities and a big student population has a fairly small amount of 'alternative' clubs. It's a good space to have someone do something with though, loads of room, two bars, huge dancefloor etc.

I had some brilliant nights in Moshulu, particularly the period around 2007-2009 with things like Adventures in Stereo.

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Yeah but Moshulu was barely full back in the day, long before we have Korova, it pretty much was the only alternative club after the mud club stopped running, perhaps even before that, my memory isnt always that good. The real battle was between Exo and Moshulu back then and Moshulu didnt always come out ontop. I hope it re-opens as a venue, some of my fav ever gigs were in there.

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It seemed to fluctuate hugely in how busy it was, it could go from queues down the road to about ten people full-stop. I guess Korova is a pretty big stumbling block though, I've still only been in there about twice, doesn't do much for me but then I live in Edinburgh now and I'm probably not the target market anyway.

I think Moshulu's big advantage is it's size, it was one of the few places you could actually get near the bar when it was rammed, unlike Exodus which is a joke trying to get a drink at the weekend.

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I never ment it as a battle raged between the two clubs, but that was the two options always presented to people like myself who wanted an alternative night club back then, the same goes for all of my friends, they may have complimented each other well, but they were competing for a similar group of people. We usually chose Moshulu because i personally find exo a dump and impossible to get near the bar most of the night, Moshulu was a dump but you could get a drink pretty easily most of the night.

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  • 1 month later...

If there is truth to it and however it is going to be used. It is going to very expensive for anyone to do this well.

If the new owners can afford lawyers and structural building work to stop problems with sound levels - I can see it being possible as a venue. I think it was an excellent venue for small-medium touring bands and sometimes local bands also but needed a much larger promotional presence. It was crazy how little some of the gigs got promoted there. Inside the basement and moshulu - gig posters were the exception to the norm. They weren't exactly common outside of the venue either. The gigs I went to were generally well attended however.

As someone who frequented Moshulu until it closed - I agree with some of the above sentiments. It was very good as a club and a venue when I first started going into town (2005-ish) and you would see proper metal heads, goths, punks and people who felt comfortable in that environment. Within a year or so, it seemed like they were increasingly abandoning their key demographic in favour of the things that happened to be popular at the time. Soon, the goths vanished, it was comparatively rare to see anyone in a band t shirt and the average hair length halved.

This proved a completely flawed strategy in the longer run as they lost their loyal customers and attendance soon dropped. Furthermore, both the Monday and Wednesday club nights were cancelled or relaunched without sufficient promotion or longevity. Any future owner would have to be a wee bit more willing to lose money on midweek club nights (at least in the short-medium term) in order to build up a loyal customer base and raise the profile of the business in the longer term. Preferably, they would be competent enough with promotion to build up attendances and not lose money. When I first turned 18, the Wednesday Rock Kareoke in the Basement - followed by a clubnight in Moshulu was extremely well attended. The two parts were linked and I think that is key to their success and decline.

When Barfly bought it over - they instantly booked a number of bands that interested me, upgraded the sound system but unfortunately cancelled the saturday air guitar night in favour of an indie night. This might be understandable considering what the Barfly specialised in (indie music) but this move, combined with many other factors, resulted in more of the key demographic feeling left out. I also recall that there was a move towards booking tribute bands. The basement generally suffered similar declines in attendance as moshulu, as the fate of both parts of it were inevitably linked.

If it is CPL, I would most definitely welcome this. My problem with the Cathouse for gigs is the really poor quality sound (I stopped attending gigs there a few years a go for this reason). Often it sounds ok for the support band then terrible for the main act. I don't see why that would transfer to Aberdeen, so it should hopefully remain just as good as it was for gigs. From my experience, The Garage is also an excellent venue

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I seem to recall Air Guitar Night on a Saturday being empty the majority of the time, at least whenever I was in. On a Saturday night any club whose venue is a quarter full need to look at what they're doing wrong and I think that night died at the right time. Agreed with most of the rest of your post though. It became a little too generic and tried to appeal to everyone instead of sticking to one demographic. Saturdays in Warehouse the music would go from Le Tigre to Rihanna and it was normally empty. And I mean empty, like 6 or 7 people in.

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I remember i used to practically live in bassment and moshulu for a few years. What a life i had back then lol.

With Korova, being in the middle bar recently, they seem to have lost any kind of atmosphere. It was like walking into an office where they drank for a living.

Bassment would be a hard pub to replace, but anything similar would hopefully happen and work out. I was young when i went to Moshulu so i remember it being amazing although im sure it had its quiet days. I moved away when things started to slip and came back to the Warehouse.

I think Aberdeen needs somewhere alternative that doesnt have to be so mainstream to work. Or at least i hope that is achievable.

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I think Aberdeen needs somewhere alternative that doesnt have to be so mainstream to work. Or at least i hope that is achievable.

You basically just described The Moorings from a bar perspective. They don't do cheap cocktails like Bassment did though. That's about the only thing they did which The Moorings doesn't already do much better.

From a nightclub perspective nothing exists really. It's still just Korova, and a few other clubnights that claim to blend rock music with commercial music (the latest was at the Priory I think?) but I think they just leave everyone dissatisfied in the end. Used to be Rampage at the tunnels but a) don't know if this is still running and b) it was as mainstream there as it was whilst at Warehouse.

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You basically just described The Moorings from a bar perspective. They don't do cheap cocktails like Bassment did though. That's about the only thing they did which The Moorings doesn't already do much better.

From a nightclub perspective nothing exists really. It's still just Korova, and a few other clubnights that claim to blend rock music with commercial music (the latest was at the Priory I think?) but I think they just leave everyone dissatisfied in the end. Used to be Rampage at the tunnels but a) don't know if this is still running and b) it was as mainstream there as it was whilst at Warehouse.

The Moorings has a decent cocktail menu now. Also a vast range of rums (40+ available these days!), half a dozen different Absinthes, all the world beers as before (constantly taking in new products) and all of the ciders and various other spirits etc. as always.

With the rotating DJ nights offering such varied types of music, it seems to cater well for where Moshulu left off.

I may be biased, but - in my opinion - it is definitely the best option these days. :up:

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The Moorings has a decent cocktail menu now. Also a vast range of rums (40+ available these days!), half a dozen different Absinthes, all the world beers as before (constantly taking in new products) and all of the ciders and various other spirits etc. as always.

With the rotating DJ nights offering such varied types of music, it seems to cater well for where Moshulu left off.

I may be biased, but - in my opinion - it is definitely the best option these days. :up:

How much are they? My point was not that nowhere else does cocktails, but they were very cheap at Bassment compared to most other bars around here. (they were £3.50/ 2 for £6 IIRC). If you double check my post, I did say The Moorings does everything else better, I just had no idea about how cocktails compared to Bassment.

As someone who basically only goes to The Moorings when I go out I am also biased but agree with you on the last point. However if people are 100% certain they want to go to a nightclub then nowhere really exists, but The Moorings is the best alternative for a late opening bar.

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There was never a "battle" between Exodus and Moshulu, the two venues actually complemented each other quite well. There was a bit of friendly rivalry at times but nothing cutthroat. When it became Warehouse it lost something vital and was happy picking up the dregs from Liquid and Pearl. Korova's really a Warehouse substitute, not a Moshulu substitute.

I never quite got why people often talked about Moshulu and Exodus as if they were catering for the same crowd. I never found this to be the case. I remember people saying things to the effect of, "they are the only places you can go in Aberdeen without neds."

I also agree that The Moorings Bar does much of what the Basement did, but I don't think they entirely appeal to exactly the same crowd. There is overlap between demographic but it's not entirely the same. If The Basement reopens, it should make an effort to get a decent selection of beer and keep promoting the cocktails, which were always an attraction of the place. All the 'flair' and everything was always quite impressive. Korova Bar now has a good cocktail menu but it isn't cheap.

The top floor of Korova does what it's supposed to fairly well, the bottom floor (Korova Klub) is also reasonably well set out and has a good beer selection. The middle floor I have always found a bit of a let down. The furniture is completely inappropriate for the place and it feels claustrophobic once there are more than about 50 people there, when there is less people it also feels boring as there is nothing of interest in the room. They also do little to deter groups of roughians who are passing through for a few drinks and get all rowdy. It's generally stopped short of anything kicking off when I've been there but I think such people can be deterred from attending. It would be nice if some imagination was employed to improve the middle floor. They need to scrap all the big chairs and pointlessly big tables and set it out appropriately for evening use.

I didn't realise I was so opinionated about pubs and clubs, until now....

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I do enjoy the Moorings. Although i notice there are regulars who give some people the whole "you are not local" feeling when entering and drinking in the bar.

Some pub or club with a wide selection of the alternative would be ideal. Including genres of blues, indie, rock, hip hop etc. Alot of places just have the one genre of alternative music. I hate putting things into a group, but to make the point i'll categorise it lol.

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I think it was an excellent venue for small-medium touring bands and sometimes local bands also but needed a much larger promotional presence. It was crazy how little some of the gigs got promoted there. Inside the basement and moshulu - gig posters were the exception to the norm. They weren't exactly common outside of the venue either. The gigs I went to were generally well attended however.

In all fairness - both Ross and Jamesy did as much as they could with promoting gigs. Maybe Jamesy got caught up in trying to do too much and the advertising suffered as a result - but really, they were victims of simply not having the money to do everything properly. Both of them also performed minor miracles in terms of getting good gigs there - but when you consider that they were frequently competing against the Lemon Tree (who had far more money for doing these things) - they did a stellar job.

Moshulu didn't work for local bands. The economics always worked against it - it actually cost more to put a gig on in the back room than in the main room - which really hurt them. If they had had the money to fit out the back room properly and make it a viable gig space, it might have changed things. They also had the issue that, at the time - many gig goers were under 18 and couldn't drink - so they couldn't benefit from increased bar sales.

Promoting in Moshulu was a thankless job, that much is certain.

As someone who frequented Moshulu until it closed - I agree with some of the above sentiments. It was very good as a club and a venue when I first started going into town (2005-ish) and you would see proper metal heads, goths, punks and people who felt comfortable in that environment. Within a year or so, it seemed like they were increasingly abandoning their key demographic in favour of the things that happened to be popular at the time. Soon, the goths vanished, it was comparatively rare to see anyone in a band t shirt and the average hair length halved.

This proved a completely flawed strategy in the longer run as they lost their loyal customers and attendance soon dropped. Furthermore, both the Monday and Wednesday club nights were cancelled or relaunched without sufficient promotion or longevity. Any future owner would have to be a wee bit more willing to lose money on midweek club nights (at least in the short-medium term) in order to build up a loyal customer base and raise the profile of the business in the longer term. Preferably, they would be competent enough with promotion to build up attendances and not lose money. When I first turned 18, the Wednesday Rock Kareoke in the Basement - followed by a clubnight in Moshulu was extremely well attended. The two parts were linked and I think that is key to their success and decline.

What you're forgetting is that a lot of Moshulu's clientele were under 18 - and only there because they could get in without being ID'ed. It was quite normal to see people go early to the Bassment (avoiding the bouncers), wait until the bouncers started, then go to the bar without fear of being ID'ed. They'd then leave The Bassment and go to Moshulu, get in there without fuss and be able to enjoy a decent night out while underage. I'd actually say that Moshulu's reputation for being an underage haunt was partially what hurt it so much. The stereotype of being a "rock club" also hurt them with Mondays/Wednesdays - no-one wanted to go to a "goth club, min" - even when it was anything but. The Wednesday concept of the Flying Circus was great - but totally uneconomic. In regards to the Monday and Wednesday nights - I would be surprised if these ever made money. I don't know what's going on now, but at the time - these nights were an utter bloodbath. You could go and get drinks for 1 pound in plenty of places - places that had the cash to lose on those nights because the idiots would drink themselves silly at the weekend irrespective of prices. Moshulu never had that luxury.

Moshulu/The Bassment will always be a story of "could've, should've, couldn't have". I'd say that they, on the whole, did a hell of a job with what they had - much of it was done on a shoestring budget. If they had had more cash behind them to start (okay, make that a hell of a lot more cash) - then perhaps it might have worked. But - the way that nothing has really replaced it since tells me that there simply wasn't the demand.

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As someone who frequented Moshulu until it closed - I agree with some of the above sentiments. It was very good as a club and a venue when I first started going into town (2005-ish) and you would see proper metal heads, goths, punks and people who felt comfortable in that environment. Within a year or so, it seemed like they were increasingly abandoning their key demographic in favour of the things that happened to be popular at the time. Soon, the goths vanished, it was comparatively rare to see anyone in a band t shirt and the average hair length halved.

This proved a completely flawed strategy in the longer run as they lost their loyal customers and attendance soon dropped. Furthermore, both the Monday and Wednesday club nights were cancelled or relaunched without sufficient promotion or longevity. Any future owner would have to be a wee bit more willing to lose money on midweek club nights (at least in the short-medium term) in order to build up a loyal customer base and raise the profile of the business in the longer term. Preferably, they would be competent enough with promotion to build up attendances and not lose money. When I first turned 18, the Wednesday Rock Kareoke in the Basement - followed by a clubnight in Moshulu was extremely well attended. The two parts were linked and I think that is key to their success and decline.

When Barfly bought it over - they instantly booked a number of bands that interested me, upgraded the sound system but unfortunately cancelled the saturday air guitar night in favour of an indie night. This might be understandable considering what the Barfly specialised in (indie music) but this move, combined with many other factors, resulted in more of the key demographic feeling left out. I also recall that there was a move towards booking tribute bands. The basement generally suffered similar declines in attendance as moshulu, as the fate of both parts of it were inevitably linked.

It's cool you have so much to say about the place and i'm glad you remember it for the best part fondly.

Important thing I think you've missed here with regards to Saturday nights & Air Guitar. Moshulu didn't move away from their "Key Demographic", Air Guitar was not a well attended club night. It did well to start but after about 3 months it settled into getting 100 folk through the door most weeks. Saturday nights were always a tricky sell in Moshulu, especially due to the success of Bond*age on the Fridays.

I always find these discussions difficult as one thing I always admired about the RFR days in Moshulu/Bassment was how easy going and approachable all involved were. I remember the club nights being a really good atmosphere as a result. This was always the downfall for me though, the 'Alt' crowd is a fickle (and young) beast, one that the guys always tried to cater for. However on many occasions, no matter how often people would bray for a new night (be it Goth, old school metal, thrash, pop-punk), the actual demand was never there and the night would be canned within a few weeks/months.

I think it's a shame, but because the RFR guys were always so keen to cater to their Friday night crowd everyone would start to treat the place like a social club in someones garage, not a business.

Air Guitar's time had been up for a long time, it frequently didn't make money on a Saturday night, at the risk of upsetting the regulars, mixing it up and bringing in fresh nights had to happen eventually.

I guess basically what I'm getting at is, it's very easy to suggest Moshulu 'sold out' (especially when Barfly came along), but when your customers no longer turn up do you just keep opening week after week and hope they come back or do you make changes.

Cheers,

Ross

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  • 4 weeks later...

So it's re-opening as The Garage it would seem. Pretty exciting.

I could write pages and pages about the good old days - the highs, the lows, the memories, the down right outrageous and basically a lot of great times with awesome people but I'm sure it's all been said before. Here's to the old lady being back in the game; let's just hope she's done justice this time...

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