The Rise of Stirling Underground

5 mins read

The underground music scene isn’t hard to find across the UK, especially in cities such as Belfast, London and of course Glasgow. However, when I decided to move to Stirling for university, I was excited to see what this little city had. Unlike what I had imagined, Stirling had a lot more to offer than two small commercial nightclubs.

Robert Bain and Lee Howell have created something different.

Of what started at a university Air3 radio show, to a then bigger show on Stirling City Radio, sharing the music they love,they decided to make a go of it and thus, Stirling Underground was born. A one off event at Stirling’s most famous basement, Mediterranea, “We got a crew together.” it was an event made by students, for the students and it was an immediate success. The boys had struck gold, doing something they loved and helping people to have a great time.

Stirling Underground has went from strength to strength, every event is selling out, some in under five minutes. “You can have 100 people in Med, and have an amazing night with dedicated support, but you could have 100 people in Fubar and it just wouldn’t be the same.” Capacity has been an ongoing issue, with popularity for the night, 100 capacity just isn’t enough, “It’s sad that we can’t fit more people in.” Howell expressed, “We want more people to love the night and experience the Stirling Underground family.” Booking bigger names is a worry for such a small venue, but there is a clear sense of pride when the boys talk about their latest booking of J.D. Twitch from Optimo.

When I spoke to Robert and Lee, the passion they had for Stirling Underground was undeniable. A topic that continued to arise was the venue and the owner John. “Its different at Med, at a club you just turn up and play, but here we’ve made it from the ground up, start to finish.” Bain went on to discuss the little aspects that people may forget that they have to organise to make the events a success, “There’s the PR’s, the event graphics, the sound system and the lights. John has given us a blank canvas to create our own vibe. None of this would be possible without John.”

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Lee Howell, Robert Bain. Credit: Stirling Underground Facebook

Stirling Underground wouldn’t be the same without resident DJ Josef Bican. Josef played the first ever night of Stirling Underground, the boys described him as the foundation for every night, “There’s no one else in Stirling that could do what he does for us.a” Howell praised Josef while he described how they first met djing at parties.

Bain and Howell both stressed how this night isn’t for money or for publicity, but to introduce new people to the underground music scene. “We want people to hear the music we play and love it, we want them to experience something new.”

It’s easy to see, if you have been to a Stirling Underground night, that there is love and passion, not only from the boys but also their dedicated fans. It’s a place to go where you can enjoy yourself without any judgement, a safe environment to just have a good time. Everyone is always welcome to the basement, the intimacy of every night creates and atmosphere you’ll not forget. Commercial clubbing can be an instant gratification, get in, get drunk, dance, go home. This is something different. This is a family.

If you haven’t been to a Stirling Underground night, tonight is the night (Friday 14th). Ivan Kutz is taking over the basement, be there early to avoid disappointment as this will most definitely sell out.

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Lee Howell, Josef Bican, Robert Bain. Credit: Stirling Underground Facebook


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