Archive | June, 2012

Kubik nightclub Manchester launch

29 Jun

For some reason this didn’t make it into today’s paper, so I’m popping it here

WITH the ever-simmering rivalry between the two cities, it is perhaps unsurprising that not many exports from Liverpool find popularity in Manchester.

Even the most famous current interloper, Wayne Rooney, is only popular with the Red half of town – and in the world of clubbing, successful crossovers are even fewer and farther between.

Nevertheless the team behind legendary Liverpool trance night Kubik – Chris Pollock, Allan ‘Spalmeister’ Madden and Cass Fitzsimmons – are bringing the club over to our fairy city after more than five years on hiatus.

It all started in 2002, when a judge at a DJ competition advised Pollock that the best way of pursuing his ambition of being successful behind the decks was to set up his own clubnight, which he duly set about doing.

Two years later, Kubik was born: “By then I had a strong team behind me,” says Pollock. “And it is to them [Madden and Fitzsimmons] that I am most grateful. It is their hard work and input that really helped set Kubik apart from the Liverpool competition and put it on the national map for trance and clubbing events.”

By its second birthday, the club had moved to superclub Nation – home of Cream – and won the Best Small Club gong at the UK Hard Dance Awards.

Pollock describes the honour as “Outstanding, amazing, incredible, overwhelming… all the hard work, all the sleepless nights, all the cold, snowy, rainy, windy 6am mornings handing out flyers outside Cream, Gatecrasher, Godskitchen and Goodgreef had been worth it.”

Sadly though, a year later, circumstances meant Pollock had to put the party on hold for the foreseeable future.
“I look back on those years with the fondest of memories, as the people I encountered, partied with, and made friends with truly made those years the best of my life so far.

“Without those guys and all the devoted fans who made Kubik a unique experience, a family, in fact, you could say Kubik wouldn’t have been able to achieve what it did.”

Now the party is back, back, BACK in Pollock’s newly adopted hometown Manchester, with the first edition taking place tomorrow night at Manchester’s raviest beer hall Jabez Clegg.

So what made Pollock want to bring the night back – and why did they choose Jabez as the venue?

“There was never ever any doubt in mind that I was going to bring Kubik back at some point. My ultimate dream is to run a Kubik festival, and a dream like that doesn’t just vanish, it stays with you and eventually things work out so you carry on down the road you started on.

“This is what’s happening now. The re-launch of Kubik is just the start and all of us involved are excited beyond words. As the saying goes ‘From small acorns, mighty oaks grow’ and this Kubik re-launch in Manchester is going to be the start of something phenomenal.

“Jabez is a fantastic venue. The club provides an intimate feel whilst at the same time allowing for an impressive stage production and full-on underground rave atmosphere.

“It has a terrific sound system and when combined with the famous Kubik decor, stage production and family atmosphere, all of us involved can guarantee an excellent night is in store!”

And there’s no doubt from the organisers that, thanks to advances in technology and rise of new producers over the past five years, there’s still plenty of appetite for trance, meaning the return of Kubik cannot be anything other than a success.

“There is one thing for sure and that is from the heyday of 1998 and 99 through to the present day, trance has never failed to be a driving force across the world in terms of musical genres at events, as a style played by the most famous DJs and as a musical religion, praised by tens of millions.

“Kubik is back, Kubik will be the future. Just make sure you are there in attendance for this milestone event!”

Kubik is on Saturday 30 June 2012 at Jabez Clegg, Portsmouth Street. 9pm-4am. £5.

Jessica Ennis still driving traffic in Olympics year

28 Jun

With only a few weeks left to go until London 2012 kicks off, it’s pretty clear that British athlete Jessica Ennis will be one of the media stars of the games. How do we know this?

1. Olay have got her face and body plastered all over their summer print and TV campaigns.
2. ‘Jessica Ennis Bum‘ is STILL driving traffic to this very blog.

The power of ‘Jessica Ennis Bum’ is such that another publication, the London Evening Standard, has recently put online an article in which the popularity of the search term is highlighted (exactly the same tactic the Daily Mail used to crowbar it into their article with the athlete). “Stick her name into Google,” says the piece, “and the top result is Jessica Ennis Bum, followed by Jessica Ennis Hot“. Classic mash-up of journalism and traffic-baiting.

Anyway not to be outdone, I did a post about how the Daily Mail had seemingly optimised one of their stories for the keyword – at once mocking the move and basically pulling the same trick myself. It worked, too: the keyword has been the best-performing driver of organic traffic over the blog’s lifetime by some distance.

Interestingly, I see spikes in Ennis-related traffic during athletics events and when she is on TV or in newspapers. I would probably see much more if my ranking hadn’t dropped from SERPs one to page three (a case study in what happens if you don’t maintain your top keywords). If I can find the time I might do a case study about the relationship between the athletics calendar and the Ennis traffic – if anything it’ll demonstrate how topicality can work in a blog’s favour, as long as it’s balanced with relevance (which, to be fair, isn’t the case with that keyword and my blog).