Paradigm: King's Night!
World-class techno at Paradigm for King’s night
So if, like me, you have arrived in Groningen from a city like Brighton or Berlin you might be thinking you'll have to make the trip to Amsterdam to get your fix for clubbing. Not so. The quality of the music scene in this city is high. And tonight is King's night, so across the country people are partying hard. If you have never lived in the Netherlands, you won’t be familiar with the ‘King’s’ celebrations, so let me explain:
The Whole Country Goes Crazy
For real. Everyone stops work, puts on an orange shirt (or hat, or … you get the picture) and gets together to celebrate. Groningen was particularly excited to celebrate this year as the King himself was actually coming. But that would be the morning after. First comes the night before.
Paradigm, a converted warehouse on the edges of the city, is the well established as a venue for techno. It's pretty much what you would expect - concrete floors and grinning faces and the constant boom of the club's two sound system. There's plenty of space to lounge between and, as always in the Netherlands, the vibe is open and friendly.
We come for the music. Specifically I came for A Guy Called Gerald, who has been a prime figure in electronic music since the 1980s. By the time he got the decks everyone was rolling and we'll warmed up by the support DJs and, well, other things. Club's here are safe and the venues take responsibility for their customers, so you are free to get into it and enjoy everything.
As usual though, I was seduced by the action in the smaller of the two rooms. Somehow the sound the basement just seemed richer and the party more intimate than the serious techno that was filling the main hall. And the tech-house vibe just more, well, dancy. I was wrong though. Come 6am nothing could tear us away from the insane skills of the old master, sneakily weaving slivers of old classics like the Prodigy in between some awesome beats.
As I cycled home through the morning sunshine, watching the people of Groningen get ready for the big day, I understood why, although there are many other good clubs in the city, a good night out at Paradigm is a very special thing.
Words by Louise Bloom
Photos by Aileen de Ruijter (firstname.lastname@example.org)