If you're trying to fill a venue this big every Saturday night, then you have to appeal to the middle market. Progress gets the balance just right, providing plenty of house anthems and a stylish night out for you, your mates and 1,500 close friends.
It's taken six years to get this gig to a venue of this size, and, if the punters keep rolling in, they'll have to find somewhere bigger soon. Late arrivals and non-ticket holders should be warned that it's pure carnage trying to gain entry around the witching hour. The local landscape isn't too exciting, so buying tickets in advance is the best way to avoid the chilly Midlands night air.
Once you're inside, it's hard to think of specific things that Progress provides which other clubs do not. It's something other than the complete package of DJs, music and clientele that creates a party atmosphere this memorable.
"Hard handbag" describes a music policy that's not too innovative, but resident DJs Russell, Pete and Rob Webster move the crowd with more skill then many "big name" spinners.
Sat, Mansfield Rd, Derby (01332 600 700) 9pm-4am, pounds 5-pounds 10
THE BEST OF THE REST
PURE SILK @ sw1
This gig has the winning formula: beautiful women and great tunes. Thus guys come dressed up and ready to bust their best moves - both the dancefloor and chat-up varieties. One year on, this is a London institution. Karl "Tuff Enuff" Brown, Norris "da Boss" Windross and the other Pure Silk spinners know how to move a crowd, and anyone heading for Ibiza should check out their gigs; UK garage is going to blow up there in 1999.
Sat, 191 Victoria St, London SW1 (0171-630 8980) 10.30pm-6am, pounds 8 members/pounds 10 till 3am/pounds 7 after
FRESH'N'FUNKY @ hanover grand
If you like your beatz phat and your bass deep, then beat a path to Hanover Grand and see why they received a Best Club nomination in the recent MOBO Awards. This gig, one of the best events of its kind, is very popular with the black community, who make up around 70 per cent of punters - always a good indication that the tunes are bangin': think R&B and hip-hop with a dash of drum'n'bass. No dress code, no attitude, and a steal at the price.
Wed, 6 Hanover St, London W1 (0171-499 7977) 10pm-3am, pounds 5Reuse content