Stealth manager Alex Kirkland tells all about club overhaul
What inspired the redesign of Stealth?
Stealth opened in 2004, and last April the club celebrated its eighteenth anniversary. I’ve been working there since it opened and have had the pleasure of DJing there almost every week for fifteen years.
When we started, the main room had a large central bar, which limited the space on the dance floor. So in 2013 we changed things up – moving and expanding the bar, placing it against one of the side walls and redesigning the DJ booth. It freed up so much more of the dance floor and was a real game-changer for us. In the years that followed, we were featured several times in DJ Magazine‘s ‘Top 100 Clubs In The World’, as well as the ‘Best Club’ award in the latest ‘Nottingham Best Bar None Awards’.
The lockdown was the first time in the club’s history that we had to close, but it gave me and the Stealth team time to discuss what changes we could make to make the experience even better customer. We all decided that we wanted to try and give customers a more focused visual experience, as well as update our sound and light offering, while making sure to maintain the club’s underground vibe.
How is it different from what we have seen at the club before?
We moved the two DJ booths and now we have the central DJ setup upstairs, with the main speaker stacks on either side in the corners of the room. The DJ booth has been lowered, allowing customers to get closer to the DJs, being accessible from three sides. Additionally, we have installed video screens on the back wall behind the DJs, and lots of additional lighting that highlights some of the room’s features, as well as new and improved lasers.
We also have an additional small bar on the side of room 1, with a new photo booth. In room 2 we moved the booth to the other side of the room to enlarge the dance floor, stripped the walls to expose some of the building features, installed video screens and lasers, redesigned the bar and also installed more seats.
New layout welcomes patrons right onto the dance floor, helping get the party started
What’s your favorite thing about the redesign?
I think my favorite part is that the new layout welcomes patrons right onto the dance floor, which helps get the party started and really sets the mood right from the start.
What artists and DJs can we expect to see there this fall?
We welcome guest DJs to the club every Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, Room 1 is mostly house and techno, and we look forward to welcoming LF System and Interplanetary Criminal, two artists who recently celebrated their chart success after both landing back-to-back UK number ones in the UK Singles Chart. We also have Radio 1’s Danny Howard and Sarah Story, Aussie producer Skin On Skin, up-and-coming tech-house artists Biscits, Maur and Sosa, and two of our favorite new producers Anish Kumar and Barry Can’t Swim.
Our Fridays vary musically – covering everything from drums and bass, bass line, house, disco, techno and tech house. On the DnB side we welcome Kanine, Hedex, AMC and Tsuki. House music will be presented by Denis Sulta and Ewan McVicar, techno with KETTAMA, tech house with East End Dubs, and local legends Darkzy and Window Kid will provide bass and British bass. And much more, we are excited to announce soon!
Stealth is well established and you’ve had so many amazing DJs in the past, what was your most memorable night at the club?
This is a very difficult question to answer – I think I should choose a few. Fatboy Slim was the one that stood out for me. He’s a performer who traditionally graced festivals and arenas around the world, so welcoming him to our little club in Nottingham was memorable.
More recently the mood was wild when local legend Bru-C made a few impromptu appearances at the club, and on a personal level two of my favorite DJ sets were when I had the opportunity to play before and after Bicep and Peggy Gou.
On a different note, an event that I’m reminded of on a fairly regular basis is when Stealth hosted a very old Ed Sheeran show. As a venue we pride ourselves on hosting artists before they achieve mainstream success, but unfortunately in this case I think we were a bit ahead of him because he only sold two tickets – a fact that Ed embarrassingly shared with the whole of Nottingham Arena. when he played a sold-out show a few years ago!