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The Regeneration Process with Richie McNeil

Author: michelle pirovich
Friday, August 16, 2002
We all remember that scene from Human Traffic when the two dried up old clubbers start whining about it just not being the same anymore, and they are right, it has changed...a lot. Seriously though, is change all that bad- I mean if you were named Farookh Balsara, do you think you would have become a rock legend- No of course not, that's why you would have changed your name to Freddie Mercury.

Lets face it, if the dance scene hadn't changed we would all still be sitting around looking rather silly in our smiley tees and bandanas whilst droning analogue squelches drove us to the brink of insanity.

We are fussy little creatures though, we scream out for change when life gets a little mundane, but in most case we wouldn't want to change a single thing. Melbournes' dance scene ain't the way it used to be, we all know that, so for this, the second part of TranZfusions' interview mini series with Hardwares' Richie McNeil, we discuss change and the regeneration process.

It was always easier in the beginning. 'The reason why clubs survived back then was because it was new and different to everything else' says Richie, and as the saying goes, 'Nothing lasts forever.' So with the idea pool rapidly running dry, how do you keep things fresh and appealing to an ever growing number of punters-

The most obvious change in Melbourne's dance scene would have to be in the numbers; the amount of clubs, parties, dj's, party goers, and all other party related areas have increased dramatically. On one hand its allowed many to turn their passion into a full time business but as Richie points out. 'Right now there are too many clubs and events in Melbourne, many have jumped on the bandwagon and with people not going out like they used to, its becoming more and more difficult for a lot to survive . In fact its become quite stagnate and I think it would help if some either closed down or at least slowed down their regularity.'

We need look no further than the UK superclub situation, after all no one can, or more to the point wants to keep up the pace to which they were going when the clubbing explosion occurred a few years ago. Richie adds 'People quite simply want to take a break and there are many clubs out there looking old and tired, clubbers just don't want to go to the same old place over and over.' This situation is not new to Melbournes dance scene, Richie reminds me that '5 years ago the same thing happened, it was a bad year, many of us were struggling and we are going through the same cycle now.'

This is where the regeneration process comes in. Not to be fooled with thinking that regeneration means a new beginning; regeneration does in fact mean 'To return or bring something back from a state of decline to a revitalised state.' In actual fact we don't have to reinvent the wheel, but rather put some shiny new mags on and top up with air.

It all seems simple in theory, but is it- If we look at Richie's point of view, that a) there are too many clubs and events which differ ever so slightly, which is b) causing us to become inundated with too many choices then obviously c) someone is going to loose out. Therefore if those in this situation can see this and look at it in a positive light, maybe someone will start to rework the way they operate, if not the inevitable will occur and they will be forced to close down. Who exactly does this apply to- Well colour me gutless if you may but I'm not currently prepared to open myself up for attack and would prefer this article to be looked upon as a general observation of the status quo.

With regeneration comes a new generation of dance music lovers 'The last 10 years has been one generation. The people who started out in this scene are now getting into their thirties, some have got married, most have finished uni and are in the work force. For many it was a hobby, a weekend escape, a lot of us are still in the scene and always will be, but for many, other things have taken a<