Trailblazing Scottish trance producer Will Atkinson broadcasted an exclusive live set from Platform – formerly one of Glasgow’s most loved nightclubs, The Arches. It had been planned to celebrate the release of his debut album Last King of Scotland on legendary Dutch label Dutch Hole Recordings. Will spoke about the album as well as the online celebration which is still possible to watch via this link.
TF: You organised an online party to celebrate the release of your debut album, firstly what can we expect from Last King of Scotland?
The album is a sonic walkthrough of my life. From growing up on the remote isle of Orkney, playing in fields, coming of age, moving to Glasgow. Realising my dream and turning my obsession for electronic music into a full-time career. Every note, every chord on this album are a sonic representation of where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going. It’s a really intimate experience – it represents everything I stand for as a music lover, a music addict.
TF: How would you sum it up in one sentence?
Drums to make your bones to shake, melodies to break your heart and lyrics to have tears fall from your eyes.
TF: The live stream looked epic! How did it go?
It only seemed right to take it back inside those hallowed brick walls of The Arches. When I moved to Glasgow from Orkney in 2008, it felt like every other night out ended up here. What started out as a hobby turned into an addiction. The addiction led to an education. A pilgrimage to this clubbing mecca we all know and love. Nowhere could be more fitting. I have to say, I had mixed emotions reading back all the comments. So many stories, experiences, shared by people, tagging their circles of friends, clubbers – bringing all that together felt even more special than the stream itself. And it really brought home just how special The Arches was. An institution in it’s own right. Friendships forged, memories set in stone. There was only one place I could have launched this album. Egypt has the Pyramids. China has the Great Wall. Glasgow has oor Arches.
TF: Obviously, venues like The Arches or now Platform and the Sub Club have been badly affected by this year’s Covid crisis. Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging in real person?
I played my favourite show of my career (so far) on the 21st of September 2019. Outside in a park, Mexico City. Something happened that night which I’ve never seen during my whole career as a DJ. Me and my manager John had the last two sets of the night on this stage. It wasn’t even the “main” stage so you can grasp the magnitude of this event. Before John started, the place was dead. Maybe a few hundred people. The moment John played his first track, I looked up – an ocean of people literally running to our stage. It felt more like the start of battle than a rave. By the time I came on, it was gridlocked. It must have gone from 300 to 8000 people. I’ve never felt an energy like that – not only in my 10 years as full time DJ, but 30 years on this earth. There is something about South America. The hot-blooded passion, almost carnival like atmosphere – it’s somewhere I look forward to returning year after year. But Mexico has my heart. I will never forget that show.
The Last King of Scotland is out now, you can still view the celebration online