Take a Picture and Move On
Sometimes a place changes a city, a kind of catalyst for transformation and evolution. The combination of Bar Ten/DLC in Glasgow was such a place. We asked Ross Hunter to chat with Ben Kelly about this, and other things.
This seems to be a good time to talk about Bar Ten, and in particular to talk about your work. This morning, just because I hadn’t been past for a little while, I walked over to Mitchell Lane and I stood in front of the former Bar Ten and had a moment.
Yeh I know, it’s funny (it might seem a little trite) but it’s almost a bit like the Art School as well. I know that there’s a different scale of disaster perhaps, but you know how certain spaces just become personal. And it felt like there was something really personal had happened with Bar Ten too.
In my recollection, it went through a number of transitions that overlapped with the people who were running it at the time. I remember being in there from the very beginning. I would have known Sam Piacentini or certainly known of Sam from the City Café in Edinburgh – which was really the only cool place in Edinburgh.
Of course yeh, Edinburgh was famous for that at the time. It had these Go-Go dancer bars that weren’t allowed in Glasgow. So when we were students we would obviously go through and check it out.
I think for me, what you’ve just described is really interesting because I always felt that Bar Ten had something of a product about it. It was like a piece of product design and you know what it’s like when you do any interior or any piece of architecture it’s always a kind of prototype – you never get to do it again. The quality of the making in Bar Ten was phenomenal. The terrazzo, the granite top, the stainless steel elements – all of that stuff was so well made and thinking back, who actually made it?
So, what did you do – where did you study?
I’m sure that in retrospect you can’t see it as having been a bad thing. I liked that online The Haçienda and Studio 54 are kind of pushed together as the two iconic clubs of all time and I think that’s wonderful. I did manage to make it to Studio 54, in the very twilight years of it. It would have been 1983 when I was in New York. At least I ticked that box on my bucket list.