Since I moved to Glasgow last year I’ve been dying to go to the monthly club night Push It. I’d heard about it from friends and seen endless Facebook events set on nights that due to several reasons I couldn’t make. During a family crisis I saw Push It were hosting a Nicki Minaj vs Beyonce night and I wept that I was out of town because that would have cleared my mind of all the negativity I was experiencing. Last week, I finally got round to going to Push It – only to find the queue was so long, I had no chance of getting in. This was disappointing, but equally, it made me happy. Push It is a night designed by and for women and the fact its popularity was booming was a fantastic sight. I spoke to the creators of Push It, Catriona Reilly and Aby Watson all about what led them to start such an empowering and increasingly adored club night in the city.
What made you start Push It?
ABY: Push It first started as a chat between Cat and myself in the bar that we both worked in and initially met at. We were daydreaming and chatting about what sort of club night we would run if we had the opportunity, and it’s in that chat that Push It was born, I guess.
CAT: Primarily because we wanted to go to an R&B and Hip Hop night where we could hear Bey at least 4 times and not be harassed by creepers.
ABY: We wanted to make a super fun space where everyone can get down without judgement. We wanted to create a club night that we ourselves would love to go to, and one that moves away from a patriarchal club culture.
CAT: We just wanted an inclusive night that was about women for women by women really.
Did you expect the popularity of the night?
CAT: Ha! No, I nearly burst into tears at the first one when only ten folk turned up. We’re very surprised by the numbers every time we do it and we’re so grateful for all the peeps that turn up every month and show us all the ❤ and support.
ABY: I don’t think we expected it to be this huge! We started this night to have a good time and make something that people can enjoy, so the fact it’s got so successful is a great bonus really. We continue to have a great time running it and we always want the crowd to have a braw time too.
Glasgow’s seen a rise in safe space style club nights, for example PVC who we recently interviewed. Why do you think this is?
CAT: I’m actually part of PVC, that safer spaces policy was modelled on mine that I used for a night called Polyester. If I’m ever involved with running nights I’ll insist on one and that’s why Stereo as a venue has one too. I think people have become a lot more aware of the needs of people using club spaces and are also starting to realise that clubs are failing a lot of people in terms of their safety and enjoyment because of incidents that were happening. Also, the biggest factor I think is people just not putting up with shit any more, essentially a safer spaces policy is just a ‘how to not be a dick’ guide really, however they are some issues with them and that’s something I’m trying to work on at the moment.
ABY: We want to create an environment that’s as inclusive and safe as possible for all. These sorts of policies are important to try and keep all types of discrimination at the door. There isn’t space for homophobia, ableism, sexism, transphobia or any other sort of prejudice at Push It and having a safer spaces policy allows us to work with the venue staff to ensure there’s no incidents. By having gender-neutral toilets also, we hope to make Push It as safe and fun place as possible, without any tension.
As we are celebrating women’s history month, who are the women that celebrate you mostly and why?
CAT: There are so many musical women that we celebrate and I play a lot of them at nights when I DJ. But I think the one’s that I celebrate are the strong women in my life. I celebrate Aby, my pals Zara, Liene, Vic… All the girls in sick bands like, Breakfast Muff, Leecher, Chump, Fem Bitch Nation…The ladies on the airwaves at Subcity with shows like Nice Pipes and Jackie Your Body. And of course all the female DJs, producers, promoters and bookers. And my maw, obvs.
ABY: I second Cat with all of her celebrations (including her mum). There are SO many talented and badass women within the music scene here in Glasgow and also within the wider arts scene. Outside of music, I celebrate the Glasgow-based female performance artists that continue to make powerful work. Personally, I celebrate the women in my family, my mum Margaret and two fierce nieces, Elana and Georgia. I also celebrate all the brilliant women I am lucky to be friends with: Cat, Tori, Rosie, Steph, Emma…
Do you have many more plans for Push It and your own creative lives?
CAT: We’ve got big plans for Push It on the horizon but we’re keeping it on the DL atm 😉 In terms of everything else, got my fingers in many pies but mostly I’ve been DJing all over Glasgow and the UK as Sycophantasy and working as the club booker for Stereo. I’m looking at booking a more diverse line up for Stereo and bringing in some really exciting stuff in the next few months as well as developing it into more of an inclusive safe space. On the side I’m also doing things on Subcity, starting a music project pretty soon and a load of other stuff when I can fit it in.
ABY: We do really want to widen the sorts of events we run but as Cat said we’re keeping that on the DL… However, I can say I’m pushing hard for R&B karaoke (even though once Cat and I tried to duet Monica and Brandy’s The Boy is Mine and it wasn’t a pleasant experience for anyone…). Outside of the Push It mantle the two of us are pretty busy bees. I’m a freelance drama facilitator and performance maker. I’m currently working on a new piece for Buzzcut Festival called This is not a euphemism, which has been a in the pipeline for a while now and I’m really excited, albeit a little terrified, to share it for the first time. I’m also a PhD student researching dyspraxia and choreographic practice. This is my first year out of six (!) so I look forward to further down the line when it doesn’t feel like I’m staring into a gaping abyss.
Listen to some of Cat’s individual DJ work at her Soundcloud here!
The Push It galz also have their own Soundcloud for you to get down to before you hit the club which you can find here!
And of course, you can keep up to date with them on their Facebook.