"The music is excellant" Kerrang "The best rock club in London" Rocksound "Zoe Urchin is the only metal Dj we've seen trying to beat match rock music, no easy task, she mixes up a range of all things rock to alternative metal" London Lite "Rockscenes dancers in cages, great Djing deftly switching through alternative rock to heavy metal and pop punk make it something special." Lime Lizard
Rockscene launched on Friday's at the Astoria in 1994. While other clubs focused on 'cock rock' and old school glam, as the main DJ she introduced rockers to nu-metal like Korn, Slipknot and metal acts including: Pantera, Machinehead, Type O Negative, Fear Factory, Limp Bizkit, Incubus and Metallica. She didn't stop there, adding doses of skate punk and being first to play music future stars such as Blink 182, No FX and Rammstein.
This was revolutionary for a rock club at the time. While all the genres were rising, no one had ever combined them for the alternative scene. Musicians loved the place, guest DJ's included Type o Negative, Fear Factory, Paradise Lost and Machinehead. Not everyone got it, some wanted the old hits rather than the new music, but music always evolves and other clubs followed her lead.
"My best memory?" says Zoe "the then relatively unknown Mr Manson once clambered onto the stage and shimmied up the back of the scaffolding there to access my DJ box and give me a copy of his 'Smells Like Children' album. He was spot on in his assumption that I would love it."
"I used to DJ at the back of the stage. The crowd used to dance on it on either side of dancers in cages ,(my idea ripping off a Beastie Boys video and looked very heavy metal). I played 'Killing In The Name Of' and everyone was jumping on the beat and as they jumped - the stage collapsed from too much weight. The bouncing masses disappeared and my DJ box nearly slid below into the abyss." It was very Spinal Tap moment, she kept playing the music, no one was hurt and bikers helped the crowd out of the ensuing hole.
Another: "I once turned up to DJ riding astride the gun barrel of a huge pink tank, with my records inside. That was EPIC. Lime Lizard mag called it "possibly the best DJ entrance ever."
Rockscene eventually left the Astoria and moved to Piccadilly's Base Club (where the Prodigy filmed the 'Smack my Bitch Up' video). It achieved cult status (24,000 people visited Rockscene while it was there), things went really well until it was demolished. Not to be undone, Rockscene moved to Oxford Street's Le Scandale. Throughout its life Rockscene had
matched dance clubs production values decorating the venues with cammo nets, drapes and super strobes, this was new for a rock night.
When Le Scandale got demolished a brief stint at Metro followed, but many other clubs had copied the future-focused formula and it ceased to be so unique so chose to stop rather than battle on at a loss. Kerrang mag said London "had lost a treasure"
Since then, Rockscene has run occasional large one-off events, including parties in Rio, Brazil.