The Liquid Club in San Gwann, formerly known as Vibes, is a space that numerous generations can relate to. Personally, it’s a club that I first visited about 15 years ago, and that I have frequented more than most ever since.
In Shot: Liquid Club – Outdoors Area
In Shot: The Old DJ Booth Setup at Liquid Club
Throughout the years, attending as a punter, DJ, and also occasionally organising Electro parties at the club, it has grown to be somewhat of a comfort space for me, as it is similarly for many others.
In Shot: The Indoor Area
In Shot: DJ Rush playing in the outdoor area
I remember clearly buying my first ticket to a night held at Liquid. Purchased from the school’s snack bar round the corner, holding that ticket represented a key into a new world, and whilst I had heard of the nights at Liquid, I hadn’t yet been to one.
Heading to Liquid Club for the first time, the club had an atmosphere to it. With people lining the pavement, having a quick drink before entering the club. The event was held outdoors, in the open area that is now part of an independent complex adjacent to the club.
There must have been about 1500 people at the club that night, with both the indoor and the outdoor areas packed. The music was like nothing I had experienced prior, a blend of electronic music that was completely new to me.
After this night, I was hooked. On the music, the culture surrounding the music, and on the mindset and story that gave this kind of music such a clear boundary pushing attitude.
The club itself has an authentic vibe to it, which it has managed to retain even throughout the years of alterations and modifications. Sure, it is definitely not the same club it was before, but seeing how it has morphed and reinvented itself as a club is a testament to the dedication of the clubs’ owner Raymond Desira, and his son Gary Desira.
In Shot: The outdoor Area
In Shot: Club Owner, Raymond Desira
It is safe to say that Andrew and I fostered the very beginning of our friendship on the dance floor of Liquid. A friendship which blossomed into the bond that spawned the idea for Te fit-Tazza back in 2015, and the bond that has kept us going ever since.
The fact that a large part of our teens and 20s was spent at this venue, was one of the pivotal reasons for launching the Clubs Series in 2017. When deciding which clubs to put in the collection it turned into being a case of ‘Which other clubs’ as Liquid was the one that was almost pre-decided.
In Shot: Our Liquid Club Print
In Shot: Doris, the iconic resident of the club
With its iconic aquarium sat in the middle of the dance floor and and it’s excellent Void Acoustics sound system, liquid club is the kind of place that forms a community around it, as has been seen through different generations, with one couple even celebrating their wedding at the venue.
However timeless the club may seem, it has in fact changed steadily throughout the years. The name which has now become a synonymous with techno and electronic music in has gone through many different chapters in it’s history
It’s easy to forget how much a place has changed over the years, with the removal of the outdoor area being the most notable change. Speaking to Ray about the club highlighted just how much of a heyday the club had back in the 80’s. Originally known as Vibes, the nightclub opened it’s doors in the late 70’s, and by the 80’s the club was in full swing.
In Shot: The Dj booth from the ‘Vibes’ era
In Shot: Aerial shot of ‘Vibes’
Opening Thursday through to Sunday the club had an indoor club and an outdoor garden area, 5 bars and used to open from 6pm – 10pm. The club was mostly popular on Sundays and used to compete as one of the top spots on the island throughout the 90s. In 1998 the club changed management and was reopened as Liquid Club.
Text: Craig Macdonald
Special thanks to Salvatore, Raymond, Charles and Gary for help with the research.