MIXTAPE: Arctic Pieran | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Words: Paula Clark, Bolshee CIC

At Bolshee CIC we want to make sure that everyone has autonomy and everyone has a voice, and this is what Arctic Piranha – a learning disabled-led club night focussed on accessible club nights for all – is all about. Working with the team to deliver their vision for their night was so much fun and our first Arctic Piranha/Bolshee collab was really special. Since then we’ve put on countless nights, and we hope to keep things going right through 2024 and beyond. Our next event is at ARC in Stockton on Saturday 10th February. Here are a few tracks that our Arctic Piranha team love to hear.

Deee-lite – Groove is in the Heart

This tune has always been a bit of a Bolshee anthem. The audience for the event is learning disabled party people; there are people with different neuro diversities, complex needs and different communication styles. The bar is open, and everyone gets to groove.

The Cramps – Goo Goo Muck

One of the coolest things about Arctic Piranha club nights is not only is it a safe space for learning disabled adults in terms of accessibility, but it is also a safe place to express yourself and explore your identity. One of the organisers, Chris, creates a bespoke performance for us at every event. This was the most memorable to date, with full Wednesday Adams costume, heels and dance routine!

Kylie – Padam Padam

Arctic Piranha nights are full of LGBTQI+ vibes, Pride and love.

The Prodigy – Breathe

Everyone who comes to AP is invited to have a short DJ slot so you never know what you are going to get. When DJ Deano dropped Breathe the entire room went raving. Unforgettable.

Nakatomi – Children of the Night

Arctic Piranha nights are for anyone over 18s. However, there is definitely a huge cohort who were teenagers partying in the 90s. This is one of our most requested tracks. Serving sticky floors and pints of diesel!

Wham! – Last Christmas

It was a pretty special moment this Christmas when DJ Demi signed the entire track and had the whole room joining in with the chorus. Mind blowingly beautiful and emotional.

Vengaboys – We Like to Party!

Arctic Piranha punters like to party! End of.

Roy Orbison – Penny Arcade

At the end of every night as all the party people gather their coats and the bright coloured lights cascade, Paul, a member of the organising team, serenades us home safely with Penny Arcade.

Here are a few favourites from the Arctic Piranha planning group team:

John Parr – St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)

Because my mum listens to it and you hear it for a few minutes at the beginning of St Elmo’s Fire in a bar scene. (Chris)

David Guetta and BeBe Rexha – I’m Good

It’s upbeat and it cheers everyone up when they’re feeling down. (Paul)

Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City

The drum beats and the way they sing just catches me! (Marc)

Shania Twain – Up

There’s no reason, she’s just Shania Twain! (Sophie)


Enrique Iglesias – Hero

It’s a loving song. (Rachel)


Queens of the Stone Age – No One Knows

I like playing this song loudly in my car. (Emma)

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