On the upcoming long weekend (Jan 25 – 27) and then every Friday and Saturday after that, Atomic Lounge will launch in Adelaide.

A real alternative to the big clubs, Atomic Lounge is a new lounge bar where you can dance until 4am to retro music played by Adelaide’s legendary DJ Craig, chat to your mates in the beer garden, play some pool, or chill on the lounges inside.

If you’re keen on a chilled vibe with no doof doof, much like the original Supermild, lives on the ground floor of Enigma Bar (173 Hindley Street, near Jive) and Craig will be spinning music from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s but with a few tracks outside those parameters sprinkled about to keep you guessing (and dancing).

Dj Craig is synonymous with ‘Gosh!’ at Jive on the second Saturday of every month, Australia’s longest running indie night, and many retro nights including ‘DiG’ and his current ‘Get Back’ at The Union on Saturdays.

He says clubs like Atomic Lounge are crucial to the culture of Adelaide’s late night scene to give a real alternative to the super clubs and casino.

“The club scene in Adelaide is changing as more and more small bars pop up, and these venues are restricted to midnight or 2am licences, and often don’t have entertainment, with a few notable exceptions aside,” Craig says. “After 2am options are limited largely to the super clubs and the casino, the music at which is generally the default club music of hiphop, pop R&B or EDM, and of course the Casino doesn’t even have music at all.

A few years ago Supermild provided an outlet for those of us who weren’t interested in the superclubs or that music, and just wanted to dance and hang out with friends in a safe, inclusive environment until 4 or 5am. Sadly with the end of Supermild and the end of the subsequent re-boot there is not an all-inclusive place that plays music outside the club defaults, and also offers a place to sit and chat, a place to dance, and a place to catch up with all your friends, kind of like an Adelaide Cheers bar and all with a 4am licence.”

Enigma is synonymous with live music and a more alternative scene, which was an attractive option to Craig, who was keen to be a part of Atomic Lounge from the get-go.

“What attracted me to the venue was the combination (and rarity) of a beer garden and seating out the front too, lounges inside and a couple of pool tables, a dance floor and a venue willing to give something different a shot. I love that it still has the dive bar atmosphere, something fast disappearing as venues look to create fancy themed clubs,” he says. “There is even a promise of late night snacks, nothing too elaborate, but nonetheless tasty and welcomed, I’m sure, after a big night out. It is the complete package, and still on Hindley St yet far enough away from the seedy end to be a safer spot for those of us who like to dress up without being hassled.”

Atomic Lounge will follow DJ Craig’s usual formula of the best (and sometimes more obscure, but always excellent) tracks from decades past, and you can also take Craig home with you in Spotify form to listen to his track list to amp up for your next night at Atomic Lounge.

“Like all my shows, whether it be Gosh! indie night or Saturdays retro at The Union, I aim to create a night that I would enjoy going to and dancing at. Music wise it will be made for the dance floor, with music from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s featuring with a few other tracks outside those genres to keep it unpredictable. Think a mix of disco, soul, funk, 50s rock and roll, 60s and 70s classic rock and pop and 80s pop music,” he says.

“I do Spotify sample playlists for all my events, and the one for this night is up on the Atomic Lounge page. To me there is nothing worse than becoming a regular somewhere and always hearing the same songs every week, and often in the same order. That’s lazy DJing. I will be mixing live from CDs as I do with all my nights, so that is also a big difference to other nights as well, and helps keep the dance floor flowing seamlessly. Because of my commitments at The Union, I will be joined on Saturdays by Dj Big Chip, who will prove a good foil to me. I will play later on Saturdays when I finish at The Union. There will also be announcements to come on special deals for hospitality staff too.”

Celebrating more than 20 years of DJing, Craig is looking forward to Atomic Lounge fast becoming another popular night in the alternative club night scene and hoping to see many dancing shoes following him to Enigma this long weekend.

“Running events is always a challenge, and if it does become the default Adelaide post gig venue, as I hope it will, and becomes as legendary as my Gosh! nights are to indie lovers, that will give me immense pleasure and put a gold trimmed cap on over 20 years of professional Djing. A club filled with people going off to what I play is why I gave up secure work to pursue my dream of Djing full time, a somewhat insecure but greatly rewarding career,” he says.

“Adelaide has many great events, and not just mine, but other Dj nights and clubs, bands and shows, comedians and artists. If we all spent more time sharing events we like, tagging and inviting friends to them and of course going to them, Adelaide would be so much more exciting and vibrant. Facebook with its algorithms is making it more and more difficult to get the word out without spending large sums of money on boosted posts, something small operators like me cannot afford.

“This is why Adelaide shows are increasingly being dominated by big spending companies instead of more DIY nights like Atomic Lounge. If we all pitch in we can bring the Rad back into Radelaide, as I am convinced we have the potential, if not already, to have the second best nightlife in Australia (after Melbourne of course). We have the venues and the performers/artists, we just need more Adelaidians on board.”

So what are you waiting for? Get on board! Like Atomic Lounge on Facebook and hit the dance floor every weekend from 10pm – 4am at Enigma (173 Hindley Street, near Jive).

By Libby Parker