After a long week it’s finally Friday night, so what are your plans? Maybe you’re after a low key night at one of the many pubs and bars in town; there might be an event on at the Vic; or maybe you feel like dancing. But the only real club in St Andews is the Union’s 601 which, despite having hosted some great nights, I believe possesses much more potential that can be unlocked with one simple move:
Stop the BOP.
Looking back over the past year there are very few BOP themes that particularly stand out in my memory and even less that actually made a difference to the night. Wonka BOP: chart music with lollipops about the place. Masquerade BOP: chart music with masks on. Jurassic BOP: chart music with inflatable dinosaurs. The only times a BOP actually stands out in my mind is when it’s focused on specific genres, artists or time periods such as Rewind BOP or Avicii BOP. Now this really doesn’t do justice to the DJ talent in St. Andrews, from Liquid Alloy’s drum and bass to Sam Bunce’s love of cheesy bangers. In fact, I only actually know what I just wrote about these DJs that from meeting them personally and, as much as it pains me to say, I wouldn’t have known their names, let alone their taste in music if I hadn’t.
This is where my first suggestion for a new night comes in. Drop the themes and focus on the talent. My nights were always made so much better when I walked into 601 and saw a DJ I recognized and knew was good. Imagine the build up to a Friday night with a DJ playing 601 who you were really into compared to the build up to a Friday night with Pirate BOP. This would also help the DJs garner some renown as they progress from DJing at the Main Bar to headlining the BOP.
Speaking of headliners, another way to make 601 nights more interesting would be to have multiple DJs playing sets in one night, replacing a single DJ playing a four hour set with two one hour segments and a final two hour segment. This would give the night more of a direction than just a flat four hours of music, giving the event a sense of momentum that you don’t get with BOPs currently.
We can get inspiration for how to improve 601 nights from other events on in town. Wax and BPM collective are always popular due to the quality of the DJs but also the fact that the music they offer is different to what you get in 601 with BPM focusing on hip hop and RnB while Wax errs more towards what I would fondly describe as ‘eccy tunes’. People often complain that there isn’t enough of an outlet in town for people with tastes other than what can be found in the top charts but with genre specific nights we could easily fix this.
I have had many great nights in the Union and specifically in 601 but there is truth to the stereotype that St. Andrews lacks a clubbing scene. While these changes won’t make up for the fact that there is only one real club in the town they would be a step towards a more diverse music scene being placed on a bigger stage, helping us celebrate not just the end of the week but also the talented folk around us- all to the soundtrack of music we love.