The Saint at Freshers’ Week: Rudimental

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All photos by Ben Goulter

There was an odd atmosphere outside the Union on Wednesday night. Unlike the weekends, there was an air of civility that comes with a midweek event. We’re halfway through the glory (and morning pains) of Freshers’ Week and it seems like everything has slowed down. But not so.

First came the Games – a raucous readaptation of our familiar Wednesday Sinner’s Sports (which will be returning in Week 2). Then we have the first big music act of the week, Rudimental – a rising quartet of songwriters and producers who hit it big this summer.

Rudimental didn’t exactly ‘shoot to fame’ as everyone keeps telling me. They have been both lauded and riled as a mere ‘summer sensation’. I’m not sure yet whether this is a good thing: think of Planet Funk or Kid Rock, who seem to be remembered only for those hits that defined a summer.

A music quartet based in London, Rudimental have followed suit in that their hit, ‘Feel The Love’, incorporates everything that is 2012 – the hybrid mix of drum and bass, dance and synthetic pop all rolled into one, the attention to product marketing (the single was captured by car manufacturer Peugeot and a viral video was filmed with a suspiciously jelly-like man dancing in front of a car. Simple, eh? The video has six million views). Reviews have suggested that the whole thing is an embodiment of modern Britain, and this seems to have been a large part of its success.

Midnight, the DJ set starts, and the atmosphere is elevated ten-fold. Rudimental were, in a word, phenomenal entertainers and everything you would expect from good mix artists. Standard beats were mingled flawlessly with familiar funk rhythms. Rudimental’s hour-long set at midnight flowed seamlessly through the various blends, save for the brief shout outs of “let’s go St Andrews!” whereby the audience would erupt in response as the music halted.

But in fact, the set was so fluid that by the time we reached the inevitable last track, Feel The Love, we had all been left in a trance. I loved every minute, and it seems others did too; outside the Union I overheard one sports-clad individual mention that the Union rarely gets a DJ set as professionally performed as this, and I couldn’t agree more.

Yet this was not the only entertainment for tonight. Wednesday nights at St Andrews are for many a medium for channelling sporting pride, and last night was no different. The usual suspects were present: the SAS crew, the Rugby boys, the Hockey lads and, lest we forget, the lycra-clad men of the Boat Club.

Last night was a fine example of the energy and enthusiasm that the sports club socials bring to the Union in particular, and St Andrews in general. Rudimental – a silhouette in front of fiery Olympic rings – only had to provide a set of coherent beats for an already electric crowd, but instead they went far beyond simply ‘doing the job’.

Last night merits a grand thumbs up to the team at the Union for scoring these talented artists to add to an already fantastic Freshers’ Week. I just pray that Rudimental are no mere ‘summer sensation’. But if their set last night is anything to go by, I anticipate many future collaborations with established artists; perhaps an excuse for getting them back in Venue 1 again!

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