Saturday nights in St Andrews have always been notoriously unsuccessful, despite various attempts to fill the niche. Demand for a house music night has been voiced over and over again, so when the Union listened, we were given the new Saturday night: Sub 601. The house music scene in St Andrews has always been irregular and fairly low-key, previously provided by the infamous “Minimood” group. With Minimood having now left the university, Sub 601 is intended to fill the gap in the nightlife scene with regular house nights. The union are using the line, “you’ve never seen the union like this before”, to promote Sub 601, and I was eager to see if this was true.
In light of this, I had high expectations of the opening night. In collaboration with names such as Sitara and Lightbox Creative, Sub 601 was expected to draw in huge crowds. With the Union claiming to have sold 1,175 tickets by Friday, with only 25 left, I anticipated a crowded venue with a full dancefloor all night. This was very much not the case: throughout the night, Club 601 was barely even half full and there was never a full dancefloor. When I asked the Sabbs about this, I was told that in future the venue would be split in two, so it will only take 200 people to make the venue seem full, even though full capacity is 600. This will definitely make Sub 601 seem more popular, as a packed dancefloor is a staple of any good night.
The acts themselves were good. St Andrews staple, SAUNIT, warmed up the crowd until Subtronics took over with some drum and bass. The main act, TV Noise, were hailed as playing “future house and trap” and while this may have been, a criticism I heard throughout the night from students was that all acts failed to engage the crowd. There was very little to no interaction with the crowd and as a result, the night failed to take off.
I asked a number of students what they thought of the night, and many enjoyed it and agreed that it was just what St Andrews needed to revive the nightlife, however a number of students agreed that the main act was “nothing special” and by including remixes of popular chart songs, undermined the house music label. More than one student told me that this music was simply “standard” and that in order to improve the night it is essential to commit solely to house music and ensure that Club 601 is busier.