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.[pullquote]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.[/pullquote]Sub 601 should have been a huge success in my opinion. The music was good, and it was exactly what St Andreans have wanted for a number of years, signalling a move away from the typical “Top 40” nights which will now be catered for by “P.U.L.L.” Fridays. The fatal flaw of the opening night was that it was placed at the end of Freshers’ Week. The crowd was clearly exhausted, and most failed to even make it to the union, rendering what should have been a great night as somewhat of a flop. The opening night of Sub 601 should have been rescheduled for next week, when I have no doubt it would have been a resounding success. Once the venue size is reduced and the students recover from the past week, Sub 601 will turn out to be a resounding success. If you want to hear the usual Top 40 hits and throwback RnB, head to the Vic or the Lizard on Saturday nights. If not, Sub 601 is the place to be.