The first week of revision (collectively accepted as a seven day holiday before actual revision begins) has been host to several Last Big Nights. The last Ma Bells Tuesday, the last Wednesday sports socials, and the last Thursday, a night that typically lacks any note-worthy event. This past week, however, Tea House returned to fill the pre-weekend void. In its final event of the semester and first event at the Rule, T3 managed to supersede the library as the place to be, offering us a sweaty refuge from textbooks and Powerpoints.
It is a testament to the brand’s appeal that the Rule was at capacity by 11:30. With little else taking place in town and a heavy rainstorm besieging our streets, guests emerged from their homes solely to attend the finale of Tea House. Although successful in its previous two Vic-based iterations, the move to the Rule proved to be in Tea’s favour; the space was utilised to mimic a genuine nightclub (Ma Bells and Club 601, while enjoyable, cannot be described as such). The lounge-like back room, the bustling dancefloor, and the invitation-only VIP section provided the venue with a constant sense of motion, filling the space with life even as the crowds waxed and waned.
The quality of the music did not surprise past Tea Partiers. DJ FLO led the ensemble with an excellent set of mixes, alongside Tea House favourites KOJO and KO B. Located in the upstairs VIP section, the DJ booth allowed the DJs a bird’s eye view of the main dancefloor, permitting them to channel the energy of the room as the amount of guests steadily increased, the balance shifting from a gang of randy American golfers to hordes of students eager for throwbacks and remixes.
Each DJ handled the crowd with relative ease, as the both the main and VIP dancefloors remained alive with exuberant dancers from open to close. DJs Leo Clayton and James Peel (respectively LTNC and JEP), in particular, provided us with several fantastic tracks, melding together enough remixes to create their own unique sound. Having appeared this past semester at Ma Bells and the Vic, the second year duo are rapidly establishing a name for themselves in the competitive St Andrews music scene.
Being one of the final nights out before revision truly sets in, T3 witnessed a startling amount of reckless behaviour. Prosecco was a potentially dangerous sight in the hands of VIP guests, as the heavy bottles were waved over the heads of the dancers in the main room below. Throughout the night, the sound of breaking glass was alarmingly commonplace, and one VIP guest found it appropriate to throw several glasses at a nearby bouncer. On the heels of similar behaviour at the recent Charity Polo Tournament, this combination of St Andrews and alcohol did not paint a flattering portrait.
The Rule itself did a sufficient job at hosting the event. Aside from the incredibly warm temperature, the venue easily equalled the quality of the Vic, Tea House’s previous home. The addition of a VIP section initially did an effective job at managing the crowds, ensuring that guests would not converge in a single section. The lack of a proper stamp system, however, quickly negated this benefit. VIPs were differentiated with a green circle scrawled onto their hands, a marking that was easily copied by guests who arrived later in the night. By 1:30, the VIP section was packed, even as the main room emptied out, detracting from the logic of having two separate sections.
Ultimately, Tea House ended its inaugural year on a high note. Consistent events are welcome additions to the local night scene: Rather than taking a chance for every one off occurrence at the Lizard or Club 601, we can safely pay the £3 entry fee knowing that Tea will give us our money’s worth. The 2016/2017 season will hopefully feature frequent tea times at the Rule.