BLCK TEA cemented Tea House as a subculture in its own right. The fifth St Andrews-based event to be hosted by the DJ collective, it represented TEA’s unique brand of nightlife – underground, innovative, and grungy. St Andrews loves a theme, and as evidenced by the queue at the Rule’s door, TEA’s aesthetic is a particularly alluring one.
Now approaching its one year anniversary, TEA is no mere startup or flash-in-the-pan. It may now be ranked amongst the most classic St Andrews institutions, alongside the phrases “Ma Bells Tuesday” or “Throwback Thursday.” Despite hosting sell out events with regularity and appearing at multiple balls, there is no sign of the brand becoming saturated. As seen at their most recent event, TEA continues to attract legions of fans, a sign of their ability to consistently provide a fresh sound.
Technically, there is nothing to “do” at a TEA event. There are no drinking games, no photobooths. The only thing that guests can find at TEA is the music – and the music is what they come for. Not quite commercial but also not obscure, the music played at TEA ranges from old school hip hop to new generation grime. It aims to attract an alternative crowd, those who place a high value on the auditory aspect of a night out. Alcohol and socialisation remain central tenets of the Rule; but on a TEA night, the music takes precedence.
Next semester, TEA will continue to occupy the Friday night void within St Andrews. Rather than going out simply to “go out,” students can party with a purpose, having been given a sense of direction (that direction being towards the Rule, evidently). Lovers of music will await the return of TEA in semester two, prepared to embrace the brand’s rejection of normalcy in exchange for alternative, eclectic beats.