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From DTF to DONT WALK: A Guide to the St Andrews Music Scene

After three long years spent staggering down the three streets hunting for the closest thing to a proper club night, I’ve become quite accustomed to the unique variety of music events our little town has to offer.

However, the sheer volume of Facebook events that pepper our feeds can be more than a little confusing. To make it a little easier to decipher the difference between jazz and jungle, here’s a brief summary of the St Andrews collectives and their respective genres.

At a Down To Funk (DTF) night, expect funky beats, disco cuts, heavyweight house, and electro groove. A popular night out, DTF often host their events midweek at the Vic (and occasionally at Saints Sizzle!), featuring predominantly student DJs.

BPM started up in St Andrews in 2018 and has since expanded to West London. Still, you can usually find them throwing events at the Vic or The Rule, usually to the sounds of UK and US hip-hop, RnB, afrobeats, and reggaeton. Resident DJs usually bring the vibes, and BPM has even been known to throw a themed night, such as their ‘all-white’ party last semester.

Amen, a newer collective spearheaded by mastermind James Coleridge, offers a cool mix of everything from jungle, drum-and-bass, garage, and dubstep, to techno, ghetto tech, and high-bpm hardcore. Often throwing events at Madras Rugby Club, Amen nights are excellent if you’re missing some of the old-school rave tunes that St Andrews is lacking.

Haus, as the name may suggest, is a mainly house-based music collective. Usually located at the Vic, they offer an ‘elevated’ experience through the opportunity to buy an ‘exclusive’ VIP table, which includes a bottle of prosecco and their own personal cocktail.

Throwbacks’ club nights regularly sell out. The name is self-explanatory — at a Throwbacks night, early 2000s to 2010s hits are commonplace, reminiscent of your favourite guilty-pleasure hometown club.

Pulse, a fairly newer collective, is primarily a ‘creative collective’ — less genre-definitive, rather based around the theme of the night. So, expect anything from garage, to grime-techno, to afrobeats, to funky house, to RnB. A fun mix, keep an eye out for their themed events — next month they are hosting a Black History Month-themed night, featuring RnB, afrobeats, amapiano, and reggae.

If you’re looking for uber-cool, edgy techno beats, look no further than DONT WALK. Aside from their ever-popular annual fashion show, DONT WALK offer various club nights throughout the year, often at the Vic or Madras Rugby Club. Expect slick outfits and a cool crowd. Although slightly pricier, it’s worth going — just make sure you don’t forget your sunglasses to really get into the vibe. For the afterparty following their fashion show, the committee has been known to provide some serious techno heavyweights. Big names last year included Haai and LaFleur.

Second only to their annual fashion show, FS is best known for hosting Starfields, the largest student-run music festival in the UK. Providing a wide range of electronic music, FS has a little bit of something for everyone, and Starfields is commonly recognised as the highlight of freshers week. This year, they smashed it with their headliner Barry Can’t Swim, and everyone who attended seemed to have a great time. Often the FS afterparty is groovy, funky house-tech, and a great boogie, though also on the pricier end.

VS, Sitara, Ubuntu, and Catwalk — although slightly smaller fashion shows — are not to be overlooked, also hosting excellent nights out and launch parties. With a wide range of tunes, genres, and audiences, these events can be a great excuse to boogie the night away.

If dance music isn’t your thing, a JazzWorks night is certainly a must-attend. Offering a concoction of jazz, funk, swing and soul, they offer a jam session every Thursday at the Union.

So, despite our newfound lack of clubs, perhaps St Andrews nightlife really does have something for everyone. As new collectives seem to be popping up left right and centre, we’ll see if this year St Andrews can truly gain a reputation for having ‘a good night out’.

Photo: Harriet St. Pier

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