OTR Review: OVERGROUND vs. Underground: is St Andrews not ready?

By: Vienna Kim

On Saturday 2nd April, Music is Love presented OVERGROUND as a part of the On The Rocks Festival. The event description promised talented DJs from the Edinburgh-based club night that would spin    house, techno, disco, electro and many other genres throughout the night. The evening started quite late—11pm, despite the fact that the On The Rocks pamphlet and the cover photo stated that the event would start at nine—and was planned to run until 2am. I stayed until about one.

The evening was perfectly organised. The event description sounded promising, the event was well publicised, the DJs were exceptionally talented, the music was fantastic. I arrived dolled up and fully prepared for a hyped Saturday night where I would be sweaty from dancing in close proximity to others and hot from the alcohol. By the time 11pm struck, two of my friends and I collected our tickets and walked through the doors of 601 to find an empty club space. Five, twenty, thirty minutes into the event, the dance floor was still totally empty. At around about midnight, a handful of stragglers could be found liberally dancing to the tunes of DJ Wrisk and DJ Tesco, but the club maxed out at about 15-20 people. At 1am, with only one hour of the event left to go, my friends and I decided to leave. There was simply no point in staying for much longer. It was unfortunate, and I wanted to stay, but only to show the DJs how much I appreciated their coming and their music. The attendance was so poor that the event was awkward, and this to no fault of the DJs nor the organisers.

So who is to blame? Could it be that St Andrews is simply not ready for an underground, subculture genre of music? Are we so self-important that we are reluctant—or even refuse!—to attend events if we have never heard the name of the artist before? To be sure, St Andrews has seen an impressive line-up of musical acts this year, from the likes of Klingande and Nora en Pure at Starfields, Hot Dub Time Machine at Club 601 and Otto Knows at DON’T WALK. But so talented were DJ Wrisk and Tesco, that I am convinced that had they performed at a larger event such as (for example) the upcoming St Andrews musical festival Under Canvas, everyone would have walked away from the night complimenting the committee on their choice of line-up and extremely satisfied. It is sad for me to see such talent wasted on a virtually empty club space, and it is my deepest regret that Wrisk and Tesco could not have been honoured with a larger attendance.

The arts are developing all the time. New talents are birthed as older, well-worn big-names fade. It is the young student generation who will highlight and identify these new DJs, musicians and artists, and bring them to the foreground of culture. How amazing would it be to see St Andrews students partake in the underground and upcoming arts and music scenes more actively? Music Is Love deserve great praise for charging forward and delving into new realms of music and art. The ball is now in the court of the general student population to reciprocate, engage and become part of something new, stimulating and innovative.

Check out the Music is Love Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/musicislovestandrews

ST.ART Magazine