It’s time to banish the cheesy acts

Maybe York as a music scene needs to sort itself out

After a year of hard work students across campus are undoubtedly ready for a night of dancing, drinking and ear-piercingly loud music. So, what more could you want than The Klaxons, Naboo from The Mighty Boosh, Zane Lowe and Fearne Cotton as you bang around the floor until your feet start bleeding? Well, that’s exactly what those lucky students at Imperial College London will be getting at their summer ball this year. I can hear you thinking already that their tickets must have been extortionately priced to be able to afford such top acts. However, you’d be wrong, as a great night of amazing music with 3,000 other people is costing just thirty pounds per person.

Here at York, we’ve got the ultimate in cheese: Alphabeat and Björn Again; not to mention the vaguely famous Taio Cruz and Booty Luv. Admittedly it could have been far worse. We could have been subjected – Fresher’s Ball style – to the shrieks of half of B*Witched and an interesting, to say the least, Robbie Williams tribute act. But let me remind you how much we’re paying. Thirty-six pounds, rising to forty pounds if you didn’t manage to get hold of your ticket early. That’s a whole ten pounds more to spend a night with, like Imperial, 3,000 of your friends but, unlike Imperial, a load of acts that frankly must be pretty desperate if they’re willing to make their way up to misty old Yorkshire from the bright lights of the south.

When I was applying to university, I was constantly being bombarded with statements about the great live acts that played there, with both Sheffield and Birmingham hosting gigs with major artists. My friend was also telling me about who they’ve had at Newcastle in the past, including Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Paul Oakenfold and Tiesto. York, on the other hand, never emphasised any live acts whatsoever. In fact, the only music related information I was given was that gigs were no longer allowed to take place in Central Hall since something had got damaged back in the 1980s.

Maybe York as a music scene therefore needs to sort itself out. Maybe it’s time that we banish the cheesy acts we’ve put up with for so long and get some artists with actual musical talent. Then again, maybe cheesy music is what being at York is all about. Maybe we want to stand out from the crowd and bellow ‘I am the one and only’ at the tops of our voices, which is what I’m sure will be happening when Chesney Hawkes struts his stuff at Big D. To be honest, I’m secretly looking forward to a bit of Alphabeat in a couple of weeks, and I know you are too.

4 comments

  1. Terrible article.

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  2. The issue arises when we look at the venues on offer.

    Leeds have a huge union complex. The entire university of london have a union complex in bloomsbury. UEA have a union building, Warwick has a huge arts centre. Leeds met has a pretty sizeable venue.

    They’re all twice the size of York population-wise, and open to the public for these performances. There’s an established campus mini-tour for freshers’ that a lot of record companies are aware of, because these big unis have a track record of providing a top class service, be it bar staff, doormen, security etc…

    Turn our eyes now to York. Vanbrugh dining hall is the closest we have to a decent sized venue, but it’s multi-purpose. It is, essentially, a dining hall. Doesn’t sound like the kind of venue thats going to convince the arctic monkeys’ management to book a slot at York.

    We’re a small uni without an established venue for live music and without the location to build one. For the same reasons the charles has to shut at 11 – residents would almost certainly object. Heslington east should be an opportunity to change this – a student venue is on the map, but what form this will take is anyones guess.

    The size of the union is also key. Yusu doesn’t exactly have the extensive payroll needed to organise such high-profile acts.(not elected officials, but people to do the organising.) The racecourse does, but they have a more extensive calendar than just our events.

    The solution should be the barbican centre. It has the potential to be a 2000+ person venue, be it for the snooker, sit-down concerts or fully-standing gigs and DJ sets. Sadly the council have let the city down tremendously and sold it off to a developer for the equivalent of pence per day on a 50+ year lease.

    But even if the barbican was available, the question still hangs in the air – who would actually play in York when leeds is so close? The city has no track record in music, even fibbers, our only established venue, doesn’t venture beyond the independent scene.

    So upon who does it fall to change this? Partly on venue owners – keep an eye out for the duchess opening soon on stonebow, but partly upon the university to provide a venue which will be large enough and technically equipped for high-profile acts. Crucially it must be open to the public to boost ticket sales. The union itself must take music seriously at York. Funding is a serious issue when we rely on sponsorship to even put on woodstock. If there’s anything we’re not goot at, it’s making money. YUSU is politically minded as opposed to commercially minded. This must change if we are to operate a successful heslington east venture.

    A perfect way for YUSU to test the water in the entertainment sector, incidentally, would be operating it’s own bar as soon as possible. Not that i’m plugging anything…

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  3. I would just like to post a comment in response to Brett’s statement that this is a “Terrible article.”

    Firstly, maybe Brett ought to have a go at writing a Nouse article himself and then see if he gets a fantastic response – somehow I doubt it!

    Secondly, Brett seems to have forgotten that the Comment section of Nouse is not always about serious issues. Russell is just having a bit of a laugh here considering all of the entertainment that’s going on towards the end of term. His sudden switch to “I’m secretly looking forward to a bit of Alphabeat in a couple of weeks, and I know you are too” clearly outlines that this whole article is meant to be very light-hearted.

    Thirdly, if you’re going to say that this is a “Terrible article” at least say why. You’re a uni student for God’s sake so you should be able to back up your argument. Perhaps you’re too stupid to realise that this article is all about having a laugh and maintaining the tradition of having a go at YUSU!

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  4. I think Simon Grant may have thought that post through a little too much for someone that claims it’s not serious…

    Other unis have better music. That’s obvious when you apply if you bother to do your research. So to serious moaners, go stuff it.
    For those that are joking, this joke is getting kind of old…most of us have learnt to accept the cheese (because really we love it anyway).

    As a side note, Tiesto is not an act that would attract more than a minority of students to a live event, in my humble opinion. And everyone knows The Klaxons are worse live.

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