Nouse visits York’s newest live music venue, The Duchess


Venue: The Duchess

Date: 18/10/08

What is this madness? Somewhere for students to go on a Saturday night in York? It’s true, and what’s more, it’s actually pretty good. The Duchess is York’s newest venue and its club night, Popaganda, apparently has a music policy of: “Cool pop! Guilty pleasures! Indie anthems! Oh, and the odd cheesy chart smash!” 

The venue is recently refurbished and offers plenty of space to sit and have a chat as well as a fairly large dance floor. However, it’s the music that makes or breaks a night, and as we are well versed in grimy venues in York, the songs would be the real test of whether or not I would return. The DJs took the bizarre requests thrown at them in their stride; just as well considering that they included such disparate acts as Girls Aloud, MC Hammer and Pulp via a smattering of Blur, Queen and Hot Chip. It was a student’s dirtiest fantasy – well placed cheese slotted in amongst classic pop and the odd old-school dance tune.

Unlike the ridiculous costume party which can be York’s indie nights, the level of pretence at Popaganda was low. Guilty Pleasures is a term much misused: How could anyone feel guilty about loving this night? The place wasn’t packed, but it won’t stay that way for long; the drinks are cheap, the venue is great and the music is wonderful. Say goodbye to Saturday nights in.