Live Review: BlackBox presents Maribou State @ Mansion Underground, York

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the shit nightlife of York, according to , and it’s Blackbox

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Clubbing in York is shit. Anyone who questions this is lying.

The idea of hearing good music on a night out is painfully alien to us York students. The fact that a media fan-fare surrounded the closing down of Willow, a club characterised by shit music and a shit venue, speaks volumes. When asked what York’s nightlife is like by friends from home, my usual response is “its actually quite fun”, an insipid and non-committal response which can usually be translated in non-bullshit terms as “pretty horrendous, please don’t ask me, you’re making me depressed.”

There is a revolution however. Recent bookings have seen a higher calibre of acts such as D Double E, Eton Messy, Medlar and DJ Q, venturing to our city. It looks as if we may be able to have a good night out without paying £8.60 for a return train to Leeds.

Back in October, BlackBox worked their magic yet again by booking Maribou State in the middle of the album tour for a DJ set at Mansion Underground. Not only are Maribou State a preeminent name having done sets for Boiler Room and Mix Mag, they are also at an interesting frontier for club music in general. The depth of their music can be enjoyed while unwinding in your bedroom as well as on a proper sound system, sweating through your vintage tracksuit at 2am, a duality few acts can claim.

Maribou State’s set was full of Caribou, Bonobo and Four Tet, none of which you would usually characterise as club music, but I can assure you the crowd – which was one of the largest BlackBox have commanded – was more than receptive. My highlight was the idiosyncratic ‘Back 2 The Start’ from Four Tet which features Cheryl Cole followed by Chemical Brothers – ‘Go’. I couldn’t believe my ears.

Calum Slack’s set which followed, opened with some jungle sending the crowd into a frenzy and more than once I heard the phrase exasperatedly gasped “I fucking love jungle music”. This riotous tone continued up until 5am and when each and every dazed reveller stumbled out onto Mickelgate, they could easily have been exiting the inimitable Canal Mills or Beaver Works.

I’m bored of shit nights out but find solace in nights such as this. A light at the end of the tunnel if you will, showing us that there is something better than throwing up on your trainers in Salvation or spilling a VK on yourself in Kuda.

Join the revolution and perhaps soon, Leeds students will be raving about the mad night out they had in York for months to come.

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