Electronic Blanket: Week 15

Sophie Ahmed talks setting up club nights and funk and food

25th April 2016

Nocturnal Nature: setting up your own student club night

It’s no secret that students in Newcastle love their House nights, but more of us are starting to love managing what we attend ourselves. This makes sense as the budding entrepreneurs amongst us have inside knowledge of what we like. One example with a success story is Hugh Roke, a second year Business Management undergraduate from Northumbria University who is taking on Newcastle’s notorious nightlife with his new brand, Nocturnal Nature. From speaking to Hugh, I learnt that setting up your own student night successfully involves stress and planning and it’s much more than a hobby on the side. Finding the right venue is obvious advice but it’s crucial that you don’t settle for the first club available on any night of the week in your excitement. Competing against Cosmic on a Tuesday just isn’t feasible.  Hugh’s used the skills from his Business degree to keep the monthly night at WHQ going, which was headlined by Taiki Nulight before Easter. ‘We’re all good at financial management so we’ve been able to budget without wasting money’, he said. ‘That’s what’s really kept us here’. But, he’s also recognised that it’s not all about making money. “Personally I think once you’ve ticked that box where everyone in the venue has enjoyed themselves, the profit will flow in naturally. It’s more about satisfying people”.

You need to hear: Bicep

DJ duo Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar from Belfast started out as a blog called Feel My Bicep, and let me tell you that their shared bicep must be pretty beefy based on their tracks. The pair have been around for some time now and have some pretty impressive accolades to their name, including being at number 28 in Resident Advisor’s top 100 DJs poll 3 years ago. Prompted by a cosmopolitan taste for old school Italo-Disco, Chicago house and Detroit techno, Ferguson and McBriar launched feelmybicep.com to circulate the eclectic tracks they were into as teens, as well as releasing some of their own. That was a long time ago, but they’re still just as relevant today. I’ve had this one beat looping round my head for a few weeks now after hearing it in a set somewhere, and after desperately sifting through playlists and monthly charts online I realised that it was the bouncing melody of Bicep’s mighty track ‘Just’. It was premiered by Boiler Room around this time last year, but it’s still going strong. I’m sure many of you have also been haunted by its slithering synth sounds for some time now, so if you were struggling with the track ID like me, I apologise for the fact you’ll be hammering “play” for weeks to come.

Preview: The Soul Food Yard Party, 30th April- 1 May, The Tyne Bar

It’s pretty obvious at this point that my favourite thing on the planet is SoulJam, so an event which merges that with food (my second favourite thing) cannot be missed. In this column I’ve discussed some cool musical collaborations, but never before have I had the pleasure of informing you of a collab between Newcastle’s beloved venues. That’s right, the Tyne Bar and World Headquarters will be joining forces this weekend to launch summer in a way that’s never been done before. Our favourite World HQ and SoulJam resident DJs will be spinning some Funk and Disco whilst 8 stalls dish out the finest grub in the North East, from burritos, to hotdogs, to pizza. So if you like the idea of SoulJam and drunk food coming together in beautiful harmony, head on down. One more thing: the event is free.


Sophie Ahmed 

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