Warwick’s music appreciation societies – part 1

Warwick Bass Society

Issy van der Velde and Felix Collins, Presidents

Disclaimer: We are not a bass guitar society, as many people on Facebook seem to think…

Warwick Bass Society is dedicated to bringing people together through a mutual love of bass-heavy music.  Hip hop, grime, house, bassline, drum and bass, funk, disco, dubstep, donk, garage – if it has a heavy bass, or it makes you want to dance, we like it. Our calendar encompasses going to events as a society, running our own events, organising house parties and teaching people how to DJ.

As Presidents of Bass Society, we liaise directly with local club owners and events teams to try and secure deals on entry, or partnerships so that we can DJ with them. We ourselves DJ, and throw house parties at least two or three times a term!

There’s a lot for people to do this year. We’ll be continuing to run free DJ lessons every Wednesday so that our members can learn how to mix as well as how to produce their own songs! Over summer we’ve gotten in touch with events organisers at F!LTH and MVNTA, who have agreed to partner up with us, and Altoria, whose owners have allowed us to host Bass Soc nights there. Our first night at Altoria will be on Friday October 5th; November 16th will see us teaming up with F!LTH. This inevitably means plenty of opportunity for our members to DJ to club audiences or, if members choose not to DJ, to learn about and assist with organising events (promotion, decorating and lighting come to mind). We also have a Soundcloud that members can upload mixes and original songs to!

We like everyone to feel included: if someone has an idea for a party we’ll help them throw it, if someone knows a guy who runs events we go through them to get Bass Society involved – you really don’t need an exec position to be a big part of Bass. And for the people who just love to listen and dance to music – we’ll be hosting plenty of house parties this year with our own sound system!

RaW 1251AM, Music

Joe Spagnoli, Head of Music

We’re Warwick University’s greatest (re: only) official student radio station, broadcasting on local AM and worldwide digital frequencies. And when I say ‘official’, I mean we follow the same laws as everyone, from your local station to BBC Radio 1! So, we’re about as legit as we can be, without taking things too seriously. Once you’ve bought a membership and received our standard training, you’re free to apply for a live show of your own, and are guaranteed at least an hour’s airtime every two weeks. It can be about almost anything you want, and all without a pesky producer standing over your shoulder.

As one of two Heads of Music, I curate RaW’s weekly playlist, promoting a diverse range of musical talent all the way from Greenwich to Guadeloupe. I also present two RaW Music shows: the New Music Review, premiering and discussing the best new tracks; and the Chart Show, running through the station’s most played songs. You’re free to be a guest on both, and we’ll frequently give you the opportunity and equipment for interviews with any artist you can get! Above all else, that’s the best thing about RAW: you can be as involved as you want to be. We give everyone the chance to create content and join the heart of the station, but if you just want to present your own show every week, that’s fine – all are welcome at RaW. I hope to hear you on the airwaves soon!

Offbeat Society

Joseph Bullock, Secretary 

In simple terms, Offbeat is Warwick’s only society dedicated to indie music. Ironically, this description leads either to conceptions of only covering 2000s Indie bands, or people asking: ‘so what’s Indie music?’. I don’t know either. Yet, this eclectic nature is what makes the society unique (think music ranging from experimental pop and hip-hop to punk) and, of course, everyone likes The Smiths (The Pixies and Radiohead will also get you in). On a more serious note: the society is actually very inclusive, and is a great outlet for recommending and finding exciting artists that remain on the underground.

As a fresher, I joined the society as quickly as I could. It truly became one of the most important aspects of my university experience thus far, providing socials each week that ranged from the simple and fun CD swaps to Offbeat’s own club night, Off the Record. With a range of music comes a range of people, and this positive, universal attitude towards expression and art means that joining the society also entails meeting art lovers, cineastes, and even people who still read poetry. The CD/mixtape swaps are a randomised way to introduce people to the music that you enjoy, and the diversity of the society is demonstrated by the homemade covers and concepts that include superb Peter Blake-esque collages and gatefolds, as well as dull and pathetic sketches (don’t worry, this isn’t self-deprecation). Ultimately, I think that it is paramount to find a group of friends outside of your course, and an inclusive music society is truly one of the best ways to do this.

Warwick Folk Society

Sammy Haynes, Publicity Officer

Having had a previous interest in folk music when I played guitar for my school’s band, I thought I would try out Warwick Folk, and attended one of the freshers’ events as a second-year student. I now wish I had joined sooner – but my experience with the society has been extremely positive throughout.

Accepting all levels of musical ability from beginner to advanced without any kind of judgement, other members of the society immediately put me at ease when I first joined. Band practice has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere where you can improve your own musical abilities alongside bettering the band’s overall sound. Whilst we do have a list of well-rehearsed songs (including reels, waltzes and jigs) in the band folder, we are of course open to exploring suggestions from new members, which we can practise and then perform at our society events.

Our ceilidhs attract a particularly wide variety of students as well as their families and friends. In comparison to the majority of music and dance events available on campus, our ceilidhs are a great ‘sober social’, where you can meet new people without any pressure to drink. However, Warwick Folk also has a weekly optional trip to the Varsity pub following band practice every Monday. Here we enjoy a few drinks together, have a laugh and play music for the punters. Joining Warwick Folk has given me a much-needed creative outlet where I can destress from the pressure of study by playing music I love, and that with friends. It has improved my confidence immeasurably and my position on the society’s exec has given me a sense of purpose and value on campus.

In your exciting first weeks of Warwick please do check out our social media pages and feel free to ask us any questions via Facebook Messenger. We are looking forward to meeting you all!

Jessie Kolvin

Symphony Orchestra, Member

Symphony Orchestra is Warwick’s only full orchestra. We play classics from the orchestral and choral canon (with the University of Warwick Chorus), as well as modern works, including those by our very own conductor, Paul McGrath. Highlights from the past couple of years include Verdi’s Requiem, Mahler’s First Symphony and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

We have three main concerts a year in the Arts Centre’s magnificent Butterworth Hall. But there are other fun performances in between: a free concert in the second week of first term featuring some of classical music’s most popular melodies; a Christmas concert for children, in pyjamas!; and Fused, a collaboration with other music societies, on Valentine’s Day. We rehearse on Tuesday evenings from 7-9.30, which sounds long but is shortened by the break for biscuits in the middle! And then, rehearsal over, you will without fail find us in the Dirty Duck. String players simply have to turn up; wind and brass players have to audition at the beginning of the year.

UWSO is completely welcoming; we move at a comfortable pace and no one is ever put on the spot! Best of all, everyone is there because they really love playing. We’re proud of what we achieve each term, and make sure we celebrate in style. We can’t wait to meet all our new section members!


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