From the Ritz to the Bubble

Photo: flickr / Shai Barzilay

Music lovers, rejoice: whether you want to get involved or just kick back and listen, there’s an abundance of musical outlets to suit any taste at the University of Warwick. Our writers take a look at some of the opportunities on campus and beyond:

Radio Warwick

RaW is Warwick’s own award-winning student radio station, so naturally, there is a vast quantity of music of every variety broadcast around the clock.

A seemingly infinite number of specialist music shows are broadcast every week, offering everything from mind-expanding EDM to head-smashingly anarchic metal. And if you still don’t feel as though your own favourite sub-genre is being represented, you can put a show together yourself! We endeavour to give everybody who applies for a show a slot either weekly or fortnightly, so that any under-represented corners of the musical globe can have their voices / arpeggios / marimbas heard.

As well as our specialist music shows, the RaW Music Team strive to bring listeners the best in new releases twice a week. The New Music Review gathers the hottest tracks in the world for your listening pleasure, and we also assemble lesser-known releases for our Unsigned & Upcoming showcase. The latter counters the mainstream appeal of The New Music Review, offering new tracks which probably won’t receive time on commercial radio stations, but which are definitely worthy of your attention.

We always welcome fresh input, so find us on Facebook, drop us an email, or even pop by the studio to introduce yourself: new members are always welcome!

(To get in touch with Patrick and the RaW Music Team, contact

Patrick Gill


Club nights and DJ sets are all well and good, but sometimes it’s nice to take in something a little more laid-back. Fortunately, you don’t have to go far to get your fix of live acoustic music: whether you fancy showing off some of your own talent or simply watching other students perform, look no further than Unplucked.

Held every Tuesday evening in the Dirty Duck, Unplucked is Warwick’s own acoustic night, offering a rich mixture of cover versions and original songs (depending on the performers present). From solo acts to duos and seven-piece tribute acts, all are welcome to give it a shot. It’s a great way to hone your musical skills, with some performers going on to ply their trades at larger venues such as the university’s annual Summer Party. The assortment of ales and cocktails on offer at the bar tends to make for pretty congenial crowds, so rest assured that there’s no danger of awkward silences or heckling during sets.

If you’re interested in performing, the organisers usually hold auditions before events to approve setlists (and presumably to make sure there are no plans for half-hour harmonica solos). Just contact to arrange an audition.

Sam Carter

Beats & Bars

Some of my favourite evenings during my time at Warwick have been spent at Beats & Bars in Curiositea. Its ultra-chilled evenings of free live music and poetry are – as a rule – full of brilliantly talented people putting on a seriously good show, and having a load of fun doing so.

An event and community encouraging anyone (whether complete beginner or seasoned performer) to share their talents to an always-receptive audience, Beats & Bars has been host to sonnets, sea shanties, hip-hop, noise-rock, synth-pop, comedy, and all kinds of acoustic loveliness. This year, I’m delighted to be organising it, carrying on the excellent work of its founders, who have now left the Bubble for the big wide world.

We’ll be putting on nights throughout the year at venues on campus and in Leamington; join the Facebook group and look out for posters for further details. And if you’d like to perform, feel free to message myself, Jake Turnbull or Joe Seiboth.

The Facebook group for Beats & Bars can be found at

Trahearne Falvey

Zephyr Lounge

Although little over a year old, Leamington’s Zephyr Lounge has already woven its way into Warwick student life. As a venue, it’s up for anything, and as such, has quickly become connected to campus-based talent.

Zephyr has previously hosted Bandsoc’s ‘Battle of the Bands 2012’ finale, and Oxjam nights in connection with Warwick’s Oxfam Outreach society, in addition to regular club nights such as The Den. Making no attempts to hide its penchant for indie and alternative sounds with its mish-mash of ’50s diner décor and collage of album art for walls (honestly as spectacular as it sounds), the soundtrack is often fantastic to boot.

Since its inception, the bar has hosted a plethora of bands, some readily supplied by local talents (including Coves, Cowboy and Marshmallow Palace), alongside more well-known acts (including, more recently, Public Service Broadcasting). Cheap gigs are a happy fixture, and fast becoming a staple venue in Leamington, with Zephyr’s teeny-tiny stage packing an amplified punch.

All in, it’s great for evenings out, live performances, and chilled drinking sessions alike. For lack of better phrasing, it’s a perfect student dive, and one you could easily miss.

(The Facebook page for Zephyr Lounge can be found at:

Jake Turnbull

Stratford Jazz

Music Editor Michael Perry recently had a chat with Mary James – currently the social media representative of Stratford Jazz – to discuss the venue’s status as a bar and live lounge. Mary herself has offered us a testimony as to what the venue can offer culture-hungry students:

No. 1 Shakespeare Street, Stratford upon Avon is the home of a popular bar and entertainment venue, open seven days a week. The club puts on a variety of evenings from quiz nights to accommodating tribute bands, local rock bands, and a variety of genre musicians, of which jazz is but one. Jazz nights will be held fortnightly from September until July 2014, during which the upstairs Chapel venue will play host to all sorts of talent.

Students pay half-price (£4) for all jazz gigs at the venue, which begin at 8 pm and consist of two sets of live improvisational music, thus offering the chance to see music creation in close quarters. The biggest events of the Stratford Jazz calendar are the Christmas and New Year’s Eve specials, both of which usually sell out well in advance.

It is easy to think of jazz as a cerebral type of music, and yes, you do have to make an effort when listening. But ultimately, that effort repays you in abundance. Perhaps its most exciting aspect is its unexpected nature, and the electric synergy between musicians who have potentially never played together before. The results can be outright fun (such as World Service Project, who create loud and visceral skronk jazz), and even soaringly catchy (take Roller Trio, for example, whose extraordinary energy is always transmitted to their audiences). The local jazz scene is exuberantly vibrant: we are very fortunate to be in the heart of England, and so well-connected to other hotspots, such as Birmingham and Leamington Spa.

If you’d like to savour an enjoyable – and relatively cheap – evening out beyond the immediate orbit of campus, and hear (and talk with) musicians with a deep commitment to their art, then Stratford Jazz is a fantastic option available to you.

Further information – including gig listings – can be found on our website and our Facebook page


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