Image: Helen Hall

The University of Warwick fails to meet my indie needs

Calling indie kids of Warwick to mobilise. Our music scene is a disappointment, can someone please sort it out. Neon, Kasbah and Smack can be fun, they sometimes even surprise me with a song that I like, albeit rarely. You can’t bet I’ll look good on the dancefloor if I don’t know the music.

On a recent trip to see my friends in Manchester, I got a taste of exactly what we are missing out on. For three nights in a row, we went to 42’s, an indie club in the town centre, and each time it was an experience that Coventry and Leamington don’t even come close to matching. The city lived up to its reputation as the UK’s music capital, playing local classics like The Smiths, New Order, The Stone Roses, Blossoms and of course Oasis, alongside other iconic artists such as Gorillaz, Arctic Monkeys, Blur, Pulp, Kaiser Chiefs, The Wombats and Sam Fender just to name a few. My inner 13-year-old was ecstatic to hear Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy playing, and gladly took the opportunity to annoy my friends by singing all the words to My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers’. I was admittedly a little disappointed to hear ‘Mr. Brightside’ each night, but no one can be perfect.

If you are a fan of such things and you’re in the area, you don’t want to miss it. Additionally, the labyrinthine indoor market Afflecks, self-described as an “emporium of eclecticism”, cannot be recommended enough for all things alternative, such as second-hand clothes, vinyl, prints and posters. If something similar existed near Warwick, I can guarantee I’d be blasting my maintenance loan in there.

Do my fellow Warwick indie fans even exist?

The two nights of Reflektor that Warwick’s Student Union host each term are always the best, yet my passion for it doesn’t seem to be shared by many others. In fact, so few people show up that the main part of The Copper Rooms isn’t even open. If it was, it would be even more apparent how shockingly barren it is. Arrive before 12 and you are guaranteed to be welcomed by a small, though enthusiastic crowd. Thankfully, it tends to pick up later in the night. It has to be said the tunes aren’t always all that indie, but I can’t complain when it’s the best we’ve got. Two nights a term is grossly insufficient considering we dutifully go to Pop! every week to hear Disco Dave play the same songs over and over again, which, to be fair, is why we love him. At the end of the day we vote with our feet, so if more people were to go, hopefully someone will take notice and see an opportunity there.

The line up of student nights in Term 3 was also dire. While Skool Dayz ran in weeks 2 and 8, I was disappointed to find out that Reflektor wasn’t running at all this term, meaning we’ll have to wait till September for it to be on again. No doubt the difference in footfall and the revenue they respectively generate has some sort of an influence on this. More unexpected is the lack of Pop! in weeks 4, 5 and 6. Perhaps we ought to be revising for exams anyway.

It’s saddening to think that this music, which I’m personally passionate about (can you tell?) is so hard to come by at Warwick, and it’s rather unlikely the situation will get better. Do my fellow Warwick indie fans even exist? And if so, where are you? I’m filled with immense envy thinking about the fact that students at other universities have the opportunity to enjoy indie music at clubs most nights. Who knows what could be done to change things? I will just continue to live in hope for the day an indie club opens in Leamington, or Reflektor becomes more popular and more regular. Until it gets better we will just have to make do with the hand we’ve been dealt.


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