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What Ever Happened To Guitars At The Union?

January 28, 2014 · Harry Earl

Loughborough is a university saturated in house, Dance and rap music. From the numerous DBE nights and Soundclash, there have been numerous “live” DJ performances and god awful acts that have graced the Union. So I got thinking, why doesn’t Loughborough student union host more Indie or Rock concerts?

Bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club, CHVRCHES and London Grammar in their published tours are playing university student unions all across the land. Rather than having dustbin acts, who are just cheap crap. Get some real talent playing music that gets regular airplay on Radio one. Instead of House and Dance music reverberating around Room 1, why not some guitars and drums?

The Student Union provision for live Indie and Rock music concerts is non-existent.  For us Indie/alternative music lovers who occasionally go to the Union, we’re forced into Fusion with cheesy pop music that is god awful. The DJs playlists are pretty dull with the same music over and over. I admit, I like Nirvana, but I don’t need to hear it over and over in the same night.

By kettling us all in one room and hosting various house nights from Soundclash to DBE, the union is alienating us indie music fans out there. Money that could be spent in the Union is instead lost to other night clubs in Loughborough.  If the Union were to host live acts, it could attract a new market of students that Union has lost in its subservience to House, Dance and Rap.

Live concerts, in my opinion, can generate a unique atmosphere that no DJ can ever provide.  Nothing can match the thrashing of guitars, the smashing of the drums and the sheer emotion of a singer. Nothing can match it and nothing ever will.

You can argue all you like that nights such as Subversion and events such as Free Fest cater to this demand of indie, guitar music but this isn’t true. Subversion, in my experience, is poorly attended and does not provide live music. Free Fest does contain live performances from bands but they’re not a good standard of music when compared to the professional outfits that other university student unions attract to them.

I think it’s time that the Student Union dip into their pockets and get some bands that will entice students who are disaffected with the limited music choice offered.  In the theme of the “better decisions” campaign that the student union is running, I think their best decision could be having a few live gigs once in a while to get music lovers all over Loughborough student union flocking back to the Union once more.

Harry Earl

Harry Earl

Harry is former Comment Editor of The Epinal and is chair of LSU Debate Society.
Harry Earl

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Posted by on January 28, 2014. Filed under Comment.
  • Penny

    Couldn’t agree more, I’ve been saying the same thing (to anyone who’ll listen!) for four years. The union has a really good pa system and lighting rig, and decent bands would be worth paying ticket price for in such a venue.

  • Huzaifa Essajee

    I don’t understand why you did not forward your suggestions to LSU directly rather than writing an article? Or instead asking your Councillors who represent you to ask this question at Union Council?

  • J

    I’d say that there is more of an absence of the middle ground. Subversion caters for those with more niche music tastes, and Rocksoc strongly discourage any form of indie being played at Subversion because they want to give it the independence from any other nights which may be around.

    Subversion can also be decently attended, it’s just conditional. The annual charity night (SOPHIE) and the freshers Subversions have a very good attendance.

    Live music is a logistical nightmare for Rocksoc/Subversion to provide, and even then the tastes in music that run Rocksoc are so varied that we will never agree on bands to book unless they come from the society themselves.

  • Aidan

    I think your article, although it has some valid points, misses out on the key fact that apparently these evenings are very popular. If it fills the room then they have catered for a full house, I don’t know the number of tickets sold for these but if it is high then I must say they have done the right thing. I personally don’t enjoy the DBE or Soundclash “crap” as you so aptly put but I must say if it fills the room then I have to accept that. I, along with I’m sure many others, would enjoy music such as Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin or cover bands of the kind. Unfortunately I would say this is not a plausible idea. Quality of music is a subjective idea, dustbins and old saucepans seem to be popular in a number of nightclubs at the moment, many who use kitchenware for it’s proper use will find this kind of event unappealing but also the converse would be so if there was an indie/rock night. I don’t believe the Union is alienating others, it is just providing what appears to be of popular demand. I think it is important to not take their decision to host such events personally, it is not the Union attacking other musical cultures or selecting one music style over the other. The Union will have limited resources available to them and must attempt to please as many people as they can. I am sure they have legitimate reasoning behind their choices of event hosting. This all said, I could be entirely wrong and the Union could be serving their own wants and ignoring the requests of 1000s of students. I am not to know but I have a certain level of confidence that these events are financially stable, if the event wasn’t selling tickets they simply would not host it, this leads me to think it is popular with many students. This is the reality of a democracy, we can’t all be happy, someone has to be in the minority. What they really need at the union is a night where Ainsley Harriot, Anthony Warrel Thompson and Nigella Lawson form a band with the Charnwood Borough Council refuse collectors to create the ultimate night of spatula on saucepan, tin can on dustbin musical genius! Now I would go to that!

  • Former Exec Member

    It’s simple maths – the Union doesn’t put on live music because the cost of ticket would be too high to attract enough people through the door to make the event commercially viable. The Union has a fiscal responsibility to make sure they don’t flush money down the loo (but then again they do have to balance their offering by looking out for the interests of all their members where possible – you would need to show there is a demand for this, not just an argument of well I would attend) – of course you could counter argue they spent 80k on a rebrand! (and I would say Touche)

    Many moons ago even before my time I believe they had some incredible bands, if memory serves correct one example, The Who

  • Ex E13 girl

    What happened to Indie night on Thursdays?! Best night of the week back in my day…