With student-run music event Black Box’s claim to be the “first on campus club”, apart from Hes East’s cheesy pop fest Marmite, one wonders why nobody had thought of this idea before. Especially considering the location, Derwent Squash Courts, to be an almost readymade club venue. Yet a group of enterprising Derwent Residents have taken up the challenge with successful results, having had all tickets sold out before the night.
Entry was a very reasonable £3 on the first release and going up to £4 on the second, and with Derwent Bar prices for the drinks your wallet was not too strained on the night either, probably less than it would be on a night out in a York club itself. On the setlist were popular local DJs, Antwon of ‘Get on Up’ Fame and Alex T from Breakz, with London based DJ Onlyarian as the opener and the up-and-coming Kineza from Animaux closing the set. Black Box definitely sets itself apart from the other student-run events on campus which generally rely on pop classics and chart hits to get the crowd going. Yet this was a more grown up affair with elements of Techno, House and Bass woven effortlessly together by the four acts into one four and a half hour dance-crazed marathon.
As with most events the venue makes all difference and as the event’s name suggests, tucked away under the Derwent end of the bridge over to the Chemistry Department, the Derwent Squash Courts’ dark and box-like nature made for the perfect clubbing experience, much better compared to the more open-plan bar venues of other nights on campus. The advanced lights and lasers definitely enhanced the show now that all remains is for a smoke machine and the atmosphere is there. That being said the night could have done with a few more people being there as the dancefloor was a bit sparse at times. Although it was sold out, the organisers could have done with selling a few more tickets to get the that packed to the rafters feel that you want in a box-like venue. But naturally, knowing how strict Campus managers can be the uni will probably not let that happen.
By three o’clock in the morning there was only a few dancers left, myself included, practically addicted to Kineza’s tech-house beats bouncing off the walls faster than a squash ball. Mixing a high-powered instrumental of Wiley’s grime classic ‘Wearing My Rolex’ drew cheers fom the crowd and the applause rained down with the end of her set after her downtempo rendition of James Blake’s ‘Limit to Your Love’. Just two days after Project D, Black Box demonstrates that Derwent remains ahead of the pack when it comes to on-campus student-run music events this summer term. I for one eaglerly await the next installment of Black Box next term where the Derwent Squash Courts will hopefully jammed packed with freshers eager to find out what York’s music scene is all about.