Boddika @ club 601, st andrews

Lara Johnson-Wheeler

 number of things were hanging in the balance as I walked into St Andrews Student Union on a dismal Thursday night. The newest venue in town, Club 601, was about to be christened by a music producer more suited to the voracity of Berghain than the stilted aroma of self-consciousness that seems to seep from the walls of our Union. The dynamism and enthusiasm from the team at Music is Love had reeled this big fish into our small sweet pond and even though Boddika’s techno isn’t quite my catch of the day, I was keen. The heady funk and soul mixes from Bert E were an excellent palette cleanser pre-Saunit and the early birds were satisfied with their wormy fill of Bert’s skilfully sorted set. Next up, and never one to be outdone, Saunit stuck to his guns in his heavy set undaunted by his audience. However, as 601 began to fill, it became increasingly obvious that even Saunit’s aggressive house couldn’t muffle the conversation of the crowd; it ploughed on, wriggling and writhing, waiting for the main act.

The atmosphere was enjoyable, actually; the novelty of the Pacha-esque aesthetic of Club 601 made for a sense of expectation and a feeling that the unknown was upon us. Boddika took to the stage in a Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt, perhaps feeling that he needed to dress the part visiting this historic golfing town. But attention must be kept on the music. I was so ready to be fully absorbed and entranced, but the sounds just couldn’t fill the space or completely capture the crowd. Boddika played a solid set, his dusky beats and repetitive synths combining to capture a sense of techno on the safe side. There was little real satisfaction in his mixes and unfortunately a lack of range seemed to permeate his manipulation of sound.

That being said, the success of bringing in such a big name certainly must not be ignored. Music is Love opened a door in inviting Boddika to play and just because I have a snobby ear does not mean to say that the event wasn’t well worth the incredibly reasonable price. It allowed St Andrews the much-needed opportunity to showcase world class DJ. The sound quality was the real elephant in the room; an elephant standing right in front of the speakers and preventing the night from attaining full success. If this kind of event is going to happen again, and I for one hope it does, someone in charge needs to address the issue of production. Boddika’s music is not the kind that should sound as though it’s being amplified through an iPhone in a plastic cup. Nonetheless, I maintain that the night was enjoyable and every effort should be made for a repeat.