Phone, wallet, keys, ID – the standard 4-pocket pat before any student leaves for a night out – check. Jesters? Not on Friday, as the new Cube extravaganza premiered. The big question on everybody’s lips: was it a success?
The last ever Kinki aside, the Cube hasn’t been full for a club night since soon after Freshers’ last year, however last night SUSU were proud to have filled out the 1000 capacity venue (upstairs was closed), with a queue still outside.
The night began strongly; anticipation was rife and the Stags was full, as people waited for the doors to be opened at 22:15, with the queue at one point being 5 or 6 people wide, and going up the slope alongside the Jubilee Sports Centre; the new entrance certainly did its bit to remove the familiarity associated with entering Kinki through the same doors people walked through most days.
At full capacity, the event felt lively, with increased seating in both bar areas making socialising easier and more comfortable. However, the bar queue was frequently at a standstill, despite the staff receiving “speed-training” from a Vodka Revolutions bar member. One member of staff even claimed that they had not received proper training for what was their first shift for SUSU.
With that in mind, there were apparently “half the usual number of staff”, so future Twisted events should be better managed – it is important to remember also that whilst last night was called a “Premiere”, it was more of a trial before the real thing next Friday in Freshers’ Week.
What is more, Billy Fitzjohn, SUSU President, is looking to install bottle bars in the corners of the bar area – something he was disappointed in not being ready for the premiere. The cheaper drinks prices certainly went some way to alleviating issues.
Another complaint about previous incarnations of the Friday night Union club is that DJ has been poor, or not to student taste. It was clear Radleigh Tant could DJ, and the sound system supporting him was strong and explosive, but any further opinion, positive or negative, will always cause debate. Everyone on the dance floor was having a good time, with cries of “one more song” at the end.
One thing that Twisted needs to survive beyond Freshers’ initial interest is to offer something different: Sobar and the Hobbit have massive beer gardens, Jesters has a reputation that speaks for itself, and Kinki was always just considered a nice place to go out if there was a large group of you, but nothing special.
However, that could change, with what was the biggest difference to the Cube, where a 3-piece beat-box band performed for 40 minutes, performing chart topping hits in a beat-box fashion. Not world changing in itself, but the idea that there is a “twist” each week, be it musical, performance, theme or other, means that the Twisted brand can be completely flexible to ideas, without ever being questioned as to what it is doing.
If this is done properly, the Cube could come hurtling back into the student nightlife calendar. It is clear, at the very least, that the Events team and the SABBS have worked very hard on this brand, and even if ultimately unsuccessful, it is a much better effort than the simply renaming efforts of ‘Yo Mama!’ as previously.