“15 pounds,” Nick Sharp yells into my ear as I try to haggle him down on the price of a Creative Writing textbook. It’s November and Sub8ten (formerly known as Sophbeck) is alive and kicking. We continue to shout at one another over the sound of an excited crowd and a hefty bass that erupts from the speakers, causing people to pump their fists to the ceiling.
Nick is the co-founder of DMU’s DJ Society and tonight they are thoroughly putting the venue through its paces. As the night morphs into the early hours of the morning and more people filter into the room, an energetic buzz fills the basement. We look out from the DJ booth at the growing crowd.
“This is a great turnout,” Nick says with a grin, pleased with what the society has become and its capabilities. To see such a huge crowd for a DMU takeover is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. The DJ comes to the end of his set and suddenly I’m up, wrapping my headphones round my neck and plugging them in. It feels like home.
My set rounds to a finish and Jake Boz, who runs the show alongside Nick, takes control. It doesn’t take long for the Sub8ten crowd to show their appreciation as he plays his now infamous ‘8oz’ edit of Rebound X’s ‘Rhythm & Gash’. An immense feeling of fun fills the intimate space, whether they’re at the side or screaming every lyric at the front, not one person can keep the smiles off their faces.
Since the transformation from Sophbeck to Sub8ten this venue has served as a playground for the bass heads of the city. With a growing appeal to students and fans of electronic music in general, it is paving the way for the underground scene in Leicester.
In just the past few months they have teamed up with ‘Beastwang’ to bring Royal-T, Sticky, Deadbeat UK and more to the city, certainly putting the East Midlands on the map and propelling them into 2016 at a pace that no-one thought Leicester could reach. With General Levy performing in May and bookings from the likes of Hatcha and Sir Spyro coming through, the coming year looks exciting to say the least.
I had a chance to speak to Matt Rimmington (AKA Machu) before we supported Royal-T in December:
“They never fail to have the best crowds with the best people who come down and watch for the music, and they never fail to come in their droves.
Sub8ten is one of those places, especially on Beastwang nights that no matter what, you’ll always come out having made a new friend, and I guess that’s what attracts people there so much.”
With underground music such as grime and garage on the rise, today there is no better place for people to come and enjoy the music. Offering a new perspective to going out in Leicester, Sub8ten isn’t about ‘pulling’ or trying to look cool. It has always been and will always be about socialising and dancing till the early hours of the morning.
It has always been and will always be about socialising and dancing till the early hours of the morning.
A big part of this scene is the DJs. DMU’s DJ society has grown stronger and stronger in 2015, with more budding music fans joining up and over 100 putting their name down at the society fair back in October.
Being a part of the society, I have personally seen the benefits. It has offered me endless opportunities for my DJ career, giving me the confidence and experience I never expected to have this early on in the term. Nick and I discussed why the society has become so popular and what it can provide for De Montfort students:
“As with most societies we’re a group of like-minded people who share a love of DJ’ing and electronic music in all forms and would like to meet and get to know others who feel the same way. We offer discounted prices for many different nights around Leicester, as well as group trips to places outside of Leicester (DBE for example) and also socials within the city.
Anyone of any ability can join, even if they have no interest in djing and would like to just come and meet some like-minded people, but as I said before, we will offer lessons to people of all levels if they want to learn.”
Not many societies provide such beneficial chances as this. Giving students the ability to use professional equipment and have DJ experience at club events, the DMU DJ society is Leicester’s main way of getting involved in a rapidly growing scene in the city. With a wide range of genres from many different DJs, the DMU crew are steadily taking over Leicester’s night-life scene and turning it into something special.