Get On Up is a big thing. Fibbers at 1am on a Wednesday night was the last place I expected to find a heaving smoking area, queues outside the door and angry bouncers. Something about Get On Up, however, seems to suck the crowds in. It could be the positive rumours and the onslaught of posters and adverts peppering campus and the internet. The independent organisation is also part of the appeal, making a refreshing change from the monotony of YUSU’s limited options for nights out. Or maybe it’s the novelty of an event championing ‘the finest Disco, Funk and Soul music’, a genre that students seem surprisingly attracted to, given that most of the music originates a good two decades before the majority of attendees were even born. Whatever the appeal, I eventually made it into the heady, sweaty cave of Fibbers to find out.
The most noticeable thing about the night was the sheer size of the crowd. Rammed wall to wall with dancing students, Fibbers was transformed to a heaven for your standard uncoordinated drunk with a secret passion for dramatic dance moves. The music had the unusual quality of affecting everyone in exactly the same way, it seemed. Everyone present appeared intent on having a good time, whether this was due to the nostalgia of the music or the effect of alcohol. Despite the sweat allegedly dripping from the ceiling, when quizzing people the next day about their impressions of the night the response I received over and over again was consistently positive, and the overwhelming turn out testifies to this feeling as well.
So what is Get on Up, and why do people love it so much? The brainchild of ex-Derwent JCRC Joel Brocklehurst was apparently created to fill a ‘gap in the market’. The event offers students and members of the public alike a chance to experience clubbing in a way that seems sadly lost to the 21st century generation. The robotic, relentless dullness of pop culture can be difficult to escape in the clubs, particularly in a smaller city music-wise such as York. ‘I think everyone loves it,’ says Joel. ‘People of all ages enjoy it.’ The origins of the night are pleasingly uncommercial, a product of Joel and the other organisers’ passion for music. ‘We didn’t really think about it… we just wanted a disco night in York, so just set it up,’ he commented.
The music itself was notable for its range and variety. The dulcet twangs of ‘Firecracker’ by Mass Production kicked off Timoren’s set at 12.15, setting the tone for an evening of arm jerking, body popping joyfulness. From groovy classics such as MJ’s ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ to a funky soul version of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ featuring a female vocalist, the night remained upbeat and dancey all the way to the end. Other highlights from Timoren included ‘Give Me The Night’ by George Benson and the last song of the evening, ‘The Sweetest Taboo’ by Sade. The DJs all appeared to be having a great time, with an engaging back to back set at the end of the night featuring Joel Brocklehust, Matt Conn and Timoren, bringing the evening to a pleasant close. The mixing itself seemed somewhat experimental, with occasional cut outs between songs and a few messy transitions. However, this just served to maintain the fun, spontaneous vibe of the evening, and to be honest everyone was enjoying themselves too much to care. Get On Up definitely deserves the hype, one of the few nights in York that combines a full house and a responsive crowd with genuine, feel good music. I for one am excited to be a part of the blossoming independent club scene in York, with plenty more surprises to come and hints of a post-exam party promising another great night in the future.By Maddy Crammond