Browse Mag Sessions #2: NYE

This review requires a forewarning: I rarely drink alcohol but, as New Years is such a special occasion, I hit the cocktails in a successive fashion. Therefore, any comments may not be an entirely unexaggerated reflection of the night.


My friends - Lol and Hev
My friends – Lol and Hev

We started the night early – my friends Hev, Lol and me – supping concoctions down Newland Aveneue. Each sampling a pink cocktail in Roots, adding to the mixture a flaming Zombie, containing three types of rum and topped with a flaming wedge of lime.

A selection of pink cocktails, in Roots
A selection of pink cocktails, in Roots

We then headed over to El Chupito’s for some more. It was here I had to admit that I am the most awkward of customers when ordering cocktails. Unable to drink any citric fruit (the reaction is not a pretty one), it often leaves me with a very poor selection from which to choose from. The waiter who served us was merry about this, offering the fall-back option of a Woo Woo while my friends tasted daiquiris. More entertaining than the beverages was the artwork, of which my creative friends took many pictures of from inside the eating area and the wonderfully decorated toilets, and the waiter himself, who used our phones to take selfies and asking about our night.

We then headed over to Piper, where we tried out their Jägermeister mixes. It’s not my spirit of choice, but I was excited to see something on the menu which didn’t contain a single toxic ingredient – their take on a Black Forest Gateaux. I could taste the Jägermeister, but I liked it. We were merry as we listened to Steve Cobby’s set, the drinks warming us up and the music keeping us active. My friends asked about the bands, and we played Spot The Bobble Hat / Duffel Coat, a game which we had made up the previous night when Lol had commented on their frequency in Hull.


The first band – Fronteers – stepped up onto the stage, and we shuffled our way onto the dancefloor to enjoy the live set. They performed a mixture of cover songs and their own, including new track ‘Neon Tribe’ which is available from 6th January. Playing covers meant that people knew the lyrics and were able to join in, dancing to songs by The Beatles and The Vaccines, becoming comfortable with the band’s sound when they performed their own tunes.

Considering they are new to the stage, their confidence shone through. With two frontmen, both taking on lead vocals and chatting with the crowd, Andy Towse and James Taylor discussed their music with their audience. They’ve got a lot to learn, but for a first gig I was really impressed. Especially when most of the band put down their instruments, and left Towse to perform solo. It was endearing to see this young lad take to such a large stage and hold the attention of the audience, scattered about the busy room.

Audio Subscene
Audio Subscene

Audio Subscene followed, exuding confidence as they called out to the crowd to come forward. It was during their set that the room filled, drawn forward by the music and conversation from Nick McNee and Stuart Crouch. Their guitar-lead indie sound is one which you can comfortably connect with, with catchy lyrics and a sharp bass beat. Nick McNee is an energetic frontman, emitting more power into the audience. Playing their popular tunes, including the title song of their new EP ‘Mindblower’, which is available to preorder on ITunes, people were tapping their feet and moving to the sound. The festive energy was strong, as the minutes ticked past the eleventh hour.

Cobby returned to the decks in the lead up to midnight, with more people taking themselves onto the dancefloor, which filled in the minutes leading up to 2015.

The boys from Audio Subscene crowded around the DJ desk, counting down those significant numbers. 5…4…3…2… a loud crash of noise and a tumbling of glittering confetti. The dancefloor erupted with hugs and well-wishes, as all around the room people chatted about their dreams for the new year.

The dancefloor continued to move, with people swaying to and from the bar. My friends and I joined the waves, chatting with people around the room and enjoying the friendly atmosphere.

Mike White on the DJ Decks
Mike White on the DJ Decks

Just before 1am, the various Bump! DJs took to the decks, starting with Browse editor Mike White who mixed sounds with animated gestures. It was about this time of the night that I realised my energy was waning. After attending gigs for the three nights previous, the minutes ticking past seemed long and difficult. Usually, I’d have been happy to continue, but my friends and I had to admit defeat and head out of the door.

I’ve always been told to start the year as you’d wish it to continue, so naturally I went in support of the Browse Magazine and the musicians we work with. I’ll return to not drinking alcohol in the excess I did that night, but have already marked my new calendar with dates of gigs. The year started with positivity, an energetic blast of glittering excitement. So, all signs point to 2015 being a pretty good year.


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