The case against St Andrews’ nightlife can be made purely on our lack of space. The Vic, The Union and Ma Bells all possess the ability to host a cracking event; however, four years of dancing on the same floors and queueing at the same bars will not present much opportunity for innovation. As eclectic as certain events are, they are invariably weakened by the derivative nature of their surroundings. This past Sunday, TEA made the conscious decision to shun the known, and instead descend (quite literally) into the unknown with their first event of the year, One TEA.
Aikmans Cellar Bar is no stranger to pub quizzes or open mic nights. TEA swiftly proved itself to be neither of those things: In this dark basement, the DJ booth stood alongside a dancefloor that was characterised by sweat and passion – passion for music, for dance and for TEA itself. Operating on a far smaller scale than their previous events, One TEA opened its guest-list exclusively to the brand’s most dedicated fans. These individuals flocked to Bell Street, regardless of hangovers and deadlines, prepared to embark on an unusually exciting Sunday night.
The cellar was an utterly inspired choice of venue. Guests immersed themselves in the music, the classic TEA union of grime, hip hop and trap, a sound almost too big for such a small space. The low ceilings, makeshift DJ booth and cozy corner bar gave the event a pop-up feel, reminiscent of the ruin pubs of Budapest. For one night, we felt as though we were somewhere more interesting than St Andrews.
Being a TEA event, the music did not fail to make its mark. James Peel, FLO, Ahmed Shareefy and Leo Clayton all took their turns behind the decks, each boy channeling his own signature vibes. When the night ended on “Chasing Cars,” it was the culmination of every underground track played before, all tied together with seamless transitions and a continuous, palpitating rhythm. Bedraggled girls searched for their jackets and sweat-drenched boys put their shirts back on, and together we all drifted home, already in avid anticipation for the next cup of TEA.