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Prepare yourselves to reboot

25 November 2015
Prepare yourselves to reboot
Putting on a new club night is always ambitious. Putting one on at a venue outside of the city centre is even more so. And that’s exactly the challenge that faced local DJs Billy Black, Matt Cullen and Andreas Rauh when they launched reboot on November 20th.

Sheaf St Cafeteria

Held at the hipster workspace-cum-hotspot, Sheaf St Cafeteria, the trio were driven by a simple desire: to throw an old school party, just like the good old days; The Hacienda days, the euphoric 90’s rave scene, when people went to party, not to pose. When good music bought them together, and whoever was next to you was your new best friend.

Duke Studios and Sheaf St Cafeteria owner Laura Wellington said of the event: “It’s so great to be part of the beginnings of reboot. The night has a feeling about it that I haven’t experienced for a long time in Leeds. For us it’s great when the people who attend tell us how amazing the night feels and how they are glad to have found our hidden gem of a venue.”

A nine hour night

A major hurdle the organisers had to jump was running a night that lasted a lengthy, almost unheard of nine hours, from 7pm-4am. They handled this adeptly, organising a food vendor to serve outside during the earlier hours, luring in any Sheaf Streeters just leaving work.

The bar was softly lit by tea lights, while laid back disco and house tracks created the perfect climate for people to have a few drinks and a chat. The relaxed bar space worked two-fold, keeping the after work crew around for longer, and providing clubbers a place to knock back a few beers before succumbing to the heady rhythms winding out of the club space.

To the left of the entrance contemporary artist Kelly Boyle displayed and sold her pieces, quietly doodling away while the night gained momentum. Although unusual, her presence wasn’t incongruous with the mood of the evening and was a subtle reminder that reboot may be old school, but it’s also sophisticated.

This slightly more grown up approach was reflected in the evening’s clientele, a diverse crowd, some of whom were clearly veteran clubbers. The bar was a melting pot of people, fulfilling one of the principal aims of the organisers. Cullen explained: “We want to cross-pollinate the Leeds music scene. It’s all about getting to know people and working together to compliment what’s already going on in Leeds.” A humble ambition certainly fulfilled.

Contrasting rooms

An interesting feature of the night was the two contrasting rooms. The gig space to the right of the bar was in full club flow, with techno and trance-esque visuals provided by graphic design agency Alphabet setting the mood. The separation allowed people to sit down and soak up the laid back energy in the bar or throw some shapes in the designated dance room, and there was plenty of both going on.

While the organisers should be proud of luring in an admirably sized crowd for launch night, organiser Billy Black knows there’s always room for improvement. “[For the next reboot] the bar room is going to be more eclectic and the club space deep house and techno, with other club elements and a function one sound system.”

Perhaps the only real pitfall of the evening was the toilet situation. With just two toilets available for use, queues of disgruntled drinkers quickly formed. Aside from that, the night seemed to flow without a hitch and above all it had real identity, a crucial element for a successful recurring event.

The next reboot will be at Sheaf St Cafeteria on Saturday 27th February, but if you want to check out the space before then head down to Duke Does NYE (funnily enough, on NYE). Tickets can be purchased here.

Sophie’s a jack of all writing trades. A freelance journalist and copywriter, writing culture features and opinion pieces makes her world go round.