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Friday October 26th marked Soul Candy's second event of the academic year, and their eagerly anticipated return to Fibbers with 'Soul Candy! Milan 1980'. The extravagant and unapologetically flamboyant alternative club night has quickly become very popular, particularly amongst University of York students. However, with the event's recent increase in ticket price that caused quite the controversy amongst loyal attendees, even upon the introduction of a £10 cap, could Soul Candy fulfil the expectations of so many party-goers?
In short, 'Milan 1980' was beautiful. The typically dingy, although admittedly endearing, Fibbers was transformed through Soul Candy's beautiful visuals; the cloakroom area now included a wall of golden tassels, fairy lights and vining adorned the club's interior, LED palm trees and Italian-esque statues took centre stage on either side of the DJ booth, whilst a picture-perfect Candy Floss stall could be found in Bier Keller. Soul Candy rarely disappoints with its decor and 'Milan 1980' was no exception, the attention to detail adding to the beautiful sense of escapism. And as expected, the inflatable microphones and flamingos were in full force.
The night began with some soul and 80's favourites. What Soul Candy does well is choosing songs that are crowd pleasers, but that don't verge on the borderline of being cheesy or cheap-shots; classics such as Dead Or Alive's You Spin Me Round and Michael Jackson's Billie Jean were embedded into the more frequently played soul-disco beats. That being said, as the night progressed, there were fewer and fewer songs to sing along to, and often there wasn't as much distinction throughout the set as there could have been to engage the crowd. Moreover, the ending to the set in the main room was quite anti-climactic, and a bigger build up to it would have given the night the send off it deserved. Nevertheless, the beats still maintained the easy yet exciting groove characteristic to Soul Candy, and the dance floor never failed to be packed.
Throughout the night, Bier Keller offered some slightly more mellow beats, as well as 80s classics; the space within and the atmosphere of the room providing a nice change in tempo to the main floor. Also, having both bars and Bier Keller open meant that waits for drinks were far from the length one might expect with so many attendees.
Upon the release of tickets for this event, the upper price-point for 'Milan 1980' of around £13-£14 seemed incredibly unfair and overpriced given the venue, and the fact previous Soul Candy events had been much cheaper. With the upset caused by the hiking of ticket prices, I would argue that the recently announced £10 price cap is a fair compromise. Yes, it is more expensive than other nights in York, but Soul Candy often delivers more so than other nights in York, and the price cap clearly shows that they have listened to their market.
'Soul Candy! Milan 1980' was undoubtedly a success, as the event proved once again why it is a favourite for so many. Beyond the music and the visuals, the mood of Soul Candy is quite rare for York. People are there to have a good time and simply dance, and although Fibbers does tend to get extremely busy, this rarely causes issue and often adds to the atmosphere. There is no doubt that the next night of Soul Candy, wherever that pit-stop in 'the girl's' adventure may be, will attract just as much attention.