PHOTOS: JAY DAWSON
Even the newest of you followers must know by now that I'm very into 'heavier' music - my socials and blog are surrounded by references, and if you take a look at many of my outfit post titles, they're lyrics to the likes of metal, post-hardcore and general rock, so when I was invited to Alpha at O2 Academy Newcastle, one of the biggest alternative nights out in the UK, I jumped at the chance, as the only thing remotely similar that I have around me is a sweaty community hall that plays a bit of Slipknot...and it really is dire.
On the sunny Saturday that was the 25th October I landed in Newcastle and Ayden (Little Blog of Horrors) and I headed down to the pub to find out exactly what Alpha was all about. Anth, Chris, Ash and John are such awesome guys and were great to talk to, and it's incredible to see what actually goes into making such a big night happen. These guys seriously put their everything into making Alpha into the best it can be, working ridiculous hours and often two jobs, and let me tell you now, it seriously pays off!
I'm going to be totally honest with you guys and come out with it now, I'm not built to party. There's just something about splurging money on club entry and overpriced drinks that just does not impress me. Similarly to Ayden, I'm usually starting to run on empty at around 1:30am and long for the comfort of my bed to escape the blaring trap music and awful remixed dance-pop that I don't even know anyway, so I'm sure you're as surprised as I was that we were both still dancing away even when the lights went up at 3:30am. I don't know whether it was the fact I was able to sing my heart out to every song (with everyone else doing the same), the sheer enormity of the venue or the general atmosphere of the crowd, but we actually found ourselves struggling to leave the dance floor for the fear of missing out on a big hit! I don't think I need to mention any more how great the music was, but I really like how they play three songs of a similar genre at a time - so if you're not too into Sleeping With Sirens or Pierce The Veil, it's over quickly and you can get on with dancing to some SOAD. They also like to mix in some old classics like P!ATD, and even dance/pop tracks, my personal fave being the 'Turn Down For What?!' metal cover - much dancing was had. The night we went was Alphaween part I and the theme was Dia De Muertos. As I said before, Alpha don't do things in half measures, and they went all out, with themed banners, videos, blacklights and glowsticks galore, and to top it all off - two make-up artists that stood for hours, transforming faces into mexican masterpieces, totally free of charge to attendees. Now that's getting your moneys worth.
I'm a big fan of dressing up, which is why the Halloween season excites me so much, and I find club nights are unenthusiastic about themes so no one gets into the spirit. For the Alpha guys to emphasise that it's all about outrageous ideas and creating a night to remember, the overdresser in me was very impressed. From Wrestlemania nights with arenas, to Adventure Time, to Pirate parties, complete with a giant ship, sand and paddling pools - they've even ordered a ton of pizzas for the pajama party before, I mean come on?! Despite all this, I was extremely surprised to find out that Alpha asks for a measly £5 for entry and drinks are super affordable. The aforementioned dingy hall where I'm from charged £10 for their Halloween night, as well as £5 for a simple mixer and I had a crap night - perhaps it was the lack of the famous Alpha fire bucket cocktails!
I can honestly say that my night out in Alpha was one of the best nights out I’ve had in my life, and it seriously depresses me how far I live from Newcastle, as you’d actually see me there every week if I wasn’t six hours away! Hearing about how far they’ve come from the first Alpha in April 2013, to having their own set at Download Festival this year is pretty incredible, and I will definitely be going again if I’m ever remotely near!
Every week there is a photographer and videographer, so you can get a little insight to each night on the Alpha YouTube (Ayden & I make a little cameo in the latest one!), and definitely take a look at the O2 Academy TV for exclusive band interviews and sneak peeks, my personal favourite was the McBusted mockumentary; those guys are hilarious! If you’re anything like me and are constantly scouting out new band tours (I feel like I spend too much of my life on TicketMaster) you can actually get access to gig tickets 48 hours before they’re released to the general public by texting ‘Priority’ to 2020 from an O2 mobile - perfect for avoiding those ‘sold out in 3 minutes’ situations - my best friend & dad are on O2 so I’ll definitely be keeping it in mind!
Right, I think it’s time for me to calm down - can you tell I had a good time from the amount I’ve written?! I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team at O2 Academy Newcastle for sending me along, and of course to the guys from Alpha for making it an amazing experience! Would any of you guys check out Alpha, or better yet, been before?