By Tom Walsh
Retaining all memory of a night out for an article was never going to be the easiest of tasks. Nevertheless, the thumping sounds of General Gyro’s never cease to leave a positive impression upon the hazy recollection of a cataclysmically hungover mind. It is a night that has been growing in stature for the last couple of years. By placing the event in such an informal, almost anti-club environment, the organisers have created an alternative to Durham’s usual establishments.
On Saturday the 25th February, I walked into Alington House Community Association hearing music that I actually like. The night hosted Agrippa, a welcome contrast to the usual likes of Bieber, Swift and co. which usually infiltrate Durham nightlife. The Swamp 81 endorsed DJ provided the exact sort of weighty yet transcendental techno which suits the mood of the punters. I think people have a certain image in their mind of people who go to Gyro’s, with cynics writing it off as ‘one for the edgy, windbreaker-wearing mopheads’. Yet the mix of people is generally refreshing and growing in scope.
It has, of course, acquired a loyal following and it is always nice to be a part of a community that has followed the progress of a night. But it is equally rewarding to see the average Durham student embracing proper electronic music. For many, the insular bubble created in this city gives them serious inhibitions about making the twelve-minute train journey to Newcastle. But now, although I would thoroughly encourage all of them to do so at least once in a while, they can experience underground nightlife without leaving the safety of their university town. It would be a shame for any student to miss out entirely on this sort of experience.
This particular Gyro’s marked the two-year anniversary of the night and epitomised everything it has come to represent. Slightly crowded, slightly messy and very loud, people were genuinely crestfallen when that all-pervasive 2 am cut off point was reached. It is a sign of success when everybody stays until the end, something which is always the case at Gyro’s, with many venturing forth onto the foreign yet much needed after parties. If you’re a Durham student and haven’t yet escaped the monotonous cycle of Jimmy’s, Klute, Lloyds and the rest, Gyro’s is something you should definitely try out.
Photograph: General Gyro’s