Matt Purbrick at Old Bar review by Safi Bugel – The Unpublished Review

Union Music Library and MME resident Matt Purbrick was given closing duties at Old Bar last Friday night. After a storming (and conga-inducing) set by Derby’s very own Camilla Parker Bowels, the bar was set high, but he went on to blow us all (and likely the Old Bar residency, RIP) out of the park.

Throughout his hour slot, Matt traversed some of the most iconic moments in the last 50 years of music with his variety of ridiculously good tunes. The set was bookended with the Tracy Beaker theme song- 17 seconds of unadulterated attitude and nostalgia— and featured classics old and new, from the Dexy’s Midnight Runners hit ‘Come on Eileen’ to Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’. There was also a healthy dose of ABBA, Spice Girls and Taylor Swift for good measure.

My personal favourite, however, was ‘The Safety Dance’ by Men without Hats, not least because of Matt’s accompanying performance.

Armed with his iconic track selections, two pairs of headphones and some formidable dance moves, Matt’s DJ sets promise to boot off until he gets booted out.

An excerpt from Matt’s diary following his set last Friday:

“The first time I ever DJ’d was at a church fete when I was about eight. I played Sk8er Boi over and over for hours until the vicar confiscated my Avril Lavigne CD saying “I think the boys and girls would like to hear something else now.” I have yet to play a better set.

I felt weirdly nervous when I finally got behind the decks a few minutes past midnight. I decided to wear the headphones over my eyes like a visor so I couldn’t see people’s faces. However, I could still see people’s feet moving, so I could tell I was doing alright.

The problem with playing bangers is there aren’t actually that many of them, so most have been played to death. Only very rarely do all the planets align to produce an Old Town Road or a Tainted Love. On the other hand, I’m never not in the mood to hear Tainted Love. That’s just part of the human condition.

I think the Tracy Beaker theme is the ideal tune: it’s undeniably a banger, it’s instantly recognisable and gives the listener a nostalgia rush, and most people haven’t heard it in literally a decade. It’s only seventeen seconds though so you’ve got to have very quick fingers to select and line up the next track in time.

I now spend a lot of time trawling Spotify for songs that people might have forgotten are actually brilliant. I would worry about it taking over my life, but life to me now is just this long slow boring thing in-between my Oldbar sets.

It has to be said my last set would have been so cringey without the good people of the UML. I think everyone, first-years and post-grads alike, really enjoyed the GIAG and were keen to let their hair down on the dancefloor afterwards. They were responsible for at least 95% of the good vibes in the room. Plus the DJs on before me (Max Rosehill, Safi Bugel, Robbie McGrail and Amelia Cripps) built the crowd’s energy to its flashpoint. Without any of whom I would have cut a sad figure spinning Britney on my own.

I’m looking forward to making new friends in the UML this year, and playing records with them at Oldbar on Fridays. As UML President Amelia Cripps herself says “everyone in the UML is a DJ, even if they don’t know it yet.”