Deputy Editor Alexandra Rego reviews Amnesty International's annual music night as part of On The Rocks.
As a long time appreciator of the Amnesty St Andrews Society (and Amnesty International more broadly), I drifted into Sandy’s Bar at 8pm ready for what I assumed would be a relaxed night featuring an variety of musical acts, which ranged from jazz to folk to a cappella. The event was billed as a night celebrating ‘music, talent, and human rights’. I would say that this billing was, for the most part, apt.
The event was, as Ihave implied, billed to begin at 8pm. When I arrived (a little after 8), DryIsland Buffalo Jump seemed to be tuning instruments, practicing harmonies, and,generally preparing to start the night. However, as ten, then fifteen minutespassed, we were informed via a few (very apologetic!) members of Amnesty StAndrews that until someone arrived to mic check the event, the band would beunable to start. While this did not strike me as being Amnesty’s fault, itcertainly implicated the flow of the night, which otherwise had a relaxed, openquality. At a quarter to nine or so, the Hummingbirds, an all-female student acappella group, performed a few covers of alternative and pop songs. It wasunclear whether the Hummingbirds were meant to perform at this point in thenight or not, but they deserve commendation for delivering an ambient and confidentset in the midst of what could have been a distracting environment (as theyperformed, a few Union or otherwise personnel worked on the sound system in thebackground).
Credit is owed to theAmnesty St Andrews Society members for also staying calm under what must havebeen an irritating turn of events; they had the good (and much appreciated)sense to update the audience every ten or fifteen minutes or so about themic-check situation, apologised frequently, and even cracked a few jokes inbetween. When the event did properly start, the audience (all of whom hadstayed, again, I think, owing to the positive attitude of committee) clearlyengaged with and enjoyed the event.
Despite a technicalmishap that struck me as something which was in no way Amnesty St Andrews’sfault, Jamnesty offered its advertised relaxed and welcoming environment,providing, once the music did start, a series of talented and diverse acts allfor a very admirable cause.