Analysis of Smile In The Square Review.

This review is very different from the rest. It was a very different event to the others and it was written in the style of a student magazine, so the tone is quite relaxed.

The student scene isn’t your typical example of a subculture, but I would certainly say the theories involved are very relevant. Ken Gelder believes that one way in which subcultures can be understood is through movement out of the home into “non-domestic forms of belonging”, (2007). This is without doubt applicable to students, the vast majority of which will be living away from family for the first time in their lives. Another way Gelder believes subcultures can be identified is through their “stylistic ties to excess and exaggeration”. This theory is less obviously identifiable regarding the student scene, as not all students dress similarly, but the common stereotype is that one students move to university they start to dress differently, or get tattoos, or piercings, or grow their hair etc to fit in with the new scene they find themselves in.  

Regarding the role of the music journalist, the power they hold for artists as young as those on display at Smile in the Square is staggering. Were a high profiled journalist to take a shine to one of the performers on display, even something as small as a mention on the magazines website could escalate the band to heights which may otherwise be inaccessible.

  • Subcultures: Cultural Histories and Social Practice’
Smile In The Square Live Review

The promise of Solent’s young performers was clear for all to see, as the setting sun cast the mighty Guildhalls shadow over the Cardinals closing set, with promises of what might be. The Coldplay/U2-esque guitar riffs made for a pleasant if not thrilling climax to what had been another successful Smile week.


The audience made up what it lacked in numbers with enthusiastic support for their peers. The sunniest day in Southampton’s existence, (honest), did draw some interesting support from the local pub dwellers. The biggest entertainment during Fly Frankie Fly’s set being the topless middle age man leading the offense against the barrier between the band and audience.  


The most exciting band of the day was without doubt the Cardinals, whose set deceived the audience of the bands young years. Band interaction however was as lacking as the local drunks clothing, as the guitarist and bassist peaked by smiling at each other. Whilst the singer, whose singing drew clear comparisons with a less-nasally version of Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman, didn’t quiet, however, manage to move from the spot he stood on.


The event however, was a credit to the Universities students who had successfully arranged the whole day, and whose bands, with a little more experience, are looking set to make a name for themselves.