Wake Up Screaming

Wake Up Screaming: information for DJs

Rocksoc’s weekly club night


WUS runs on Tuesdays at The Fountain Inn. 21:30–03:00 (out of term time WUS occurs every two weeks, and finishes at 02:00).

Entry is £2 for members and £3 for non-members.

DJing at WUS

Fancy trying your hand at DJing? Contact the WUS officer. If you have no experience we will put you on first set, and if we like you we will ask you back. You can also join the DJ mailing list by sending an e-mail to . For more information about DJing, see our DJ information page.

What we play

What does rock, metal, and alternative mean? Below is a list of top tracks played at WUS, you can also visit the DJ pages and the WUS event pages to see what has been played. Not playing everything you would like us to? You can always DJ yourself.

What to play

Rock/Alternative music that isn’t otherwise found in Cambridge.

Our aims

WUS’ remit is to play rock/alternative music that isn’t otherwise found in Cambridge. We try to maintain a mixture of interesting and esoteric music people might not have heard before and things people will dance to. As such, we try to encourage DJs to play a mixture of things they think will be danceable, that people will enjoy listening to, and things they find interesting. About the only big thing we try to avoid is music that really isn’t rock or that is widely played elsewhere in Cambridge (e.g. at The Calling, or at The Indie Thing).

First Set (21:30–22:30):

This is an ideal time to play interesting stuff that people won’t have come across before or things which are of minority interest. Extreme metal, NWOBHM sets, power metal, 50s and 60s rock‘n’roll tends to go here.

Second set (22:30–00:00):

This set needs to have a commercial twist and be fairly danceable: usually given over to commercial rock, commercial/extreme metal, hair metal or some such genre.

Third set (00:00-01:30):

The main set of the night: by now, what people want to hear is commercial music they can dance to. As such, this is more or less the MTV2 set — commercial mainstream rock and metal to keep people happy and bouncing. Be prepared for requests. This is the time to be giving people what they want rather than inflicting your own obscure tastes upon others, although the occasional less well known track mixed in with the mainstream tracks can still work well.

Fourth set (01:30–03:00):

This is a wind-down set. Considerable skill is generally required to keep people around until 03:00, and this set is the usual haunt of people playing commercial power metal, folk metal, 80s metal, hard rock, with a bit of nu-metal and commercial rock.

You can see all the past set lists on the WUS events pages.


The setup

A two-CD deck with fast-forward/rewind, single- or multiple-play, per-channel levels, master volume, a cross-fader, effects (best to avoid these unless you know what you’re doing), and independent headphone monitoring (channel 1, channel 2 or both). The mixer has 4 channels, with cables provided for connecting laptops and MP3 players. We also have a USB external soundcard to allow laptops to use a second output channel (e.g. for monitoring) if required.

First time DJing at WUS?

The first time you DJ, the WUS officer or the previous DJ will take you through the process: basically, put your CD in the drive that isn’t currently playing, set the levels using the headphones, leave the deck paused at the start of the song you want to play, then, when the previous song has finished, hit play, fade out the previous song whilst fading in the new song and then repeat the whole process with the other deck.

As you go, write down the songs you've played in the WUS set list book so they can be added to the website afterwards (and checked by the next week's DJs).


A record deck is available, but you’ll have to provide your own cartridges.


Playing from a laptop is also possible, and we provide the cables to connect your laptop to the mixer (assuming your laptop has a 3.5mm stereo audio socket). Make sure to bring a power cable for your laptop! We don’t want your battery going flat half way through your set. Not everyone has found DJing from a laptop to work perfectly so do bring CDs with you as well, just in case.

We recommend using proper DJ software, rather than (for example) iTunes, as it has support for useful features like crossfading, an equaliser and track queue. We recommend Mixxx, although similar software is perfectly acceptable.

Problems during the set

If you have any problems whilst DJing, just run and get a WUS officer (who will usually be on the door, hint hint!) and they’ll um and ah and try to sort out your problem for you.

House rules

There are some house rules for people DJing at WUS, varying from the utterly serious (don’t have drinks around the DJ equipment), to good advice (don’t rely on writing down your set list beforehand).

Please read them, and please follow them, for your own good and for the good of others. Serious violations will cause you not to be asked to DJ again. Very serious violations will cause the WUS officer to drag you out of the DJ booth and cut your set short. (This hasn’t been done yet, though.)

No food or drink in the DJ area

Food and drink can easily get spilt or spread all over the equipment, which is expensive and we don’t want to have to pay to replace it.

Try not to write too much down. Definitely don’t publish your sets beforehand

When people ask to DJ, their first instinct is usually to pick out a bunch of tracks carefully beforehand, note the running times, draw up a list, and then go in and play them.

This turns out not to be such a good idea as it seems, for several reasons: the exact length of your set isn’t really predictable in advance (depends on how long the previous DJ goes on for), you have requests of unpredictable length to cope with, and the DJs either side of you may not be playing what you expect, leading to disjointed transitions between sets.

The biggest problem with this approach, however, is that, no matter how hard you plan, you can’t really predict what people are going to want on the night, and you can easily end up playing a set of nu-metal to a bunch of ageing bikers, or a bunch of Thin Lizzy and Dire Straits to a group of sixth-formers. This is not usually popular.

So: if you are going to write your sets down in advance, be prepared to tear the set list up at a moment’s notice if it’s not going to work, and (for this reason) please don’t publish set lists in advance.

Play requests

We generally encourage requests from the floor; as long as there aren’t too many of them, and they’re not too out of place in your set, you should try to play them

DJs at WUS don’t share CDs, in general, but if you don’t have something, the WUS officer might have brought along a bunch of generally popular CDs you can look in.

Don’t over- or under-run

A couple of minutes either side is fine, but any more than that and the DJ after you will either get his or her set shortened (which is bad), or have to come in early — you shouldn’t depend on people being happy with either.

Leave the decks in a standard configuration

Please leave the decks with the CD players set to single-track mode, effects off, and the levels set to about the right place. There’s nothing more disconcerting than starting off your favourite Led Zep track to discover it has more flange on it than even Pagey wanted.

Don’t play obviously inappropriate material

This is a judgement call, and various WUS officers will be variously strict about it. The occasional weird track is quite welcome (Bette Midler and David Hasselhof, for example), but an entire set of Madonna songs would not be welcome. Likewise, just because it’s possible to compose an entire set from 3 SunnO))) tracks doesn’t mean you ought to do it.

Don't repeat songs

While everyone loves hearing Poison occasionally, it gets tiresome if it's played every week. DJs should look back in the WUS set list book and try to ensure that any song they play wasn't played the week before (and certainly not already that night). Playing a different song by the same artist is fine. This way, we get a variety of music played at WUS.