I have spent an unfathomable quantity of evenings, supplementing my indifference to the drilling, monotonous beats of the latest, edgy ‘new garage’ artist with chemical assistance and semi-ironic fist-pumping. Equally irretrievable, are the wee hours claimed by your typical sickeningly ostentatious nightclub; where one eye guards your £9 double vodka, while the other watches your soul dwindle away in the mirrored dÃ©cor.
The purest club experience is found in a venue that offers you the cheap, grimy satisfaction of a chicken and mushroom pot noodle. The sort of establishment where you can stumble into the doorman on the brink of oblivion, and gain entrance with a vain attempt to focus your vision and a flash of a prehistoric library card. Whether sporting a vomit smeared cuff or trickling blood through a ripped jean, there is no judgement here. All custom is embraced. Fuck that nauseating air of exclusivity most clubs like to project. Each messily conducted 2-step to the blaring cheese, comes with the added satisfaction of prising your soles from the syrupy canvas. Beverages are a dime a dozen and inhibitions are not in consideration.
The same characters and scenes frequent these haunts with comforting regularity. You can tick them off on your shit-club safari check list, as they stagger, unfold and jig about the watering hole.
8. The Heinously Pissed
At least one member of each gender, is so majestically intoxicated, that their drunkenness beams out even among the sloppy mob. Lobotomised, they speak only in tongues and shrugs. The fortunate of these walking corpses, are supported by devoted allies, who yank and haul them through the Cha Cha Slide like life-sized puppets.
The others are doomed to roam the floorboards alone, colliding with other revellers as they battle unconsciousness with the decorum of tranquillised elephants. On rare, beautiful occasions these numb souls blunder into each other and romance blossoms.
7. The Old Man
One lecherous receding relic (bonus points for a ponytail), squelches about the joint, offering drinks to anyone who’ll have them. The braver ladies dance the dangerous game of milking his rummy teat for drinks, while remaining safely out of groping distance. The neon lighting reflects of his gammy stumps, his joints grate beneath his olive corduroys. A weekly fixture, it’s hard to imagine him existing in any other situation. It feels as if he was born and raised creaking about on the luminescent multicoloured panels.
6. The Male Group
Circles of clammy blokes gather. One occasionally splinters to begin the delicate creeping operation of edging up behind a prospective female dancing partner to instigate the cornerstone of 21st century romance — the dutty wine.
Upon first tentative contact, the female shoots a knee-jerk over-shoulder glance. Her decision is swift and instant: a swift expletive or a blank reaction, no reaction signals the wine is permitted, and will grow exponentially duttier as the male’s confidence grows.
The rejected portion of the males, will grind each other. They wine under the guise of comic effect, when in truth it consoles their wounded pride. They heal their hurt with ritualistic shedding and swinging of shirts for the duration of the Bay Watch theme.
5. The DJ
Available in 2 models.
– The elderly DJ, (also available for weddings) has held down this residency for a solid decade. He goes through the motions, rarely venturing from his lumbar-support seat or well-worn track list.
– Or, a pimply upstart, who’s treating his command over the 34-strong, pissed-up rabble like a jam-packed Ibiza mega-club. He is god. Tucked away in his dusty, unelevated booth, he raises his hands to polystyrene tiled ceiling, endorphins charging through his sinewy frame. Lost in a rendition of an S Club number, the tanked-up throng, barely acknowledge his presence.
Regardless, both DJs are considered 40% more attractive than they actually are: 15% beer goggles, 25% occupational hotness.
4. The Female Group
They whoop and holler in protective formations; hand gestures are pre-determined to alert one and other of the edging advances of duttywiners. They twist and teeter in towering heels, honing their bunions for a life of hardship. Flashes thoroughly document each gesture of the night like narcissistic paparazzi.
A member of the crew slips out of the moment, and into her worries. At the first glimpse of smudged eye-liner, the females rally behind her with words of support and attitude. The night draws to a close, callous development takes the back seat to comfort. The females clutch their heels, eyeing the floor for treacherous shards of bottle.
3. The Under-Age
The suspiciously fresh-faced walk among us. Upon being granted entrance, the overdressed, wide-eyed bumfluffed adventurers, deflate their puffed up chests with a sigh of relief. The lamb dressed as mutton, restrain celebrating their admission until they’ve hotfooted out of the bouncer’s eyeline. A commiserative text is hammered out to their fallen comrade, who fluffed the address on their borrowed ID; then they hit the floor with the lust and intensity of freshly released convicts.
2. The Lavatories
In the gents, thick jets of conversation stream at the trough, as men bustle for position. Urinal cakes are targeted, cock-twins established. Tactical chunder is forcibly ejected. The thick, chipper accents of the African toilet attendants, persuade horny carousers that sexual satisfaction is but a scent away, reeling off their rhyming spiel with the force of an auctioneer.
“No Armani! No punani! No diesel! No Weasal! No Splash! No Gash! No Spray! No lay! Wash the finger! For the minger! No Calvin Klein! No sexy time! No Daviddof! No have-it-off!” The bigger the club, the broader the range of poetic smut; presumably as a result of some kind of aroma-vendor’s scouting network.
In the ladies, they unite to scream “Get the fuck out you fucking pervert!” But from what I gauged of the vibes, something like, amid the colossal queues, compliments spark transient companionships.
1. The Bouncers
The lenient security staff understand that when you drink alcohol, you have a tendency to get drunk. Unlike those manning pretentious clubs, who defenestrate you the instant the small fortune you’ve invested at the bar yields a stumble. Accustomed to the rowdiness, the doormen attempt to diffuse volatile situations with tactful patter, or at most a grapple; instead of raining their caveman knuckles on anyone who displays a bit of cheek.
There are no wall-hugging posers, there is not a dry brow in the house. Discount hooch flows. Conga participation is obligatory. Vomit rockets and soars. Everyone unites on the same merry plain of understanding, and does their utmost to smash every syllable of Wycleff Jean’s Perfect Gentleman. Communal karaoke, without the cruel reality of everyone’s voice.
Flatulence causes a parting of the crowd, and a local break dancing enthusiast seizes the opportunity to performs ‘the worm’. Copycat attempts result in surface injuries. The grotesquely obese prey on the appropriately inebriated, and vice versa. It is an ecosystem, where everything functions in perfect, scuzzy harmony and herein lies the beauty. Long live the cheese floor.