I’ve never been one for clubbing. Not ever.
But so many people are. I just don’t get it.
My optimum clubbing opportunity came at the height of the rave phenomenon in the early nineties. I lived and studied in
I believe it was called the Second Summer of Love. I hated it.
I would be dragged by friends to clubs, kicking and screaming. I would suffer humiliation roulette as I wondered which one of our party would be singled out as “not getting in” which was a kind of warped pastime of the bouncers. Despite the humiliation, I would pray it would be me, so that I could catch the last bus home and catch “ The Word” on telly.
Once past the threshold, I would fork out too much money to enter a condensation filled dungeon of unhygienic hideousness pumping out pounding, migraine inducing noise.
I would look around at people drenched in sweat, chewing the inside of their cheeks and blinking furiously as they danced.
I found it weird that you would never meet anyone new, you would never make friends with anyone, you would never have a good laugh. No-one was interested in social endeavour, people were only interested in getting off their tits and dancing til they suffered clinical exhaustion. Rave on. (Yawn.)
People would be three deep at the bar; not for real drinks; but for water. Water would be £5 a bottle, in a town that pissed fresh water all over you every day. You would be served the beverage of your choice after a 30 minute wait whilst the cooler than thou bar staff decided whether or not you were trendy enough for your image to be registered by their retinas.
The worst of it…the WORST of it would be that for the whole night I would look around me and think, “Am I some kind of freak? Everyone is having a fucking great time. Why do I hate this so much? What is wrong with me? When can I go home?”
In normal circumstances I would get a reprieve from the torture at 2am, happy to oblige when the bouncers flicked the strip lights on and told everyone unceremoniously to “Fuck off” (is there any other profession where you get to speak to the people who pay your wages like that?).
But this being 1990 and the year of extended licenses, I would be forced by my mates to stay til the shops opened the next morning for Sunday shopping.
And one by one, all of your mates would turn, Bodysnatcher like, from decent folks that liked to go down the pub for a blether* and maybe go see good bands, to “clubbers” brandishing glo-sticks, chomping pills and wearing lurex shorts in winter with no tights.
You would look tearfully on as the girl who moshed with you last year to Jane’s Addiction gig at the Barrowlands, blows a whistle whilst pointing rhythmically at a dork playing shit records.
“Woo-oop! Woo-ooop! Aceeeed!”
Clubbing might be great now, it might have been great in the seventies with disco and all that. I don’t know. But clubbing in the nineties was pants. Why won’t anyone else admit it? We were had.
*A blether, for those of you not from Scotland, is a chat. It does have undertones of gossip and gobshiteyness too which makes it an even better word. It's one of my favourite words and if you look in my profile, I think I describe myself as one. So, it can also mean a person who blethers.