The Malcontent on: Clubbing
By John Glanville
You’re stood in a poorly-furnished, worse-lit, sticky-floored box, filled with upwards of a hundred of what are laughably described on the Varsity spam list as your “closest friends”. You probably paid a fiver to get in here, and at least another six on a double vodka redbull. You stood in the cold for fifteen minutes queuing, brandishing a mendaciously-named “Q-jump” ticket which does nothing of the sort, and to cap it all you’ve already necked half a bottle of Sainsbury’s’ finest drain cleaner and budget alcohol to make this sound like fun- and God help you if you didn’t pre-drink.
Perhaps there’s something special to the club atmosphere that I don’t see, something so transcendentally enrapturing that women everywhere are compelled to photograph themselves in the presence of this club-messiah. Either that, or nobody has told them that there’s a photobooth in Tescos which costs much less. Ask yourself, with the mind of an Oxford undergraduate, if you would render your night out a journalistic performance without enough of that heady mix of bottom-shelf white rum from the pre-lash and overpriced bottom-shelf vodka from the bar to make the Health Secretary get all upset about the Youth Of Today. Maybe you would, but hopefully you wouldn’t pull the duckface as you did it.
Of course, no tour of a club would be complete without a trip to the Smoking Area, worthy of capital letters thanks to the ability to permit social interaction beyond the points and grunts, or that always-classy option of ear-yelling, that the Inside reduces us to. Within the smoky curls, and if you’re at Clem’s those delightful neo-brutalist eight foot steel barriers, lies respite from pounding wub or cheese floor tracks. Maybe a passing shot at conversation. But also lung cancer. Which is unpleasant. Return inside, and be met by the smell of the mass of humanity, and feel the collected sweat of those hundred “closest friends” condense on your slightly-cooler skin. And that’s just as you head for the doors.
Even the professed LAD gets thoroughly tanked in the antebellum, just to numb the voice inside their head that asks “what the fuck am I doing here?”, because ultimately the answer is a re-enacting a mechanistic parody of a good time you had once, years ago