Good friend came to stay at the weekend, along with another (younger) chum. I was planning a ‘big night out’ as, unusually for me these days, I was spending some down time with other sprog-free companions (no babysitters/night feeds/early starts/no ‘I won’t have another drink thank you’…’oh god is that the time!’)
ANYWAY clubbing had to be on the cards as was feeling nostalgic for the days when me and bezzie mate would slap on some lippy and slip on our stillies at least once a week to go throw some shapes at the local danceteria.
But where to go, where to go? Home city has more clubs than a world convention of seal-cullers, and its been a while since my booty has been shaken. Didn’t want to queue/fork out a fortune only to get into a club where the average age is 12-and-a-half and the music resembles a cat being disembowelled by a road-drill (How old am I??!)
A ‘friend'(yeah, thanks Andy!) suggested a club he’d heard of which only played recordings performed by female bands. After running a search with this minimal information I found it!
Third Saturday of every month at The Sussex Arts Club‘DA DO RON RON’ described as
“a 60s orientated club night with a unique slant. The club’s musical menu is a femme-centric celebration of 60s girl groups such as The Supremes, Ronettes, Shangri-La’s, Chiffons etc, sassy soul sisters like Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield and playful popstrels in the vein of Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey and Lulu. The club ethos is strictly non-elitist, which means that as well as lesser known northern soul and 60s pop rarities, DJs also spin instantly recognisable tunes such as The Ronettes ‘Be My Baby’, The Supremes ‘Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart’ and Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’. ”
Sounded fun, and only a fiver to get in, lets go!
Having necked 2 (3?) bottles of wine chez lelly, the intrepid trio (all sans partners for the night) headed off around 10pm. First stop was Wagamamas to sensibly line our stomachs for the drinking ahead. Aware of my (ever decreasing) limitations I decided to take a little break from the alcohol onslaught and have juice with my soba noodles. Blithers and Vix, having listened carefully to my exhortations to pace themselves ordered…beer. By the time we’d eaten, found a working cash-point with a queue of less than 50 people, and staggered (literally, Vix’s imbibement of red wine, beer and not-much food exacerbating her to inability to walk in high heels) to the club, it was gone 11, so we had to pay seven quid to get in. There was no queue though, so that was good, yeah? mmm?? No queue at all for a club at gone 11 on a Saturday night…wassat ringing at the back of my head?!
Girding our soon to be dancin’ loins with more beer and nasty wine we surveyed the scene (Well Blithers and I did, Vix was concentrating too hard on co-ordinating drinking her pint, lighting her fag and standing-up to actually see…or speak, for that matter)
It was like a David Lynch film crossed with the tail-end of a typical British wedding reception once all the ‘young people’ had left. Not that I’m saying there weren’t any young folk there, it was just that as most were dressed ‘authentically’ in (bad) early sixties gear and doing (bad) ‘dad’ dancing it was difficult to tell. Oh, apart from the hen party who were, I swear, all the same height (about 5 foot) all dressed in black, and all accessorised with flashing plastic flower garlands and devil horns.
The red lighting scheme completed the nightmare. It was all too ‘unique’ and ‘non-elitist’ for us and we fled, too terrified to even finish our drinks.
11.20 and the night is not going well. There’s another club right next door so we ask the friendly bouncer what type of music is being played. He grunts and drags his knuckles off the ground to point at the posters. We stare and nod sagely (bungle-brummy-dacey-flip-flop-fusion, apparently) Well, when I say ‘we’ I mean Blithers n’ me. Vix just stares and nods from where we’ve propped her up against the wall.
11. 22 and we’re at The Jazz Rooms 2 doors down. Genuinely friendly bouncer says we can go in and have a listen to the music before paying. It sounds good!!! Latin-y, salsa-y, funky bit D&B-y with a live bongo player to boot, we pay up and squeeze ourselves into the hot n’ happy crowd and we’re dancing, we’re dancing!! The crowd is dense enough to hold Vix upright so she demands more beer. I am old enough to be her mother and fleetingly consider advising caution, before throwing it to the winds and ordering a Coke myself (hey, I could see the need for sober-ish maternal intervention looming!)
12.22 and the DJ, music and mood, changes. BGMF and I are on a roll and decide to find another venue. We dress Vix in her coat and scarf (an inadvisable toke on what smelt like grass – as in grass that has first been chewed and evacuated by a cow – finally putting paid to all her physical co-ordination) before frog-marching her into the fresh air.
Its the final straw for our poor stoned camel. Wailing ‘my head is spinning!’ or rather ‘my hesh ish schpinnin’ she manages to indicate through a system of grunts that she needs to lie down. We are about 10 minutes from my house and Blithers and I reckon we can get her home and into bed and still have at least an hour at another club. Ten minutes that is, if you’re not attempting to carry a large and badly tied sack of potatoes wearing vertiginous high-heels moaning ‘but I’m the youngest, I shouldn’t be the one to go home early’ and ‘why is taking so long to get to your house’….
12. 45 Having installed Vix under the duvet in the guest room we race round the corner to what used to be my favourite club – mainstream music and no pretentions.
12.50 We leave club, and the group of approximately 50, mainly male, occupants sadly swaying and singing along to ‘more than a feeling’…I know how to show people a good time!
1.00 Pitch up at Revenge, a club that actually stay open beyond two! Blithers and I have been secretly hoping for a night of dee-eye-ess-cee-oh anyway, and having got shot of the youngster we could drop all aspirations to hip-ness, Yay!
Nay! Two dance floors of heaving hard house and bare (male) chests was the reality. Not that we were complaining. High on the absurdity of the entire evening we moshed away with the boys with huge grins slapped on our faces. And ooh,some of those boys were sooo pretty!
One restaurant and 4 clubs in one night, not such a bad time after all, the old gal’s still got it in her! (Mind you it’s now Monday and my bones still ache!)
10 Songs guaranteed to get me dancin’:
1.’Sex Machine’ James Brown
2.’Pick up the Pieces Average’ White Band
3.’Its Raining Men’ Weather Girls
4.’Dirty Cash’ Stevie V
6.’Fire Starter’ Prodigy
7.’Common People’ Pulp
8.’Brown Sugar’ The Stones
9.’Love Cats’ The Cure
10.’I Feel for You’ Chakka Khan
WHAT ARE YOURS?