Clubbing – The Early Years


Remember when you were 16 and living for the weekend? And by living I don’t mean desperately wishing it was Friday so you can sit in your pyjamas and watch Netflix for 48 hours while bingeing on mountains of pasta. No I mean that time when you’d work a whole 8 hours every Saturday in either a hairdresser,  your local cafe or in my case honing your floristry skills at Robinson’s Florist for the likes of Madonna (totally did the flower arrangements for her 48th birthday *brushes shoulders*) just so you had money to go out with your mates later that night and drink barcardi breezers until you were sick on yourself. Remember that? Let me re-freshen your memory…

Getting ready at your mates house

OMFG like actually THE best part of the night. Everyone would meet at your house around 5pm/6pm, you’d raid you mum and dads liquor cabinet, listen to the latest tunes you downloaded from limewire (Britney’s Toxic of course) and try on all manner of outfits before your mate let you borrow her sparkly backless top and denim pedal pushers. Nowadays you’re left to get ready on your own meaning when you turn up to the pub you feel totes self-conscious because you didn’t have five friends repeatedly telling you, you looked fit as fuck before you left the house.

Drinking games.

During the mad chaos where you all got ready together there would come a point where you’d all sit down to play ring of fire (not recommended), I’ve Never, Drink While You Think and any other made-up game that had vague rules resulting in you necking any drink you held for longer than 30 seconds.

Matching accessories.

Back then getting dressed was so bleeding simple. Denim skirt/flared jeans + nice sparkley or coloured top + matching bag/earrings/bracelet/belt + New Look court shoes. Team this with poker straight GHD done hair, lots of heavy black eye makeup, a lambrini slur and together you and your pals resembled some sort of 00’s girlband. HAAATIES!

The taxi journeys to the club.

I don’t know about you but I lived in the middle of nowhere which meant that to get to a club we had to take a taxi every time. There was no drunken strolling from one pub to the next before joining the queue at the hippest spot in town. No, we downed drinks at home and then arrived bang on opening time at the only club in a 20mile radius. The reason we arrived bang on 9pm (jeez, I know, I know.) was because we were all definitely underage and thought that was the best time to go to guarantee entry. Turns out, it really was 95% of the time. Anyway during the taxi ride you’d all drunkenly warble along to the radio that you insisted was turned up and asked Tony the taxi driver if he could come back at 3am to take you home again.

Discussing who would go in first and looked oldest.

“Harriet you need to go in with Daisy because she looks older and you really don’t and Amie you go first because you always get in, we know if you don’t, none of us will either. But don’t wear that top it makes you look fifteen. Great makeup Leanne, you look SO grown up, I’m wearing these hoop earrings, they make me look much more mature. Georgina can I go in with you? And can I have a fag when we get out so we look older?” –

OH THE DISCUSSIONS. There was so much to consider. So much to take into account because nothing would be worse then arriving at those doors and being turned away like the lame-16 year old you were. These days when you’re arrive at the door of a club you eyeball the bouncers as much as possible, practically begging them to ID you – like, dammit Mr bouncer man, I do NOT look my age – QUESTION ME ABOUT IT!!!!

The variety of drinks.

Nowadays it’s a classic G&T or a large glass of red. You’re a grown up y’see and that’s what grown ups drink. But back in the day it was shots of Apple Sourz and a 6 pack of blue WKD. Then in the cluuuuub you’d order either a Malibu & Pineapple or Southern Comfort & Lemonade in a bid to convince the bouncers they’d made the right decision by letting you into that sticky floored shit hole because that’s what anyone over the age of 18 drinks, right? Now you’re much older and wiser you know you would never order these drinks unless a) you are on holiday and a few more juices and spirits were thrown in the mix to make a cocktail or b) you’ve just received a bill for missed council tax payments / been dumped for the 5th time / realised you’ll never own a house  and the only thing you can find in the cupboard to drown you sorrows is that bottle of Malibu you got as a ‘leaving for uni’ gift back in 2006.

Knowing everyone in the club.

Having the choice of just one club had its ups and downs. Downs being…if you get refused entry it’s likely they’ll remember your face for the next few weeks so you basically had to stay in or reinvent yourself by dying your hair. The ups? Well you knew everyone. It was like going to a really cool school disco where you didn’t have to sneak alcohol into the fruit punch you just openly order it at the bar. And it meant that if you ever lost track of the friends you went with you could still head to the dance floor and shake it like a polaroid picture knowing you’d be rubbing shoulders with some other pals who were also at the club. They always say the best nights are all about who you’re with not where you are and that was so true about your early clubbing days. The club was basically a tin shed on an industrial estate but 90% of your friendship circle would be there and you always had so much fun.

The music was so much better.

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I’m not sure the music ACTUALLY was better, it was probably more a case of us being a little less educated on what good music was. Back in then day I couldn’t get enough of the big commercial pop hits. Anything by Britney, The Pussycat Dolls, Rhianna and erm Fat Man Scoop would have me and my pals storming to the dancefloor to drop it like it’s hot. Nowadays when I walk in to a club and hear the likes of Pitbull and Justin Bieber and loads of other stuff I’ve don’t even know, I just can’t seem to get into my groove. It just all sounds a bit rubbish. I mean Pitbull doesn’t even sing…he just says his name and worldwide a lot and then says it in Spanish. Plus he doesn’t have any routines you can try and re-enact…unlike the wonderful Britney. Boy oh boy did she have some routines. You would totally do your best to whack out a routine of hers come 11pm on a Saturday night…on the stage naturally. Oh you and your girls loved the stage.

You wore MEGA heels.

I know I sound really old and lame but I’m so happy that flat shoes are properly in fashion. It means that I no longer have to force my poor abused feet into vicious shoes that leave me feeling like I’ve walked on broken glass for days after. When I was around the age of 16 I developed a serious case of unrequited love from any pair of shoes that had a six inch heel and a platform. I loved wearing them but sadly they hated me and I would always end up carrying them at the end of the night. Much older and wiser now, I honestly pick comfort now over killer heels which reinforces the scary truth that we all eventually turn into our parents.

£25 was more than enough for your night out.

I have no idea how we managed to go out with just £25 in our purses and get paralytic drunk, some cheesy chips from the kebab shop and a taxi home at the end of the night but we did. Oh how nice it would be to have a night out that cheap now.

Hangovers – sorry what were they?

Sad but true, they get so much worse as you get older. When you’re 17/18 it doesn’t matter how much you drink you never will never feel as bad as you do when you’re over 25. What’s more when you’re young you love nothing more then spending all day in bed with mountains of marmite toast and every episode of Friends whereas now that feels like a waste plus white toast is the devil and not something you’re allowed to eat any more but for some reason kale and quinoa just don’t hit the spot on a hangover.

 Remembering the whole night.

I used to be the person that could remember everything. No matter how much I drank I’d be the one telling everyone how funny they’d been the night before and how much of a fool they’d looked doing it. Yeah, that person, that really annoying person who you wish would shut the hell up and stop reminding you of your drunken antics. But oh how the tables have turned because now if I drink over a certain amount it’s goodbye dignity, goodbye memory and that person, the one that reminds everyone of what they did the night before has become my worst nightmare. And what’s worse is that now there is more video and photo evidence than ever before. Fantastic.

Variety was not the spice of life.

Going out when you’re young doesn’t involve a plethora of cool and interesting clubs. It’s basically one because it’s the only one you can get in to. Still you love it and every week you make your way there full of hope at how the night will pan out but really knowing it will be EXACTLY the same as last week. Which is fine by you because you always had the funniest night, the best time dancing, you drank SO much and had the most hilarious stories the next day. That is until you’re actually 18 and go to better and bigger clubs.

Thanks for reading!

Harry x

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