Being the sober one in the club…

Friday night I had my first experience of going to a Drum and Bass night. Having been intodruced to the lovely sounds of Pendulum by one of my freinds a little while ago, and wanting to try going to a club somewhere that played propper dance music instead of the Rock stuff I usually dance to, and happening to know the MC (He was my team leader in Dare To Be Digital), me and my friend Mike found ourselves at Shinobi in one of our favored clubs, Welly.

And it was probably the best club night I’ve had in over a year. Maybe that’s just an effect of upstairs at the Welly (as since Helterskelter moved to being the ante bar and the ballroom instead of the antebar and upstairs it hasn’t been as fun when i’ve been, too much space for the amount of people) but I don’t think the music or the company was anything detrimental.

I came to the conclusion a few Full Metal Jackets ago (Campus rock night, 3 minutes walk from my house so I go to that a fair bit) that as I refuse to take up drinking and drugs, the only way I get to turn off the entire universe right now is through getting on the dance floor and dancing the night away like a complete idiot.

This is relevant, because I think it’s something to add to the big list of things Adrian does as escapism as well. And there are some sections to do with nightclubs in the story, anyway.

So yes, observations about Shinobi, and from the less common perspective of someone entirely sober. Over the course of the night I had like 2 redbulls about probably about 4 pints of water and nothing else. Mike was depressed for various reasons so got himself nicely pissed, and other friends were both drunk and on some other interesting chemicals as well. First time I’ve ever come into contact with drug use other than weed, never seen anything harder than that, so it was interesting. Saw some stuff getting snorted, and something from a vial that was being passed around that reminded me of the smell of that box of rather ancient markers my old graphics teacher gave me on permenant loan. The one that would give me a headache if I left the lid open too long. Slightly sweet, slightly harsh, stong bitter chemical smell that gave me no desire to take a propper dose of it. I don’t know what it was, but reminding me of markers implies solvents and I know better than to fuck around with those. (Haveing paid attention to drugs pamphlets, and also having a mother who is a phorensic scientist on the drugs side of the buisness kinda dampens your desire to play with any of this, and makes you more sceptical because you know some of the shit that goes into this stuff.)

There wasn’t any pressure though, which was nice. At the start of the night Ben proclaimed it would be an awesome idea to get me hammered because he wanted to see what would happen, but I pointed out alchohol tends to just make me feel depressed and annoyed and I’d rather not do that tonight he aggreed I should just get caffineated and bounce about like the rest of the club needs booze to do. That odd little ‘do not dance when sober’ switch is missing in my mind, you see. Maybe it’s because I come from the folk scene… A lot of people dance there when it’s not about looking good or losing yourself or getting carried away by what you’re drinking or have taken, it’s because you’re enjoying the music and the company. I don’t know, that’s besides the point anyway. I didn’t get remotely presured into taking anything I didn’t want to, and also didn’t get spiked. I wasn’t expecting to, I’m careful with my drinks and I can’t see why anyone would want to anyway, but it’s been happening quite a lot in our area recently.

The atmosphere there was a lot friendlier and more encouraging than at the rock nights I’ve been to. Plenty of people were dancing, and there wasn’t the tone of elitism and ‘I’m too holy and up myself to dance to this’ that half the tracks on rock nights trigger. Nothing cleared the floor other than the odd person going to get another drink. The music was pure dancing stuff, wall of sound but with familiar energetic beats spliced through it that meant you always just know how to move to it. It was loud and relentless and, sure, repetitive, but the mixing was fun and gave it a feeling of liveliness, that was added to even more by the two MCs. Hearing the DJs work the decks and the MCs keeping it all together made everything a lot more raw and personal, much more of a performance than rocknights, where it’s like dancing to a jukebox (one with lots of songs picked very well, but still.)

Also, everyone dances with complete abandon, it means you can totally let go and stop caring. It’s pretty dark and there are smoke machines anyway for your anonymity and even if you can be seen nobody minds. The upshot of this is the only concern that was with me was making sure to avoid the dull glowing red ends of people’s cigarettes, because getting burned is profoundly unfun.

Danced near solidly till 3am. Lovely stuff. I’m so doing that again and am all inspired.

Anyway, work to do, so I’m out.


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