Recently my proud record of never going into a club was broken. Throughout the twelve years of my adult life I had quite successfully avoided being dragged into one. Then a few weeks ago I was out on a good friend's stag do and the decision was made to go into a club.
The thought of situation filled me with dread almost immediately. First of all I had to dress smart for the occasion. This is something I hate doing for anything I want to do let alone something I have literally no interest in. In my tiny mind a shirt, trouser and shoes are something you wear for work and not fun, but different strokes for different people. I was also amazed by the amount of effort it looked like people made when getting ready. It took me about 2 minutes, mostly because I couldn't find socks - some of the people I saw looked as if they'd been getting ready for this night their entire lives. But again, each to their own, this post isn't really about people's appearances, it's about how we were treated and the general culture I witnessed.
It turns out clubs don't like to let in big groups of males at the same time. Who knew?! I guess this is because the owners are worried about big drunken groups causing trouble. That's fair enough but you would also think some common sense and discretion would be implemented. Of our group of twelve not one person was out of control drunk and to look at us we're clearly a long way from looking like the sort of group that would cause any trouble. Because of this we had to split into separate smaller groups before attempting to get into anywhere which just seemed like a lot of messing around. This would never happen at a punk gig, everyone is welcomed no matter the size of your group. People are judged on their behaviour when then get into the venue and if they act in a way that is deemed inappropriate they are removed. This seems like the right way to be. Judging people on things they've done rather than things they might do. I kind of feel like that the judging people before they go in invites a more negative response from people. Feeling like you're being judged tends to put people in a defensive state of mind. Surely it's better for everyone if people enter any establishment in a more relaxed mood?
This will make me sound really old but when I first got into the club the first thing I thought was "gosh it's loud in here." Like, really stupidly loud. I know that a lot of the gigs I go to aren't exactly quiet but this was ridiculous. To try and talk to the person stood next to me I had to shout in there ear. Forgive me if I'm wrong but aren't clubs supposed to be a social activity? Don't get me wrong, I love a dance and it is quite helpful to have the music on for that but it was just too much and I quickly got quite fed up of having to shout to communicate with anyone. Apparently people like to do this every week? I just don't get it.
Obviously people might not get my love of going to small, sweaty pubs and clubs to see bands that nobody has ever heard of, which I completely get. At the end of the day people enjoy doing different things and it's a case of wherever you feel most comfortable. For me that is definitely at the punk rock show, where the people are polite, the music is good and I don't have to wear "nice clothes."