So, we went, and marveled at the transformation that had been wrought on the club once (semi)affectionately referred to as Latrino's. It must have been strange experience for the new-comers, seeing people clearly old enough to have been in a club before and not yet old enough to be suffering from Alzheimer's stumbling around casting surprised and confused looks in every direction. Even before they had concussed themselves on the playfully mounted wall speakers or (for the freakishly tall) ceiling beams... First impressions on the revamp:
- You'd think painting it white would have made it look a bit less gloomy. You'd be wrong.
- Is the ceiling higher? Is this just a result of them scraping off years of nicotine and the scalps of over-enthusiastic or over-tall dancers?
- Are the brick pillars dotting the floor the result of stripping them down to their bare essentials, or walling up whatever they found when they did just that?
- Eek! This UV light is strong enough that it looks like I'm seeing though a cloud of mist when I stare past it. Is that my retina evaporating or something?
- And what the hell is this rectangle on my inner arm that only shows up under UV? Is this a remnant from a forgotten gig bearing mute testament to my lax standards of forearm hygiene, or something far more sinister?
- What happened to the quid-a-shot, you-know-it's-working-because-your-throa
- Why is double vodka cheaper with a mixer than without?
- Do they host nights that attract clientele profoundly different to tonight's, or is the inclusion on the drinks menu of a £50 bottle of Cava (not to mention the £150 bottle of Cristal) profoundly optimistic?
- Should I be feeling uneasy at the realisation that the bar is where the toilets used to be?
- Either they've not got a new sound system, or they deliberately bought equipment that sounds like everything is being played through a sock.
Also, I got (more-or-less) chatted up by a girl, for what may be the first time ever (or, if I go by the reports of my friends, just the first time that I've ever actually noticed it happening at the time.) I felt a prod on the arm (I tend to dance with my eyes closed, which may perhaps explain my erstwhile lack of hot indie-kid nightclub action) and turned to see a pretty, skinny youth with glasses and longish, straight dark hair, who delivered the irresistible opening line "I'm bored. What's your name?" Naturally, my first thoughts were "Oh no! How can I help this poor child escape my fearsome personal magnetism without dooming her to a lifetime of heartbreak and regret? For escape she must, or tinyjo will have her eyes for cat toys." Coincidentally, my alcohol-addled mouth had already selected the perfect rejoinder with which to gently lead the conversation to friendly but off-putting territory: "You know, I think I danced to this ['Girls and Boys' by Blur] when I first came here, eight years ago." It was quite dark, and the UV light was glinting off her glasses, but I'm sure that in her eyes I caught surprise that one of my youthful appearance, up-to-the-last-minute-but-one musical knowledge and timeless dancing technique could be so venerable, followed by a gradual disappointed realisation that a chit of a girl such as herself could have nothing to offer one so worldly and jaded as me. Our conversation continued along these lines when she complemented me on my necklace (a old-style drinks-can ring-pull on a chain, which has a tendency to make its way out of my t-shirt when I dance energetically.) "Thank you," I replied, "It's hard to get them nowadays." "Why so?", she enquired, which is how we ascertained that she couldn't actually remember when cans came with them... Nineteen she was; and called Rachel. I doubt I'll see her again.