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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Rock clubs

The bus to work is again, kicking face in with ideas for posts. Today I was sat in front of two greebos who were bemoaning the lack of a Brighton 'Alternative club'... Grow up.

Rock/Metal/Indie/Alternative clubs (whatever you want to call them) fucking suck for the following reasons.

SHIT VENUES. Living in a few different cities and travelling about on tour a little bit has meant I've been to quite a few of these hell holes (I fucking dread promoters saying 'Oh guys, after the gig, this place turns into a club night if you wanna come?!'). And in my experience they are almost always in shit holes. I'm sure there are reasons for this, maybe the owners want to enhance the 'goth' look of the place so don't clean it, or maybe it's doing such bad business that they can't AFFORD to clean it. Either way, I can't think of a worse place to spend my Saturday night.

Let's take for example The Basement in Leeds (later called Subculture). Now, I know some of you're friends might have worked there, some of my friends did too. But NO-ONE can seriously say that the place was not a fucking disgusting shit hole. If you order a drink and have to peel your feet off the floor to walk away from the bar; Shit hole. If as soon as you walk into a place you're hit with a smell of hot piss, sweat and despair; Shit hole. If instead of cleaning the toilet walls, the owners just glue more and more comic book pages over the stains; SHIT HOLE. Why would people want to spend their evenings in these places?!

TOO LOUD. Oh look, there's Stu 'Stu! Do you want a drink?'
I realise this is going to make me sound old, but these places are too fucking loud. There is no fucking way you can talk to each other properly. Everyone is always hunched over desperately trying to hear what their friends are saying, or just miming 'drink?' to each other across the bar. The whole things looks like a game of charades at Christmas. When I ask people in there 20's why they still go to these places a common thing they say is 'To see my friends' OK fine, but you must literally mean SEE your friends, you can't talk to them. There is no fucking way you can hold any sort of conversation with each other. If you really cared about seeing people, go to a bar, have them over to yours, go for a meal... All you're doing is standing around in a smelly shit hole, looking dumbly at your friends waiting for the 'DJ' to play something you know...

IRONY HOUR. This happens in 90% of the 'alternative' nights I've been to. At some point in the night (usually between 12 and 1am) the DJ will divert from the play list and start playing some sort of pop/dance/hip hop/80's medley... Fuck off.

'Hey! Hey everyone, you know we all like punk right? And you know this is a punk night? But, like, we don't JUST like Punk do we? No! Cause that's narrow minded! Everyone thinks we just come here to listen to Punk stuff, but we don't! We're SO unconformist, we aren't even conforming to our own rules!! EVERYONE! CHECK IT OUT! I OWN CD'S THAT DIDN'T COME OUT ON FAT WRECK! LOOK! I'M GOING TO PLAY THEM!!! READY?'

And the DJ plays All the Single Ladies by Beyonce. Cue all sorts of whacky dancing from everyone in the room. Follow that up with some Gaga, or something equally groundbreaking. But, hey kids, this cool DJ doesn't just like Pop, here's some Hip Hop! Cue 99 problems, Gravel Pit and Low. But then, EVEN COOLER, FUCK, LET'S PLAY JOURNEY. YEAHHH 80'S POWER BALLADS!!!! Am I the only person that finds this a fucking pretentious, or am I 'missing the point'? Is, by playing these same few songs week after week, the DJ opening our minds to new possibilities? Or is it just a chance for the posers to show that, even though they're at a punk night, they don't JUST like punk? Which leads me onto my next point.

ANTHEMS. Have you ever been to a Punk club night that HASN'T played one of the following? Through Being Cool or At Your Funeral by Saves the Day, Hit or Miss by New Found Glory, Mutiny by Set Your Goals, Buddy Holly by Weezer, No Cigar by Millencolin, Misery Business by Paramore, Dammit by Blink 182 or Red Letter Day by Get up Kids? No? How about a general rock night that hasn't played Screamager, or New Noise? No? Exactly. these songs are fucking ingrained in my head now, I don't need to hear them again, especially not month after month after month... FUCKING HELL. I went to my friends last club night a year or so ago and for the first hour Paul Reid (PaulReid) played Panic, Attack! Vipers!, Scraps, The Steal, loads of good stuff. But as soon as people came through the door he had to revert back to the same music as the previous months. People don't want to hear new things. They WANT to hear '40 Hour Train Back to Penn' for the hundredth time. What the fuck is wrong with people? It's like groundhog day.

SAME PEOPLE. As well as hearing the same songs every time you go, your eyes are also in for a treat. Remember those people who were here last time? Well they're here again. Swindon only had one 'alternative' club and it was frequented week in, week out by the same people. Over and over. Drinks at the Savoy, quick one in the Rolly and into Level Three to stand around with everyone else until they played One Armed Scissor and I could dance with Sadee. What a waste of a life. The same guys would sleaze over the same girls, until eventually two of them would go home together. The girl he hooked up with last week would find out and cry because she thought they had 'something special'. Her friends would comfort her and tell her 'He's not worth it'. They'd all have a dance, she'd go home with someone else and eventually everyone has slept with everyone and everyone falls out. Eurgh...

THE CLICK. The Click are those sets of people who go to these things like it's a religious activity. The sort of people whose month revolves around them turning it into an event. Almost every club night has them, I'm not singling ANYONE out. Each to there own, whatever. If general rock groundhog day sounds like fun to you, go for it. But what I hate is when one of the people in The Click asks you if you're coming and you say no, you're in a world of shit. 'Oh my god, why don't you like it?! It's so good! It's not like all the other nights, honestly! *** plays really good stuff, everyone there's really friendly, it's just mates getting together and having a really fun time...' I'm alright thanks, I'd rather just sit at home with Lydia and watch Match of The Day. I find it hard to believe that a dance club would build up such a close knit group of people who take a word against their favourite club night as heresy. It's just fucking weird.

I realise this has all made me sound very old and miserable. But I'm nearly 26, I don't want to spend my free evenings in shit holes, surrounded by fuckwits, drinking watered down beer listening to 'Killing in the Name'. I'm sorry, but that is my idea of hell.


  1. Whilst I don't disagree with you only a couple of years ago you regularly frequented said shit holes; and out of choice not just because it was tour and you had to. Should they therefore not hold a special place in your heart that can still identify with "Young Pete" and the ideals he once held?

  2. Laura, i used to like a lot of things, but then i lost faith in the world and everything in it. Now i would rather self harm then go to a rock club

  3. http://www.nightofthelivingadge.com/

    My friend used to run a blog documenting The Agincourt in Guildford, & most of his band's early songs are about this place.

  4. You missed an important point, and that's 90% of the people who go to these nights claiming they love music don't actually bother to go out to shows or support real music. You ever tried flyering outside one of these places?

    "You look like the sort of person who'd enjoy Rinoa"
    You're wearing a BFMV tee, you must be into metal"
    "Nah not interested"

    "You might like Tesseract, they're techy and djent"
    "Don't like Metalcore or gay metal like Meshugghah"

    Not to mention the grief or disgusting looks you get flyering as if you;re trying to hand out literal dogshit to people. I'm not randomly trying to sell you double glazing or accident claims on a hunch and laws of averages, I am flyering live "rock" music out side a "rock" club. OPEN YOUR FUCKING HORIZONS.

  5. ^^ Rinoa was always a hard sell, even to people who liked thigns liek Envy. madness.

    anyway, how did i no know you when i lived in brighton, i pretty much agree with everything you've said,


  6. holyfuck you're 26?! what a grumpy old bag. fucking act your age and stop moaning about people having a good time! =]

    also... rock 'club' - it's in the name. full of enthusiasts, everyone knows everyone, isn't that the point?

    better than going to a bar that plays popular music where you're gonna hook up with some random and not be able to walk around let alone dance because there are so many people crammed in there and you don't know a single one of them...

  7. You've just sort of proven Pete's point by defending "rock clubs" like you have somehow been offended by what you've read. It's funny how people take criticism of alternative night clubs as a personal attack!
    Being 26 means that we've had to endure these terrible nights for over a decade, and have had enough of the horribly repetitive formulas that constitute a "rock night".
    P.S. These cliquey "enthiusiasts" are exactly the type of cretins that make these nights unbearable. They fill these shithole venues every week to dance to exactly the same crap they were dancing to the previous week, and are seemingly happy to live their lives on an endless loop.....PATHETIC

  8. Rock 'Club' ??
    What are you some sort of fucking Lost Boy who think by going to a hit hole and listening to Damnit every week you won't get old?
    Grow up you fucking dirt box.