Pressing my nose against the glass I could barely see through the fug of smoke and hormones. I was outside the local cafe, the hangout for all the cool teens, a shy awkward 13 year old with pigtails and glasses, but I wanted to be inside. I wanted to be part of the fun.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was a regular in that cafe. That's where my teenage social life started. And our town was not a bad place to be a teenager. Apart from the recording studios and the parties, there was a cinema, lots and lots of pubs, festivals, carnivals, shows, youth clubs and for a while a night club of sorts once a week on a Friday night. That was my first night club. Lots of Chic and strobe lights and disco balls and shiny dresses with slits up the sides. It was the same people every week, and I knew most of them. I loved it.
Sadly pressure from local residents closed it down since and many of our other teen hang outs have gone too. Funny how there has been more trouble from teenagers in the years since. Coincidence? I don't think so.
I got to thinking about night clubs after Angel returned from her post exam holiday in Majorca rhapsodizing about this giant night club, where she and ten other friends spent most of their week away.
I also went to a few clubs like this. At one in Manchester I was the only person in the entire place dressed in black. I didn't stay too long.
I was also insanely proud of my Hacienda membership card, as I *may* have mentioned before, but the club wasn't my favourite place to go. Apart from the night I saw a (very short) New Order set there, it was actually a bit dull. In London, friends took me to Heaven and the Camden Palace. But I just found them large and lonely. There was also a night club at the end of my road in East london - the Shannon - but perhaps the less said about that the better!
Once I married and moved to Dublin going to nightclubs seemed a bit pointless. But I do remember the Cathedral Club with affection - complete with a crucifix - or was it a dragon? - overlooking the dancefloor, which seemed very daring in late 1980s Catholic Ireland. Now I am single again I have been persuaded to visit the odd night club...I've had a good laugh with my friends, but without the fuzzy rose-tint of smoke, short sight and lots of alcohol, they just look a bit sad...
I still like the idea of clubs where I know people, so it can take an hour to walk around chatting and dancing and making new friends. And if they play the music I like, even better. So my favourite nightclub was that well-loved but off-beat Manchester, institution, the Cyprus Tavern . It was somewhere I could walk in alone, wear black, find friends, dance myself stupid and get my dinner - they had a late licence for serving chips...Happy days :)