I can’t help but love The Pink Toothbrush

Despite its flaws, it’s the best club in the world

Shite Club

I will always remember the first time I went to Brush: it completely changed my whole outlook on nights out and showed me that you don’t have to spend stupid amounts of money to have a good time.

It was a strange feeling to walk into the long hallway for the first time. It didn’t feel like I was about to go clubbing at all – more like I was walking into my local community centre.

I paid the three pound entry fee and waited while my mates paid, giving me some time to properly take in my surroundings. Why the fuck were there skateboards on the wall? Why was everyone drinking strongbow out of a can? What was that smell?

I was expecting it to be different to the clubs I had been to but this felt like I was intruding on some weird house party. I kind of wanted to leave, but as we’d paid we thought we might as well go in.

As we walked further down the hallway and the sounds of Rage Against The Machine got louder, I was quite intimidated. The clubs I had been to only played Pitbull remixes – this couldn’t be real.

The first thing I noticed when I got into the main club wasn’t the fact that there were two cages with poles in, nor the fact that Rage Against The Machine had now changed into an Arctic Monkeys banger – the only thing that caught my eye was the fact I was standing on a carpet. There was an actual carpet in here. Surely that shouldn’t be allowed?

There was nothing I could do about it. I wasn’t about to go up to the DJ and start asking about the floor design choices – maybe I was being pretentious. No-one else had mentioned it and everyone had already got their first drink, I was probably just far too sober.

Fast forward an hour and I am having the time of my life, I’m about four drinks down and I have heard so many good songs I was already shattered from dancing. I couldn’t actually believe I even doubted this place, the smell had disappeared and I forgot my previous ordeal with the carpet – I was far too busy drinking Strongbow out of a can and dancing like a freak to Gorillaz.

Everyone got absolutely slaughtered and we stayed until the lights came on. That never happens – after about an hour of clubbing everyone is usually bored or out of money. It only occurred to us when we left our new favourite club that we had spent just under six hours in there.

The Pink Toothbrush has a very rich history. It was first created back in 1976 and since then it has undergone a variety of different changes and rebranding – but the motive has always stayed the same, remaining faithful to the alternative.

In 1979 it was named “Crocs” and it is said that they actually had to live crocodiles as pets. It wasn’t until 1984 that the club was rebranded to the name I know today, The Pink Toothbrush.

It came with a revamped look but the main difference was that the crocodiles were relocated to a new home at Colchester Zoo – this is where they found out they had been alligators the whole time.

Fast forward thirty years past countless different music scenes and breakthrough acts – The Pink Toothbrush is still going strong, staying faithful to the alternative.

The Pink Toothbrush has a place in my heart that will never be filled by any other alternative club. I have now been in this intimate relationship with The Brush for about two years and we’re still going strong.

I see her every weekend when I am back from University – usually Friday and Saturday, and even when we spend some time apart, it’s always exactly the same when I come back.

There are loads of people who don’t understand mine and her relationship. They normally tell me that I could do better – apparently there are other clubs in my area that don’t stink and have sticky floors.

No-one ever understands, though. Relationships aren’t what you see in the films – it’s all about compromise and loving someone for who they are, flaws and all.

I would never say that The Pink Toothbrush is the best club ever because that would be a complete lie. In some respects it’s an absolute shithole – but it’s my shithole, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Brought to you as part of our Shite Club series – if you’d like to represent your tragic hometown club, email [email protected]