Motion: why do we all pretend to enjoy it?

The big question

Motion, home of big beats, gurning hordes and sweat that falls like rain.

Although this drab fortress is a low-budget car wash by day, it has a monumental transformation on the weekends into one of the most renowned clubs in England.

Motion, on Avon Street, is a place that every student will visit, whether voluntarily or spurred on by the deep sense of peer pressure so pervasive in university life. Regardless of which, here’s a realistic description of what’s going to happen.

Getting There


For those of you lucky undergrads yet to have embarked on the voyage, you’re in for a treat. This isn’t a quick 16 Bus ride courtesy of UOB, you’re probably going to get a cab.

The only time I have ever taken a bus there was three days ago to get photos for this article. The students who have their fingers tightly pressed on the purse strings have probably fallen on the first hurdle.

The Queue

You have to embrace the line. It can sometimes be long but take advantage of it: there may be people who have pre-emptively ‘prepared’ and are now in the queue chomping viciously on a piece of chewing gum like some deranged camel.

Don’t let that scare you off. Have a chat with them – although, they’ll probably proceed to bombard you with DJ names in a way that sounds like they have been a lifelong fan, but in fact have only learnt about them yesterday after skipping through two of their ‘tunes’ (they always love all their tunes).

In any case, it makes the waiting more bearable.

The Main Room

Right. You’re in. Your legs are weak, aching to get on the dance floor. You and your self-professed ‘squad’ march double time to the main room.

You burst through the doors like some edgy version of the Bullingdon expecting to be blown away by the aesthetics. You’re not.

It’s dark, empty and there’s a damp smell, sort of like off milk. You try to get to the bar, wading your way through hordes of students taking group photos, telling each other how much they love one another for some reason. You finally arrive at the bar, already too sober than you would care to be.

What to drink? Well, in a city renowned for its good beer, you must be spoilt for choice. Again, disappointment as you are presented with either Red Stripe or a cider, whose name I forget.

Red Stripe is the drink for people who used to drink warm Fosters in their boarding school dorm when they were 16, then recently went to Notting Hill Carnival and saw people drinking it, so automatically drink it themselves. Get the cider, it tastes like piss, but at least you’re not being affectatious.

You look around: helpless, disappointed and sober. “Let’s go for a fag.”

Smoking Area

This is the best place to be. For one, you can hear yourself speak and to top it off it’s the only place that isn’t an olfactory nightmare.

But no, you cross eyes with your wide-eyed friend from the queue. You remember, the one who loves tunes.

He comes stumbling over: ‘Oi mate, you got any water?’. You offer him some piss cider but he interrupts you again, ‘ah, you got a fag by any chance?’

With a muted sigh you hand one over. He’s got you now, you might as well give up. ‘Maaate, it’s bare hot in there. Sick that it’s open air though, cos that rain cooled my face right down’.

You laugh at his logic, it isn’t even raining outside so how could it be…. The realisation that this poor bloke has been showering himself with the condensed sweat of other ravers is the cherry on the cake.

You can go home happy.

Getting Home

We’ve skipped some time now, because you’ll inevitably be looking for your ‘team’ for at least half an hour. When you are all reunited you jump in a cab and leave.

You’re actually excited to get into your tiny, depressing room in Stoke Bishop. You sit in the cab in silence, ready to do it all over again next weekend (or in a few days if Just Jack has a night midweek).