‘It’s the same yet marginally less mediocre’
Bristol students were stunned when it was announced local icon Lizard Lounge was to be rebranded as part of a large scale renovation.
So last Thursday night, I went along to the much discussed reopening of our beloved Lizard Lounge… no, sorry, The Lounge Clifton.
The fresh new name, 20s art deco-esque branding and drinks list, gleaming with prices around the £1.50 mark, promised a lit night.
So how did they fare?!
Heading towards the club we were greeted by a very chilly looking guy giving out golden wristbands, allowing us to get in for £3. This is a nice price – good job Lounge. Get to the door, it appears everyone enters for the £3 price regardless of possession of golden wristband. We thought we were special but this is fine as on entry we all receive a very small lollipop – nice touch, sweet.
With no queue, we went straight downstairs, passing the payment bit, and entering the bar/dance floor area. I suddenly felt as though I had travelled back in time, to a place when Lizard Lounge was still Lizard Lounge – an immense sense of de ja vu struck me. I tried really hard to tell exactly what's different but the only disparity I saw is that there are now considerably more bouncer-looking blokes here than before. To me this creates a weird vibe if I'm honest, please don't watch me dance.
I spoke to one of the club's managers to see what they viewed as their big alterations: "New colour scheme", "you wont stick to the floor now", "it's been cleaned" and the "VIP room has been refurbed" (there is a VIP room), were all the responses I got back.
And you'll be glad to know I ensured the all important question was asked, will there be D&B? The answer, "absolutely no D&B, we play music with words."
I was personally not overwhelmed by the changes, painting red walls grey and mopping the floor doesn't to me constitute or justify a grand reopening. However, dedicated to the cause of my investigatory inspection I took to asking a load of random people what they thought.
Some of those interviewed in the ladies lavatory bemoaned the influence of gentrification on the club: "They just tried to make it look a bit prettier didn’t they?" and "Lizard Lounge is a shithole… and we liked that. Now we have to look nice for it and fuck that."
Others grumbled how "the stamp is shit" and how although "it's really not that different, it feels like it's classier but it's lost its edge… we liked it grimier". Overall the reaction appeared to be "it’s been done well but it’s a shame you know because that's why we loved it, for its grottiness."
Moving back into the dancing area I thought I’d see what the guys thought: "You come and you're fucked out of your head and you have a good time, that will never change."
Apparently it "still attracts the same crowd really so the only change is it’s just nicer-ish", because "it's still got that Year 3 disco edge we love."
There was widespread agreement that "it's the same, yet marginally less mediocre", and "it was shit before, it's shit now and it always will be."
Whilst it took until around half 12 for the club to fill up, eventually the place came completely alive and reminded us of the old club.
All in all I'd say The Lounge Clifton is ok. A solid 5/10 because I like the throwback music and the now distinct unstickiness of the floor.
Asked for comment, a Lizard Lounge spokesman reassured The Tab: "The team that worked at Lounge prior to the change still exists. The DJs that the students love still play throughout the week playing everyones favourites: Mr Brightside, Sex on Fire, Baywatch Theme, Stacey’s Mom and all the chart classics from today.
"To show we are not forgetting Lizard Lounge, our Tuesday night next week is an official tribute to the legacy called ‘Lizard Lounge Tuesdays’. The prices on the door have not changed, and red and gold cards are still accepted but being replaced with new ‘Lounge’ cards on entry. The venue is still fun, and the money has been invested to improve the experience."