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What it’s like to go to your favourite Bristol fresher club nights in second year

It’s not as tragic as you think

As a fresher, “first year doesn’t count!” was my life motto, which is why I tried out every club night possible. I found my favourites – Gravity BED Mondays, SWX Codec, and Motion Brooklyn Zoo, and nights I hated: just Thekla.

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As a second year, I went to **iconic** freshers nights out, and here were my experiences.

Gravity BED Monday

Fresher-me only missed one BED Monday during second term, and only because I was out of the country. I loved BED Mondays. I maxed out BED Mondays because I knew it was a freshers night, and I was right.

In typical fashion, the line took ages and Gravity was at full capacity with freshers. Every move I made involved touching strangers sweaty backs and stepping on someone’s foot.

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Since I left for Jason Donervan’s chips long before lights, I didn’t get to verify whether they still play 80s music at the end of the night. Luckily, I’m going to the upcoming Hugh Hefner BED Monday, so I’ll find out then. As #Bristruth12765 once said, “if you’re a second year and go to Gravity Monday you’re a proper nonce.”

Thekla Thursday

On the other end of the spectrum, Thekla and I have a rough history. As a young fresher, the idea of dancing to Arctic Monkeys on a boat seemed so “Bristol” to me.

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But then came my expectations vs. reality. I tried out Thekla four times during first year, and as my nights out at Thekla increased, so did my hate for overplays of Mr. Brightside and peeling my shoes off the boat floors.

Now that I’ve been as a second year, I can confirm that the scent of aged damp and fresh Jäger still wafts through the air, and I have never lasted more than an hour in Thekla.

Ramshackle Fridays at the O2 Academy

Being a first-year Orchard Heights resident, I had my fair share of “Rams” (as we called it), also known as the UWE and Bristol locals hotspot. Here are my top Rams tips:

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1. Pre properly – Rams is not the place to go sober.

2. Be prepared to walk into a stuffy club dominated by thirsty man-children aggressively dancing against the stage barriers.

3. If you befriend a dude at Rams, he is probably not very wholesome.

Bearing my three top tips in mind, I had my expectations for Rams set. My conclusion is that drum and bass is bearable if you act accordingly with tip no. 1 (pre!). Also, it’s more fun going to Rams when you live literally upstairs.

SWX Codec

I’ve been to SWX twice so far since Freshers' Week. Once for the freshers ABBA night, which reminded me of BED Monday’s ABBA night last spring.
The second time I went was a Codec Saturday, these were my main takeaways:

•Population: Freshers and 40 y/o men
•I used to love the R&B room but this time my friends and I were victim to being shoved by Freshers every two seconds
•Jägerbombs are still served warm at SWX
•The D&B chip van employees are still great. One of them even said to me, “Long time no see!”


This article isn’t all bad news – I can now vouch that Motion is still lots of fun as a second year! I’ve been to Bingo Lingo and Brooklyn Zoo so far and nothing’s changed. You have to arrive early for Bingo Lingo or you will be standing in a corner with your Bingo booklet and complementary marker.

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For every other Motion event, if you pre enough, bring some sunnies, are prepared to be cold all night, and spend £7.50 on a double vodka Red Bull, you will have a fantastic time!