Dim Lights and Cambridge Nights

LVJ condemns Cambridge nightlife.

Ballare Cambridge Cindies Clare Cellars Clubbing Life Revs Sheffield SoulTree Tequila The Place the tab VKs

Being now a very grown up and responsible second year, last night I braved Life for the first time this term and my God have I been away a long time. Sweaty doesn’t begin to cover it. Hit by a wave of B.O. upon entering, we forced our way through the mass of students dressed in various forms of animal hair and/or face paint before being hit by some very strange form of cold-air-blaster gun that a guy in the corner repeatedly fired into the crowd during the night to repeated shrill shrieks as it hit the girls where it hurt (their hair). So far, so weird. The music was all-you-can-handle cheese, with each song being played for no more than a few beats before the next insta-hit from Now83 had its moment of glory. Not that you could really dance anyway, more shuffle and elbow the people either sides of you for more space. Being wise old folk now, we headed straight for the bar to pay over £5 for 2 shots of tequila (lemon instead of lime and no salt, sorry). Add to this the £4 entry and £1.50 for the cloakroom and you haven’t got as cheap a night as the grimy and cramped surroundings would suggest, which made me wonder- why do we bother? It is a truth universally acknowledged that clubbing in Cambridge is, to be blunt, shit. Laughably so for a university town where no matter how much they push various access schemes, a hell of a lot of students hail from the dizzying heights of London in all its glory.

In most places Revs is a bar. Here it’s one of the better clubs. We rely on college ‘ents’ and the occasional ‘bop’ both of which, although fun – I’m not saying they’re not fun – are over by half twelve. Clare Cellars is one of the more well known ents, but the bar closes at 11. My friends in Sheffield start pre-lashing then. It isn’t just because its Cambridge and academic work subsumes our social lives. We students are being deprived of decent nights out in actual clubs that aren’t just glorified bars with the humidity levels of the Amazon. Just because we choose to go to Oxbridge doesn’t mean we don’t like to go out. We do; more than that, we need the stress relief that comes from it, even if we’ve got 4 hours of lectures the next day.

Don’t despair though: there is hope. As I glanced around the sweat pit of The Place (that’s Life to us. Apparently we don’t call clubs by their real names here. Ballare anyone?), I noticed that no one seemed quite focussed. There was a lot of stumbling, a lot of blank faces, a lot of couples making out. The answer it appears, is alcohol. The majority of the people out that night were utterly and completely wankered. Not a clue what was going on. Post-formal, post-swap or just post- a good pre-lash, 90% of the clubbers were absolutely mortal. And loving it. Cambridge is work hard, play hard, and with pennying going on daily in a formal near you it’s no wonder we’re drunk and disorderly. Now I’m not being a spoilsport here, but is it fair that we live in a town where you have to be a bottle of wine down (ok, two to three glasses for us lightweights) to enjoy a night out? We work so hard during the day that at night, we need somewhere decent to let off steam. So ‘Ballare’, Revs, SoulTree, all of you – sort your life out.