Review: Clare Cellars
CHLOE MASHITER fights through the effects of Slippery Nipples to review Cambridge’s premier cellar.
Rather than get my laughs at the Velvet Onion comedy night last Friday (note to organisers: using the same comedy/club night name that The Mighty Boosh doesn’t scream original, fresh comedy) I got mine by heading off to Clare Cellars with friends so drunk that I had to convince them it would be more fun than staying and trying to and eat a staircase handrail. And, not surprisingly, I was right.
Firstly, trying to review any event like Clare Cellars is like trying to review an orgy: whether you have a good time or not will chiefly depend on who you’re with, how much alcohol you consume, and even if you loved it, it’s difficult to be sure what others thought and you can’t guarantee that it’ll be everyone’s cup of tea. However, I can say that Clare Cellars is a great option for those who want somewhere to go out on a Friday night without running the risk of being around (shudder) locals.
The Cellars have a different DJ each week and last Friday it was Jaymo and Andy George, a duo playing fresh from a set on Radio One. I’ll admit that I have to battle against a haze of Slippery Nipples (that’s Sambuca and Baileys for those of you not versed in shot cocktails) to remember much of the dance floor, but photographs prove I must have been there and a few things do come to mind. The one song I remember is Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins, in my mind a classic club-night song, so points scored there; however, some have to be docked for the mixing which, although a change from the Cindies all-students-have-ADD-so-let’s-keep-changing-the-song style, sometimes left you with not much to dance to between songs.
As someone who likes my drinks small, strong, and bizarrely flavoured, the shot bar at Clare Cellars always delivers (I know ‘bar’ is a bit generous for a table with some bottles and plastic shot glasses, but that’s not what’s important here). Should the list of options not satisfy, the bar staff are very obliging with requests, such as ‘all the different thingsh you can get into one shot glassh, pleassh’. For those of you who just want a pint, there’s a slightly more substantial bar to cater for your tastes and as you’d hope from a college, the drinks are pretty cheap with most around £1.50.
If it sounds like my alcoholism is inhibiting my fair judgement, I will admit Clare Cellars isn’t perfect: whilst half is like a partying in a medieval dungeon, the other half of the Cellars is pretty soulless. Avoid getting to the dance floor too early, or you risk getting involved in dancing in a circle, a la thirteen-year-olds at a school disco (the antidote to this is to spend the first half of the evening drinking/socialising and only then attempt to dance). I can also confirm that if you start shouting at half one in the morning, when it’s all being packed up, that you want free Gardies in exchange for your ‘help’ with the event, you will be sorely disappointed. However, being a friendly venue with decent music and cheap alcohol, I know I’ll be going to Clare Cellars for many Fridays to come.