Debate: Is Cambridge Nightlife Dead?
NICK CORDINGLY and EVIE PRICHARD debate whether the Cambridge club scene is live and kicking or a bit of a snooze.
With the recent closure of Kambar and the uncertain future of Fez it seems Cambridge nightlife is weakening by the day. But is it really in terminal decline or will the student spirit prevail?
NICK CORDINGLY argues it is too late to save our club scene.
Cambridge nightlife is dead. The recent and imminent closures of Kambar and Fez are just the final nail in the coffin of Cambridge nightlife, which was never really that alive in the first place.
For, no matter your opinion of the ever-so-alternative characters who frequented Kambar, at least it was a bit different from your average club. Fez too, even with the tackiness of its pseudo-Middle Eastern décor provides something a little quirkier than your usual club. The loss of both of them removes from Cambridge nightlife its one selling point – character.
And what about Life and Cindies? Yes, they provide you with your basic a night out, but even the most devoted acolytes of these two clubs must admit they are hardly special. They are soulless, generic places, pumping out the same awful cheesy music every week. The fact that it’s a truth universally acknowledged that in order to have a good time at Life or Cindies have to be completely smashed is, let’s be honest, rather damning.
And what else do we have? Vodka Revolutions and Lola Los, both chains, both containing nothing individual. And the less said about Hidden Rooms the better.
Frankly, the way you really know how lifeless Cambridge nightlife is is to talk to any other student at any other university in the
country. Try to defend our sorry excuse for clubbing to friends in London or Manchester or Birmingham and you will be
laughed out of the room. Even my ‘friends’ (and I use the word advisedly) at the Other Place seem to have a much better time of it than us lot.
Frankly, Cambridge is a small city that just doesn’t boast a townie crowd big enough for it to have a proper club scene. I think it says a lot that, while other universities are able to get Annie Mac or Zane Lowe to play at their Freshers’ Weeks, the best celebrity DJs we’re able to get is Arg from TOWIE. Our nightlife is dead, and I’m not sure it’s worth resuscitating.
Night of your life?
EVIE PRICHARD won’t stop believing in Cambridge nightlife.
Excuse me if this is a short one: it’s 10pm and I have to start pre-drinking for Clare Ents extremely soon. It’ll be sweaty and loud and I’ll have to leave at 12.30 because the porters are getting antsy, but it’ll also be full of people whose company is one of the best things in my life.
Perhaps that makes it sound like my life’s empty. Maybe it is. But I honestly can’t think of anything of more value to me than being around fun, interesting people 24/7. That’s why I came to Cambridge, and it’s why I prefer Cambridge nightlife to anywhere else on earth. Sure, Ibiza has clubs with a 100,000 man capacity, but how many of those people would I know and like? How many would I have hilarious, deep or intimately gossipy conversations with in the smoking area? In a club as big as a city there is little room for community.
It’s because our nightlife is so restricted that this is possible. We have one or two club options every night, and I wouldn’t wish for more. We head out knowing that everyone else we enjoy is in the same place. We can move from group to group, bumping into random acquaintances and different circles of friends every time we push through the crowd, and being introduced to new people every time.
I’m the first to admit that from an outside perspective our nightlife is rubbish. Our clubs are cheesy in both senses. They’re sweaty and dingy and sticky and absolutely grim. We don’t even have Kambar to raise the tone.
But when you think about it, there’s really nothing less social than going to a club full of strangers. You dance in a tight knot, consider pulling someone random and then go home. I’ll take Cindies’ ceiling sweat over that any day.
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