To Klute or not to Klute

WILLIAM SUMMERLIN asks the important question

drunk durham klute students

Klute really does get a rather bad rap. Just mentioning the K-word as a possible night out destination to many students facilitates a rolling of eyes and a look of disgust as if you’d just asked them to tickle your testicles.

This may well be understandable. Indeed, the infamous fact that, in a certain gentleman’s publication, Klute was once rated as the second worse night club in Europe (later to be ‘promoted’ to first place after its Finnish counterpart burnt down) would seem to vindicate this position. Sure, nowadays it no longer breaks the health and safety codes it did in the 80s. For example, revellers no longer stick their tongues out to catch water dripping from the dance floor ceiling (only to subsequently find out that it was raw sewage that had ejected itself from a burst pipe), but to call Durham’s most famous nightclub anything other than a den would be ambitious.

Klute’s idea of a revamp is to change the hypnotic rugby video that plays on a loop all night from England vs Scotland 1973 to England vs Scotland 1974. Sweat drips from the walls and while that is certainly an upgrade from faeces it’s hardly a unique selling point for the place. The drinks are execrable and possibly overpriced, the dancefloor would contravene all human rights laws if people didn’t willingly throw themselves onto it and when it comes to kicking out time it is no longer an option to sample the delicacies of one armed Jayne as she has mysteriously vanished.

Then why, given free licence, would I choose Klute over anywhere else? Well for one the competition is hardly stiff. In fairness I’ve always enjoyed Studio for its bizarre sense of triple decker theatre and the moral dubiousness of its drink prices (indeed, I imagine Studio can take a large amount of credit for many an unplanned trip to Boots by female students) but I see Studio as more of a ‘banker’ of a club where I’m guaranteed, not to enjoy myself, but perhaps where I’m guaranteed to not not enjoy myself.

This cannot be said for Loveshack. The utter soullessness of this barely glorified aircraft hanger is staggering. One really must applaud Absolute Life (the organisers of Loveshack Wednesdays) for their midweek hegemony as they really have pulled off the impossible in managing to polish the proverbial turd. I find myself having to intoxicate myself so thoroughly in ‘the shack’ that I wake up with little memory, thankful that my bottom doesn’t hurt and therefore that the worst hasn’t happened…

People I’ve expressed this opinion to often reply that Loveshack is great ‘if you go with the right people’ but I find this the most ridiculous justification imaginable, as a Turkish prison would be bearable if I shared a cell with Scarlett Johannson. No, Loveshack is truly despicable, in no small part because the people that frequent it on a Wednesday night are often the people that make you wonder what the point of university, or living, is. Picture the scene: a girl gets dressed up in a slutty santa outfit for the Collingwood Christmas tiddlywinks social, downs a bottle of vodka, goes to Loveshack, cries (because unsurprisingly the ‘fat-rolling-over-the-sides-of-the-ill-fitting-dress’ look isn’t a hit with the boys), bores the pants off someone while eyeliner streams down her blotchy orange face, buys some cheesy chips on the solo stagger home, vomits said chips on a war memorial and then does it all over again a week later, only after professing to her dullard peers that she’d ‘never drink again’.

Faced with this, Klute is basically like the doctor that worked in the neighbouring town to Harold Shipman; As long as it doesn’t kill anyone (which isn’t a given by any stretch) it’s pretty much guaranteed success.