What to expect on a night out at Cab Vol

It’s very smokey


Cabaret Voltaire – or ‘Cab Vol’ – is a one of the many night-clubs that reside within Cowgate. It is a mecca for edgy students, gurn enthusiasts and girls in high heels and a pelmet.

For those of you out there that have not experienced the wonders of Cab Vol here is a basic outline of what to expect:

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Everything will be ok

You enter the queue which is surprisingly long, yet fast moving. People quickly shuffle along and enter the warren of which is Cab Vol. Once you’ve completed the usual ID checks you may be searched for drugs (an early indication of what to expect). Once you have jumped that hurdle you have to pay between £6-£10 and descend into the smokey darkness.

You’ll then be assaulted by the heat that the overcrowded club generates and the thud of music. This is where the real fun starts. New comers tend to get terribly lost; who would have thought that there was a need for a cinema room and a swing in a club? There are many corridors, rooms and activities that are fun for all.

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There are so many activities – pac man?

One of the things that Cab Vol is famed for is their music. As previously stated it is a mecca for house/dance music enthusiasts (please excuse my lack of knowledge of dance music terms).

The Music

As a regular patron of Cab Vol I’ve come to conclusion that I actually don’t appreciate house music as much as my peers do. So I like to hang-out in the side room; where they play Jackson 5 and Justin Timberlake. I mean, who doesn’t love a sing-a-long? However, for the more serious music lovers, there is multitude of rooms, DJs and events to enjoy. Just make sure that you are with people who have the same appreciation for music as you do. Otherwise all you will hear for the whole evening is “this music is boring, can we go to Hive?”.

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After acclimatising to all of this you then encounter the weird and wonderful patrons of Cab Vol. Here are the general clientele that you should expect to encounter:

Edgy People

The boys will be wearing caps and baggy sports jumpers (despite never having played a minute of sport in their life). The girls will be wearing a Calvin Klein bra, jeans, and very little else. If they are clutching a red-stripe then the whole look is complete.

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You wish you could look this cool

The general trend for the edgy’s is that they all look like they need a good shower. They’ll attempt to light up on the dance-floor because they can’t go for more than 5 minutes without a ciggy and their dance moves will leave something to be desired.

Gurn Kings/Queens

Cab Vol is a mecca for those who love smashing some mandy on a Tuesday evening. For those who appreciate deep house music and having a slightly sore jaw the next morning then this is the place for you.

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People who went because trip advisor told them to

The club itself is a warren of rooms, activities and different types of music. Which means that whilst it’s main focus is house and techno music there is a little bit of everything for everyone. Because of this, you get people who have come to Edinburgh for a fun gals/lads trip and have found Cab Vol on Trip Advisor and think that this is the place where all their dreams will come true. Oh how wrong they were. They wear heels and suits – basically everything that Cab Vol will ruin. The sweat will ruin the suits and the heels will cause broken ankles. Please don’t be these people.

I think you're a bit lost mate

I think you’re a bit lost mate

Photo credits: Hectors House/Ben Glasgow: BGM Scotland, FLY Club/David Wilkinson: Empirical