The rise of the Bongo Club, and the Pollock Freshers behind it

From those that call it ‘Bongo’s’ instead of ‘Bongo’

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or you’re the type that swears Gari’s is actually a good night out, you would have heard that the Midnight Bass event on Tuesdays at the Bongo Club has become the go-to night out for freshers living in Pollock this year. To the dismay of many Herriot-Watt and Napier students who have been attending Bongo events prior to this year, it’s evident that the yahs and rahs of Chancellor’s Court and beyond have infiltrated the DnB hotspot, with this not appearing to change anytime soon.

After a gradual rise in popularity through Semester One, it’s now a weekly occurrence to see a mass of Ubers outside Pollock reception at 11:00 on Tuesday nights; murmurings of “it’s on daddy’s card” and “have you got my cigs” can be heard in the midst of buzzing freshers. I mean, who can resist the cheap drinks, free entry before 11:30 and that spacious smoking area? With all these factors combined, it’s no wonder that you’ll actually observe Etonians interacting with Scottish people within the confines of the club.

Ahead of the re-opening of Midnight Bass on the 25th, several Pollock dwellers who regularly attend Tuesdays at Bongo have been asked to provide their perspectives on why Midnight Basses are nights like no other. These eight freshers have shared their favourite memories from their Bongo adventures, as well as why they would rather take a trip to Kincaid’s Court than miss a huge DnB night.

So without further ado, here are some hot takes from some of the most infamous rah girlies to frequent the Bongo Club:

Katherine, Photography

According to Katherine, what makes Tuesday nights at Bongo so good is “the atmosphere, the people, the place, the drinks, and the pulls I get”. When asked what her favourite Midnight Bass memory is, she told The Edinburgh Tab that it was “meeting the girls behind @urfakepollock in the bathrooms”.

Katherine loves the club night so much that she added: “I would never miss a Bongo’s Tuesday… I’d die before missing one”.

Tom, Philosophy and Theology

When asked what was so good about Midnight Bass at the Bongo Club, Tom replies: “Tuesday night at Bongo’s is so good because of the strong support of regulars who come along every week, without fail. Plus, the free entry before 11:30 is always helpful; don’t even need to use promoter codes”.

Whilst the event did not fall on a Tuesday, he stated that his “favourite memory definitely has to be Randomer’s set”. Tom added that “I think the set was on a Tuesday, but I’m not entirely sure. If it wasn’t, then I’d find it hard to choose as I usually only remember small bits, if that”.

And according to Tom, he’d “rather go to Napier than ever miss a Bongo’s Tuesday”.

There’s something so reassuring about the sign

Lizzie, Ecological and Environment Science with Management

Speaking to Lizzie on why she is a passionate advocate for Midnight Bass events, she says that the “smoking area is filled up with everyone who is anyone in Pollock. You are sure to see all the London rah girlies filling each other on gossip from their respective halls over a freshly-rolled blem.

“Also, have to mention the cheap drinks; you absolutely cannot beat the £2 vodka cokes and tequila shots. In the midst of the dance floor, it’s guaranteed that people will be gripping onto the speakers at the front for dear life.”

Her favourite memory “definitely has to be when two of my mates got caught in the toilets causing a bit of a scene, and got kicked out as expected. However, upon successfully sneaking their way back into the club, they spent the rest of the night attempting to evade the bouncers in the smoking area”. Luckily for these two unnamed individuals, Lizzie tells us: “The smoking area is always so packed, so they managed to stay until closing”.

And what would Lizzie rather do than miss a Bongo’s Tuesday? “Sell my organs”. Wouldn’t we all Lizzie x

Ollie, Divinity and Classics

Ollie tells The Edinburgh Tab: “Bongo’s Tuesday is where the apex predators of the Pollock social scene gather. The smoking area is truly where the machinations of our future government whir: public school boys and half zips giving lectures on the etiquette of smoking cigars, and rah girlies pairing 100 per cent cashmere scarves with North Face puffers.

“You will not get better company than these blokes and blokettes; plus, their daddies can hook you up with a job when you inevitably fail first year.”

Ollie, having been a staple at Midnight Bass, recalls his best memory from Tuesdays at Bongo: “My fondest memory of Midnight Bass stems from one of my peers being escorted out of the club after causing an intoxicated ruckus. He was stumbling around like a lunatic, protesting vehemently and incoherently against the bouncer telling him he had to leave.

“An indignant look flashed across my mate’s face, and one could clearly see the glint of insanity in his eye. In a move of sudden sobriety, he started talking back to the bouncer and giving him cheek.

“Needless to say, he was promptly taken out of Bongo’s.”

And apparently, Ollie would “sooner try to convince those chaps that wear tweed to the JMCC bar to vote SNP than miss a Bongo’s Tuesday. And quite frankly, I’d sooner off myself than do either.”

Elliana, English Literature

Speaking about her general thoughts on Bongo, Elliana says “the vibes at a Tuesday night Bongo’s simply cannot be articulated by the strict limitations of the English language. When asked what makes it so good the only explanation I can offer is: flaming heart emoji, horse emoji, breastfeeding emoji, juice box emoji.”

Attempting to recall her favourite moment from Bongo’s, her memory appears to fail: “If I could remember a Midnight Bass event, it would have not been a good night”. Tuesday night Bongo’s means so much to Elliana, that even as a queer woman, she would rather “kiss a man” than miss a Midnight Bass.

Olly, Finance and Business

Olly was adamant that “people are always more up for Bongos than any other night out of the week, which is what makes the atmosphere so much better”. And much like everyone else we spoke to on the topic of Bongos Tuesdays, he was unable to pinpoint a specific highlight of his many Bongo’s trips, stating that “the beauty of Bongo’s is that I can’t actually remember them”.

Having only missed two Bongo’s Tuesdays throughout the entirety of Semester One, Olly said that “short of a wedding or a funeral, there’s not much else I’d miss Bongo’s for.”

Yasmin, Mechanical Engineering

According to Yasmin: “It’s essentially the only routine that a lot of Pollock dwellers have during their week, so they always go full out on Tuesdays. Drinks are a great price and you never have to worry about being trampled on by randoms from Napier since the club is really spacious.

“I’m personally not the biggest fan of DnB, but I’ve yet to have a bad night at Bongos because the smoking area is enough entertainment by itself. It’s like a little Pollock reunion. The bathrooms are also weirdly fun, especially in comparison to other clubs. I couldn’t possibly tell you what everyone gets up to within the parameters of the club, but it’s a great time nonetheless”.

When asked what her favourite memory is from a Bongo outing, Yasmin replies: “Other than experiencing the greatest honour of featuring on @pollockhallschats during their coverage of a Bongo’s Tuesday, it would have to be the times that my friends and I started copying other people’s dancing – specifically dance moves that can only have been the result of being absolutely white girl wasted.”

She adds that “so far we’ve yet to be caught, but we have had people cluelessly joining our circle and copying us too”.

Yasmin then tells us that she’s “ashamed to say that there’s a lot I would do rather than miss a Midnight Bass. Bongo’s Tuesday is probably the only event that can get me to actually do all my work during the day so that I don’t have to stay in”.

Harry, English Literature

Speaking to The Edinburgh Tab all the way from St Lucia, Harry tells us that “for me, Bongo’s Tuesday is that definite one night where I could seriously let loose. Not only is it always much better than a night in Verbier on a good year, but the general atmosphere from the dance floor to the bathroom to the main event (the smoking area) means it’s all just bloody good fun”.

Harry then states: “Bongos has always been a place where I’ve either had a good time, or a great time. I think a time that sticks out was when some premium tequila had got the better of me and I had to do a quick escape from the bar, absolutely chundered everywhere at the bottom of the stairs, and later found out some poor bloke had slipped in it shortly after.

“That along with all the drinks and socialising, it’s always been a cracking event. I’ve rarely had the energy or stability to make it to afters; however, new year, new goals!”

And if Harry is missing a Bongo’s Tuesday, he’s “either not in Scotland, seriously ill, or dead. No excuses my friends”.

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