Image may contain: Music, Leisure Activities, Person, People, Human

How Newcastle’s night life has changed over the past five years

An ode to Newcastle’s night life

As I stood in Feral last Friday casually two-stepping to the classic transition between Earth, Wind and Fire’s ‘September’ and Estelle’s ‘American Boy’ I realised, with some degree of horror, that I had been going to the same club night for five years. When I first started going to Feral five years ago it was based in The Den, which was below what is now Central, a pizza restaurant, opposite the station. This was my favourite location for Feral as The Den’s dingy underground dance floor and ceramic tiled house room, ‘The Kitchen’, provided the location for some of funniest nights in my first year. It has never felt the same in Think Tank or god forbid its brief stint at Riverside.

Image may contain: Night Life, Night Club, Club, Person, People, Human

You’re probably thinking, five years, I must be a medic but alas the only similarities between me and a medic is similar amounts of mounting debt. The difference being that they have a job lined up after uni. In fact, after a year and a half I switched courses from Fine Art, and after half a year mainly spent watching Mulan, I am finally in my final year doing English and History, but enough about me.

Image may contain: Dance Pose, Dance, Music, Leisure Activities, Night Life, Night Club, Club, Person, People, Human

One impactful change on the Toon’s night life scene since I began uni has been the ever fun and crowded Soho Rooms. When I began five years ago Soho Rooms 1. wasn’t very popular 2. was more like a club night with entry and 3. actually did three trebles for a fiver in all its glory. In first year we chose a different treble path. Our pre bars of choice were Sam Jacks, were you could ride a mechanical bull for free and Sinners, that fateful den of debauchery, with an occasional dip into Mimos.

Swingers also wasn’t around. One night I remember stumbling down Grey’s Street on my way to Jungle at House of Smith to be met with a line of promoters trying to persuade us to come to Swingers. This now seems preposterous that Swingers would have even needed promoters because its always so rammed. In our slightly intoxicated state we announced the night as a vulgar strip club and carried on our way. Returning a few weeks later, when we had heard tell of a mysterious outdoor dance floor, our opinions were changed for the better. That was the Golden Age of Swingers. It was still a novelty, you could actually move and not feel like a sardine.

Image may contain: Night Life, Night Club, Club, Person, People, Human

While in my third (fifth) year my night outs are increasingly becoming once in a blue moon, I still very fondly regard Newcastle’s famous night life and its evolution throughout the years but often miss that mechanical bull. After the intoduction of Soho and Swingers, this evolution has been a postive one and only adds to a roster of already great nights out in the Toon.

Photo credit: Aaron Shaquille Carlton (Swingers and Feral), Chris Gray Photography (Soho)