SUSU NIGHTLIFE: The Tab's Verdict

Bret Ware gives his opinion on SUSU’s relaunched Nightlife at The Cube

The revamped and packed out dancefloor

We all recall the state of SUSU’s noted club night, Twisted, after the first month of great business. By late November, the freshers had discovered the collection of absolute dives Portswood has to offer, supplanting cheap doubles and overplayed Smells like Teen Spirit remixes at the Cube with Jesticles and the Baywatch song.

There has always been something mysteriously inspiring about taking one’s shirt off to the soundtrack of a programme that nobody of our generation has ever actually watched, a sweaty ritual Twisted simply couldn’t match. At the Cube, business halted at an embarrassing standstill.

It’s been a similar story for Twisted and the Cube’s other weekly events ever since its inception a couple of years back. SUSU finally realised after a dismal first few months this term that something was amiss – a problem that was going to take more than just omitting Wonderwall from its DJ set. A night out at the Cube had become uncool. Fancy that.

Hence the long-awaited unveiling of Nightlife, SUSU’s incredible overhaul of the Friday clubbing experience Twisted always should have been.

Having premiered yesterday night, a few of Soton Tab’s most daring investigative journalists found the time to sneak in with the rest of those queuing, our standard printed tickets to hand and a hidden agenda on our minds.

Despite all the cynicism and moody looks we could muster, we couldn’t help ourselves having a bloody good time. It really wasn’t long before we shirked the overcoats and notepads in favour of the new bar on the dancefloor.

Familiar problems arose; the attendance levels were astronomical. Tightly packed fresher sardines were glued to the bar and the incessant jostling left me with more than a few doubles poured over my shirt. My qualms with the general throes of too many people in an indoor space were quickly calmed, however, when I entered the overhauled dancefloor.

A shots bar on the dancefloor is a brilliant idea

I was genuinely surprised. The elevated dance platforms, extended bar and awesome touchscreen mix deck complemented by incredible lighting made me wonder why I spend so much time in Jesters. I felt like I was on a night out in Zante, far flung from the Cube’s former aesthetic akin to a cavernous warehouse. The coolest clubs in Soton just don’t look this good.

It’s not a hard title to hold, given our fairly pathetic collection of dingy clubs, but Nightlife had a real atmosphere about it – the kind of buzz that Mediterranean nightclubs manage to incite in their crowds.

And while the three DJs still managed to crack out another crap Smells like Teen Spirit remix – yes, I have a massive bent against that sort of tripe – the music was vastly improved with some classic tunes interspersed among a rather impressive list of rave-heavy songs, ending on Mr Brightside, a familiar high note from Jesters.

Concerns rest on whether Nightlife can keep up the throngs of people its premiere night managed to haul in; while numbers will inevitably die down, keeping them up to an acceptable number to make that overhaul worth it is going to be a challenge for the Cube. When people report a club as empty, less people will go.

It’s insult to injury, and I hope that doesn’t happen to Nightlife because the effort they have put in to give us a sweet clubbing experience at uni does not deserve to go to waste. Nirvana remixes aside, I had a stonkingly good night out – better than I’ve had at Jesters, Sobar or Dungeon for a very long time.

You can count on me attending next week’s Nightlife, and you’d better be there, Tabbers, because you really need to see it for yourself.