The inevitable stages of every girls’ night out in the North
We are all exactly the same
Welcome to Preston, a place where the sun never shines and the pints are as cheap as your bus fare. Nights out are an essential part of life at UCLan (the University of Central Lancashire). When you’re living in the rainiest city in England, what else are you supposed to do?
Uni is out for the day and there’s only one way to celebrate making it through that devastating 9-5pm. It’s time to stick on Spotify, grab your portable speakers and crack open some cheap booze: you’re hitting P-town tonight.
After the local offy, you begin tearing apart your wardrobe, turning it into a floordrobe, as you desperately search for something, anything, to wear. Eventually, you decide on the same outfit you wear every week. You tell yourself no one will notice because you haven’t been photographed in it yet, so it’ll be fine.
Getting ready for the night ahead is a series of painting your face and burning your hair with styling tools. In an hour or two your makeup will have disappeared and the definite rain will turn your hair into a tangled mess, but it’s still worth it, right?
Preston is not a place for flat shoes, we don’t do Nike Air Max’s here. If your shoes don’t have at least four inches of heel on the back of them, you might as well stay home. And if the weather outside is cold and miserable, don’t even think about putting on a coat. Northern girls do not wear coats on a night out. It’s the most sacred rule there is here.
After slapping on the fake tan to cover up your hopelessly pale skin from the lack of sunlight and dousing yourself in your favourite scent, you’re ready for a “mad one” with the gals.
We can’t possibly afford to buy drinks at the club, it’s hard enough to pay the entry fee. The only solution to your money woes is to get as pissed as you can before you leave, bearing in mind that making it to the club before 12 is essential to get that discounted entry at your local Lava, Liquid, or as we like to call ours here in Preston: Evoque.
The best way to get as drunk as possible, as quickly is possible, is a drinking game. Northern girls don’t waste our precious and severely limited money on sourcing elderflower infused gin and brand name spirits. The only thing that flows freely up North is Glen’s vodka and Lambrini as everyone gathers around a circle of cards, preparing themselves for another round of Ring of Fire.
As the drinking games come to an end, the iPhones come out in full force and everyone suddenly turns into a model. If you only take one photo on a night out, it has to be the classic line up picture. You can’t leave without having at least one of these safely stored in your camera roll. Remember: bend your leg.
Cue a five minute argument about who gets to go on what side for the group shots. But it’s all worth it because tomorrow, one of these will be your new profile picture. One of your lad mates will get roped into playing the part of the photographer as you and your friends line up, hands on hips, pouting for Lancashire.
The wait for the taxi
Uber does not exist up here, you call a taxi or a minibus and that’s that. Usually, despite it being ordered for quarter to, it turns up at half past, threatening to ruin your well rehearsed night out routine. But the driver can wait, your pre-drinks are so fun that you never want to leave them.
And then there’s your Southern lightweight mate who can’t handle her drink still stuck on the sofa. She needs to sober up if you have any chance in hell at making it past the bouncers anyway. It’s a shame not everyone can drink quite like a Northern lass can. But all is not lost, those last drops at the bottom of the bottle of Glen’s Vodka never were going to drink themselves – and we don’t waste alcohol up here.
This is also the perfect time to take a million and one selfies, half of which will most likely be deleted in the morning when you look back through them and realise both how drunk you were and how ugly you look on the front camera.
The journey to town
The vodka is gone, the selfies are taken and finally, you all decide that it’s time to head to the club. The group piles into the taxi and you rummage through your clutch to make sure you haven’t forgotten your ID, while your mates demand that the driver turns up the radio.
You’re en route to town, with only seconds before midnight and the group proceeds to shout-sing the latest Taylor Swift all the way to the club. It’s soon time for some quick maths to decide everyone’s share of the taxi fare and your group count their coppers, telling the driver to keep the change because you’re such a generous bunch.
Arriving at the club
You’ve reached your destination, but before you can make it into the sweaty centre of your club of choice, it’s a rite of passage to snap your official club photo. If you don’t, the club photographer will harass you into getting one anyway, so you might as well play along. Your group lines up and prays for an attractive picture – after all, if you make it into the next Clubbers of the Week, you want to look fit, not like you’ve been dragged through a bush backwards.
Pat yourselves on the back for blagging your discounted entry, even though you’ve missed the 12am cut off point. Then it’s a mad dash to the bar for a round of Jagerbombs, after which you collectively decide it’s time for a fag break. You reach the smoking shelter and you and your mates begin begging strangers to lend you the cig which without alcohol, you wouldn’t even be smoking.
Hitting the dance floor
Hand in hand, you and your mates fight your way through the sweaty masses, in search of some free space on the dance floor. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a big enough spot to allow you to throw some serious shapes.
You’re so drunk you’ll dance to anything and no matter how much your moves resemble dad dancing to everyone else, you’re convinced you look like Beyonce. Soon enough your hands are in the air and you’re grinding on your gal pal as if you’re in some sort of low budget music video.
If there’s no room on the dance floor, who cares? We’ll dance anywhere, even if it is right next to the bar.
Whether you’re visiting to have the longest wee in the world or for a tactical vom, no two trips are the same. You and your friend of choice squeeze into a cubicle together. Afterwards you’ll spend at least ten minutes reapplying your lipstick and fluffing your hair while you chat to the girl you just met – she’s now your new best mate.
The stereotype that Northerners will chat to anyone is never truer than when in the girls’ loos and it’s responsible for half the contacts in your phone. Soon enough you swap numbers, even though you will never see or speak to this person again. It was fun while it lasted.
Your eyes meet over a vodka Redbull and it’s love at first sight. After some questionable dance moves and a couple of drinks, it’s pulling time. He’s wearing too much Paco Rabanne One Million, but he talks a good game. Northern boys aren’t shy. Your mates chant “WHEY” from the sidelines as you swap saliva with a complete stranger in the middle of the dance floor.
The beer goggles tell you that your new bae is definitely an 8/10 but enjoy it while you can – before you know it you’ll be waking up with a pounding head and the realisation that your pull was a 5 at best. Even worse, he WILL be a friend of a friend, and your friend has probably slept with him too. This is Preston for crying out loud, everyone knows everyone here.
Hunger pangs take hold and all the alcohol you’ve consumed has caused a starvation that can only be curbed by something greasy and covered in the wonder that is red salt.
Despite the sheer amount of takeaways, in Preston you’ll usually find yourself in one of five places: Yum Yum’s, Pizza City, Poppadom Palace, Spicy Grill or Dexters.
You slump in a booth in your takeaway of choice, shoveling chips into your mouth as you pray for the taxi to arrive. You have gravy smeared across your face, your hair is matted from all the spilled drinks and your fake tan is running in the rain. You need to get out of this light and into a dimly lit space as soon as possible. Your feet really, really hurt.
You burst through the door and kick off your heels – it’s time to scoff your food. You and your mates sit in a circle on the floor, drunkenly reminiscing on the nights events and polishing off the takeaway. After a fall up your stairs and almost definitely breaking something in your flat, it’s time to take off your makeup and spoon your friends.
It’s only on very, very rare occasions that the team will make it to Loft, only to emerge from the club in pure daylight after spending the end of your evening jumping around in the secret House room upstairs. Alcohol usually wins the battle at around 3am (4am on a good day) and with your hunger curbed by chicken strips, you soon fall asleep, fully clothed and spooning your bestie. The night is complete.