A Purple-Free Pop: Refreshing or Regretful?

The Tab tries Pop…sober.


During a momentary wave of optimism, I found myself trudging to Pop composed and clear-headed. I had decided to experience Pop, in all its glory, completely sober. This would prove to be my worst idea since listing “Westwood” in my top five choices for accommodation…

Arriving at 11, the first thing I noticed about the Copper Rooms was the sheer intensity with which my senses were assaulted. The combination of flashing lights, pounding bass and deafening noise was enough to make me want to turn back, listen to sounds of the rainforest and Skype my mum. But, checking my phone, I decided I should at least power through until I felt genuinely ill, or at least witnessed one purple-induced projectile vomit.

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Dancing is something I find difficult even when drunk. I usually end up injuring myself, embarrassing my friends, or somehow offending minorities. But dancing while sober is another ball game entirely. I inexplicably started clicking my fingers; a dance move I have never inflicted upon the world before. Grinding was completely out of the question- it takes a certain kind of drunken confidence to press your groin against a gyrating woman.

When I was eventually sucked into the gravitational pull of the bar, I encountered the biggest shock of sober Pop. I had always imagined that the dancing would be awkward, or that seeing couples drunkenly kiss might ignite my usually numbed sense of loneliness, but I had no idea how painful getting a (soft) drink could prove to be.

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The quicksand crowd that surrounds the bar is fairly suffocating, and your place is immediately lost if you manage to escape to check your body for stains of Jager or sweat from the rugby ‘lads’. Also, when sober, you might find yourself lacking the brutality required to crowbar yourself in front of small girls dressed as Little Bo Peep, who appear to be carrying enough drinks to get their entire herd pissed.

There are few advantages to mixing sobriety with Pop, but it must be said that observing drunken antics is possibly the highlight. Between checking the time and sipping water, I witnessed near naked men unashamedly doing the Macarena, incapacitated yet still indignant girls being ushered from the building, and pictures being taken that were bound to bring tragedy to all involved. But moments like these were fleeting, and by 1:50 I was more than happy to go home and contemplate just what a gift from God vodka really is.

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All in all, I can’t remember a night out where I’ve ever ingested more of my fingernails, danced more ironically, or found the usual sense of self-loathing more easily outweighed by contempt for my peers. If you are going to have a sober night out, Pop should not be it. I suppose waking up without a hangover is always a bonus, but this joy was short lived when I realized the sick on my shoes must have come from someone else’s mouth…