Adventures in solo clubbing

Image for Adventures in solo clubbing

Sitting in my musty shoebox of a hotel room in London, I almost consider not going. After all, last night’s partying took its toll, and the lonely 8am bus ride back to an unwelcoming bed was quite a buzz-kill. Maybe a nice cup of Earl Gray and an early night is just what the travel insurance ordered.

Then again, I’m in London on a Saturday night and I have two tickets for one of Fabric’s marathon parties, On & On & On. Terry Francis, Craig Richards, Tiefschwarz, Zip, Holy Ghost, The Revenge and a closing time of 2pm Sunday. That really isn’t the kind of proposition you bail on. So what if I’m the only person I can talk into going? It won’t be the first time I’ve braved Fabric by myself.

Some people really can’t understand the appeal of flying solo. For many of us though, it’s no big thing. There have even been inthemix forum threads dedicated to the topic, with a chorus of ITMers happily sharing their stories of going it alone.

Just last weekend, our reviewer for the Danny Howells Garden Party in Sydney decided that flaky friends were no obstacle. The review puts in a rousing case for the lone wolf mission. “Being there solo, I realised how insular I usually am,” writes arrestthatpanda. “With my ‘friends’ there, I don’t mingle. But from now on I might just pretend I’m alone and meet new people.” (We particularly like ‘friends’ in inverted commas).

Of course, clubbing is a shared experience, so it seems a bit counter-intuitive – or to some people, outright weird – to venture out on your own. Sometimes, though, you can’t be ruled by the whims of your friends*. So what if they don’t understand that tonight is unmissable, or they’re committed to that house-warming where everyone’s going to have the same conversations again? It’s time to take matters into your own hands.

[*Let me say here out of vanity that I do have friends. We go out. I am not a full-time lonely heart.]

I have a few prerequisites for the solo mission. It can’t be a 200-person club in my hometown that’s possibly going to be a quarter-full. I don’t want to sit in a booth drinking compulsively to look busy. It has to be a dark, heaving, ‘couldn’t talk to my friends even if they were here’ kind of place. It has to be somewhere like Fabric.

This brings me back to July 2010 and my one-man expedition to London’s infamous underground warren.

“Are you picking up both tickets?” asks the door girl innocuously.

Okay, may as well. You’d think that with so many people, all in their zones, a lone clubber will just blend into the haze. Rarely is that true. It turns out you’re pretty obvious, particularly if you’re tall and male. Spanish tourists will invariably mistake you for the local drug tsar, their disappointment palpable when you shake your hapless Australian head.

  • 1
  • 2

Comments arrow left

discoferret said on the 15th Apr, 2011

Had some brilliant random nights out on it with me, myself and I just to go check out a DJ I want to hear, I've found you can really get the vibe of the city with no particular agenda to be slave to. OK, it is a bit harder if you can't speak the language of the country you are in that well but you have fun trying to explain you have no idea what they are banging on about!! Common language makes it slightIy easier!!

I drove to LA from San Diego one night just to go see Danny Howells play and as suspected, the crowd was pretty shallow and didn't really want a bar of conversation; I ended up chatting to Danny more than anybody else that night, he was super friendly!

Another night, first time out in San Francisco, all my mates got too hammered and went home early but Seb Fontaine had just kicked it down another gear so I wasn't about to cut and run with the music bumping. The SF locals are polar opposites of LA; they totally give a shit about where you are from and what your story is; I'd fully recommend a solo session there! And of course, in the same league at the top of the table is Melbourne, I met the crew behind Luke Warm Picnic when pointed towards one of their day/night silly-a-thon's a few years back and we have been great mates ever since, that probably takes the cake as the all time mono mission!!

So yeah, go it alone now and then I say, it is well worth the effort!! Good topic!! Now somebody tell us a story about a solo mission gone bad!!!


hdskp said on the 19th Apr, 2011

I%u2019ve only ever been by myself when venturing to music events whether they are huge festivals like the BDO etc to small clubs and indie events. The last few years I haven%u2019t ventured out at all for music events. If I go out with people it%u2019ll be a weird experience

Although music is a social exercise and the earliest music must have been communication based as much as anything else, music%u2019s become a very individual and personal thing to me. So even if I go out it%u2019s not a social exercise at all.

For me it%u2019s been very enjoyable cause I don%u2019t have to worry about others and I see, hear and do what I want. Bar clashes I don%u2019t miss what I went out for.

That said I%u2019ve had some bad experiences namely being assaulted and harassed by some jerks from primary and high school years after graduation and been given a hard time by security and just jerks. And as I don%u2019t do drugs and drink (I can though) it%u2019s been alienating seeing so many people just go crazy etc it%u2019s definite different wavelengths. Also I don%u2019t dance lol. And yes goth nights, small clubs you%u2019ll definitely feel way out of place if you%u2019re by yourself. Big events are the best for going solo I think. That said I don%u2019t like big events very much.

Nowadays I don%u2019t have the time or money or desire to go out bar maybe some bands and I find the atmosphere much more aggressive in a lot of places and often the sound quality is shit and way too loud (even with ear plugs). Rave wise Bush Doofs/Psy raves are where it%u2019s at for best vibe and community. Even if you don%u2019t do drugs and by yourself you%u2019ll have fun and be left alone (usually).

It%u2019s been interesting my love for eletronica has been long but I don%u2019t really go out. In this time frame I%u2019ve seen 3 waves of people I know do the whole rave loldrugs thing and then leave. Just a common thing I think.

I%u2019m still loving electronica every day and if I go out you%u2019ll see me back centre but I%u2019d rather listen at home and buy CDs etc nowadays