Things happen in nightclubs. Here's the first entry in our comprehensive compendium of literally everything that has ever happened in a nightclub ever.1) A man who smells faintly of cheap mince and hair gel stands near a younger woman in the hope that his unasked for physical proximity will persuade her to immediately start dancing with him.2) A man who smells quite strongly of Lynx Dark Temptation and the District Line stands near a younger woman in the hope that his unasked for physical proximity will persuade her to immediately start dancing with him.
3) A man who reeks of unfettered desperation and Tuborg stands near a younger woman in the hope that his unasked for physical proximity will persuade her to immediately start dancing with him.4) A man who violently stinks of suburban sadness and terrible life choices stands near a younger woman in the hope that his unasked for physical proximity will persuade her to immediately start dancing with him.5) A tourist in shutter shades stands stock still on the dancefloor but somehow still manages to get in thirteen different people's way.
6) You're approached by someone in the smoking area who tells you about the sunset at Cafe Del Mar despite the fact you are currently stood, shivering, in a concrete cell round the back of a former bingo hall in Bracknall, and it's Big John on the decks, not Alfredo, and he's playing "I Like the Way You Move" by Bodyrockers, not "Women of Ireland" by Bob James.7) You're buying a shot for a friend you don't really like any more because you've all made the effort to go out clubbing and the atmosphere isn't quite there and the DJ's not quite right and the crowd aren't quite the right people and everything's actually quite shit but going home at midnight would feel like defeat. So you buy a shot or two and you joylessly down said shot and immediately feel sick and you feel the sick rising up your throat and you swallow the sick, and smile at your friend, and you taste sick all night, but you keep smiling at your friend, and eventually you get home and you can still taste sick, except the sick's mingled with burger sauce and charred chicken and raw bulk-bought onion and you stare into the mirror and wonder who you became and you phone beeps and you look at it and it's the friend you don't really like any more telling you what a great time they had and that you should do it again next week and being the fucking spineless prick you are you agree and you get into bed and you close your eyes but not even sleep lets you escape the person you've become. Still, two tequilas for a fiver is a steal in this day and age.
8) You're stood there, watching a DJ you've wanted to see for ages, and you've felt excited all week about it, and you've posted about it on Facebook, and you've told the world you're going on Twitter, and you've texted mates to tell them that the DJ you've wanted to see for ages has just come on, and ten minutes in you're bored, restless, horribly aware of the pointlessness of expectation. So you move further away from the throng. You stand in the toilets, give yourself a pep talk as you piss. This is great, you say, outloud. This is great and this is what I wanted and this is great because I am getting what I wanted. So you go back into the crowd. And you make yourself smile. You make yourself dance for two seconds. And then you give up. You slink out. You grab your coat. You tell everyone how great Villalobos/Klock/Kraviz/Harvey/Hood was the next day. You will live that lie forever.9) You're in the queue for the club and the excitement's building and you and your mates are slamming that final tinnie and everything's going well until some jumped up eternal fashion student with a 2.2 from LCC and a photo Tumblr has decided that his/her cut glass vowels and embarrassing dips into an approximate attempt at Estuary English 'realness' should be heard over everyone else in the queue. Your enthusiasm wanes. The squad looks shaky. Then he/she is brutally rebuffed by the doormen for not actually being on the guestlist. Everything is fine. Everything is good. Everything is great.
10) You're the youngest/oldest person in the room and it feels great/wretched.
11) Someone is thinking about trying to pull.12) Someone is about to pull.13) Someone is pulling.14) Someone has just pulled.15) Someone has just pulled and is now desperately trying to book an Uber.
16) The DJ plays a record you've long since grown to hate because you have suddenly decided that a DJ playing a record that you liked before you heard it out in the club is a heinous act that's been calculated to ensure that it ruins your evening17) The DJ looks like he's checking his emails. This is funny, you see, because DJs sometimes use laptops now and if a DJ is looking at their laptop to pick the next record it looks sort of like they are actually just putzing about on a Macbook so a funny thing to do in this situation is to turn to your friends and tell them that isn't it funny, doesn't it look like the DJ is checking their emails.18) The DJ repeatedly has his back slapped by other people in black deep V t-shirts. Each slap of the sweaty back — the thwack of sodden flesh on soaking cotton reverberates around the club — becomes more and more ingratiating and irritating.19) The DJ looks like he's really, really bored up there, and you begin to wonder exactly why point in a DJs career is the moment they become filled with the kind of ennui most of us face each and every morning when we swipe into work and plough through mounds of unnecessary admin. Is it after the first major festival? The first time they snort coke off a PR man's wallet in the basement at the Ace Hotel? Is it when they're sat in departures at Luton at 2am silently crying, wishing they could be in their own bed, weeping at the thought of not being able to hug their mother for six months? Is it right now, as they look down at you looking up at them, with sadness in your eyes? Probably.
20) The DJ plays "Uptown Funk".
21) There's someone on the dancefloor farting repeatedly but moving about just enough to never get caught out.22) There is someone on the dancefloor wearing a smart shirt and school shoes and you feel disproportionately sorry for that person and every time you go out for a fag you notice them stood there, smoking, in their smart shirt and school shoes, and you want to talk about them to your friends, but they're stood too close to you, in their smart shoes and school shoes for you to talk about how weirdly sad it is seeing someone out in a club wearing smart shirt and school shoes.23) There's someone on the dancefloor wearing a full Nasir Mazhar tracksuit, constantly checking his phone. He terrifies you.24) There's someone on the dancefloor who looks a bit like someone you went to university with so you tentatively creep over and dance in their vicinity and eventually catch said person's eye and you go in for an Alright Mate, How You Getting On Yeah Not Bad Not Bad Thanks Good Night This Isn't It Yeah Safe Nice One Wicked Yeah Cool See You Soon Lets Have a Beer Yeah How's Claire Ah Yeah Shit Sorry Man Sorry To Hear It Shit Well Things Will Get Better Let's Definitely Have That Beer Cool Yeah See You About Enjoy The Night Nice One but the second the words start to stumble from your beery, greasy lips you realize it's a complete stranger so you back away very quickly.
25) There's someone on the dancefloor who's gripping hold of their girlfriend really, really tightly in a way that makes everyone around feel uncomfortable and unpleasant. You can only begin to imagine his sexual deficiencies.
26) An awkward couple linger by the bar, both on their phones, both texting other people, both texting other people about how they wish they weren't in this club with the person they were with and were actually doing something with the other people that each of them are texting, while the other people they are texting are texting each other about how the couple in the club are texting other people rather than talking to one another.27) A person who's slightly too old to be in the club they're in looks around said club, shrugs internally, closes their eyes and sinks into a quicksand pit of remorse, thinking about how things used to be, how things could and should have been, before the this that they're experiencing now was this this, when the this was a that, and that that was perfect and pure and not the this that the this is now.28) A bloke who used to be really into acid house way back when moans to anyone who'll listen to him that acid house is the best kind of house and that he wishes the DJ right now, the fucking shit DJ playing fucking shit records right now, would just play acid house. He does not stop to think about why he didn't just go to an acid house night because all music should be the acid house he grew up listening to, the acid house he had his first pill to, the acid house he had his first shag to, the acid house that he based his entire personality on and can never outgrow because to outgrow that acid house would be to outgrow himself and to outgrow himself would lead existential crisis which he'd never get out of. He repeatedly asks the DJ if they've got any Phuture. The DJ does not have any records by Phuture.
29) A group of girls from a different town to the one they're in now stand around taking photos of themselves posing with alcopops that are slightly more expensive than they're used to but have to be performatively enjoyed more than normal due to the 50p price difference. When they look back at the photos the morning after, they'll all notice that Kelly has the sad, dead eyes of someone who's realized that every decision they've ever made has been ever so slightly wrong. They say nothing to Kelly. Kelly says nothing to them.30) A pair of topless lads from Leigh sweat profusely, fags dangling from their white lips, one passes the other a bottle of Lucozade. Their eyes flit madly. Happy hardcore, they tell you, repeatedly, will never die. It never left, they tell you, repeatedly. It'll never die. It never left.
31) You catch a drug deal going very badly wrong in the smoking area. The prospective buyer has clearly never done this before and is causing untold problems for themselves and the dealer is looking more and more pissed off as the seconds go by and your mind churns through a terrifying montage of torn out fingernails, bricks through windows, and IV drips.32) You catch someone who's drug deal clearly went very, very well, sweating like a Scot in the Sahara, glugging Evian like the world's taps are about to be switched off imminently, mechanically raising an arm in the air repeatedly, unfolding a clenched fist in slow motion.33) You catch a failing, flailing Tinder date going wrong. One of the potential couple can't dance and is trying to hide their failings through an eventually aborted series of attempted physical interpretations that turn their date off forever.34) You catch everyone else around you having the time of their lives and you begin to panic about why you aren't having fun, why you aren't like them, why you can't let go and live your life, why you don't dance and won't dance, why you suck the enjoyment out of every fucking aspect of your fucking life, and you go home, and you vow to change though you know you never will.35) You catch yourself on the verge of having fun before remembering you're a miserable cunt and reigning it in.Vol.2 will follow shortly.Follow Josh on Twitter