When you think of contemporary clubbing's biggest hitters a few names spring immediately to mind: Kraviz, Klock, Bowers. Yep, Dane Bowers, everyone's favorite reality TV slug, spins 12" after 12" in clubs across the country night after night. At the end of the month, the entertainment starved residents of Norwich are going to be treated to a whole night of Dane doing his thing, at newish club Stadia & Tombs. At a night called Technix 'N Chill. That has this poster:
Just look at it. Really look at it. Look at it intensely. Study it. Now read exactly why it's the least enticing poster ever put together in fifteen minutes on an old copy of Photoshop...
1. DANE BOWERS
Let's start with the biggest issue here: Dane Bowers. Dane Bowers exists in the level of celebrity that sits somewhere between "Didn't they used to be on telly? I'm sure they used to be on telly. Don't you remember them being on telly? I mean, I remember them being on telly but I can't remember why they were on telly" and "No, sorry, I have literally no idea who that is. Does he work on the deli counter at Morrisons?"— which puts him on par with Maureen from Driving School, Nikki Chapman, and former Big Brother contestant Ray Shah. The level that Dane exists at, the level of famous faces who turn up to the opening of a public toilet if they've heard someone from Heat might piss in the new urinal at some point in the next month, is the worst level of all. People who are known for being known for being known and have attempted to make a living off the back of a very conscious knowingness about the fact that people know that they used to be sort of, vaguely, kind of well known.
But that's not the real issue here. The real issue is that people like Dane Bowers, and in this case Dane Bowers himself, seem content to trade off a very British kind of sadness. If you walked down the street now and saw Dane Bowers coming out of a corner shop with a can of Kestrel and a four pack of bog roll, you wouldn't think, "Wow, Dane Bowers, Jordan's former lover, despite having racked up seven top 10 hits with Another Level and achieving a modicum of success in his post-boyband career, culminating in TV appearances and a 2010 record deal with Conehead Entertainment which culminated in the release of the single "All She Needs," still needs to dash to the shops for toilet paper and beer, he's just like me! Just another guy making his way through the world!" No. You'd think, "Christ, the poor bugger looks a bit like Dane Bowers." I have no idea who is paying money to watch Dane Bowers DJing in Norwich. I am ashamed to live in a world where people are willing to pay money to watch Dane Bowers DJ in Norwich. Dane Bowers is DJing in Norwich and there's nothing we can do about it.
2. "TECHNIX 'N CHILL"
Repeat the name of the club night over and over and over and over and over in your head. Repeat it until the words became a hallucinatory, illusionary blur and all you're thinking about is how strange language itself is. You haven't even had a joint but the sheer power of saying "Technix 'n chill" over and over and over again is making you feel absolutely battered on spoken word and you're wandering down internal avenues and everything's going very hazy and strange. You're incredibly disorientated and you start to experience a psychic break and you look in the mirror and all you see is a thousand yard stare and a mouth that's saying "technixnchilltechnixnchilltechnixnchillt," over and over and over like some horribly "relevant" update of Beckett's Not I, and even after all that, all you can really think is, "There is a night in Norwich where Dane Bowers is DJing and that night in Norwich is called Technix 'N Chill." That's it. There is nothing more to say.
3. "STADIA AND TOMBS"
In what twisted, sick world is 'Stadia and Tombs' a good name for a nightclub? Nightclubs should be called stuff like Envy, Bounce, Tonic or something else that suggests elegance and sophistication and glamour and excitement. 'Stadia and Tombs' suggests corporate team building events where a busload of accountants are coached into the local football club's executive box for an afternoon of ice breakers and sandwiches before being ritually sacrificed in the name of efficiency. I don't want to think about the importance of communication in the modern workplace, prior pension plan preparation and the needless slaughter of blokes called Keith Morley while I'm trying to have a fucking great night at Technix 'N Chill in Norwich.
4. "OLD SKOOL GARAGE & RNB"
While I don't wholeheartedly accept the idea that clubbing should necessarily be some kind of totally transformative experience where paradigms shift every time you nip out for a cigarette, but come on, the literal last thing this world—this crumbling, awful, terrible, scared, shocked, ruined, wrecked, fucked world—needs is a night in Norwich called Technix 'N Chill where Dane Bowers plays a selection of all your favourite 90s R&B and garage anthems. I understand that the past is the ultimate place to seek solace, but fuck me, if your idealized idea of what once was involved Dane Bowers, six vodka and soda waters deep, mixing "21 Seconds" into "Hit Me Baby One More Time" while a bunch of blokes in brown shirts hover nervously on the edges of the dancefloor stinking of Davidfoff Cool Water and broken dreams, then God help us all. The world does not need another night like this. Especially not one called Technix 'N Chill. Especially not in Norwich. Especially not hosted by Dane Bowers.
5. BOOK A BOOTH
It's your wedding anniversary next week. Hubby's been talking up a "very, very special night" he's got planned. You've wanted to go to New York for years now. At night you tell him about your dreams of New York. He's a kind, sensitive, caring man. You know he's booked flights and hotels and a horse drawn carriage round Central Park. You know these things are happening because you know the man you love loves you as much as you love him. You know this. As the days dissipate you get more and more excited. You start feverishly looking at what shows are on Broadway while you're there. You read Yelp reviews of Italian restaurants near Times Square because you know he loves a good pizza and you want to thank him for this trip, this marriage, for everything. You want him to feel appreciated. The night before the big day you think about packing in advance, you think about the trip to the airport and what films'll be showing on the plane. You barely sleep, like a child waiting for Christmas to arrive. You awake. He's not there. You smile. You hear footsteps coming up the stairs. A knock. Come in, you say. He enters. He's got a silver platter in his hands. "Lift it," he says, "lift it my love." You lift it. There's a plate of scrambled eggs. There are no boarding passes. No hotel booking confirmation print outs. Nothing. Just scrambled eggs on toast. You crumble inside. You don't know how to react. That's not all, he says, that's not all. Tonight, he tells you, chest puffed out with pride, tonight we're going out. We're going to Stadia and Tombs, to watch Dane Bowers DJing old skool garage and R&B at Technix 'N Chill. You are lost for words. That's not all, he says. I've booked us a table there. Taxi's booked at midnight because I've got an early meeting tomorrow. Hope that's alright he says. You say nothing. You say nothing.