We've run articles like this before. First there was one in Adelaide, Australia, then we did one on the Gold Coast, and then I found myself single in Melbourne and suddenly nightclubs made a whole lot of sense. It's funny how one week your Saturday revolves around potato gems and Orange is the New Black, and then bam! You're off your heartbroken tits in a filthy club.
But not just any filthy club. I wanted the loudest, foulest, fake-tan powered legionnaires hell hole around. It was a strange type of lust, but I ran with it, and turned to the review system on Google Maps to find the worst. So here's the list, collated from the best down.
5) Tramp: 3 stars
4) Seven: 2.9 stars
3) Spice Market: 2.9 stars
2) La Di Da: 2.6 stars
1) CQ: 1.9 stars
Google says: Tramp Bar. Come here and you'll find there isn't enough hot water in the world to get you clean again.
The door girls were rude but beautiful, like they rode unicorns to work and hated it. "Do you know where we can get coke?" my friend asked, rolling a very optimistic dice. "No," said the girl. "And ask again, I'll call the police."
Tramp is a bit like a car park. It's a long concrete basement filled with pillars and dark corners, but with a happy, post-adolescent crowd waving their arms around. Actually, it had a nice vibe and I wondered what the internet's problem was.
"I come for the music," this guy pictured above told me. "There's always good music and they're open late." I asked him if he thought it was dirty, as advised by the snooty review I'd found online. "Yeah man, but that's the point. That's why I come!"
My friend had come for drugs, which ended with me unbuttoning my shirt.
And going to the toilet. People discuss ecstasy in terms of dancing and hugging, but no one mentions this. Actually, all stimulants do this—from cocaine to coffee—which is why all nightclubs should take their toilets more seriously. You know those ones that don't offer toilet paper? What's up with that? And also, that's not my beer.
On the whole Tramp was awesome, but it hit midnight and we had to leave for the next place.
Google says: club vibe, but trashy.
In every city the world over, people tack their identities to whichever side of a river they're from. In Melbourne, northside living means you're a cycling vegan, while in the south it means you're rich, hot, and possibly implicated in some sort of sexual assault at sports camp. Nightclubs on either side of the Yarra embody these values in varying ways, but no one club exemplifies southside more than Seven.
We came up the stairs to find these LED billboards blazing over the crowd of wasted children. The guys were all in suits and the girls all in bandage dresses, with a fug of Lynx in the air.
The music was kind of smug, preppy techno, like if Vampire Weekend did a residency in Ibiza. In fact, you can get that vibe by looking at the DJ's shoes. Basically it was just a lot of remixed "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by the Eurythmics, which sounded crisp as fuck, even though his shoes were grubby.
The other thing about Seven is everyone makes out. That photo at the top of the article was also from Seven, so you can see, it's a very sexualized place.
Google said: Decor is amazing. Pretentious atmosphere and overpriced drinks aren't.
I really can't summarize Spice Market better than this. Their décor is amazing, with this mystical sort of Eastern black magic thing going on. But it's all jammed up with guys who might be wedding singers in Abu Dhabi, or maybe just drugs dealers in Footscray.
The place seems overrun by 40-something year-old guys. Most of them were on the dance floor while the less inebriated milled around the peripheries and stroked their goatees. Then an outer ring of mobsters sat in booths with their bottles of Chivas Regal and golden things. The entire place stunk of maxed credit cards and wishful thinking.
At the center of all those orbiting guys, was this spotlight to dance in. If you're feeling bad about men, don't go to Spice Market.
La Di Da
Google said: if you like your clubs full of teenagers then this is for you!
Unlike the mobsters at Spice Market, the teenage girls at La Di Da loved getting photos taken. They don't even want to see the photos, they just wanted them taken.
This was the most bored person in the club. I don't know why though, since the music was pretty good.
In another DJ shoe analogy, it was kitsch and energetic, but with enough beat to hold onto. Just lots of classics, re-mashed.
But the toilets were bad. There was a real bro thing happening and everyone was pissing on the floor.
Or they weren't pissing on the floor. The toilets were just bad.
La Di Da was actually lots of fun but my friend left. So hoping the worst club in Melbourne would offer new friends, I headed for CQ.
Google says: WORST night club in Melbourne. The bouncers are horrible and the people in CQ are so gross the girls trying to start arguments and the boys are so gross always staring and pushing you...
It's a weird scene outside CQ. The bouncers flank some big shot who bro-hugs all the boys, air-kisses all the girls, but lets no one in. And there's a general air of thuggery about, like they often beat people with pipes.
I paid the $20 entry and went upstairs. The crowd was impressive. It's that same bandage dress scene, but in bulk. And everyone was happy, taking photos, smacking high-fives, and grinding. Grinding isn't dancing by the way. It's foreplay. But to whoever rebranded foreplay, bravo.
I just couldn't get my head around why they were playing Despicable Me on all these screens. I tried to watch but couldn't hear the words. So then I tried dancing but kept trying to watch. It was all wrong.
And the décor was baffling. Like a Buddhist-themed Jurassic Park, or maybe just Spice Market, but for kids. Which would explain why they're playing kid's movies.
Me: Hey man, what is that thing?
Guy: Just an onion.
I left to find this happening outside. It looked awful, but I also couldn't help but think maybe people on the internet really whinge. Sure, Melbourne is full of silly nightspots, but then, of course it is. If anything the bad clubs in Melbourne aren't really bad; they're just kind of generic. And that's not really a crime.
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