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.

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