Fresher's week club nights
David Pollock checks out the club flavoured entertainment on offer for freshers and returning students.
Although Edinburghers might not notice it quite so much thanks to their fancy festival throughout the month of August, the clubbing scene does tend to go into a state of semi-hibernation over the summer. And there’s one over-riding reason you just can’t find anywhere decent to go out and get mashed up on a Tuesday night, should the mood take you. The students, as they say, are away. In which case, hooray for September already.
But what makes a good student night? In the first case, it’s got to be cheap. Cheap entry, cheap drinks (for as long as they last), cheap tunes and cheap thrills are generally enough to keep most freshers happy, and you’ll find plenty of venues offering both on the east and west coasts. In Glasgow, the Garage is a guilty pleasure but also rightly an institution, while Viper is an option that’s a little closer to home for West End-bound students. In Edinburgh, meanwhile, Stereo, City and the marginally classier Opal Lounge are likely to provide the definitive experiences of your student years. We mention these as a public service; 25 is the approximate age past which you must deny you’ve ever attended them.
The other necessity for a big student night is that it should be on an evening when no one else would even dream of going out. That way you either get to be as lairy as you want on your first few legal pints without someone who’s older and bigger than you taking rightful offence, or you get to sample some of the most truly underground nights around. It all depends on how much class you’ve got. Optimo (weekly Sundays, Sub Club, Glasgow) is popular among students, but absolutely not a typical student night. There are other fine examples of clubs with credibility and the crucial midweek element: nu-disco night Club For Heroes (weekly Thursdays, the GRV, Edinburgh); wide-reaching dance night Killer Kitsch (weekly Tuesdays, Buff Club, Glasgow; weekly Sundays, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh); party night Octopussy, which earns a place here by being in Glasgow’s most iconic club venue (weekly Thursdays, Arches, Glasgow); and a mid-weeker with occasionally huge guests in We Are … Electric (weekly Wednesdays, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh).
There being lots of freshers in town, there is also a range of special one-off parties and new clubs kicking off. Two student union-bound parties deserve particular attention. First, Glasgow’s biggest dubstep night Fortified is holding a Freshers Ball (School of Art, Glasgow, Fri 18 Sep) with special guests TRG and Jack Sparrow that’s free to GSA freshers. Second, Edinburgh University will play host to local talents Motherfunk, Modern Lovers, Tokyoblu and Trouble at their freshers-only bash (Potterrow, Edinburgh, Fri 18 Sep) and then special guest Rob Da Bank at new night Shuffle (Potterrow, Edinburgh, Thu 24 Sep).
That’s not all. There are, for example, local talent night Rendez Vous (V Club, Glasgow, Sat 19 Sep), which is free for students; a new student-focused monthly indie night named Synth (Flying Duck, Glasgow, Thu 17 Sep); and two free nights at the Hive, Edinburgh (Thu 10 and Thu 17 Sep). Also watch out for Alternative Freshers Week at Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh next fortnight, a whole week of events with big-name guests that is the perfect introduction to one of Edinburgh’s best underground venues with all their big nights (Sugarbeat, Sick Note, Killer Kitsch and more) joined by the likes of Friendly Fires (DJ set), Kris Menace, Total Science and Shit Robot.
Check listings and www.list.co.uk/events/clubs for full listings of individual nights.