An ode to Melbourne’s club scene, because we all miss the d-floor

An ode to Melbourne’s club scene, because we all miss the d-floor

Colour Club
Words by Arielle Richards

A homage to something we miss soooooooooooo much.

I haven’t listened to tekno in months.

It’s not for any lack of trying. By god, have I tried. I just can’t help it – the second I hear a beat over 110 BPM, I just can’t. My heart constricts. Flashbacks of dancing, club, fun are just too much to bear.

I miss de club.

After six months without a weekly grind on the dancefloor, I can feel my muscles withering away. My soul has all but retreated to the nether-nether from whence it came.

Melbourne’s club scene is the city’s pearlescent lining. When another long, hard week on capitalism’s hamster wheel finally comes to a close, the only real way to cleanse your mind is to obliterate it, with a couple of tequila shots and some quality time with beloved friends in a dark, sweaty room.

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m not the first person to be missing the club. And I’ll preface all of this by saying just how incredible and inspiring it has been to see the electronic music community come together and innovate so damn hard during lockdown. The power that virtual parties and livestreams have had in this dark time has been immense. Not to mention the ongoing cavalcade of releases.

But I miss de club.

I miss knocking off work at some ungodly hour, absolutely jazzed and ready to go. At this point, I’ve hassled everyone in my vicinity all night long – they’re used to it, they know I will not stop until a boogie buddy is secured.

What’s doing after work? Wanna come out?

People don’t even ask who’s playing these days, they just ask – where? But it isn’t really the where that matters, it’s the when. Great DJs and selectors all round, low entry fees, and the ability to buy tickets on the door are all veritable assets to Melbourne’s club scene. A single night could take you from Angel Music Bar, to Radar, over to Sub Club and across to Colour. I don’t recommend it, but the key concept here is that it’s possible.

I’ll come clean – working at bars for much of my young adult life, my clubbing experience was not so much the norm. Pre-drinks were knockoffs, and there was always some sort of misshapen crew to bring along to the club.

When I started getting weekends off, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was gonna go out, that much was certain, but how in hell did non-hospo people manage to pre-drink for an entire six hours without absolutely sending it?

It took a few months of adjusting, learning my limits, figuring out four martinis was not it… if you sub out the gin for goon, it was almost like being a freshly-legal teen again.

But the true pleasure of a night out on the town is fully realised during an external pre-drinks venture. There’s a cornucopia of choice – so many sparkly, cozy bars, the drama of Peel Street, the warm and raucous pub run of Brunswick – it’s a choose-your-fighter type situation where everybody wins.

When it comes to a weekend dancefloor, everyone has their own tastes, wants and needs. Some are into the chaotic energy of Chapel Street after dark. Others are Yah Yah’s, Sircuit and The 86 fanatics. Me, I’m a vanilla pie type gal. I like the classics, and by classics, I mean Colour.

Hold up, you say, Colour has barely been open for a year.

True, but since Lounge became Radar, and Yours & Mine became Colour, things have changed. Things move fast in clubland – or do they? People have only just stopped talking about the Mercat… But we only speak of Lounge in hushed tones, and did anyone actually ever go to Yours & Mine?

I like the clubs with layers, levels stacked on levels. The clubs where you can lose yourself – like literally get lost. You’ve somehow found yourself at some secret, hidden stage, and you’ve surrendered yourself to this new, bizarre environment.

Your friends are gone, but you know there are new friends to be made here. Just as you’re getting comfortable, the smoke cloud clears and the strobes illuminate the very same DJ booth you’ve been gazing at all night long – you’ve been stage left the whole time. Hugs & Kisses was good for this type of willful disorientation. RIP sweet, dark angel.

During these strange times, it provides comfort to revisit the many scattered memories at Lounge/Radar. Mostly lines. So many lines. Door line, coat-check line, bar line, bathroom line, smokers line, lines on lines on lines on lines.

Can you tell I miss de club?

I’m getting sentimental about the lines

A club brings together some of the most incredible things in the world – beautiful friends, friendly strangers, incredible music on great soundsystems and strobe lights that annihilate my mind.

I miss de club, but in terms of COVID-safe spaces it’s unfortunately at the bottom of the list.

For now, it’s worth remembering that we don’t need to hit the club to enjoy all the things that make it so good. The incredibly talented humans that collaborate to make those nights so special are still around, and they’re doing great things!

We still have music to enjoy, and fabulous people to enjoy it with, and that will have to do for now.

Keen on another fun read? Check out our piece on the 23 things we’ve all done on a night out in Melbourne.

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