Because of the autobiographical/confessional nature of some of my posts – especially the ones in this series, when I want to relate a clubbing-related story where I have to mention somebody else – I will contact them first, tell them what I want to write about, and ask if they’re happy for me to use their real name, or, if they’d prefer to remain anonymous, I invite them to suggest a pseudonym which they’re happy for me to use when I write about them.
For example, Dum Dum, who appears often in this series, isn’t really called Dum Dum, of course. His real name is…aww, you don’t get me that easily! *shakes fist and grrr’s*
So tonight’s story involves a young lady who, at her request, we shall call Manon. No, I don’t understand why anyone would pick that either; it sounds like something a footballer would shout to another to warn them of an impneding tackle to me, but there you go, that’s what she wanted.
So, back when I lived in Cardiff, and in the middle of my middle-aged reinvention as a clubber, we’d been to the wedding reception of two friends of ours, which was in a slightly more westerly town, far enough away that a group of us Cardiffians hired a mini-bus to drive us there and back.
As we reached the outskirts of Cardiff on the way home, I’d ventured, semi-seriously, that legendary club-night Time Flies was on, and that I quite fancied going, not really expecting that anyone would take me up on the offer.
But to misquote Eminem, I forgot about Manon, who was bang up for it.
And so it was that after the minibus had dropped everyone else off, we directed him down to Cardiff Bay, and to the Coal Exchange.
For as long as I’d lived in Cardiff, the Coal Exchange had been predominantly a music venue, although I’d also been to wedding receptions there too. Truth be told, it was past it’s best days even then, but it remained a wonderful, if slightly decrepit, building.
In 2013, it closed due to safety issues, and as it lay dormant for years it was even the subject of a BBC documentary – Going Going Gone – by legendary documentary maker Nick Broomfield. Eventually, Cardiff Council bought it, and subsequently sold it to Signature Living, who have extensively refurbished it and it’s now a very grand looking (and rightly so) hotel:
But I digress.
Manon and I stumbled off the minibus and up towards those main doors; it was approaching 2am by now and although the door was manned, they took one look at us and waved us through without asking us to pay.
In our heads, on that night and to this day, this made us the King & Queen of Cardiff clubbing. We didn’t need to pay to get in anywhere, our presence was sought after, demanded. Now we were here, the party could finally start!
But only after, I’m afraid to admit, a visit to the toilets to “score”. Here comes the usual disclaimer: if you really must buy drugs to enhance your night out, then don’t buy them from total strangers in the club toilet. It’s a really dumb thing to do.
That said, half an hour later, Manon and I were absolutely flying, and I remember this tune getting played, which, as it’s May Day weekend here in the UK, seems appropriate to let you hear. As with my last post in this series, it’s a bit trance-trousers, as you would expect from a Paul Van Dyk remix, but I bloody love this. Play it loud:
I’ve always been awful at remembering names and genres of dance records, and this has often been my downfall. I once told Llŷr that this was by Men of Madness, which of course, he never let me forget. I imagine he’s chuckling about my error even now, affectionately calling me a twat.