Back in my clubbing days, which seem oh-so-long ago now (but not as long ago as they should be for a man of my age), Sunday night on the August Bank Holiday weekend meant that me and some of my chums would venture to one of the “shiny” clubs in Cardiff.
Let me explain.
We used to frequent a long-since closed club called The Emporium, a dark, dingy club, safe in the knowledge that it was the most accepting crowd in Cardiff. Nobody cared what you looked like, how old you were (as long as you were old enough to be in there, of course), as long as you were happy to dance in one of the three rooms and not bother anyone. It wasn’t a club where you went to pull (although that doubtless happened there), it was a club where you went to – if it’s not too corny a thing to say – feel the vibe.
All the rest of the clubs in Cardiff seemed to be the opposite, all lights and mirrors, the sort of place that attracted blokes in button-down collar shorts, who wanted to carry on drinking bottled lager once the pubs had closed, and either have a fight or pull a girl. They had the glossy, plastic people in them, all handsome, gorgeous, made up to the nines, and me and my band of merry men definitely did not fit in.
But come Bank Holiday weekend, if you wanted to go clubbing, you had to bite the bullet and just go to one of them.
One such weekend, Roger Sanchez was playing one of the shiny clubs. That was the sort of calibre DJs these nights would pull in: Roger fucking Sanchez. I had wanted to go, but none of my mates were up for it. I ended up going for a couple of pints in town with Colin instead.
Colin was the anti-clubber. He hated dance music in the same way that I had back in the late 1980s/early 1990s. We’d managed to drag him along to The Emporium one night, convinced that if he ever gave it a go, he’d love it; he had a kip on one of the long seats and was “asked” by security to leave. I’m not quite sure what kind of risk he posed to security, but then again, I suppose having a grown man snoozing by the entrance isn’t quite the impression you want to give to people who’ve just paid to get in.
Anyway, this particular Bank Holiday Sunday Night, I had resigned myself to not going clubbing, when a mate of mine, Byron, wandered into the bar we were drinking in, and asked me if I was going to see Sanchez. I told him I wasn’t bothered, but so unconvincing was my response – or possibly, so unentertaining my company – that Colin said if I wanted to go he wouldn’t be offended, as long as we didn’t expect him to come along too.
And that was that. Byron and I went, paid on the door together, then I never saw him again. He had a habit of doing this; many’s the time he had rocked up at The Emporium, bought some pills, then gone home again, and I suspect that’s what happened that night.
Luckily, I bumped into some people I knew from The Emporium, and I hung out with them for the rest of the night. There’s a couple of stories there, but we’ll leave them for another time…
What I’m trying to get round to saying is that Roger Sanchez was awesome. Ordinarily, I’m a little scathing of DJ’s who drop their own records or remixes, but on this occasion, Roger played this, by a band I don’t have much time for ordinarily, but this sent the dancefloor wild:
No Doubt – Hella Good (Roger’s Release Yourself Mix)