At Neil and Hel’s wedding back in October, I had the pleasure of hooking up with one of my old clubbing buddies, for only the third time in about ten years.
I’d last met him at his wedding, back in April 2017, when I’d met his wife for the first time. I know that makes me sound awful – how could I not have met of my friends’ girlfriends (and now wife) until they got married? – but I have been exceptionally lazy in popping back to my old stomping ground of Cardiff. They had just started seeing each other when I left Wales, now they are married with a kid. Time Flies.
Anyway, I’ve mentioned him before, I think – he has asked to go by the pseudonym of Dum-Dum, a name he used to use on the clubbing forums back in the day.
The three of us sat together for the meal, and I was initially reticent about what to say about our hedonistic clubbing days; I knew that Dum-Dum’s wife was not from clubbing stock, and I had the impression it would not be a good idea to reminisce with him in her presence.
But…but he brought this story up in her presence (along with one other, which I’ll save for another day), and then shortly afterwards sent me details of the night in question to flesh it out.
So let me start by saying this involved me, Dum-Dum and at least one other (who shall remain nameless) venturing to a venue which we didn’t normally bother with – Evolution, down in Cardiff Bay – to join in birthday celebrations of Cardiff’s long running Time Flies club night. Here’s the flyer (which Dum-Dum kindly provided, via a Facebook page):
I’ll be honest, other than the story I’m about to tell, I remember nothing about that night. All I can say is that we were unlikely to have spent much time in Room 2 – a bit too hard house, moon boots and glow-sticks for our liking.
Here’s what Dum-Dum told me, via Twitter, that he could remember of the night:
“All I remember is the queue being massive, being stuck on stairs off our heads and then trying to get home. Cant remember inside.”
A good night was had by all, then.
Ordinarily, our clubbing nights out in Cardiff would end with us walking home to my flat, where we would sit listening to tunes and probably polishing off any of the “goodies” we’d not got through when we were out. Our flat was a bit of a sanctuary for friends not yet ready to return to parents/girlfriends/wives.
But coming back from Evolution meant either a really long walk, or a taxi ride home. I do have a vague recollection of the three of us spending ages in the predictably driving Welsh rain trying to flag a cab down (although this may have been a different night. Hard to tell.)
Finally, a taxi driver took pity on us and stopped; we piled in. As was often the way, as I’m a
gobby chatty person at the best of times, I am charged with occupying the front passenger seat, so I can engage with the driver and hopefully make him think that we are not as off our faces as we really are (or were, when we left the club, probably less so by now). Dum-Dum sits immediately behind me, our other traveller behind the driver.
On this occasion, bar telling the driver my address, I’m happy to let the radio fill the silence. He has something like Heart or Kiss playing; it’s perfectly pleasant and I sink back into my seat.
There’s something else I need to tell you, which is that Dum-Dum is a man of few words. Generally our conversations when out clubbing can be summarised to the following sentences:
- “Are you off it yet?”
- “Have you got any left?”
- “I think I’m coming up.”
- “I’m getting some water, do you want some?”
But in this taxi-ride, something new was happening. Behind me, I could hear Dum-Dum started to sing along to the song on the taxi’s radio.
I looked in the rear-view mirror and watched as our unnamed other traveller joined in.
And so I did too.
And moments later, the taxi driver added his dulcet tones to the chorus.
Suddenly, the four occupants of the taxi are howling along to an old disco tune like our lives depend on it.
We arrived at my flat before the song had finished. No words were spoken, but we all happily sat in the taxi, singing along until it was done. It was one of those moments you expect to see in schmaltzy American teenage coming-of-age dramas, where you shake your head and say “That wouldn’t happen.”
And although it may not sound that great to you now, the three of us – and, I’d wager, the taxi driver – all still remember it to this day, almost fifteen years later.
The song finished, I thanked and paid the driver, and we stumbled into my flat (the taxi driver did not).
The song? This one:
Put some clothes on, boys.