Hence, I might as well describe last Friday night. Last Friday was the night when, against much protestation, I was dragged to Citrus.
Citrus is an "80's" club. I know that some surveys have indicated that the population of my country thinks that the 1980s were a wonbderful time to live, what with the rampant unemployment, privatisation, and a psychotic in Number 10... Err... But they think things were better then. Perhaps this is what's behind the rise of such clubs. It hbas to be the same sort of effect, rose-tinted hindsight. Because let me tell you, I grew up singing along to Erasure and the Human League and you had better believe me that at any other point in history my four-year-old self would have been well within its rights to divorce my parents and have them shot into a handy star (Alpha Centauri, the Sun's too close).
When my first songs at bath time were "Karma Chameleon" and "Jitterbug", you will, I hope, understand that I have no desire at all to hear such music again. Once was quite enough.
Upon entering the club, I was not amused. The bar provided a choice between horse piss and frozen horse piss on tap, and a host of bottled urine fresh out of America. I drank water, because a bar that doesn't stock Newcastle Brown as a standby for emergencies does not deserve my currency.The khazis were worse. While not as bad as those at Studio 24, they still had an ambiance that said "We were trashed last night, and only black duct tape stops the door falling off." It was an expressive ambience.
For the fgirst half an hour, the music was dreadful. The DJ seemed to delight in playing all the extended versions of his favourite tracks without any care for when they would end. Once his self-indulgent little audio wankfest stopped, he noticed his audience. Given that our part made up the majority, we saw some decent trad goth (with token Bauhaus and Sisters tracks).
Once that half hour was over, I got a chance to look around. The majority of people there were young — certainly younger than I am. The general outfit involved some form of tight T-shirt and carefully bought-to-look-worn jeans for the men, hshowing off the stupidly short hair that I can only assume "fashion" demands of them. The women wore such garb as I only normally see in the window of H&M or Gap, along with the ludicrous form of shoe that costs five billion pounds but consists of three carbon nanotubes and a cheap sole with a ten-inch heel.
These are the average people. The workaday. Those who hold junior office jobs and frequent bars that put football before beer and price before ambiance. These children of the baby boomers are my generation, my brother's generation. They apparently enjoy getting wrecked on cheap chemical piss that calls itself "beer", music that was created before they were born, and clothes with no elegance or style. These are the people who watch Big Brother and vote on those terrible fame-contest television programs. They are the embodiment of conformity, any one of them an Everyman.
And here I was in a dingy nightclub full of the motherfuckers. All I could do was try to blend in, hope that they didn't smell their mortal enemy in their midst.
To this end, I found myself dancing a lot. Don't ask why or how, I just did. When the chance came, I leapt at it. Stay up, stay moving. Just as long as the music doesn't suck I could be another face in the crowd. But then, the unthinkable happened.
The bastard played both "Karma Chameleon" and "Jitterbug".
What kind of rat-bastard psychotic would do that to a room full of people? Unless he, like me, figured that they were actually Pod People, awaiting the day when they would control the World Builders and everyone would have their invading vision — but unlike me, he didn't realise that he was feeding them.
The majority of people dancing were younger than me. If they claim to remember these records from the first time around, they're lying. They actually like this regurgitated pap, this drooling nonsense that doesn't deserve the title of "music". They go beyond merely enmjoying it, it is their zenith. Without those two tracks, s night is not complete. With them, they can look back safe in the knowledge that it didn't suck. I fail to understand how anyone like them can exist. THey have to have found out about these records somehow, discovered that they liked music that came out just before they were born — a point in time when the British record industry appeared to have dosed up on an ecstacy/LSD cocktail and let rip with electronica and Wham. They had to find the music, discover that the liked it, and then become enough of a force in the world that there are nightclubs catering to just that taste.
As far as I can tell in Edinburgh, there's no Friday or Saturday that'll spin a mix of rock and metal and some semi-Goth and "nu-metal" — Guns'n'Roses to Bon Jovi, AC/DC to Aerosmith, Iron Maiden to Linkin Park, Judas Priest to Rammstein. Perhaps there is such a club, but I do not know of it. It certainly isn't as common a phenomenon over the country as the "80's club", and dedicated venues are few and far between. It's a freak of culture, something about the mass-market being easy to appease (and the obvious parallels between 2006 and 1986). It's also depressing, in a way.
In the actual 1980s, the club currently housing Citrus would have been a smash hit, likely playing the fake imports before they hit Radio 1, and new (for the time) American dance music. It'll have been cutting edge, in its day.
Not any more. Now, the only use we have for the club is to peddle worn old shit to the children of today, brainwashing them with the music of yesterday. 80s clubs are evil, not just for the music, but for what they represent; a regression in our musical culture rather than supporting where it's going now.