Carl Cox, Joris Voorn & Seth Troxler @ Tobacco Dock, London 02/04/2016

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It’s been a few months since I’ve been to a nightclub.

I was originally invited to this event by a large group of friends that I hadn’t been out with for ages. I thought about it but as soon as I realised that it was £45 a ticket, I baulked in disgust and started writing an angry blog post entitled “Are people seriously paying £45 for this?”.

I never finished writing it.

A month later, my closest advisor and about the only person in the world that can persuade me to do something against my wishes, persuaded me to go. Except there were no tickets left – bar the £70 VIP tickets.

Thankfully I really do appreciate irony.

And by this point the line-up had Craig Richards on, which is always a winner for me. I like Seth Troxler too, though I had recently listened to a couple of very uninspiring sets from him. Loco Dice was also in the car park – I find a lot of the music he plays uninteresting but his recent productions are excellent.

The other rooms were not going to be of interest – I respect Carl Cox and Joris Voorn for what they have achieved, particularly the former, but musically they just don’t do it for me.

Two other factors detracted from any sense of anticipation – firstly as there was a large group of us going, we caught a twat-mobile to the venue from near Reading – a pink one nonetheless. This also ended up extortionately expensive due to people pulling out or simply not turning up.

And I developed a mild flu bug just in time for Saturday and I still felt crap when I woke up that morning.

The omens were not good. And have I mentioned how much money I’d spent?

So after about 87 toilet stops on the way, we arrived, ensured the twat-mobile was parked far enough away from the venue that nobody could see it, walked into the venue swiftly and smoothly – gathered our bearings, bought some drinks vouchers, paid some ridiculous price for a locker to put our coats in, and then went into the main room.

Jon Rundell was rolling out the tech-house tub-thumpers. It was all a bit rinse and repeat. Boom boom boom boom with a pointless crescendo and back again. He does what he does very well, and the fist-pumping brigade love it – but it was a bit limited for my tastes.

After a while, we left our main coterie of friends to go to the car park and get a good spot for when Craig Richards and Seth Troxler were on.

The car park had a lot more character than the rather ordinary larger rooms upstairs. It was very dark – with a slight red glow at times. I approved, and could happily get into the groove down there. Bas Ibellini was warming up – he did a reasonable job though it sounded like he was red-lining slightly and therefore not getting the most out of the sound-system.

Once Craig Richards and Seth Troxler took over, the sound quality vastly improved – it was clear and sounded like it was klunking through the gears, really quite excellent. Musically it was top-notch too. I cannot say that I recognised any tracks they were playing but there was lots of interest – plenty of basslines and some tough house music to get down to.

We then proceeded to spend what seemed about 2 hours squeezing past people on the upstairs dancefloors trying to find someone – quite a sobering experience to put it mildly, before we headed back to the car park.

Unfortunately the car park had become a sardine tin – and I’m used to the Ricardo crush at fabric but this was far more annoying – either that or my patience had snapped from forever  looking for someone – probably both. I gave up and went to look for the promised VIP bean bags – and failed.

By this point I was tired, feeling the effects of my flu bug and pretty damn sober too.

My dancefloor partners soon also gave up on the sardine tin and dragged me back to the Carl Cox room – I agreed on the basis that we didn’t end up walking backwards and forwards constantly through the dancefloor. We did walk backwards and forwards repeatedly so I gave up and went back to my imaginary VIP bean bag.

I amused myself by finding some randoms to talk to, which is pretty easy when you have a mullet – it makes a great introductory talking point. Sometimes the attention is too much to cope with in a club but it makes people smile so why not. Oh yeah and I decided it was a good idea to have some glitter and shiny bits glued to my face – of which I still keep finding speckles in my left eye-brow.

The crowd was generally friendly – on the young side with a high proportion of men, and many of those being the fist-pumping variety – a few feckorfyacahnt types but there were plenty of nice people too – I did get talking to a variety of randoms, including this woman from Syria that I know from my local town who apparently only knows two words in English – “ecstasy” and “ketamina”. It wasn’t easy explaining to her that I didn’t want any (honest!). She got the point after about 6 times.

Also there was a lack of sleazy types too which is refreshing.

If the car park wasn’t like a sardine tin, or if I hadn’t been feeling ill, or if the music in the other two rooms hadn’t been so unchallenging, I would have gleaned a lot more enjoyment out of the night. Most people I spoke to seemed to enjoy it a lot more than me so the fact that I didn’t enjoy it that much should be taken in context.

That said, I could have booked flights to Ibiza for the amount I spent on just getting to and getting into the event.

I couldn’t even get my locker refund back as they wanted a non-existent clip back that was never given to me in the first place.

To top everything off, the limo driver refused to go to the services on the way home – offering only to stop on the hard shoulder – fine for guys but totally unacceptable for ladies on board.

I’m going to give the night a 4 out of 10 – as I said though, take my thoughts with a pinch of salt as it wasn’t really my cup of tea in the first place. If you like your big name tech-house DJs in big warehouse style venues then you would likely have had a very good time.

But for me, if this was the only clubbing available then I would be considering my retirement.

Next time out will be in the home of minimal techno – not Berlin as that is so 2005.

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