While writing my review of Waterslide Bar, it occurred to me that I’ve been legally allowed to go out drinking for ten years now. Having said that, I go to bars much more than nightclubs these days. Part of this is circumstance, but then I realised that my taste in venues to drink at have changed. That’s not to say I don’t like raging parties anymore (hell yeah, I do!).It also occurred to me that I’ve gone through the normal clubbing phases most young adults go through. My thoughts on clubbing and how hard I partied changed over a decade.
2005: I was in Year 12, and the first time I got properly drunk was at my 18th birthday party. Boy, the next day sucked! Most of my friends didn’t turn 18 until towards the end of the year, or even the following year. I had to concentrate on my studying, so all of my outings to bars and nightclubs were through my older sister and her friends. I was stoked my sister let her daggy little brother tag along and wanted to help me explore my horizons.
2006: It was my first year at TAFE learning professional writing. Most of my classmates were 18-19 year olds like myself, and were new to both tertiary education and clubbing. I went to a whole bunch of 18th birthday parties. I discovered what a letdown strip clubs were. I went to Big Day Out, my first music festival. Got barred from Billboard for being “too drunk” (I was sober), which made me discover Next, a RNB and Metal night that I fell in love with, and partied there until the sun came up.
2007: This was when I started going to the best clubs in Melbourne at the time. I fell in love with Marquee and would always go there with my mates. I also explored top clubs like Platform One and Cherry Bar, and even got into Billboard (which was rad!). My mates always fooled around with girls, and once even booked a motel room in advance to take them to for “an after party”. I started buying polo shirts (a clubbing fashion stable for men at the time). What I wouldn’t give to go back to this era.
2008: I partied with hot girls; I never dated them, but my naive 21 year old self thought I was a legend for dancing with chicks. I was also still frequenting Marquee with the boys. Plenty of top 21sts, including my own. I was clubbing left, right and centre; it was a magical time.
2009: I was still clubbing, but a friend told me his girlfriend was pregnant. I knew this was going to be the beginning of the end. The last time I partied at Marquee with the fellas was on a Saturday night in December 2009. It was the end of the noughties, and quite fittingly the end of an era.
2010: I was starting to think my outings to bars and nightclubs was over. There had been entire months without me stepping inside such a place. (Though I did have a few house parties.) I was finishing uni at the time, so I became more interested in getting a job (little did I know the hardships that awaited me on that front!). I started writing for Bars And Nightclubs, which renewed my interested in nightlife.
2011: I started writing feature articles for Bars And Nightclubs. The first time I wasn’t asked by a bouncer to show my ID (that was kinda depressing to be honest). I also noticed I was going to bars more than nightclubs.
2012: I went to a bucks night; we were at marrying age! After writing more articles, I became the Editor and Content Manager for Bars And Nightclubs. I was a step closer to keeping my clubbing days alive.
2013: I went to the opening night of Caprice opening night, where I drunkenly leaped around on a jumping castle. I got drunk with randoms from a social drinking group called Raiders Of The Lost Bars. I went to Marquee for the first time since 2009, but it wasn’t as good as I remember it being. I partied in America. Getting booze delivered to my house to try it out for articles (score!) Time Out Bar Awards at The Emerson.
2014: Went to VU’s Footscray campus pub for a get together with my TAFE friends, and we talked about how close we were each getting with professional writing and our lives in general. One mate’s wife was pregnant at the time, so fatherhood was looming on all of us. I went to Sydney and the Gold Coast and drank a lot though.
2015: I went up to Sydney for my cousin’s 21st, and her equally young friends were there celebrating. My younger sister, who is 26, looked at them and said to me, “I feel so old”. Now of course 26 is not old in the real world, but in the partying world, it’s getting there. I am 28, so having my younger sister say this disturbed me.
Naturally my outings slowed down as my friends and I got older; sad, but we don’t frequent the clubs like we used to. But I had a sign at my aforementioned cousin’s 21st, my dad had turned 60 the day before, and my uncles were in their 50s. Before I know it, I’ll be drinking in my 50s too, and proud of it. I’m proud of my ever growing tolerance of alcohol (my beer gut proves that too unfortunately).
Originally published here at barsandnightclubs.com.au on Monday 17 August 2015