Honey Club not so sweet

Maybe it’s because I’m not cool. Maybe it’s because I don’t have much money. But, then again, it could be that standing in puddles of other people’s vomit and stuffing spirits down my throat at breakneck speed isn’t what I like to do of a Wednesday evening. However, my loathing of night clubs was put to one side to go out during Fresher’s Week at the University of Sussex.

At night clubs, so it’s made out by the majority of my peers, people get wrecked and wake up next to someone they barely know, feeling queasy and wondering where their clothes are.

After entering a bar called “Font”, a Church-turned-nightclub complete with comfortable sofas usually seen in upmarket pubs looking to become eateries, I ordered the first spirit of my life in the form of a Vodka and Coke. Admittedly, it was a slightly wimpy way of starting the evening, but it allowed me to get used to the taste.

Mixed with a soft drink, the Vodka was barely noticeable. Indeed, the likes of WKD and Smirnoff take advantage of this, packaging tasty spirit-based drinks into teen-friendly bottles.

The Sussex University Rugby Club then marched into the circular seating area, singing “Sweet Chariot” and beginning their induction for new members of the team. For anyone unaware of this procedure, new players have to down pint after pint after pint until they’re sick and begging for mercy. Apparently, this is a bonding exercise although I can’t see it turning up in many ‘Blue-sky thinking’ manuals written for large corporations looking for strong inter-staff relationships to help productivity.

The highlight of the evening came in the bathroom of Font, where a severely drunk baby-faced kid, wearing a stained Sussex Rugby top, looked at himself in the mirror and said, without knowing I was at the urinal and could hear every word: “I am fucked. I feel weird. Where is… What? No”. The next generation. Our future leaders… We’re all screwed.

Although Font was great, it wasn’t a proper nightclub. It seemed like a junior version of the real thing, with enough loud music and alcohol to make it cool, but not enough drunken morons looking to have it off with anything that moves to make it a real club. The Honey Club has the honour of being the first proper venue I have ever visited, a smoky building hidden underneath Brighton’s promenade.

And yes, it was shit. Every aspect of it was hideous. The gorillas at the front of the building, checking ID and generally putting themselves about, didn’t make for a friendly entrance. They are simply – almost certainly – a bunch of ex-convict, drug dealing, Pit-bull-owning thugs, given a little bit too much power. However, if any of them ask after me, they are charming, helpful, attractive doyens of respectability. Essential pillars of the community.

It took fifteen minutes to pay and enter, although the free shot at the entrance somewhat made up for it. A short while after paying £6 for a Vodka and Red Bull, I was relieved to be on our way again, as the girls I was with came marching down the stairs and screamed in my ear: “We’re going! The toilets are covered in sick. It’s fucking disgusting!”

So with one last swig of my watered-down, preposterously expensive drink, we departed after a full ten minutes, surprising the guerrillas on the front desk by leaving so quickly. Apparently, there was a foam party upstairs, but we didn’t dare hang around to witness it – think how filthy that could have been. Judging from most of the revellers, it would probably be the first bath many have had in weeks.

Despite this moan and whinge about clubs, I am doing the same thing tonight, probably against my better judgement. I have been told that most clubs in Brighton are actually quite pleasant, so fingers crossed I’ve just started off badly and things will improve. Then again, some people think Jamie Cullum is pleasant, despite the fact I want to kick his jazzy face to pieces.

The most worrying thing about the evening was getting home; but in a fitter state of mind than I had expected – probably due to the late start and expensive drinks which stopped me from purchasing too many – I managed to get home for 2am, tumbling through the front door and in to bed in double quick speed.

The last train is my modus operandi because I’ve seen the taxi rank in the early hours of the morning and it’s like the holding pen for Bad Lad’s Army. Never a good place to be.