A Good Night


Early October, and it’s not cold enough yet to use that as an excuse for staying in on a Saturday night. We take the tube from New Cross Gate to Whitechapel – it’s only a pound on Oyster – and we walk from there.


Brick Lane is packed with overpriced drinkers and policemen. A couple of the restaurant hawkers try to hook us in; they never do when you’re on your own. We stop at the Beigel Bake – the original one, not the imitation one. I like the rudeness of the staff. I think about the different ways to pronounce "croissant", but they don’t have any, so I buy a Bakewell slice. I start to drop the Bakewell so that by the time we get to the club I’m coming up nicely on the sugar.


I wouldn’t normally go to a techno club, but when it’s a friend’s birthday you just go, don’t you? The club is on Shoreditch High Street. One bouncer says to the other: “Do you want these guys in?” Well, we are unshaven and shovelling carbohydrates into ourselves – perhaps it’s not the image they want to foster. Good cop tells bad cop we can go in after we’ve finished eating. “It’s not a fucking restaurant," I joke, to lighten the mood, but it doesn’t really work. I wonder if they do ever actually turn anyone away and on what grounds.


Inside, it’s like one floor of a multi-storey car park. You might call it minimalism, or you might call it spending as little money as possible on the fixtures and fittings. We meet some people who all met at university in Norwich and are still friends. I tell one of them a bit about my day job, but like most people in that situation, he’s more interested in hearing about my night job.


On the dancefloor, I have fun pretending to be buzzing my tits off on E, or whatever the kids take these days. The music might be house or techno – I don’t really know. You can dance to it and you can jump up and down to the beat, but the latter seems to be considered uncool. It’s the most exercise I’ve done all week. The crowd are okay. Anyone who says Shoreditch folk are arseholes has obviously never tried playing an indie gig in a pub in Colchester, or at Cambridge University.


After an hour or so, I start coming down off the cake. We say our goodbyes and we leave, walking past a long queue of people waiting to get in. I don’t understand why they arrive so late. I get home and I re-evaluate my Pet Shop Boys albums.


"Are you having a good night?"

"Yes, I'm having a good night, thank you."


"Are you having a good night?"

"Yes, I'm having a good night. Are you?"