Hang on… what are those girls laughing and pointing at?
That can mean only one thing of course.
The Cathouse Halloween weekender has arrived.
Our friendly, professional door staff are at the ready to greet the punters.
There is fake blood and cobwebs everywhere.
… as well as the obligatory recently-dead dictator costume.
… more Where’s Wally characters than you can shake a stick at…
… and of course, an intoxicated Daz on the prowl.
For whatever reason, something about the Cathouse and Halloween fit together remarkably well. Perhaps it’s the fact that the clientele are drawn towards that which is slightly off the beaten path in everyday life already, but since I started working at the biggest rock club in Scotland, it was clear that Halloween was the biggest party to be had all year… and this time round the celebrations were to last over a full, long weekend of insanity.
I was doing so well at having some semblance of a normal sleeping pattern till Halloween rocked up and blew all that out of the water. Drinking early and getting home at ridiculous times in the morning was bad enough… realising that most of the staff hadn’t even gone home to their beds at any point just added to the madness.
I remember at a festival that I had been to for a few years in a row, and seeing the same bunch of leather-clad goths with brightly dyed hair every time.
What I discovered though, was that they only ever dressed like that when they came to festivals because of their jobs.
For someone who had fought tooth and nail against prejudices from both adults and other people my age over the colour of my hair or clothes I chose to wear, this idea seemed completely ludicrous.
If you really deeply feel like having bright hair or piercings is something integral to who you are and the way you engage with the world, then to shut it away as if it is something that can be simply switched off makes no sense at all, and actually only helps perpetuate the idea that these sorts of appearances are something to be considered socially unacceptable.
What keeps striking me about the Cathouse is that it’s more than just another bar job to the people involved… and more than just a nightclub to those that come week in, week out. It’s a whole lifestyle that people genuinely and actively live out; not just something they pay lip service to.
Some of the staff showed just how much of a genuine rock-and-roll mentality they actually have… and how effortlessly they balance the work hard, play even harder approach.
Further to that, the decision to head in to the club on the Sunday when I wasn’t actually even working was one that initially I felt a bit torn over: the whole idea of simply returning to the same place when you’re off and have so many different places that you could go to being an uncomfortable prospect.
However, I have to say that I’ve almost found peace with that quandary. The traditional point of a club, after all, is to have a place where people will frequent often… with familiar surroundings, people and events that bind together those with a range of common interests. There’s no shame in enjoying spending time in a place where everyone knows your name… or where you feel part of things… at home in amongst the bricks and regulars. It must be something like what having a local pub feels like. For a proper ‘night out’, then perhaps somewhere new and different is worth pushing out elsewhere, but for a night to simply be out, then somewhere familiar and comfortable is almost certainly best.
A special mention has to go to this girl at the Unders, whose Irn-Bru dress and grin made my evening complete.