Up All Night

My room still looks like a warehouse. That’s pretty much the reason that there was no post last week and that this one is late. Last Thursday I was up all night making bookshelves from a flat-pack kit – much to the irritation of my housemates, I imagine. Being fair, they were pretty nice about the situation and this despite the fact that they don’t see too much of me. I work nights where they mostly seem to do days and so I’m asleep or out much of the time that the civilised world is active. Furthermore, I go out drinking at Eddies every other Saturday, unless circumstances get in the way, so I usually have adventures that I just wouldn’t have at home. Take the other week, for instance.

That Saturday, I came out of work needing (in a rather chronic way) alcohol and kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll. Not a tall order at a goth and metal nightclub, of course, and so I came to spend a few hours dancing to all sorts of rubbish and watching some goths I know demonstrate spanking techniques to each other. It’s probably best that I don’t elaborate on this but suffice it to say that they were in the entrance to one of the bigger rooms in the club where any passing person could watch in bewilderment as backsides were offered between friends.

Two o’clock rolled around and Eddie’s closed, leaving me stood out on the steps with my fellow drunken bums listening to a man that I met at Charlemagne’s wedding party sing a song about sleeping with disabled people in order to get a better parking space at Tesco’s (although he prefers to shop at Asda, according to his lyrics). By the way, this tale hasn’t hit rock bottom yet, believe it or not…

A gang of us went for food at the Emperor’s instigation and, kebabs in hand, we waited for the two taxis he called for us all to share to arrive. The second taxi never arrived which left me stranded outside a chip shop with Feste (singer of the tasteless ditty mentioned above), CC and Evelyn (neither of whom I’d met before). CC and I hatched a plan: we could continue the party if we could find somewhere to drink. The first stop was Riley’s pool club, but they wouldn’t let us in. Something about membership cards, the guy said…

As Feste dipped out, I came up with plan B; a plan that would turn out to be the dumbest I’ve ever had.

The logic ran thus: there is one type of venue in Birmingham that is open ’til approximately six in the morning. All of these venues are clustered around one particular street and have one particular interest in common. So it was that CC, Evelyn and I found ourselves wandering down Hurst Street in search of a gay bar.

I checked my logic out with a gay workmate a couple of days later. The principle was sound: DV8 and Nightingale’s should both have been open at four in the morning, according to the man who knew the scene. Maybe every poof in Birmingham pulled that night and went home early. Whatever, the Gale and DV8 were shut sooner that we could have predicted. On a normal night, I’d have taken this as a sign from above to get a taxi and go the fuck home. The three of us were going in the same direction, just different distances, so it wasn’t even as if we had to phone three different cabs. But no, we had to carry on with our bloody stupid plan. Determination took us all over the gay quarter and through China Town in search of another bar that appears not to exist before CC had a thought.

‘There’s a place I went to that’s open ’til ten in the morning,’ he said. ‘It’s called Subway City.’

When we asked him to guide us, he said he only vaguely remembered where it was but he could navigate us from Snow Hill railway station. After about half an hour’s trudging, we got to Snow Hill and the Jewellery Quarter. And CC couldn’t see anything he recognised.

‘I know it’s by a canal,’ he said. ‘Can you find the canal?’

Like three complete muppets, we wandered aimlessly round the Jewellery Quarter. At one point, a car stopped to ask us for directions. As we leaned closer to the window, the driver said, ‘do you guys know where I could find Subway City?’

How we laughed. We told him we were looking for it ourselves and, for some reason, he didn’t fancy giving two metalheads and a goth a lift. We don’t know if he found the place but, more by luck than judgement, CC found something he recognised and got us into the place. We spent ten pounds each to get into the morning party, yet felt compelled to leave after a single pint – there’s only so much hard house a guy can take at six in the morning.

As we wandered back through town we vowed never to do anything like this again. As we sat in McDonald’s waiting for New Street Station to open so we could catch the train home now we’d blown our taxi money, we vowed never to do this again. As we sat in the waiting room of New Street station waiting for the first train on the cross-city line, due at twenty past nine, we vowed never to do this again.

Two weeks later, two metalheads and a goth sat on the steps of Eddie’s at six in the morning having stayed out all night doing jack shit.

‘You know what?’ said CC, as I leant on the banister and Evelyn dozed on the concrete steps. ‘I’m never going to do this again.’


~ by Scary Rob on 30 July, 2006.

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