Carl Altaner details the wonders of a night out in Falmouth.
At last, it’s Thursday night. You sit on your bed and ponder whether the sesh is beckoning you or not. Depending on what year you’re in, a few things may be running through your mind.
If you’re a fresher, you feel obliged to go out because, if you don’t, are you even really a fresher? You second years are keen to relive the wild, carefree days of your first year, even though you know deep down that those days are over. Third years are simply drinking to forget the fact that, after nine-or-so months of struggle, they’re going to have the privilege to make the magical transformation from ‘student’ to ‘unemployed.’
Faced with such overwhelming considerations, you inevitably decide to go out. After a couple rounds of “Ring of Fire” in which no one can remember all the rules—let alone who’s their ‘mate’ or the Question Master—you stumble out into the drizzle. For the long, excruciatingly steep and hilly journey to town, you pack the essentials: a water bottle of squash and vodka, or maybe a couple cans of Foster’s or Red Stripe, depending on whether you study Mining Engineering or Creative Writing.
Through the incessant drizzle, you and the Banter Squad spot the lights of ‘Spoons in the distance. Freshers whip out their passports like they’re off to Ibiza at Gatwick Airport, but instead of bag searches there are tattooed bouncers. You relish the thought of an icy pitcher of Woo Woo, because you’re just about drunk enough to feel no shame in polishing one off on your lonesome.
There are so many people at the bar that you’re not sure whether you’ve walked into the Packet Station or an Indian train station. You fight your way through to the counter, only to realise after half an hour that literally hundreds of people who definitely, definitely got there after you are being served before you. Everybody at the bar feels frustration rise inside them at how annoyingly sober they’ve become due to this totally unfair calamity.
It’s approaching eleven. Your Flat Mum / Dad pipes up and announces in a tone that belies their thoroughly inebriated state that you should all get stamps for Club I. Suddenly filled with a sense of purpose you haven’t felt since GCSEs, you neck whatever you’re drinking—and maybe whatever your mate is too—and follow the squad as they march out into the cold.
The queue is mercifully short, thanks to your friend who is clearly wise beyond their modest years. If you’re a second year or older, you feel a twinge of indignation at the 50p price rise, and if you’re not, you’re stunned at how cheap Falmouth’s premier club is. £3.50? You’d never pay that much for Coco Pops, but for Club I it’s a steal.
Having acquired your mark of shame, a dizzying array of choices now face you and your friends. Where to go now—Grapes? Toast? Someplace that the CSM lads aren’t? If you’re in CSM, chances are you’re still in ‘Spoons savouring your seventh pint of Doom Bar. Someone mentions Five Degrees Below and an awful chill runs down your spine. Suddenly you understand why Falmouth students are always talking about trigger warnings. Toast it is.
Three somewhat disturbingly-named ‘My Little Pony’ shots later (you bought four, but one was tragically lost in the throng of elbows and shoulders), it’s time to leave. You’re ready to throw some shapes in the club, but mainly it’s because Toast has proven yet again that it’s possible for a building to run out of oxygen.
Things are starting to blur, but the musty, sweaty odour of Club I remains unmistakable. It hits you like a wall, at the entrance to the Mordor-esque corridor stairs that seem a lot longer than they did an hour ago. You are greeted by the pulsing sound of club remixes of ‘Mr. Brightside’ and ’99 Problems.’ Glad to be dancing at last, you’re vaguely aware that half your group is either snogging randomers or queueing for the toilets. You don’t care, because ‘Feed ‘Em to the Lions’ just came on.
‘He’s definitely on ket,’ you think, glancing around. You narrowly avoid tripping on one of the many plastic tumblers that are rolling around on the sticky carpet. It’s a mess, but it’s an endearing mess.
Somehow you find somebody you know and stumble out into the streets. It’s like a war zone; students are strewn around on the cobblestones, crouching next to bins and sheltering in covered nooks and side streets. It’s chaos. There’s chunder in every alleyway. Yet you only have one thing on your mind.
Cheesy chips. Greasy and glorious, they make the night worth it. ‘Cod on the Corner—more like God on the Corner,’ someone quips in between mouthfuls. You scarf them down before piling into a taxi with just about anyone—because God knows where your friends are—and hope it ends up somewhere near your house. If you’re a somewhat decent human being and you actually contribute to the fare, you’ve probably way overpaid and you’ll never see that money again.
All in all, a night out in Falmouth isn’t exactly as glitzy as Leicester or London, and more than a bit grim in places—but at least it’s ours.