As we’ve grown older, our Friday nights have shifted to being a lot less ‘dance the night away’ and a lot more ‘Peppi and chill’. Many of our favourite old haunts are now haunted by the ghosts of countless spilled Aftershocks and the echoes of Gala’s hits. Here are some of the places we miss the most:
Now: Shopping mall.
The Mecca of musical mayhem, and quite possibly the first club you went to. It’s also the reason you forged the date on your NSTS student card so that you could get a Malibu pineapple aged 15 (like that wasn’t a bloody give-away).
The real coolios would go in at 20:30 to catch the light show. As Karl Jenkins’s Adiemus blasted through those behemoth speakers and the green laser cut through the dry ice, you knew that, now, here, this was where you were meant to be.
Now: Shops underneath the Intercontinental.
A catchy Europop tune to some, a smorgasbord of debauchery to the rest of us. Conveniently close to the Paceville steps, yet just a bit further away, to add to its exclusivity.
The venue where wildly exhilarating foam parties were held. Basically, the sprinklers would release a couple of bubbles onto the dancefloor and make the tiles slippery. Everyone would smell of Lux liquid for a couple of hours and the frenzied sex orgy that was planned beneath the suds would just about fail to happen.
But fuck that, your hair was spiked up (possibly with kitchen foil in it) and peroxided to within an inch of the roots, Rhythm Is A Dancer was rocking the dancefloor and all was good with the world.
Now: A mouldy shell of what it once was.
Oh hell, now we’re getting exotic! Far away in distant Rabat, this is where you organized your Soirée afterparty if you wanted your legacy to be inscribed in the annals of history.
A short wait in the well-lit corridors leading to the inner glass door (you’re already pissed because you drank a bottle of Archers with Sprite out of your mate’s car boot in the car park outside the swings) and you’re through to the worryingly carpeted walls of what was actually a pretty decent club.
Once you’d necked enough Blue Curacao and pineapple to feel sufficiently groovy, you’d descend into the weirdly swimming-pool shaped dancefloor, and do your best running man before you slipped and collapsed into a damp stain on someone’s scuffed Doc Marten’s. Class.
4. 8 Pool
Now: Gentlemens’ Club
Not really a club, more like what a club was before it grew up and left home. So many pool tables, so many 8-balls to sink on the first shot, so many piles of 25 cent coins teetering precariously on the edge of the green felt, staking your claim on the next 4 hours of snooker madness.
Feeling rebellious? Go wild on the air hockey tables! Give the puck a bit of a spin and spend the next 15 minutes looking for it underneath the ċomba table. Add to this a decent-looking barmaid and toilets that were made to host you as you wept whilst your crush gave love bites to some jaqq in the corner, and you’ve got a sure winner.
Now: An abandoned carcass.
Summer. A season of sun, sea and Samba de Janeiro. That, and flocks of Scandinavian teenagers, stepping off the plane and into the welcoming arms of Malta’s youth, ready to take our Cisk Export and give us chlamydia in return. And all this wholesome fun was to be had at Bamboo.
As you swayed to Coco Jambo and sipped your Bacardi Breezer, you wondered whether you’d get lucky tonight. As did the other 2000 sweaty pimpled boys in the venue.
6. Coconut Grove
Now: Still Coconut Grove. Much like your alcoholic aunt, this one will never die.
C&C Music Factory not your style? 2 Unlimited don’t do it for you? Then head over to Coconut.
Flokk tal-Guns, torn jeans, 20-hole DMs and a choker and you’re ready for a night of Papa Roach, Marilyn Manson and maybe even some Iron Maiden. The disease: dignity. The cure: Coconut shooters, costing roughly 5 cents per hectare, and as strong as your conviction that you’d be going to 9 o’ clock Mass next day with your parents. The glorious friendships forged against the urine-drenched walls of the men’s toilets still stand the test of time. Doqqli “Whole Lotta Love” DJ!
Now: No idea. Can’t remember where Fredu used to be.
Much of the fun you had in those days can’t be remembered. And the reason why is Fredu.
An aluminium box-room with an emaciated old man inside it, peddling booze by the bucketful to the not-so-innocent. Trotsky vodka anyone? Sure, who needs a liver anyway?