What Katy did - disco divas days
Katy and her soul sisters pay a visit to the new Liquid Envy nightclub and lose track of time down on the dancefloor.
The opening of a new nightclub in Ipswich is a pretty big event, it has to be said, what with the limited choice us Ipswichians (did I just make that word up?) have. When Pals opened it was a major deal as, for the first time, older people, and by that I mean anyone over 21, now had somewhere decent to spend their evening rather than the crèche that was Hollywoods (or was it Kartouch by then) or, at the other end of the spectrum, the horrendous, never-to-be-set-foot-in Chicagos, where the men thought groping was an acceptable form of interaction and the women could have done with a Trinny and Susannah make-over (harsh but true).
Then Pals went a bit down hill, all clubs inevitably do, so I was keen to sample the delights of the new Liquid Envy, on Cardinal Park, which claims to cater not only to the teenage market but also for the old fogies like me - i.e. those who have notched up at least 25 years.
OK, so it doesn't really count as a new club as Liquid in fact opened nine years ago. But they did shut for months to implement a massive, multimillion pound refurbishment so it ought to look pretty different and worth taking a peek, out of interest.
Rocking up on opening night with my “VIP” ticket was a mistake though, what with the entire town having been given the same tickets leading to a queue half way round the block. By the time I got to the front they were not letting any more in and I had to, for the first time in my life, pull the “but I'm a member of the press” line just to save my friend and I from traipsing back home, even though it was a school night. But once inside it was so rammed we didn't even get to glimpse Envy - the mini club within a club for us older folk - as bouncers were closely guarding the door to stop to prevent over-fill.
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But I was determined to take a look and so two nights later, after a meal at Ask, with a bottle of house white, followed by more vin blanc at Keos (where a helium balloon was the cause of much mirth) we were all well on the way to boogying down on the dance floor.
The trek from St Nicholas Street to Cardinal Park is admittedly not far, but in new high heels that had only been road-tested on carpet at work, I was expecting a severe case of PSS (painful shoe syndrome) to set in soon. But due to the quantity of alcohol in my system I felt as light-footed as a fairy. And with a mad man who kept saying I looked like Sophie Anderton from Love Island to accompany me all the way there, any foot pain was soon forgotten.
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Once inside, Envy was rather attractive with its baroque-inspired décor of plush velvet booths, chandeliers, mirrored panels covered in Georgian floral patterns, and glittery, marble effect dance floor. It sounds hideous in this description but was quite glam.
Thankfully, the music was plenty of funky pop and dance tracks rather than the tired old routine of Mustang Sally, Grease megamix, Bryan Adams et al they played on the opening night (and that gets played in pretty much every club for over 25s - very unoriginal).
The combination of classic tunes, great company and already being rather tipsy lead me to a moment of intoxicated madness where I purchased, on a whim, a bottle of champers for myself and my buddies, much to their delight.
Fuelled by the combo of wine and champers (thank goodness we ate pasta earlier to soak some of it up) and feel-good endorphins, we twirled and swirled and strutted our stuff like true dancing queens all the way until closing time - a rare occurrence for us oldies these days.
Back at Dani's flat and munching on marmite-covered bagels, we gossiped until 4am before finally falling into bed.
Five hours later the sun was streaming through the window and I had a very sore head indeed - one of the major drawbacks, along with poor skin, liver damage etc, of such drinking.
Another bad thing about getting drunk when you're no longer a teen is that it takes around four days to recover instead of just a morning. But, if I dare say it, it was worth it this time. The hangover eventually wore off but the memories of what we have labelled the Jim'll Fix It Night (due to one of the guys, who tried to chat us up, reminding Mel of Sir Jim - though I didn't see the similarity) will remain for a long time to come.