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Hot takes: Brisbane nightlife

Some inspiring hot takes on the best and worst Brisbane has to offer. Don’t take any of this personally my entire personality used to be based on Retros.

The Foundry:
If this was (ouch) your favourite club, you knew how to have a good time but you did it with like 40% more class than the majority of your friends. You enjoyed a themed night. You prioritised a good dance over chasing down that guy in the back corner. At one stage you  probably tried to start a band but it fell through and now you work a pleasant 9-5 in marketing. I have painstaking memories here involving my brother and myself sprinting back after a gig to pitch Retros to two members of the slow folk band we had seen the hour before. They politely declined. 

You’re still hung up over The Flying Cock/TBC:
The Princess Diana of the Brisbane nightlife scene. Beloved by all and taken too soon. A stable icon amongst a family full of chaos. I once complained to a boy in a queue for Rics that I mourned these two places like a member of my own family and he replied, “What’s the Flying Cock?”. Instead of feeling old, I just felt a pang of sadness. Like I had just demolished warm bread in front of someone who had been ceolic their whole life. 

Lychee Lounge: Severely underrated. The best lychee cocktails in the southern hemisphere. Overshadowed by The Boundary Hotel across the road which does NOT do lychee cocktails. Myself and ten of my closest friends may or may not be banned after a short stint here on a Wednesday night last November.

Blackbear Lodge:
If you’re a regular here you either live in West End, don’t wear shoes in public during the day, had a small stint in Germany to try and make it as an underground DJ, or all of the above. You don’t care if the music is crap as long as no one else has EVER heard of the band you “discovered”. You’re also super hot and I wanna be you.

My favourite memory from this club is the night Tom abandoned me to spend the night with a deaf lesbian.  About four years later he realised she wasn’t deaf when he found a note on his phone from that night saying ‘I’m not deaf’. The BEAT was also my first club of choice on a Thursday night in year 12 exam block the day I turned eighteen. Got a D- on my maths exam the next day but killed the drama improv.

Rics: The range of clientele for this place never ceases to surprise me. Boys with medium-length beach hair will defend this place until they die. Almost everyone else will have something to say about how shit it is, myself included, but I will be seeing them in the line at 2am this Saturday. If you come here to dance then you actually enjoy music with no lyrics which I cannot relate to.I once woke up to a note I had written on my phone from the previous night at 3:01am after the DJ finally played Dua Lipa: “It’s amazing what lyrics can do to a dance floor”.  An electric 2% of the clientele come here purely for karaoke. You hit different. My heart belongs to you. I also had one of the best nights of my life here with my mum and the mother of the lead singer of Jungle Giants. Sometimes I can stay here for hours. Sometimes 17 minutes max. 

Birdees: If Birdees is your club of choice you enjoy silent discos, your definition of pre’s is sculling warm Jacob’s Creek, and you are nineteen. OR, you’ve had a momentary lapse in judgment. I may or may not have been on the dance floor the night in which the entire club broke covid-19 restrictions. Mad props to the DJ for telling everyone to “get up and dance” during a strict sit-down-only weekend in July last year. Love you.

The Caxton Hotel:
If this is your favourite pub you’re either friends with Josh Clutterbuck, are Josh Clutterbuck, or you’re a girl desperately seeking validation from a footballer who will most likely cheat on you with your younger sister. Boys who base their entire personality on loving the Caxton are usually walking red flags (except for you, Joshie). They may have won the best bistro for Queensland pubs but their espresso martinis come OUT OF A TAP. Also, this place has also recently become (personally) tarnished after I met up with a boy for drinks and he aggressively tried to convince me Covid wasn’t real before insulting my career and my gender.

If this is your favourite club you are A) a 27-year-old farmer named Sam* visiting Brisbane from Beaudesert to escape life in the sticks; B) so vain that you enjoy watching yourself dance in front of mirrors; or C) tried it once ‘for a laugh’ and are now a Retro’s VIP for life. If this was your favourite club between 2017 – Feb 2020, then chances are you have seen Caitlin or I on the ‘stage’ (AKA a glorified set of crate buckets in the corner) and I can only apologise. Our behaviour at Retros during those years can only be described as a mix of influential and downright monstrous. We had the manager wrapped around our fingers and I shudder to think about how much money we owe them. 

A sad and brief insight into my nights out

This place reminds me of that scene in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief when they are lured into Club Lotus and are fed all those edible flowers so they never leave. If you’re in Prohibition you’ve entered against your will, but hours pass before you break the spell. Suddenly it’s 4am and you’re sitting in some guy’s lap buying him drinks with your leftover centrelink money. Just go home. And not with him. The night is over. 

The MET:
This club is so heinous that it barely deserves my words. You only go here if you want to have sex with a Katoni Staggs lookalike or you’re eighteen years old and chasing validation from a boy that doesn’t even have his license.  It’s also really cold here for no reason.

The Wharves:
I group every individual establishment at the HSW’s together because one cannot be separated from another (except for Mr Percival’s, which unfortunately did lose both status and customers after that shooting). If you go to the wharves you are hot and I assume you either have money or, like me, just enjoy the ambiance of a place full of people with money. I will spend the rest of my life chasing the high I felt the night the entire Australian Air Force partied here in their uniform. Sexy. 

A hundred apologies to anyone who is reading this right now with cancelled plans. In my defense I did start writing this before the lockdown.

Always and forever the Flying Cock.


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