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Member Name: Tcraze84
Date: 25/09/01, updated on 25/09/01 (187 review reads)
Advantages: Decent range of music, ditto drinks selection.
Disadvantages: People, boring, boring people., And icky dancefloors too.
Conformity sucks. Erm, yeah. Clubbing's not about conformity; it's about the music, the people - depending on where you visit, obviously. Berties doesn't conform, and that's a good thing...right?
Last time I wrote an opinion on a club in Cornwall, I hyped the Cornish clubbing scene probably a lot more than I should have. Sure, it has a few decentish clubs y'know, but they're really not Club clubs, if you see what I mean, they're not solely about the experience and music like some of the country's superclubs - the likes of Cream (Liverpool), Gatecrasher (Sheffield) and the soon-to-be Pachá (London) are. Well, sorta anyway. That's not to say that all Cornish clubs are well and truly sucky, 'cause they're not - and people enjoy, really enjoy themselves in them - if only due to the fact that the majority of the clubbing population down here don't know any different. Visiting a superclub - Cream et al, or worse; the multitude of Ibiza's SuperSuperclubs, would obviously be a major culture shock. Even for me probably, and I'd like to think I knew a fair bit about how the clubbing world works, what makes it tick. And I do, but I'd most definitely be overwhelmed when - not if - I do get the finances to visit some of the aforementioned nightspots. Early-morningspots, even, yeah? Yeah. Cornwall's different to big cities, even though it is an entire county. It has a few clubs - not as many as you'd find in just London/Birmingham/Sheffield, say, but a good few nonetheless. And I've been to a fair few too, y'know. Of them, only one's probably even half-comparable with a big club 'up-country', and that's Truro's L2: a veritable haven of Hard House and big-name DJs - particularly with its Friday night Tranz@ction nights, boasting the likes of big, big-name crowd-pullers; Anne Savage, Mauro Picotto, John Pleased (if I remember correctly, and well, it was either him or even bigger
-name John "00" Flemming, so take your pick) and Trance guru Lange to name but three in recent - and forthcoming months. And I'd go as far as to say that L2's the only proper 'Club' in Cornwall - when I last went, I was amazed to find that a club in Cornwall was actually all about the music, and that only. Other clubs are different, and here's why.
It's been mentioned before, but there is, essentially, two types of clubs. The 'Club' clubs, which tend to be of the bigger, higher-profile variety - all about the music and attended by real fans OF the music, and the other clubs, er, lovingly referred to elsewhere as the "Ritzes" of the world: the clubs that have wider-spread interests as well as the music - the people, the alcohol, the pulling, etc. You know what I'm talking about. And then there's the neat lil' hybrid between the two, which accounts for the vast majority of Cornwall's clubs, I'd say. Previously-reviewed club Zone (Redruth, Cornwall) fits into this description, and so does Berties. Ah yeah, and you'd think it might have an apostrophe in the name too, but it doesn't, 'k?
The hybrid? Ah. Kinda sorta music-dedicated, but enough of the peopley, drinky and pully-type stuff to go around, too. Which should, in theory, make for a happy medium, and subsequently, a great night out. And it does too, y'know - most of the time. You can dance, you can get lost in the music, then get tired and go off and pull/drink. It's your call, and that's what's cool. Ooh. So yeah, fun clubs. And Berties is one of these hybrids, which almost attracted me to it in the first place, because I guessed I've have fun there. And there may not just be anything that's potentially more fun than a night clubbing that's been planned - really really planned, for ages; and then seeing your hard work fall in place and everybody having a great night. That's cool,
and that's we did on our very first visit to Berties. Because Berties - and Newquay - is a fair while away, it simply had to be really well-organised if it stood any chance of being a successful night. I've been there, ooh, twice now - which tells you something already - I went back for more, no? So, all aboard the pre-booked minibus, and off we went.
Located slap-bang in the centre of Newquay's East Street, Berties - conveniently - lies next door to Mexican-themed sister restaurant/bar Senór Dicks - allowing a few relaxing warm-up drinks and cocktails before heading off next door for the remainder of the evening's festivities. And this was just, y'know, cool; having a laugh with mates, only able to wildly guess at what events may occur over the course of the next few hours, whilst listening to bar-cultured house/chart music and getting, er, up-for-it, basically. Thumbs up already, then.
Berties, the self-proclaimed busiest club in Cornwall, didn't appear to be so, on first glance. Actually, second - both times I've visited (both on Friday nights) there was a minimal queue to get in - five or ten minutes at the most - whilst at Truro's L2, we had to stand in the cold August breeze for around fifty - 50 - minutes, and that was based on a "One in, one out" scheme, meaning we could've well been waiting a lot longer - and that was, amazingly, on a Monday night! So, the banner of "Cornwall's Busiest Club" waved proudly by Berties seemed to be in jeopardy before we'd even got underway. That said, we'd missed the initial door-opening rush and arrived fairly late in from next door, so allowances must be made. Well, more on that later, anyway.
Upon entering the club there seemed to be no real worries - as with virtually, if not all of Cornwall's clubs, Berties adopts a "Smart Casual" dress policy, so none of my group had any worries getting past the bouncers' wat
chful eyes in that respect - though I daren't risk trainers - both times I've visited, I've opted for smart black shoes, but as they say, the choice is yours. Otherwise, just a short-sleeve buttoned shirt and - fairly baggy - beige trousers were seemingly not a problem. Also, to cut down on the underage drinkers, Berties holds a strict door policy and don't hesitate to ask for Photo ID for anybody they're unsure of. I had no problems, but a female friend of mine was stopped - in her slightly drunken state - but her driving licence was, and is, the most readily-accepted form of identification, so if you're unsure, take it along. More problems lay ahead as several members of the group - including myself - were briefly frisked for security reasons, checking for any potential weapons - and of course, bottles of drink bought elsewhere or pills, etc. Another obstacle cleared - you didn't really think I'd be that audacious, did you? :o) Also, a police car was waiting nearby, so that said, be sensible, yeah?
Entry was £5, though would've been less if we'd manage to get in before 10.30, and if you're even luckier, you'd manage to bring along one of their freely-distributed flyers, offering free entry on selected nights.
Inside the club, first impressions were mixed. UV lights shone all around, even near the bar areas, and the club's split in many low-ceiling sections, really. Up steps, down steps, bar, dancefloor, toilets. It's all a bit confusing once you're inside - particularly if intoxicated (!) so do try not to get lost! Awkwardly, if you've got a jacket, you'll have to make your way right through the club to get to deposit your belongings in the cloak room, whilst the toilets are pretty impressive - a massive surface area of tiled flooring - all immaculately clean - though the floor is, and has been hazardous, particularly when wet and slippery. Ouch. Yeah, speaking from experience he
So, next stop: bar. Another impressive feature of the club - it has several! The main bar is situated in the centre of the club, basically (though I was kinda lost at the time) and impressive in decor. Drinks are fairly pricey for a Cornish club, but probably bargains when compared to others elsewhere. Rough guide: two Reefs cost £5.40, shots of Aftershock retail at a very pricey £3, whilst Sambuca shots are more favourably priced, at just £1.55. The bar staff, whilst not as kewl as the mad, jumpy, dancy lot at L2 are friendly enough, but understandably busy, so don't expect any prolonged conversations, obviously. Also inside is a specialised cocktail bar, if you're feeling particularly creative and/or experimental.
Essentially though, a club's all about the music, and with music and clubbing, comes dancing. And this is where Berties fails, rather miserably. The main dancefloor in Club 1 is rather poxy, cramped and very, very, unimpressive. There's little room to move if you're one of the rare few inside the club that actually were dancing. There's girls-only podiums, too - specifically girls-only...a [male] friend of mine was virtually thrown off by the bouncers for even attempting to dance on one! Lighting's good though, a few nice lasers for those euphoric moments, but nothing spectacular by any means.
Ooh, I forgot to mention something really obvious. Oops. Yeah. Berties is not just one club, but now two, with the newly-opened C2B (Club 2 Berties). The night when I went (Friday) saw the smooth grooves of R & B and Hip Hop descend on C2B, drawing, as you might expect, a rather different audience from the main club. Even more chance of you getting lost with it there, but probably more enjoyable - as a refreshing change - from Club 1, although the same can be said about the crowded dancefloor, though. Oh well.
What is good is that Berties is open, seven days a week. Which is great, really. And whil
st 'boring' midweek Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are only occupied by the meagre C2B, with, and I quote:
"Commercial music mixed with a great selection of drink specials. £2 entry all night; £1 off with flyer",
the rest of the week doesn't fare too badly on paper at all, y'know.
Main Club - Commercial Dance & Party
C2B - RnB & Hip Hop
Main Club - Floor Fillers
C2B - Retro 70s and 80s
SUNDAY ("..For clubbers who just can't wait for the weekend") (open just 10 - 12.30) - Commercial music
Um, yeah. Drinks, music. Ah, people. Unfortunately, the major letdown of Berties. There's something drastically wrong with either the clubbers of Newquay - or Berties in general - somehow, somewhere, because this miserable lot was the least enthusiastic, up-for-it lot I've seen in a club, ever. Those actually dancing seemed to be only making half-hearted attempts whilst everybody else huddled round the bar(s) or simply sat elsewhere, whilst you'd be hard-pushed to go and talk, or even give a smile, to a stranger - the complete opposite of the friendly natures of the L2 and Zone lot. These are people that are having fun, and if the guys in Berties this Friday were too, they've certainly got a funny way of showing it. You'd possibly think, "nah, forget it, just enjoy the music, dude" - and I did, but was just so distracted by the almost-amateurish-looking mob that surrounded me. Just really, really bad; and a factor that totally altered my views on the club, which is a great shame. Oh, go on, you go too, yeah? Go onnnn. Just cheer 'em up, so that I can go and have a good time again. Deal? Cool, thanks.
Telephone: (01637) 872255