“ Prince's Street, Ipswich. „
Kartouche is situated just outside Ipswich town centre, just a few minutes form the railway station and rather close to the cinema/leisure complex. It has been renamed twice since I was a wee lad, previously being known as Club UK (Ipswich), and then after that Hollywoods. I never had the pleasure of visiting it when it was Club UK, but I did get the chance when it was Hollywood's, and I've got to say, it's changed rather a lot since becoming Kartouche. The club used to be an old factory of some kind and still houses some sort of machinery, high up in the rafters. Being a converted factory means that the building is rather large, especially the main room, which means that you get a good sound, and also that 'big room' feeling. The capacity is quite big, I would say easily over 1,000, so if the crowd isn't that big I would expect that it may well be lacking on the atmosphere front. As you enter the club the cloakroom and toilets are down some stairs, in a basement area. But if you ignore these and continue through the large double doors you will make your entrance into the main room. The first thing that you'll notice is the big fountain! Yes, it's fully operational and makes quite a show piece, though I can imagine that it gets quite annoying for the bouncers to have to keep pulling people who are rather the worse for wear out of it. Speaking of the bouncers, there are rather a lot of them and you are subjected to quite a vigorous search as you enter the club, where they also confiscate your chewing gum for some reason, maybe it's so they'll have a chance of pulling if all the other blokes' breath stinks, well, that?s my theory anyway. So, back to the description, the main room is quite large and has a rather large dance floor, the DJ booth is situated on a raised platform at the far end of the room, and is surrounded by cages where they had some rather tasty dancers, not that I was looking... There are t wo bars in the main room, both quite big and well staffed, so queuing is kept to a minimum. There is also a balcony in this room with plenty of seating, offering panoramic views over the dance floor. Though if you are over 6' tall you better watch out for the low beams, as my mate found out the hard way. Ha ha. This room is done out in red with fake palm trees surrounding the dance floor, it has quite a Mediterranean feel to it, with various statues and other ethnic decor. The sound system was very clear, but could have done with a bit more volume, but this may have just been the night that I was attending. The lighting was also very pleasing to the eye. The second room is situated on the same level as the main room and is basically a bar. It does not have a designated dance floor, all of it is carpeted, but that didn't stop most people, some of whom were even including the furniture into their dance routines. Those crazy kids. This room also has a rather Mediterranean theme, with gauze on the ceiling to filter the light, and loads of very comfy seating for when it all gets a bit much. The third room is situated upstairs and is the smallest of all the rooms, it does have a rather miniscule dance floor, but the sound system in there was seriously pumping. It also has the most comfy sofas in the world; my sister nearly went to sleep in there, though that probably wouldn't surprise you if you knew her. The walls are all white in here and it has a bit of a 'Prince of Persia' aura about it, or maybe that's just me. Kartouche is open 4 nights a week and they break down like this: Monday: Student night. Music-Cheese, indy, rock, metal. 8.30 - 2. £1 before 10. £1.25 drinks all night. Apparently this night is rather good if you like your rock, so Pete, the original rocker, tells me, though I don't think I'll be attending. Thursday: Dance and party anthems. 9-2. £2 on the door. £1 drinks all night. M mmm, like a wotsit, it's cheesy. Friday: Plush. Music - house and garage in the main room, funk and r n b elsewhere. 9-3. £1.50 drinks all night. Over 20's only. You better get dressed up if you want to get in; this night is only for the glamorous. Saturday: Delight. Music - Dance. 9-3. Over 20's. A hands in the air night, apparently. I actually attended a Sunday special for the bank holiday. 9-4, £12 on the door, hard house and trance in the main room, old skool (yes Slipmatt was there woohoo), and funky house elsewhere. It was rather great and can't wait for the next one. So, there you go. I would thoroughly recommend Kartouche as a venue, it's large, well laid out, has 3 different rooms and is beautifully decorated, though I'm not sure that their music styles would usually suit my tastes. If you like it a little more underground then look out for their specials, though the Friday night doesn't look too bad. I will certainly be returning, and with the other clubbing options in East Anglia being rather limited I would recommend it to most of you party people out there. The weekend has landed.
I like this club.. Unlike the others in ipswich it plays Some of the real house anthems and classics, Rather than garage music all day long. They often have special nights with celebs. Its not a huge club so you get a better atmosphere in my opinion. It used to be Hollywoods Which was a club that failed for some unknown reason... All i can say is GO there! You wont be dissapointed. In my opinion its the best club in suffolk. Probably the best ive ever been to!