Ahh....The Empers, The Empirical, The 'Pire - all affectionate terms given to Middlesbrough's premiere nightspot by me and my social clan. We only ever go there on a Thursday "Planet Pop" night so I'll try and describe the typical night out... After touring various pubs, we end up in the Hairy Lemon across the road from the 'Pire, as you can look out of the window to see when its time to queue, usually about 10pm, which is when it opens (closes at 2-2:30am). Sometimes the queues can be astronomical, stretching right around the building. This usually occurs during school/college holidays. The thug-like bouncers are very strict on ID, basically almost every male under 25 gets asked for ID. If you dont have it, no chance of getting in. Of course females have no trouble due to the average Middlesbrough lass's tendency to wear dental floss and fake tan all year round. £4.50 entry, £3.50 NUS - now you're in... Layout (i honestly cannot recall every detail as I have been rather intoxicated on every visit) - main dance floor with stage area at front. Bars to the rear. Stairs at the side leading up the next level, consisting of more bars, a loud dark room wih more "hardcore" music, and another stage with a large DJ box (used to be a bar but recently re-furbished). Drinks: Thursday offer is £1.50 double-mixers. But be warned...skullduggery is implemented after 12 when the prices rise to £4.50, and you never seem to notice as you're already wasted. Typical club prices for other drinks (£2.50 pint, £3 Smirnoff Ice etc). Clientelle: Mixed. Lots of "undesirables" from local areas though. NB: Every time i've been there's ALWAYS some bloke outside at the end of the night clutching the most bloodstained square of tissue paper EVER over his head swearing down on "his mam's life" then " 'e is f****n' dead!" Quite an a
bundance of underage drinkers, 16-17 (especially females), getting wasted and face-sucking everything in sight - perfect if you're after a guaranteed pull. Lot's of nice, friendly people though, and some top-quality females. On nights where it is busy it can be VERY frustrating. Bar waits are agonising, you can barely move on the dancefloor. Takes about 5 minutes to make your way down the stairs when it's like this. People just seem to move lethergically! Also, you may notice an awful amount of condensation on the walls, esp. when busy...feels like sweat and if you stumble into the wall you slide right down...ewwwwwww. Music - The night is planet pop so as you can imagine lots of cheese from 70s-80s-90s. Some regular feel good tunes such as "Don't Look Back In Anger" can be heard, with everyone hugging and singing their hearts out. Brilliant atmosphere! I have had many experiences, as have my friends with the door-staff, who can only be described in our experiences as about as friendly as a scrap dealer's dog. One time, I was in there, drunk, but still concious, knew what I was doing, chatting to some girl i know, when a pair of huge steel like arms slipped round my waist and dragged me out threatening to "F****n' break your legs" if i struggled. God knows what the reason for that was! Lots of my mates have been "escorted" out for no reason at all, but they never seem to kick out the real troublemakers. If you fancy some fresh air and need a walk outside, don't. As you wont be allowed back in, no matter what state you are in. This has happened to me and I was without money, no way of getting home, so i proceeded to walk the 7 miles home along the A66 dual-carriageway...not a good situation to be in... A VERY good night out, 2nd only to Tall Trees in the area. Once you've had a few drinks, you dont tend to notice the "sweat walls" and the huge queues,
just the lovely ladies, the fine music, the wicked atmosphere and the cheap drinks (before 12 of course). Enjoy!
I can't believe no ones written about the Empire yet! Well... Sugarshack on a friday night has to be one of the best club nights in the country - it is a seriously underrated clb, that doesn't quite get the recognition it deserves, but that doesn't stop it being packed weekin and weekout, oh no. With a top DJ line up to boot, the nigt just can't go wrong. I have had some of the best nights of my life there, for your bog standard Friday night out - this is the business - it turns your night into an event! The place is in an old Theatre and has kept its look, especially with the long balcony that wraps around the place. Judge Jules kicked off his tour of some of Britaind clubs for his Radio 1 show there - what a night that was. Paul Oakenfold often crops up about every other month - which is nice. Pete Tong played on the Reopening night after new year - that was awsome! (I shuck his hand!) Now heres a quote - Jeremy Healey (who I thought was cack bfore I saw him play there) says its the best club he's ever played in!!! Check out http://www.theempire.co.uk for more news (its a new site so be patient about its temprament!)