“ 10pm-2am. Bar until 1am. „
I'm not really in to clubbing all that much, which is quite lucky because Durham isn't exactly a clubbers dream. It's two night clubs are hardly legendary, and when you do go you get bombarded by a constant stream of cheese. All this probably explains why Planet of Sound, at the Durham Student Union is so popular, it's the closest thing you'll get to a decent club in Durham. Planet of Sound is held every Friday from 10pm-2am in the Durham Student Union, and uses every floor. Down at the bottom in the Dunelm ballroom you have the 'proper' club music, second from bottom you have the chill out house room, next up you get cheese in the Riverside Cafe and on the top floor you get the usual Kingsgate bar. I'm not one for house or whatever it is they play in the chill out bit, so I can't really comment too much on that, but the rest of it is pretty good. The biggest room by far is the one at the bottom, and that's where most of the action is. A semi-decent DJ plays the stuff you hear in most respectable clubs, it's across between the clubby tracks you hear on the radio and some more Ibiza style stuff I'd never hard before (can you tell I'm not an expert on Dance music?). Anyway, everyone always seems to enjoy it, and with the raised platforms all round the dancefloor it's a decent setting to hold it in. There's also lots of pretty lights and lasers and stuff, and of course the bar. Bars aren't something Planet of Sound is short of, having 4! However, they aren't perfect. The bars downstairs are not always bars, i.e. they are temporary and as such don't stock a wide range of drinks. Downstairs is basically a bottle bar, selling all your favourite alcopops, cans of beer and shots of vodka. And that's that! On the other hand you have Kingsgate which offers a full range of drinks, but if you're downstairs it's 4 flights of stairs up and then 4 back down.
Another gripe with the bars are that you are given plastic glasses, and they pour your bottles in to them. It's much harder to dance with a glass than it is with a bottle, but I guess it's something to do with safety. Prices are decent too, with a bottle of Smirnoff Ice costing £1.80, down to a can of Carling for £1.20, or a pint for £1.35 up in the Kingsgate bar. They aren't as cheap as the College bars, but it's still better than a club. I nearly forgot Planet of Sounds worst point - the bars close at 1am while the event goes on till 2am. A whole hour without alcohol! The fact that by 1am you'll have already drunk too much is beside the point, it seems silly to close the bars so early! Apparently the Student Union can't get licenses 'til 2am as it's near a residential area, although it seems a bit silly considering people leave at 2am anyway. A recent addition to Planet of Sound is that food is available from 1am-2am in the Riverside Cafe. They sell stuff like chips, wedges, sausages, bacon, burgers etc, and while nothing special is perfect for the walk home! Anyway, back on to the venue itself. Apart from the big dance room downstairs, and the chill out bit I have never been in, you have left the cheese room. This is held in Riverside Cafe with the tables moved out of the way, so isn't that large and queues to get in can often be quite large. The musics good though, as everyone knows students can't get enough cheesy music. The Kingsgate bar is quite decent too, with three pool tables upstairs, a decent bar both in terms of selection and price, and a decent sandwich bar open till (I think) 12.30am. So that's about it, apart from the cloakroom which will look after your coats for 50p per item. Entry is £3.00, or £2.50 with an Ents card. Only Durham students are allowed in, although it is possible to get guest passes during the day of the event in the DSU for other students.
Overall it's a good night out, especially considering the lack of decent clubs in Durham!