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Thursday Threesome @ Zone (Cornwall)

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      26.01.2002 02:08
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      You know, I never really considered Cornwall to be a brilliant place for clubbing. Sure, I go out often enough, but the idea that 'up country' everything was bigger, better, busier and louder had been firmly in my head for a while. And whilst it may be true that the county holds the town which has been dubbed the UK's equivalent of Ibiza in the busy summer season, Newquay, I didn't see Cornwall competing with the bigger clubs elsewhere nationwide. Newquay, with a wide range of clubs, is always praised as the party capital of Cornwall, if you will. And it is. But the clubs themselves - the likes of Tall Trees, The Koola, Berties et al - were, in my opinion, always a bit overrated and based on past experiences, I never really enjoyed myself as much as my friends said they did, or as much as I probably should if reputation is anything to go by. And so it came as some surprise when I heard that the club that is fast turning into my 'local', if you will, The Zone in Redruth, Cornwall was the South Western Club of The Year award winner in 1990, and perhaps more relevant, runner-up in 2001. Fine praise indeed; and even more so when you consider the prize is not based just on Cornwall, but Devon and the rest of the southern region, including Wales - some hundreds of miles away; only making the accolade seem even greater in terms of importance and prestige. Incidentally, the 2001 winner was actually a Cardiff club, but a point of notable interest is that the club I firmly consider to be the best that I've visited - L2, in Truro - has the likes of club night Slinky and DJs such as John '00' Flemming, Anne Savage, Lisa Pin-Up, Mario Piu and Mauro Picotto headlining regularly - was nowhere to be seen in the running for the award. Surely some mistake? Maybe. Maybe not, because there is, surely, another reason why it's my most-visited club, apart from the fact that it's closest to me in terms of location. The Zone,
      formerly known as the elongated 'Twilight Zone', is located in the grounds of the reputable Penventon Hotel in Little Vauxhall, Redruth. Not the most glamorous of locations, sure; there's no big city surrounding - instead, the club's closed in with long driveways, grassy banks and trees. That said, transport nor accessibility is even a slight problem - Thursday and Saturday sees the club operating many buses from, at my last count, a massive 22 locations across the county, with a return journey setting you back just £2 while there's adequate parking on both the club's facilities and in town. Bargain? Yep. But the club's good points certainly don't stop there - although small in size, The Zone is lively enough to ensure a decent night out three nights of the week - if you can spare enough money. Inside, the club isn't spectacular; nor is it what you might class a 'dive'. A complete renovation just a few years back has ensured that the club has kept in touch with its rivals - the refit included a new sound system and what they boast is the largest lighting rig in the region. The dancefloor's small, but rarely cramped - there's several stages for the more confident dancers too. Consisting of two floors, it'd be fair to say that The Zone's got everything covered, facility-wise. Downstairs there's two bars and washrooms, with a lounge area adjacent to the dancefloor. The upper tier of the club takes on almost a 'balcony' approach with three separate flights of stairs providing access. Here too is the largest bar in the club, surrounding by velour seating and a lounge area, coupled with a small 'dancefloor' as well as washrooms and a small food bar. The DJ box is located directly above the main dance stage - perfect to enable you to give the DJ your thoughts on what's being played. The club's opening times are Friday, 11pm-2am, with 70s and 80s music; Saturday 9pm-
      2am with an open music policy, but it's Thursday nights that really set The Zone apart. What used to be firmly known as student night has evolved into the recently-coined Thursday Threesome. Not the most glamorous of club night names, but one referring to the drinks promotions on the night - three drinks, usually a pint, a shot of vodka and mixer of your choice, or a bottled drink - all for just £1 each. Elsewhere, other drink prices are comparable steals with some other clubs. Indeed, it seems that The Zone's primary goal is to get people very, very drunk - three promos on a Thursday; all draught and spirits at just £1 on a Friday and a whopping seven promotions on Saturdays. The end result? A good night. It's almost hard not to enjoy yourself on a Thursday, though - everything's pretty much in order. Operating on what is essentially an anything-goes music policy, with DJ John London, Thursday Threesome isn't going be to everyone's taste for all of the time - everything from Pop, to Old Skool, to R&B to Rock is played on a rotating basis throughout the night - and although unfortunately it's not all dance music, there's usually a good hour or so of commercial dance and slightly more credible Hard House/Trance tunes. Which is nice. And whilst you may hear Britney Spears' latest coupled with, say, The Warp Brothers, The Zone pushes the boundaries, but never usually goes into cheese territory. Yeah, it's annoying when your favourite dance tune of the moment is cut short for the Eurythmics for example, but a necessary evil to ensure everyone goes home happy. Actual song requests and the inevitable shout-outs from the DJ are common, although most of my dance knowledge goes wasted when my tune of the moment isn't even recognised by name. And so people have a good night, and people come back, and people want the same tunes that brought them such a good night previously. And so chart music's played, and so more of th
      e same songs are played frequently. You recognise. You hate. You go to the bar and get wasted on Sambuca. It's easy when you know how. When the dance music finally kicks in, the DJ's actually not all bad. Working primarily from a computerised system, I think, the mixing's usually OKish, though some's bad, and some is just spot-on. But most of the time, nobody remembers, or cares for that matter, 'cause this is just me in a pedantic mood. And whilst in terms of credibility, the previously-mentioned L2's headline acts are way ahead of the Zone's; the club did manage to pull off a few major draws in the past year - the likes of The Artful Dodger, DJ Pied Piper, Rui Da Silva feat. Cassandra and impressively, Trance jock Commie, so all is not lost. And remember, this is only a small club, in a small town, in a less-than-famous clubbing region. Yet the consistence of the quality of Thursday Threesome remains; week in, week out. I should know - I'm usually there! Theme nights are more regular than not - Summer 2001 saw loads of 'em - including beach parties and the like, whilst the Winter sees more and more of, yep, snow parties. National promotions extend to The Zone on a regular basis too. The Red, Not Bed Tour brought Commie to the club, whilst Club 18-30 just brought utter mayhem and debauchery to the club, whilst V Ice and Red Bull - rodeo simulator included - and the like, promotions keep coming. But perhaps the most important aspect in the definition of any good night out is the clientele - who else is there, and the club's atmosphere. As mentioned, Thursday used to be mainly known as a student night, and to a certain extent it still is. On a general rule of thumb though, Thursday has the youngest clientele - 18-25, say, whilst 'Funky' 70s and 80s night on Friday sees an unsurprisingly more mature crowd and Saturday tends to be a combination of the two, though it's not a hard-and-fast rule. I'd say you
      'll have fun either way. Thankfully, the general atmosphere on Thursday is that of a crowd very much up-for-it: of course, you get those who are after a fight all too readily, but generally everyone's more interested in having a good time. The club too, is one of almost familiarity - the same kind of crowd come back each week, with of course, more and more new faces every time. It's a club where, if you accidentally knock into someone, you could turn around and shake their hand; a club where if you spill somebody's drink, it's not a problem - you simply follow protocol, get 'em a new one and start chatting. Indeed, the one time I've ever done it, the guy bought me a drink - but don't let that encourage you! Simply put, The Zone on a Thursday is probably the best place to be - and certainly so on a weeknight, and though the closing time of 1am is slightly premature, there's still a good 4 hours of solid partying time to keep you more than occupied. I just keep going back, and that says a lot. Go on. Large it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ---- The Stuff You Might Want To Know That I Copied From The Flyers. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ---- Thursday Threesome; 8.30 - 1.00. • £3 b4 10pm, £4 thereafter (£1 off with flyer, free admission and promo drink with promotional leaflet before 10.30). £1 off with Student ID. • Dress code: smart casuals. • Management reserve the right to refuse admission. • Contact details: (01209) 203040 http://www.zoneclub.co.uk ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ----

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